Feng shui says that flowers do much more than adorn a room, they stimulate the flow of sheng chi (positive energy), the life force that amplifies luck and protects against negative outcomes. Flowers bring the energy of blossoming, heart-opening joy; they are alive and sensual. They also teach us to live in the moment, as their fragile beauty is transient – it transforms with the passing of time.
Real flowers are always the first choice for your home as they bring a strong healing energy, but floral patterns (on upholstery and tableware) or floral artwork can work feng shui magic too.
Feng shui is all about balance and placement, and the good news is that you can display as many flowers as you want, anywhere you want. If you are familiar with the bagua, the feng shui map that indicates which areas of the home have the greatest effect on your wealth, relationships, creativity, career, health etc., you can get specific about which flowers you display where, but well-cared for flowers of any type will boost the sheng chi in any room.
Dos and don’ts
When choosing and maintaining flowers and plants for feng shui, you should, however, keep the following tips in mind. Potted plants are more auspicious than cut blooms, since they bring ‘live’ growing chi into your home. If you lack a green thumb, choose quality artificial flowers (silk) over dried flowers. Dried flowers are lifeless, while a beautiful silk flower captures the living spirit of the flower it represents. Know that larger plants and floral arrangements attract greater amounts of energy. Choose plants with upwards foliage growth patterns as opposed to those that droop.
Be sure to throw away any flowers that are past their prime. Brown, dying, dried-up or damaged blooms are repositories for stagnant si chi (negative energy), so you need to prune and replace any dead flowers promptly. Likewise, trim thorns off flowers, such as roses, before arranging them in a vase. Thorns can snag and trap chi, impeding its harmonious flow in a space.
Certain plants bring less fortuitous energy than others, and are therefore best avoided. Bonsai, for instance, represent stunted growth and are not considered good feng shui plants, even if they are miniature flowering trees. Thorny plants like cacti are also thought to bring si chi, as are superspiky plants, such as mother-inlaw’s tongue. Choose plants with rounded leaves.
The language of flowers
In feng shui, attention is often paid to colours and numbers as well as the symbolism of specific flowers. The most celebrated blooms are more than decorative – they are deliberately chosen for their ‘special powers.’ Take the orchid as an example.
Generally speaking, orchids symbolise wealth, luxury, good fortune and abundance, but delve a little deeper and you can put them to more specific uses. Red and pale pink orchids signify love and romance, while coral coloured orchids ignite creativity. White orchids provide a sense of clarity and calm, peach-coloured orchids represent comfort and stability, and yellow orchids bring hope into your life, nourishing the spirit.
The type of flower you choose is as significant as its colour. For example, any orchid will boost fertility but a moth orchid will also improve concentration, enhance your productivity and reduce anxiety.
As with all things feng shui, working with flowers relies a lot on common sense. If you want a romantic partner, arrange your flowers in pairs – never solo. Remember that eight is a lucky feng shui number, so make a habit of arranging flowers in bunches of eight. (A display of eight bamboo stems will improve your financial situation).
Want to cover all the bases? Mass a bank of multicoloured blooms together for a powerful boost of happy, life-giving energy.
For prosperity: Any flower that blossoms over Chinese New Year (CNY) bestows a blessing but a plant that blooms on Lunar New Year’s Day brings 12 months of prosperity to the family that homes it. This is particularly true of the white narcissus. Miniature kumquat plants are popular wealth-enhancers, with the fruits’ golden colour symbolising money, as are red gladioli and yellow chrysanthemums. Bright red peonies (the flower of riches and honour) are another auspicious choice at CNY. Over the holiday, business people spend a lot of money on bouquets of peonies to ensure that they will have a prosperous year.
For love: As well as bringing with them the promise of material success, red (and pink) peonies are also associated with romance, since they are a symbol of feminine beauty. Blossoming fruit branches, particularly peach and cherry, are another love and marriage cure. Walk around a branch three times, clockwise, on Lunar New Year’s Eve to secure yourself a romance-filled year to come. Gift the one you love a red amaryllis.
For long life: Peach blossom is considered one of the most auspicious of all plants at this time of year. Its significance lies in the symbolic importance of the peach, which, in Chinese culture, signifies long life. The lotus flower is another propitious gift at CNY. It’s a popular health cure because all parts of the lotus – from the root to the flower and seeds – have medicinal uses. Miniature
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