Are you ready to start celebrating the Year of the Ox? The Lunar New Year is on February 12 this year and we can all celebrate with some colour, auspicious plants and perhaps even a little Feng Shui.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice of using energy forces (Qi) to harmonizing people with their spaces. Historically it was used to orient buildings in an auspicious manner (auspicious meaning ensuring future wealth). But in the modern day world it’s a bit hard to move your home and/or building, fortunately there are other ways to use Feng Shui that are attainable without changing the building foundations. In one simplified version you can correlate certain areas of your home/office to the different aspects of your life. For example, the wealth and abundance area (often called the money area) is in the southeast corner of your home. The southwest corner corresponds to love, relationship and marriage. Health and family is found in the central and eastern part of your space.
But Feng Shui doesn’t just stop at “where” in your house, the materials, objects and colours within those spaces are said to effect the energy. There are five different elements to consider in Feng Shui and they are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Plants, are not specifically one of the elements but are aligned with wood and are considered to have yang energy. This energy is characterized by strong and vibrant growth as well as movement. So plants are the perfect way to revive tired, weak, or lifeless spaces and promote positive growth. Incidentally, this type of energy is not recommended for the bedroom, that is where you want calm and peaceful energy. So unless you want vibrant energy in the bedroom, perhaps place your plants elsewhere.
Whether you are an advocate of Feng Shui or just curious to know more, there are a number of wonderful plants that not only look good, and are easy to grow but also are considered lucky. So, consider the list below and think about where in your space/life to want to energize (money corner? Relationship corner?), then find your lucky plant and place it there.
- Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) It is no accident it’s called LUCKY, this fortuitous plant brings positive Feng Shui energy into any space. It looks like a green stem of bamboo is available in single stems, braided into elaborate shapes, or anything in between. It is said to balance all five elements, and the number of stalks you have determines which aspects it brings the most luck to. Consider placing it in a southeast wealth corner to attract prosperity and fortune. Luckily it is also an extremely easy plant to grow, in fact it’s so easy you don’t even need soil, just place a stem in water and watch it grow.
- Money tree (Pachira aquatica) The money tree is another well known Feng Shui plant and that is said to attract wealth, prosperity, fortune and luck. It is a tall bonsai-style tree with three, five or seven braided stems, and a lucky five-lobed leaf arrangement. Place it in a southeast corner (the money area), the southwest (marriage and relationships) or the northeast area (self, spirituality, and knowledge). Another easy plant to grow, it is tolerant of overwatering, just never let it sit in water. Make sure it’s getting some indirect bright light and it should be quite happy.
- Hedgehog aloe (Aloe humilis): combats bad luck and negative energy. Bonus it’s also good for cleaning the air and reducing toxins. Make sure to let this spiky succulent dry out between watering and put it in bright flittered light.
- Philodendron are said to support the fire element, since the leaf shapes mimic the fire element. It can brighten up dark corners that may have low energy, and bring warmth to cold areas. But is is also an easy to grow plant that thrives in relatively low light. Don’t let it dry out but make sure that it’s never sitting in water. There are so many beautiful cultivar and species to choose from.
- Jade plants (Crassula ovata) support luck and the round leaves are said to symbolize good fortune. A perfect plant to place in the southeast money area, or in an office to invite success and fortune. These long living succulents look like miniature trees with their thick woody stems. Just make sure to let it dry out between watering (overwatering and rot are the most common reasons for jade plant demise). Make sure your plant is in a spot where it gets bright, indirect light and it will live for years.
- Orchids are considered serene plants. Because they promote peace, putting an orchid in your bedroom is a good idea. The southwest corner of the bedroom is said to be ideal for helping to bring positive energy into your relationship. Make sure to follow a proper watering schedule, place it in indirect bright light and check out some in-store information on how to care for an orchid.
- Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum spp.) are one of the best plants for purifying the air, they are also easy to grow, and in Feng Shui will correct energetic imbalances. The glossy leaves and white flowers are a welcome sight in a low light area.
- Citrus plants bring wealth and luck, so try to place them in the middle of your space, the health area, and the southeast wealth areas. They are also said to bring good fortune when placed in the kitchen, handy for when you need a lemon or kumquat. Make sure they get plenty of sunlight, and allow the soil to dry out between watering. Also make sure that you avoid putting them near drafts or heat sources.
- Bonsai are elegant, unique, miniature trees that fit perfectly into Feng Shui. They bring the element of wood and so are best in the southeast money area. Make sure to water your bonsai regularly as they are prone to drying out. Place it in bright filtered light, with no drafts or heat sources nearby.
The year of the ox is said to be all about hard work, positivity and honesty that will hopefully manifest in all of us over the next 12 months. But, I say why stop there? With a few of the right plants placed in the right places you can also harmonize your home’s energy and you might enjoy a little luck and fortune as well. At the very least you will have a fabulous looking, vibrant and healthy living space.