Air plants are unique and unusual houseplants that need very little care. These plants don’t even need soil because they absorb moisture from the air using their leaves. Choosing the right spot for your air plant can even improve the feng shui within your home. This article will explain where to position air plants according to feng shui principles and care requirements.
- Positioning Air Plants in the Home – The Essentials
- About Air Plants
- Air Plants and Feng Shui
- Where to Position Air Plants in the Home
- Where NOT to Air Plants in the Home
- Where to Position Air Plants Outdoors
- Essential Air Plant Care Requirements
- Where to Position Air Plants FAQs
- Wrapping Up
Positioning Air Plants in the Home – The Essentials
Air plants grow best in areas that provide bright, indirect light and warm, humid conditions. Protect air plants from cold or dry drafts. In feng shui, air plants balance the Wood and Water elements in your home. Position air plants in eastern or southeastern areas to promote family and prosperity.
About Air Plants
Air plants comprise over 650 species of epiphytes within the Tillandsia genus. Air plants also belong to the bromeliad family (Bromeliaceae). These plants are native to parts of Mexico and the southeastern United States. Air plants can also be found in parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean.
While each species varies, most air plants produce rosettes of long, slender blade-like silver leaves. Air plants are epiphytes that attach to other plants while absorbing moisture and nutrients from the surrounding air. Air plants have embraced the epiphyte lifestyle so completely that they no longer require soil to grow.
In the right conditions, air plants can produce flowers when grown indoors. Air plants produce bright, colorful flowers on thin stalks.
Air Plants and Feng Shui
According to the principles of feng shui, air plants are believed to have balancing and calming qualities. Air plants can also be refreshing and uplifting when added to a space.
One of the most important aspects of feng shui is the Five Elements Theory (Wu Xing). This practice revolves around the elements of Earth, Fire, Metal, Water, and Wood. Each element corresponds to specific areas of the Bagua map.
Because of their unique care needs, air plants can balance out the Water and Wood elements within your home. Feng shui means “wind and water,” reflecting that air plants only need air and water to survive. However, like other houseplants, air plants are primarily connected to the Wood element.
The Wood element is linked to qualities like creativity, emotional support, growth, renewal, and vitality. The Wood element can also encourage good luck, prosperity, and wealth. Air plants can be used to boost or cultivate these qualities within your life and home.
Air plants also promote good feng shui by purifying the air and removing potentially harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds). As living organisms, air plants can radiate positive energy or chi while absorbing negative energy. Sharp corners and empty spaces accumulate negative energy.
Where to Position Air Plants in the Home
According to the Bagua Map
The Bagua map is a tool that helps feng shui practitioners organize the energy within their homes. The Bagua map divides your home into nine zones representing the points of the compass surrounding a central point. Each zone governs a specific aspect of our lives and corresponds with a particular element.
The nine zones of the Bagua map are:
- East (Zhen) = Family (Wood)
- Southeast (Xun) = Prosperity and Wealth (Wood)
- South (Li) = Fame and Reputation (Fire)
- Southwest (Kun) = Relationships (Earth)
- West (Dui) = Children (Metal)
- Center (Tai Qi) = Health (Earth)
- Northwest (Qian) = Helpful People (Metal)
- North (Kan) = Career (Water)
- Northeast (Gen) = Knowledge (Earth)
Air plants are associated with the Wood element, which is strongest in the eastern and southeastern parts of the Bagua map. The East represents family, while the Southeast represents prosperity and wealth. Adding air plants to rooms in these areas helps cultivate positive energy in your life.
According to Five Elements Theory, some elements can strengthen, weaken, or clash with others. Wood is strengthened by Water, but it also weakens Earth and clashes with Metal. Wood also strengthens Fire.
As air plants balance the energies of Wood and Water, you can place them in areas associated with these elements. Through the Wood element, air plants are linked to active qualities such as creativity, growth, prosperity, and success. This means that air plants are brilliant feng shui plants for your home office.
Air plants can also help dispel negative energy that congregates in sharp corners or empty spaces throughout your home. You can turn negative energy into positive energy by filling empty spaces with air plants.
According to Care Requirements
Place air plants approximately 3 to 5 feet away from an east or southeast-facing window to provide optimal light conditions. For the best results, position air plants in a steamy, humid bathroom and protect them from cold or dry drafts.
Where NOT to Air Plants in the Home
Air plants should not be placed near air vents, open windows, or radiators. These are sources of cold or dry drafts that can dry out the air around an air plant, reducing humidity levels. Drafts can also lower the temperature around your air plant.
Air plants do best in bright, indirect light but can get damaged if exposed to direct sunlight. Although air plants can tolerate partial shade, these bromeliads will struggle in full shade. Without sufficient light, air plants may produce weak or stunted growth.
Because air plants are linked to the Wood element, they can weaken Earth and clash with Metal. Avoid positioning air plants in southwestern, central, and northeastern parts of the Bagua map linked to Earth. Keep air plants away from western and northwestern areas that are linked to Metal.
You should also refrain from positioning air plants in bedrooms. The Wood element has active, masculine yang qualities, which can make it hard to relax in your bedroom. The bedroom is supposed to be a restful, calm space in feng shui, so avoid bringing in active energy from air plants.
Where to Position Air Plants Outdoors
In some regions of the United States, you can grow air plants outside throughout the year. Air plants can be grown outside in USDA Zones 10 to 12 and require warm, humid conditions. Provide outdoor air plants with trees or other surfaces to latch onto and place them in partial shade.
Essential Air Plant Care Requirements
Providing the proper care helps your air plants live long, happy lives. Air plants require bright, indirect, or filtered sunlight for approximately 6 to 8 hours a day. They also need warm temperatures ranging from 55 to 85ºF (12 to 30ºC), to protect them from cold drafts.
Air plants also need humid conditions with approximately 50 to 70% humidity. Mist air plants regularly or use humidifiers to provide the correct humidity levels. To water an air plant, briefly submerge it for about half an hour before letting it drain upside down. Water air plants once every 7 to 10 days.
Where to Position Air Plants FAQs:
How Far Away From a Window Should an Air Plant Be?
Air plants should be placed approximately 3 to 5 feet away from a window. This provides plenty of bright, indirect light without the risk of scorching the leaves.
Can I Put My Air Plant In a Corner?
Air plants work well in corners and empty spaces because they can absorb negative energy in these areas.
Can Air Plants Thrive In Low-Light Environments?
Air plants can tolerate partial shade but will struggle in low-light environments like full shade.
Can Air Plants Tolerate Drafts?
Air plants cannot tolerate drafts, so keep them away from air vents, open windows, and radiators.
Air plants are unusual houseplants that don’t require soil. Place air plants in warm, humid areas that receive bright, indirect light. According to the Bagua map, air plants work best in your home’s eastern and southeastern areas. These areas are linked to family, prosperity, and wealth, making air plants ideal feng shui plants for a home office.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.