Essential Principles and Best Types of Plants to Bring Positive Energy into Your Home or Office

Houseplants not only help us to reconnect with nature they also enliven virtually any living space and work great in both home and office environments. According to the principles of the practice of feng shui, plants have the potential to affect energy (qi) indoors in both negative and positive ways, too. The best way to harness the potential energy of your houseplants is to learn the basic principles of the philosophy and art of feng shui. Here we’ll take you through some of the fundamental considerations in feng shui theory related to houseplants and share some of the best plant options for creating positive energy in your own interior spaces. 


The Basic Principles of Plants and Feng Shui

The Basic Principles of Plants and Feng Shui

The basic principles of feng shui are based on balancing the five elements or forces (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) in a space or design in order to harness the natural energy (called qi) of the surrounding space in a positive or auspicious way.

How Plants Are Used in Feng Shui

Plants are associated with the color green which is considered to have healing energy. They are also associated with the wood element which invites the essential energy of activity and growth into a space. Wood is also associated with vitality, compassion, flexibility, and kindness. Additionally, wood feeds the fire element which fuels growth, reaching out, and confronting change.

How to Avoid Bad Energy With Plants and Feng Shui

There aren’t necessarily plants that are always considered good and plants that are always considered bad in feng shui.

However, when applied incorrectly, placed poorly, or too heavily incorporated with the rest of a space, plants can generate negative energy in feng shui. Additionally, some plants that have spikier profiles or that are unhealthy can be trickier to incorporate into a feng shui design in a way that will draw in positive energy.

This might not necessarily mean that they’re drawing bad luck or harmful vibes, but the plants can block energy or throw the duality of the yin and yang polarity of the five elements out of balance, creating an undesirable energy flow in your space.


How to Position Plants in the Home Based on Feng Shui Practices

The Bagua Map and Eight Trigrams

Although your large fiddle leaf fig might look attractive near your bedroom window or you might want your cacti collection to have pride of place at the front of your home, simply adding plants to the home or office in any placement you like won’t necessarily harness positive qi, according to the principles of feng shui. Plants must be selected and placed mindfully to benefit from their energy drawing properties.

Using a Bagua Map to Aid Plant Placement and Groupings

Feng shui practitioners use a bagua map that outlines eight aspirations or areas of life around the cardinal directions. They’re each associated with a cardinal direction, element, number, season, colors, and shapes or textures. The bagua areas include:

  • Family (Zhen)
  • Wealth and Prosperity (Xun)
  • Health (Tai Qi)
  • Helpful People (Qian)
  • Children (Dui)
  • Knowledge (Gen)
  • Fame or Reputation (Li)
  • Career (Kan)
  • Partnership (Kun)

By laying a bagua map over your home, office, or a room’s floorplan, you can then arrange items and choose design elements that will be most auspicious for each of the eight areas of life. Place houseplants in the bagua areas where you want to encourage growth, vitality, or change. You can also incorporate houseplants into your design based on the bagua areas where wood is the associated element (Zhen and Xun).

The wood element can also interact with the other elements. Wood fuels fire, so choosing fire elements as bagua areas (Li) for plant placement will encourage growth in those areas. On the other hand, wood weakens water, earth, and metal forces, so feng shui guidelines recommend not placing plants or other wood element objects in the areas of the bagua map associated with these elements.

If you wish to group plants together, do so using the same number of plants as that bagua’s lucky number. For example, the number 4 represents the wealth and prosperity bagua, so plants are best arranged in groups of four inside the Xun bagua.


Choosing the Right Rooms and Parts of Your Home for Your Plants

Choosing the Right Rooms and Parts of Your Home for Your Plants

The best locations for houseplants, according to feng shui principles, include the following areas:

Southeast and East 

Like all living plants, these bagua map areas belong to the wood element. Adding houseplants to these areas of the home will prove auspicious for your family and financial health.

South  

The south belongs to the fire element and represents your reputation and fame. Placing wood elements like plants in the south will help fuel the fire, improving your relationships with friends and your reputation.

Entryway and Living Room 

Plants create welcoming energy in the entry space and main living areas of your home. Feel free to go big, integrating large plants into your designs in these spaces.

