AsOne of the most common recommendations to improve feng shui is the addition of plants. Why is that?
Very simply, plants represent wealth and abundance in feng shui. As a metaphor, they symbolize health and growth, both very important to good feng shui. Fresh, lively, and abundant plants are probably the best thing you can do to enhance your prospects in life.
According to Eastern philosophy, trees and plants are considered the Wood Element, one of the 5 Natural Elements which include Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The energy of Wood is uprising, initiating, and growth. It is early yang energy that facilitates the budding of spring and new beginnings in all of life.
So what is behind the significance of plants in feng shui?
As humans, we have evolved over millions of years within the natural environment. We subconsciously seek places with healthy, abundant plants which not only indicate an abundant food source, but an abundant supply of fresh water. We are hard-wired to desire such an environment and associate it with health, and therefore, wealth. So, when we are in environments with healthy plants we feel better and more alive. It’s no wonder that healthcare facilities have made great efforts to increase the proliferation of plants over the last couple of decades.
Indoor environments are 2-5 times more polluted than most outdoor spaces, because of the toxicity of materials and products used within the home, plus the lack of fresh air flow. Plants add moisture to the air, which increases negative ions (which, ironically, are good for you!) and eat toxins. You could potentially get an EnviroKlenz air purifier to do the job but such technology does not carry the same feng shui as plants. Obviously this is better than nothing, just the same as some plants are more efficient than others, but all plants do help improve the air we breath.
Have you read or seen “The Celestine Prophecy?” It is true that plants have a consciousness that responds to its environment. Although a different type of consciousness, healthy plants contribute to the positive energy in our spaces. Similar to “forest bathing” (a Japanese term for being refreshed during a walk in the woods), plants in our indoor environments refresh our energy. For more information read The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Live and Let Live by Dr. Jim Conroy and Basia Alexander.
Since the 1970’s there have been tons of studies that show how plants improve our focus and attention, productivity, enhance health outcomes, reduce violence and absenteeism. Plants improve the environment in homes, offices, urban spaces, healthcare facilities, schools and even prisons.
“I don’t have a green thumb”
I hear that from many people. They kill any plant that they get. If this is you, my recommendation is to get a few plants that are easy maintenance (don’t buy a bonsai!) and make the intention to water it every few days. Use cuttings from your yard or buy a weekly bouquet of flowers. Just bring some positive, fresh, lively energy into your life on a daily basis!