Growing lucky plants for Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year 2021 is just around the corner, and it has me thinking about the beautiful foliage that you see this time of year in Asian grocery stores. You know, the lucky bamboos and chrysanthemums that bring good luck. Growing up, my first exposure to plant life really was all of the pretty flowers that Asian supermarkets displayed around late January and mid-February for the new year. As the year of the ox kicks off, let’s talk about the best plants for bringing luck into your home — because, of course, we could really use more of that these days!

How Do Plants Fit Into Feng Shui?

I collect plants because they’re pretty, and their prettiness gives me that serotonin boost. The relationship between plants and feng shui is a little more complex than that. Let’s start by defining feng shui — breaking down the etymology, feng means wind and shui, water. This philosophy follows the balance of energy, or chi, so that you can be more harmonious with your surrounding environment. So, how does one create good feng shui with plants? Plants represent life energy, connecting us with nature and ushering vibrancy into our lives. Bringing certain plants in your home can inspire good feelings and luck. These plants represent the wood element, which calms your body and ushers in good health.

Which Plants Are Considered Lucky?

lunar new year mum

Chrysanthemum Flowers: During the Lunar New Year, you’ll find a meadow of bright yellow chrysanthemums in red pots at Asian supermarkets. (Though, you’ll be able to find them in your local Home Depot and Trader Joe’s, too.) Chrysanthemums are especially auspicious because they attract strong yang energy and bring good luck into the home. They represent longevity (as well as wealth and prosperity) so be sure to leave a few bouquets around your space. 

jade plant

Jade Plant: Leaving jade plants (or money trees, as they’re sometimes called) in east locations encourages family harmony and health. Pop them in a southeast location, and you might just find yourself richer. The idea is that these succulents look like jade stones, which also bring harmony and balance according to feng shui experts. Jade plants also grow fast, which should translate into financial growth. If you keep them indoors, make sure they receive plenty of sunlight!

lucky bamboo

Lucky Bamboo: I was pretty much mind-blown when I learned that the lucky bamboo is a type of dracaena, a species that you’ll find at really any place that sells plants. An ideal arrangement of bamboo should encompass all five elements for optimal feng shui: wood (the plant), earth (rocks holding the plants down), fire (a red ribbon), water (water in the pot), and metal (either a glass jar or a coin in the jar should do). As for placement, keep the plant in the southeast or east part of your house, for, respectively, wealth and health. 

Orchids: Orchids are classic symbols of fertility in feng shui, visually offering balance and symmetry. Around the New Year, they also signify nobility, perfection, and friendship. I’ve never gotten one for myself, but they’re easily found at any big box nursery or supermarket. I’ve seen them sell for $5 at the farmer’s market as well, so grab one if you can offer it plenty of bright indirect light and humidity.  

Grab one of these plants to spruce up your home and spread the good energy! Happy Lunar New Year, y’all. 

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