Dining Areas 

Adding plants – especially fruit-bearing plants – to the dining space can improve your family’s prosperity and wealth. Just be sure to select plants that feel balanced in the space, being careful not to go too big or too small.

Home Office  

Lucky bamboo symbolizes prosperity and success, as does the number 4. Place 4 lucky bamboos in your home office to foster success in the business or financial aspects of your life.

Beneath Beams  

Beams add heavy, oppressive energy and can even be considered a blocking force in feng shui. Adding tall, tree-like plants beneath beams – especially in entryways – will help balance the energy and restore the natural flow of qi.


According to the principles of feng shui, a few rooms and locations in the home or office are not recommended for plant placement. These include:

Center of Your House, Northeast, and Southwest:

The northeast, southwest, and center of a home are associated with the earth element, and wood weakens the earth element. Placing a large plant in these locations could unbalance the energy leading to weaker energy in the home, unbalanced relationships, and a hindered ability to learn.

Kitchen: 

The kitchen contains plenty of objects that fall into the fire element category. Adding plants here will strengthen the fire element further, creating too much energy in the space.

Bedroom:

The two primary purposes of the bedroom are sleep and romance. Adding wood elements with strong energy like houseplants creates too much energy of growth and activity to a space that should be restful. Additionally, they don’t serve romantic relationships or partnerships. Instead, add a vase of cut flowers to improve the romantic energy of the room.

Northwest: 

The northwest is associated with family and health, and it’s a metal element bagua. Metal and wood forces neutralize each other, leading to too little energy and harming these areas of the bagua.

If you choose to incorporate plants into these locations in your home or office, choose a small plant rather than a large one that will draw more energy.

Plant Size, Shape, Color, and Texture in Feng Shui 

A plant’s characteristics all affect the energy it brings in feng shui. The larger the plant, the more energy it will draw, so it’s always important to consider size when choosing plants for the home.

Also, the shape of leaves can change a plant’s energy. Large, rounded leaves are considered to bring more positive energy than long, sharp, and pointy leaves.

Whether your plant has multi-colored foliage or will bloom with colorful flowers should also be considered. Although plants are always associated with the wood element, different colors might be associated with other forces. Look into this and ensure energy will remain balanced when your plants bloom.

Don’t Forget About Your Plant’s Care Needs

When placing a plant for positive feng shui energy, it’s important also to remember your plant’s general care requirements – especially sunlight. Do not place a plant that requires bright, direct sunlight in the darkest corner of a room just because that’s the best feng shui position.

A sick, struggling or otherwise unhealthy plant always brings negative energy into a space, so keep your plants healthy by prioritizing their needs and placing them in locations where they’ll receive the right amount of sunlight.


The Best Plants for Positive Feng Shui

Here you’ll 16 excellent houseplant options popular amongst feng shui practitioners. We’ve detailed potential benefits and characteristics of each and some essential plant care tips so you can find the best options for your own unique living environment:

Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo Feng Shui

About: 

Lucky bamboo is probably the most popular plant for generating positive feng shui energy. It has a tall, upward growth pattern associated with improvement. Additionally, the number of stalks displayed is strongly connected to the trigrams of the bagua map.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Upward mobility, nobility, peace, flexibility, wisdom, adaptability, and openness

Where to Position: 

Lucky bamboo should be placed in the Xun and Kun areas of the bagua map to encourage growth in wealth and relationships. They can also be placed in offices, entryways, and living rooms.

General Care: 

Requires moderate, indirect light and soil that’s kept slightly damp at all times.


Orchid Plants

Orchid Plants Feng Shui

About: 

Orchid plants are wonderful choices for feng shui. They’re visually beautiful, and they also have a variety of uses in feng shui practices. With so many different orchids to choose from, it’s important to be mindful of your orchid’s color and the number of stems to ensure proper placement.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Fertility and creativity

Where to Position: 

Place white orchids in the family and children baguas. Yellow orchids can go in the center of the home or in the health bagua. Purple orchids belong in the wealth bagua, and pink orchids with two stems can be placed in the relationship bagua.

