Make your home feel lighter and brighter—and a little healthier! Houseplants are a great addition to any home. They add color and personality, they make things look homier, and when utilized correctly, they offer great Feng Shui benefits.
According to Feng Shui practices, houseplants are an important tool to help activate positive energy in your home while they purify the air. There are four main ways to use plants in Feng Shui:
- Counteract negative energy, especially around electronics.
- Connect with the outside world by bringing elements of nature indoors.
- Raise a low ceiling by symbolically offsetting heaviness.
- Balance the “water element,” particularly in bathrooms and laundry areas.
Even the least plant-savvy patrons or plant-friendly homes deserve these benefits. If your green thumb is looking a little brown, this list is for you. Here are seven Feng Shui-friendly plants that will survive any home:
Photo Getty Images
Name: Hedera helix
If you’re looking specifically for an air purifier, English ivy is the houseplant for you. NASA scientists listed it as the number one best air-filtering houseplant for pollutants like formaldehyde. And the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that ivy reduces air pollutants like mold and dog feces.
Grow tip: English ivy is easy to grow in moist soil and bright, indirect light. Place on a mantel or shelf where its stems can trail down for a lovely effect.
Warning: All parts of the English ivy plant are toxic if ingested and it can cause dermatitis to those with skin sensitivities. Keep away from children and pets.
Photo Sian Irvine/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images
Name: Ficus benjamina
Decorate your home office (or any room) with a ficus, often named the best plant for offices because of its striking appearance. There are about 800 varieties of ficus, so you’re sure to find one that suits your home style. Braid the stems for a neat topiary effect.
Grow tip: A ficus prefers a permanent spot in your home with bright, indirect light, moist soil, and occasional misting.
Warning: Ficus sap is a skin irritant to pets and people. Pets who chew on ficus leaves may vomit or experience diarrhea.
Photo Better Homes & Gardens
Bamboo Palm (or Parlor Palm)
Name: Dypsis lutescens
Is your dream to live in some exotic, tropical spot? Bring the tropics to you with the bamboo palm. Also among NASA’s top clean-air plants, the bamboo palm is known for clearing the air of benzene and trichlorethylene, as well as the formaldehyde gassed from new furniture.
Grow tip: Bamboo palms need to be well-watered and prefer shade or indirect sunlight.
Warning: The bamboo palm is nontoxic to pets, but can attract spider mites. Treatments can be applied to the leaves to prevent or remove mites.
Photo Getty Images
Name: Spathiphyllum wallisii
Looking to add an element of elegance and beauty to your home? The beautiful peace lily is a wonderful low-maintenance plant to add to your home. Best of all, it is also a great purifier. Peace lilies can grow between 1–6 feet in height, depending on the variety, so it’s best to ask about the estimated height before you buy.
Grow tip: Peace lilies prefer bright, indirect light but also does well in medium, indirect light. When it needs water, the leaves will droop, but they perk back up after watering.
Warning: Peace lilies contain oxalates that can cause skin irritation on contact. Pets who rub up against or chew on the plant may also experience irritation.
Photo Better Homes & Gardens
Name: Philodendron hederaceum oxycardium
Hundreds of species of the large-leafed philodendron grow in the West Indies, Mexico, and Brazil. However, the heart-shaped philodendron is perhaps most popular for indoor areas since they’re easy to care for and can grow decorative vines. They may also bloom at any time of the year, with flowers that look a lot like those of a peace lily.
Grow tip: Philodendrons can live for many years when properly cared for and pruned. Grow with moderate water and some sunlight, and place up high to get the full effect of the trailing vines.
Warning: Heart Leaf Philodendron is toxic to pets and children, causing severe irritation of the lips, tongue, and throat if eaten. They are also subject to a wide variety of pests, including thrips, scale, mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids.
Photo Alexander Walter/Stone/Getty Images
Name: Ficus elastica
Both rubber plants and ficus are members of the fig family. Relatively disease free, rubber plants can grow up to 10 feet in height indoors without much trouble. Or keep your plant shrubier by pruning back long stems. Either way, its shiny, dark green leaves add a strong statement to any room.
Grow tip: Rubber plants do well in bright, indirect light to low light, especially with stable moderate temperatures. They need to be kept moist, but overwatering will result in yellow leaves.
Warning: Rubber plant sap can cause serious skin irritation and can be poisonous to pets and children.
Photo Flickr: madaise
Name: Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’
A great choice for hesitant plant purchasers, the resilient spider plant can thrive even when it seems neglected. Decorative and easy to grow, spider plants can add visual interest to a home. The fast-growing shoots actually produce little baby spider “plantlets” that can be rooted in water and repotted for added greenery elsewhere in your home.
Grow tip: Spider plants do well with evenly moist soil and bright or medium indirect light. They are forgiving, though, if you forget to water them occasionally.
Warning: Spider plant are considered safe for pets. However, be aware that they can be mildly hallucinogenic to cats.
Which easy-to-grow plants have you used to perfect the Feng Shui in your home?
— Beverly-Hanks WNC (@beverlyhanks) March 5, 2018