Feng Shui with Houseplants

Decorating for greater happiness

Feng Shui began in China with a very practical purpose finding auspicious places (i.e., not a flood plain) for houses and villages. Over the centuries, feng shui expanded from placing villages to placing just about everything.

According to feng shui, everything around us possesses vital energy. This energy circulates through buildings and can effect our daily lives. Surround yourself with the angular, decrepit furniture your parents owned before their divorce and you might be setting yourself up for a bumpy ride. Surround yourself with beautiful, comfortable things and you create a nurturing environment that supports and uplifts you.

If all things possess energy, then things that photosynthesize must possess a great deal of energy, and this is why houseplants are one of the most common feng shui enhancements. Plants connect us with the natural world. A dwelling without plants can create a subtle unease as we feel estranged from the world around us.

Plants to Use
From a feng shui perspective, the best plants are those with round or soft leaves. Spiky plants that bite when you touch them are not encouraged, unless you have a particularly strong love for them.

Another feng shui can of worms is sick or dying plants. A sick plant is worse than no plant at all. If you cant bring yourself to toss out a plant as soon as it begins to droop, al least keep all dead leaves trimmed off. And know when to give up and admit that your plant is not going to bounce back to health dont wait until its a brown stick in a pot. For this same reason, get rid of cut flowers as soon as they begin to fade.

Where to Put Plants
First impressions are important. What you see when you enter your abode sets the tone for the rest of your stay. But many of us dont have a front door opening into an opulent foyer. This is an excellent place to make use of the energy a plant can bring. Try something with pizzazz, like a flowering plant or a creative arrangement. It doesnt have to be large, but it should draw your eye.

Western architecture loves angles, but in the East corners are considered offensive. The sharp corners of tables and counters shoot out energy. If youve ever walked into the corner of a coffee table, youll understand why sharp corners are so threatening, in practice and symbolically. If youre not ready to toss out that antique table, drape a trailing plant over the edge. The plant lends a more natural, organic shape and hides the sharp corner from view.

The corners of rooms are dumping grounds for stagnant energy. Energy should flow freely through a room, but often when it reaches a corner it pools up and decays. A tall plant in an empty corner keeps the energy flowing smoothly. For added emphasis, point a grow light at the plant.

If you ever feel like your computer is staring at you, it probably is. Electrical equipment gives off a great deal of energy and can be quite insistent. If you find the stereo display drawing your attention when youre trying to entertain guests, you might want to screen it from view. Plants are an easy way to do this without investing in new furniture. You can also place a plant in front of the television. The plant is easy to move when you want to watch TV, and screens it from view when you want to chat.

When it comes down to it, the best way to enhance your homes feng shui with houseplants is simply to have them.