General Care: 

Provide bright, indirect sunlight, moderate temperatures, and moderate humidity. Water thoroughly when potting medium is not quite dry and allow excess moisture to drain.


Air Plants

Air Plants Feng Shui

About: 

Air plants are a type of bromeliad that have no roots and absorb nutrients and water through their leaves. “Feng shui” literally translates to wind and water, although they belong to the wood element, air plants are also a good representation of both the water and wind elements in feng shui.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Balancing, calming, refreshing, and uplifting

Where to Position: 

Air plants absorb water through their leaves, so they’re perfect for balancing the energy in any environment that has a lot of water in it. This makes them an excellent choice for bathrooms and laundry rooms.

General Care: 

Requires bright to medium indirect sunlight, occasional misting, and a soak in filtered water every 1 to 2 weeks.


Money Tree

Money Tree Plant Feng Shui

About: 

Money tree plants are fun to grow, attractive to look at, and they are strongly associated with good luck. In feng shui, they’re a plant that encourages positive energy and growth in the wealth and health sections of a home.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Enhance and attract wealth, abundance, and prosperity

Where to Position: 

For prosperity and wealth, place your money tree in the southeast part of your home or in your office. The east (health) portion of your home is another good spot for a money tree.

General Care: 

Money trees need bright, indirect sunlight and a well-draining pot and potting mix. Water when the soil is almost dry and allow all excess moisture to drain completely.


Snake Plants

Snake Plant Feng Shui

About: 

Due to its sword-like, pointed leaves, snake plants are often mistaken for a bad feng shui plant. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Since its pointy leaves grow upward, it’s a perfect representation of upward flowing energy that easily slices through negative, heavy vibes.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Neutralizes negativity and restores flow to stagnate energy

Where to Position: 

Beneath beams, entryways, and living rooms

General Care: 

Bright, indirect light and sandy, well-draining soil. Water every 1 to 2 weeks when the soil has dried completely.


Jade Plants

Jade Plant Feng Shui

About: 

Jade plants are favorite succulent. They can reach incredible sizes and can grow for generations, turning themselves into heirlooms passed down through families. In Chinese culture, their leaves are thought to resemble coins, so they’re thought to attract prosperity in feng shui.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Wealth and prosperity. 

Where to Position: 

Position as many jade plants in the southeast corner of your home or office as it is associated with wealth.

General Care: 

This succulent prefers partial shade, a sandy potting mix, and watering only when the soil has dried completely.


Rubber Plants

Rubber Tree Plant Feng Shui

About: 

Rubber plants (also called rubber tree plants) are a type of ficus that have broad, round leaves that help harness positive energy flowing through a room. These plants can also grow to be about 10-feet tall which means they’ll draw even more good energy the bigger they get.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Happiness, abundance, wealth, and enhanced positive energy flow

Where to Position: 

Rubber plants will most effectively enhance the energy in the wealth (southeast) section of your home. They’re also suitable for dining rooms.

General Care: 

Rubber plants require bright, indirect sunlight and a well-draining potting mix that’s kept evenly moist with regular watering. Fertilize regularly during the growing season (spring and summer).


Ficus Ginseng Plant

Ficus Ginseng Plant to bring positive Feng Shui

About: 

The ficus genseng (also called the Chinese banyan) is one of the trees popularly used in the art of Bonsai. As a result, they’re well-suited to small containers and perfect for drawing auspicious energy into smaller rooms or office spaces.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Good luck

Where to Position: 

Perfect for darker rooms, offices with artificial lights, and any section of the bagua where you could use a little good luck.

General Care: 

Prefers shade or artificial light, infrequent watering, and infrequent fertilizing.


Calathea Plants

Calathea Plants for Feng Shui

About: 

Calathea plants are a favorite for their lush foliage that features striking stripes, patterns, and colors. When selecting a calathea plant for your home, be mindful of the one you choose. Some have leaves that are all green, and these can be treated like other plants with green promoting healing. However, other calatheas feature white stripes or purple-hued backs, and these colors are associated with their own meanings and areas of the bagua map.

