Feng Shui & Plants: The benefits of using plants in your home
I often get asked about which plants are the best to use in the home for Feng Shui. I also get asked about plants in the bedroom, there is a belief that plants in the bedroom is a no-no. I will try to answer both questions. Let’s start with the question about plants and the bedroom.
Can you have plants in the bedroom?
I am not sure where it started, but there is a belief that having plants in the bedroom is not a good idea because at night plants release CO2 into the atmosphere. I have always understood that the amount of CO2 a plant releases at night is a fraction of what a human would expel. The amount is trivial, and many plants even continue to produce oxygen at night. If you are concerned about CO2 and stale air, start with increasing air flow and ventilation. You can actually improve the air quality in a room using plants, but I recommend opening some windows to start. Note: make sure the plants are healthy, and that there is no mold on the leaves. Decomposing leaves and dying plants will re-release the CO2 that the plant has converted into plant matter and sugars.
I am not a botanist or a biologist, therefore I try my best to review and cite reputable sources (yes, on the internet) for a topic like this. Here are two resources which I found very informative. First is a TED talk by Kamal Meattle “How to grow fresh air”. Brilliant and simple. His findings and data prove that if you choose the right plants, in the right amount, you can generate clean air for an entire office. The second source is NASA’s study on the filtering abilities of plants. They can filter out specific toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene. Amazing.
Which indoor plants are best to use in my home?
I chose the list of plants below based on Feng Shui, and air filtering power. Here are my 9 favorite Feng Shui plants:
Bamboo: Lucky bamboo stalks are a beautiful and simple way to bring the energy of growth into your home. The symbolism of bamboo comes from its very nature. Bamboo is strong yet flexible. It bends without breaking. It is continually growing upward, at a steady pace. You can place 3, 6 or 9 stalks in water with stones in a glass vase. Indirect light only, direct sun will burn the leaves. Bamboo will grow quickly so make sure the roots have enough room to spread.
Rubber plant: Lovely, dark, glossy leaves, the rubber plant is easy to care for and fills an empty corner of a room perfectly. This plant can grow up to 10′ feet tall and needs indirect light. It is excellent for filtering toxins, specifically formaldehyde.
Fiddlehead ficus: Tall, structural: the statement plant. This beautiful plant will bring the outdoors inside with its scale and presence. Like all ficus, they don’t like to be moved once they have a favorite spot. Choose a spot that has bright but indirect sunlight. Turn the plant regularly so it grows upward and evenly.
Gerbera daisy: Big, bright and colourful. You can pick your favorite colour, or choose a colour from the bagua. These flowering plants are great at filtering out toxins like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. They love bright light, even full sun. Water them regularly, but let the top of the soil dry a little between watering.
Jade plant: The jade plant with its dark green, round, coin-shaped leaves is a symbol of wealth. It is slow growing, steady and lush, a perfect representation of yin wood. Place in bright light and let the soil dry slightly between watering.
Snake plant: Snake plant is one of my favs. It does it all. It filters the air of toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene. It also produces oxygen throughout the day and night. You might be thinking “But it is spiky and pointy, I read somewhere that you should avoid plants with spikes.” My answer is no, the snake plant is a perfect expression of upward, growing ch’i. The strong wood energy cuts through negative or stagnant energy.
Pothos plant: The golden pothos or money plant is one of the top air filtering plants plus it is incredibly easy to grow. It is so hardy in fact, that it is actually considered an invasive species in parts of the world. I have a lush, healthy one in my wealth gua.
Cacti and succulents: Poor cacti, they get a bad rap, always the no-no of Feng Shui. Yes they are covered with needles, I would not place them next to my head at night, or in my love and relationship area, but they do serve an excellent purpose. Cacti are excellent for absorbing EMFs (electromagnetic fields) I recommend placing them next to your computer monitor. I also like to use cacti and succulents in the bathroom; they slow the draining water energy. Those spikey cacti also help to cut through the negative vibrational energy of toilets and drains.
Red anthurium: Red anthurium or Flamingo Lily is great for air filtering, it is on NASA’s clean air study list. Bonus: this flowering plant has beautiful red, heart-shaped blooms making this plant perfect for your love corner.