Feng shui provides us with tools to create spaces that nurture and support us. In many ways, it is really about connecting to the cycles of nature so that we can be in harmony with the world around us. One way to begin shifting the feng shui energy of a space, whether it’s your bedroom, your kitchen, or your home office, is through plants.
What Plants Represent in Feng Shui
It seems that everyone these days, including feng shui practitioners, loves indoor plants! In feng shui, they represent growth, new beginnings, and vitality. They also represent the wood element in the five elements system. Caring for another living being and watching it grow can also teach us many lessons about compassion, generosity, abundance, and the natural world.
What Your Workspace Represents in Feng Shui
In feng shui, your workspace represents your career. This is true whether you work from home in a home office or in an office outside your home (or both). This means that when you want to work to support your career or work life, your home office is generally a good place to start.
If you work from a shared office or a coworking space where you don’t have a dedicated desk, it’s a good idea to create a permanent workspace in your home as well. This sends a signal to the universe that you want to create a lasting career. If you don’t have room for a full office in your home, do your best to carve out some space that will function as your workspace. While a separate room with a door is ideal, it’s also important to work with what you have. If all you can do is claim one corner of your kitchen as your permanent office, do that!
How to Use Plants in Your Home Office
One way to work with plants in your home office is to place a plant in a certain area of the feng shui bagua depending on what you’d like to cultivate. In case you aren’t familiar with the bagua, it is a conceptual map that can be laid over a space, with different areas that correspond to different aspects of life. First, you’ll want to lay the bagua on your workspace or desk. If you’re not sure how to lay the bagua, you may want to work with a feng shui consultant.
Next, choose one aspect of your career that you’d like to focus on at the moment, and place a plant in the corresponding gua (bagua area) with intention.
Here are each of the bagua areas, and how a plant in each area can be supportive in your office:
New Beginnings Area
This area, called Zhen in Chinese, is related to new beginnings and family. This is a great area to activate in your home office if you want support starting new projects or launching a new business.
The wealth and abundance area of the bagua, called Xun, is a popular one for home offices! Place a plant here if you’d like to cultivate slow, steady growth in your finances. This area is also connected to how you value yourself, so activating this area can be supportive if you want to work on really recognizing your own worthiness.
If you are feeling overlooked at work, or if you’re working on a business project that would benefit from more visibility, it may be a good idea to activate the fame area. This area is called Li, and it’s also related to recognition and the fire element. A plant in this area can be very supportive because the wood element, represented by plants, provides fuel for the fire of recognition.
This area, called Kun in Chinese, is most often recognized for its connection to love and romantic partnerships. However, it’s also related to business partnerships and relationships. This may be a helpful location for a plant if you want support as you are embarking on a joint venture, or if you want to invite in a new business partner.
Opposite New Beginnings on the bagua is Completion, also called Dui. Sometimes, it can be very easy to start new projects, but much harder to finish them. If this is something you struggle with, it may be helpful to activate the completion area of the bagua with a plant.
Helpful People Area
One of the bagua areas, called Qian, is connected to helpful people, benefactors, and travel. You might want to place a plant in Qian position in your home office if you feel like you could use more assistance from helpful people when it comes to your work.
There is also an area of the bagua, called Kan, that is connected to your career and path in life. If you want to invite more career opportunities or find clarity on the right career path for you moving forward, this is a great place for a plant.
The skills and knowledge area of the bagua is called Gen in Chinese. This is a helpful area to activate if you want to work on cultivating the skills and knowledge that you use in your work. You can activate this area if you’ve been in your career for a long time and want to build upon your existing knowledge, or if you are switching careers and want to cultivate a new skill set.
How to Select and Care for Your Plant
Once you’ve chosen a plant for your home office, it’s important to take good care of it! First, make sure you’ve picked something that will be able to thrive in your chosen location. A plant that is struggling because it doesn’t get enough sunlight or humidity will not add the same positive qi (energy) to your workspace as a healthy, thriving plant. Research your plant’s needs and care for it accordingly. If you’re a new plant parent and are worried about your ability to keep a plant alive, choose something easy like a pothos, peperomia, or spider plant.