Feng Shui Benefits:

Calathea plants are well regarded for their air-purifying capabilities and are aligned with fame and positive reputational benefits in feng shui practices. 

Where to Position: 

Most calatheas will will provide the greatest feng shui benefits when placed in the south of your home or office to improve the energy flow to the fame, recognition, and reputation area of your bagua map. Place purple calatheas in the east or wealth bagua.

General Care: 

Calathea plants prefer low to medium sunlight and soil that’s kept evenly moist with fairly frequent watering (depending on the season).


Banana Plants

Banana Plants for Feng Shui

About: 

Banana plants – the ones responsible for the yellow-colored fruit we all love – are a favorite indoor plant for feng shui purposes. They have large, broad leaves that are associated with strong, positive energy in feng shui practices.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Peace, prosperity, and positive energy. 

Where to Position: 

Position a banana plant in the southeast of your home or the southeast corner of your office or living room. Make sure the space you choose is large enough to accommodate the banana plant’s size. Although they likely won’t produce fruit when grown indoors, banana trees are still considered fruit-bearing plants, and this makes them appropriate for placing in a large dining room.

General Care: 

Banana plants need full sun, frequent watering, warm temperatures above 75°F, and regular fertilization during the growing season (spring and summer)


Peace Lily Plants

Peace Lily Plants for Feng Shui

About: 

Peace lilies have remarkable air purifying capabilities. In addition to replenishing the oxygen in an indoor space, they’ll also help remove toxins and other impurities from the air. Peace lilies symbolize peace and harmony, and their function in feng shui is right in line with their symbolic meaning.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Calms, harmonizes and neutralizes negative energy

Where to Position: 

Highly recommended for offices and home offices

General Care: 

Needs medium, indirect sunlight and a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil moist with frequent watering.


Aloe Vera Plants

Aloe Vera Plants for Feng Shui

About: 

In feng shui, aloe vera plants are somewhat contrarian. They have hard, sharp, spiky, pointed leaves that are typically associated with negative, discomforting energy in feng shui. These attributes are also associated with the fire element. 

Since aloe veras are plants, they’re also associated with the wood element that feeds fire, further fueling their energy. Despite their form, aloe vera plants contain incredible healing properties which make them an attractive houseplant and also give them some positive feng shui attributes.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Protective energy and combats negative energy and bad luck

Where to Position: 

Choose small aloe vera plants and place them in the healing center of your home.

General Care: 

Some full sun is okay, but aloe vera plants prefer bright, indirect light. Water infrequently always allowing the soil to dry completely before watering.


Areca Palm

Areca Palm for Feng Shui

About: 

The areca palm (also called the golden cane or butterfly palm) is a favorite in feng shui for its abundant, soft, pinnate palm leaves that will cushion against harsh, negative energies and draw soft, positive energy into a living space. These plants can grow to be quite large, so position them accordingly in a room large enough to accommodate their size.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Brings peace, prosperity, and wealth while attracting positive energy and pushing out bad energy

Where to Position: 

Areca palm is highly versatile. It can be placed in the north, east, southeast, or south areas of the home where it will enhance productivity and draw energy to those areas of the bagua map.

General Care: 

Requires full, bright sun exposure indoors and even moisture in a well-draining potting mix that is never soggy. Fertilize this heavy feeder during its growing season from spring through the beginning of fall.


Golden Pothos

Golden Pothos for Feng Shui

About: 

The golden pothos is a popular feng shui plant partly due to its resilience and fast growth which makes it perfect for cultivating in locations that might be challenging for other plants. Additionally, its abundant, trailing, heart-shaped leaves are perfect for harnessing positive energy.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Protection and neutralizing negative energy

Where to Position: 

These plants can thrive in the darker corners of a home, which makes them the perfect choice for revitalizing the energy in otherwise dead or negative spaces like the bathroom, tops of cabinets, and above cupboards. They can also be used to circle around beams that exude negative energy.

General Care: 

Can thrive in bright, indirect sunlight to medium or low light. Water every 1 to 2 weeks, allowing the soil to dry out completely in between.


