Feng Shui teaches us that the challenges in our lives physically manifest in our homes, which would explain your messy bedroom or neurotically sterilised kitchen. It’s not just about redecorating: Feng Shui is about resituating yourself in space in a more conscientious and positive way, and arranging your possessions in accordance with ancient teachings about the environment.
The premise of Feng Shui (that we, and everything around us, is invested with energy) might sound out-there, but even the most cynical of us have inexplicable feelings about the places we inhabit. And as a philosophy that has been used for more millennia, surely Feng Shui has something to teach us.
The practice is ‘rooted’ in the natural environment and in plant cultivation: born out of ancient Chinese burial rites, but adopted by agricultural farmers.
In the hope of achieving eternal peace, the ideal resting place was on a gentle slope, with a larger protective hill or mountain behind and a view to a body of water. This land configuration, and associated philosophy, was taken up by farmers in the hopes of growing stronger crops. Better crops meant increased wealth, health and happiness for the farmers and their families.
Wealth, health and happiness, begotten from our environmental arrangement remain central to Feng Shui. In fact, since the Feng Shui boom in the 90s, built on selling overpriced furniture and incense, greater attention has been paid to the mind-body-spirit aspects of the practice. Rather than an interior design concept, contemporary Feng Shui emphasises the continuous flow between body, mind and environment, disrupting Western logic.
Certain plants have better energy than others - in fact some plants have actively bad Feng Shui! Dying plants give off bad energy, so that's extra motivation to keep your green friends happy.
Chinese Money Plants, Money Trees, Trailing Jade and Peperomia plants are all thought to bring wealth and prosperity. With the exception of the Money Tree, each one has rounded leaves. Soft, circular lines draw in positive energy, whereas pointed shapes repel it - Eastern philosophers clearly weren't fans of cacti.
We're not sure if we're a hundred percent convinced by these classifications, but we're taking extra care of our Money Plants just in case!
Here’s a bit more on plant classifications and their Feng Shui relevance:
Chinese Money Plants
Scottish Botanist George Forrest was one of the first westerners to explore the province of Yunnan in the South West of China. He was the first one to collect Pilea peperomioides in 1906 and in 1910 - and this is where the Chinese Money Plant finds its origin. Each Chinese Money Plant grows slightly differently. As it matures, this plant expands more vertically and it can start producing very small flowers. This plant is thought to bring wealth and prosperity to those who own it. So, you should take care not to let this shrivel, brown or die.
Money Trees, as their name suggests, are thought to bring prosperity and good fortune to those who own them.
They’re very hardy little plants and only need watering once a week so they are perfect for most plant lovers. They are also excellent air purifiers so you can breathe in lovely fresh clean air in your home while you relax after a long hard day.
For the ultimate Feng Shui experience it’s recommended that you keep them in the southeast area of your home or office.
Peperomia plants are perfect for newbie plant parents who want to up their Feng Shui game!
There are lots of different colours and variegated leaf patterns within the family of Peperomia plants, so you can end up with quite an array of different looking Feng Shui plants with minimal effort.
These beauties will forgive you if you accidentally neglect them a bit when you’re still learning how to be the perfect horticulturist!
The Calamondin Orange Tree
These self-pollinating, small shrubs will look amazing both inside and outside your home. The citrus fruit that they produce is a hybrid between a kumquat and a mandarin orange.
This beautiful tree brings an exotic splash of colour to any room - each fruit can be interpreted as a gift to the owner. They are delicate and ornate, manifesting beautiful energy and positive vibes.
The Lucky Bamboo
We’ve included this in the list because we love the sentiment behind the Lucky Bamboo and its alluring backstory.
This plant has sparked many legends due to rumours that it bestows good fortune, luck and Feng Shui to those who care for it. Allegedly, the more stalks your plant produces, the more prosperity you will receive.
These plants are very easygoing, boast gorgeous lance-shaped leaves and grow happily in most spaces. You can find different variants, including the Lucky Bamboo 'White' | Dracaena sandriana 'White' and the Lucky Bamboo 'Gold' | Dracaena sandriana 'Gold.'
The Sweetheart Plant
Sweetheart Plants are thus named due to their heart-shaped leaves, which allegedly bring good Feng Shui in the form of romantic prosperity. These wonderful plants trail gracefully and are perfectly suited to hanging baskets. They thrive in low light conditions and due to their glossy, strong appearance, will transform dark, dingy spots into spaces of natural zen and vibrancy. Check out this Green Sweetheart Plant | Philodendron scandens and Sweetheart Plant 'Brazil' & Bengal Basket.
Aralia Fabian | Polyscias scutellaria 'Fabian'
We are in love with the glossy leaves of the Aralia Fabian and its deep, forest green and festive maroon leaves.
These Feng Shui plants love warm humid environments so make sure to keep them in a warm place and mist them regularly. They would also appreciate a couple of hours of indirect sunlight each day, but be careful not to overexpose them as they will burn.
Native to Polynesia, the Aralia Fabian has a rich body of foliage, is an elegant shape and brings warm and positive energy, according to Feng Shui.
Rubber Tree Plant
The Rubber Tree plant is linked to happiness and wealth, and as you may have noticed, has the very round leaves characteristic of Feng Shui plants!
These are another fairly robust plant so are great for beginners who want to add a bit of tranquillity into their home. They will remove toxins and bad energy from the air without demanding too much attention from you.
Rubber Trees are great for keeping in corners of rooms, because their round leaves balance out the sharp edges.
Interestingly the latex sap that comes from these plants can be used to make natural rubber, which makes sense really given their name!