Updated: Sep 2, 2020
This past weekend I bought a little succulent for my space. I’ve been throwing pots in my ceramics class and love combining my love for art with my love for plants. It’s a slow process, but eventually I’ll acquire my own jungle inside my apartment. What can I say, I’m a Tree-Hugging Hippie. I probably lean into this stereotype a little too hard at times, but hey, if the Birkenstocks fit.
While I’ll may be a little plant obsessed and bias, I am a strong believer of adding plants to any space. I push for it a lot as my role as an Interior Designer. With my passion for the planet, my love of spaces, and my work with energy, I’ve found that there are just so many reasons to add a touch of green!
Why you should add plants to your space?
Well aside from the many health benefits of plants improving our moods, giving us oxygen and removing toxins from the air, plants also are also important in Feng Shui.
Feng Shui is based off of Taoism. Taoism is an ancient Chinese belief system that emphasis living in harmony with Tao, or The Way. Tao, is the universal flow of nature and everything in existence. We witness Tao when we see how elements of nature effortlessly lives in peace and harmony with one another. In order to live in harmony with our own built environments, we need to reconnect with nature and its connection to Tao.
Incorporating plants to your space is useful in Feng Shui for this reconnection to nature. In addition to that, plants contain their own supplies of chi. This helps in increasing the overall energy and flow of chi in a room.
Diving into more detail, different plants contain specific energies associated with one of the five elements. Working with this knowledge, one can venture further into Feng Shui and how to best harmonize chi based on their own elemental makeup.
As a reference, I’ve put together a basic guide to how to decorate with plants according to the Chinese elements. If you don't know what your Qi element is, you can find out with my other post.
Dessert Plants like Dracena, Aloe, and Palms connect to fire chi. Cacti are one type of fire chi that is usually not preferred, as the energy of this plant is harsh with it’s spikes. Since wood feeds fire, adding plants like this to fire areas of your space helps to strongly enhance this energy.
Wood typically reduces earth chi, but there still are some plants that are more associated with earth energy. Short plants that spread outward contain earth chi such as Peacock Plant, Prayer Plant, and English Ivy. Plus terra-cotta and other ceramic pots are Earth chi, so you have that to strengthen this element.
Metal chi plants have round leaves, as this energy contains. Fiddle leaf figs, Peperomia, and Rubber Plants connect to this chi type. It is better to have these plants be apart from a cluster of other plants, as metal chi reduces the wood element.
Like the flowing river, plants containing water chi have organic movement to them. Hanging vines such as Pothos or Philodendrons, or plants with soft, droopy leaves such as Peace Lilies and Chinese Evergreens are water chi oriented.
Plants in themselves are the wood element. But more specifically, wood chi is vertical and tall, so look for a lot of long plants that grow upward. Snake Plant, ZZ Plant, and bamboo are all good choices. Having a jungle of these helps promote the energy of new life, fresh ideas, and growth.