Peony Plants

Peony Plants for Feng Shui

About: 

Peony plants are commonly grown outdoors, but they can thrive inside, too. These lovely flowers have endless ruffles of pink petals and have come to symbolize marriage, romance, good fortune, and bravery.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Prosperity, love, marriage, romance, and healing relationships

Where to Position: 

Peonies do the most work in the marriage and relationships section of the bagua map. Place cut flowers in the northeast corner of the bedroom or a living plant in the northeast corner of your home (as long as it’s not the bedroom). They can also enhance wealth and prosperity in the southeast section of a home, in addition to enhancing health in the east.

General Care: 

Peonies require full sunlight and evenly moist soil that’s never soggy. Fertilize during the growing season to encourage blooms.


Philodendron Plants

Philodendron Plants for Feng Shui

About: 

The philodendron is a favorite houseplant because it’s extremely easy to grow. The philodendron’s large, heart-shaped leaves are ideal for drawing positive energy into a space with low or negative energy flow. With its positive vibes and low care requirements, this houseplant will only bring you happiness.

Feng Shui Benefits: 

Calming energy, abundance, and enhanced energy flow

Where to Position: 

Place philodendrons in dark, low-energy spots indoors, focusing on the east (health) or southeast (weath and prosperity) sections of a home, office, or room

General Care: 

Prefers medium to low indirect sunlight. Water every 1 to 2 weeks, increasing frequency when the plant has more light during spring and summer.


Plants That Create Negative Feng Shui Energy

Houseplants bringing negative energy in Feng Shui

Cacti, Spiny Succulents, and Spiky Plants

The sharp needles of cacti and harsh silhouettes of the plants are considered bad in feng shui and are thought to draw negative energy. Although cacti are fun to collect and require minimal care, there really isn’t a place for them in feng shui. Their sharp needles are thought to cause discomfort and damage your sense of security.

Fake Plants

If you can, always use real, living plants instead of fake plants. If you must decorate with a fake plant, it should be incredibly realistic (the kind of realistic where you have to feel the leaves to know they’re silk).

Unhealthy Plants

Dead, dying, diseased, or otherwise unhealthy plants drain and diminish the energy in a space. So, they will harm your feng shui and block you from enjoying the full potential of your home or office’s good vibes.

If you have a sick plant, you can, of course, try to revitalize it, but do so as soon as possible and remove all the dead or diseased parts right away. If your plant’s too far gone to save, do it and yourself a favor and put it out of its misery sooner rather than later.


Cultivating Positive Energy and a Healthy Environment With Houseplants

Plants not only have the potential to channel positive energy into your living spaces, but they’ll also purify your air and replenish the oxygen. Whether or not you decide to take the principles of feng shui to heart when decorating your home or office with indoor plants, you will certainly stand to benefit from having a little extra living green in your life.


Feng Shui Houseplants FAQ:

In traditional feng shui practices, different plants are suitable to a range of positions around the home in relation to the bagua map. For instance, philodendrons are best suited to dark, low-energy spots indoors, focusing on the east (health) or southeast (weath and prosperity). Areca palms should be placed in the north, east, southeast, or south areas of the home where it will enhance productivity and draw energy to those areas of the bagua map.

Snake plants, jade plants, Money Tree plants, orchids, and bamboo plants are all considered particularly ‘lucky’ indoor plants. 

The sharp needles of cacti and harsh silhouettes of the plants are considered bad in feng shui and are thought to draw negative energy. Any fake, dying, or diseased plants are also considered bad in feng shui practices. 

Wealth and prosperity are located in the southeast corner of the bagua map. Consider your front door or entranceway to be the northernmost central point, thus wealth would be located in the far-left hand corner of your home. 

Cotton and Tamarind plants are considered two of the unluckiest plants to keep in the home. Any fake or diseased plants are also associated with negative energy in feng shui practices. 

Author

I’ve long been fascinated with the world of flowers, plants, and floral design. I come from a family of horticulturists and growers and spent much of my childhood in amongst the fields of flowering blooms and greenhouses filled with tropical plants, cacti, and succulents from all over the world. Today, my passion has led me to further explore the world of horticulture, botany, and floristry and I'm always excited to meet and collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe.

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