2. Money Plant
The money plant, also known as the jade plant, is a succulent from the Crassula family that has been a popular choice of house plant for many years. It’s extremely easy to look after and has incredible longevity. The leaves are thick, fleshy, shaped like coins and jade green in color – hence the name – though some may be tinged red around the edges. Scientifically known as Scindapsus aureus, it’s native to South-eastern Asia and New Guinea. Other common names include silver vine, devil’s ivy and Solomon Islands ivy.
The money plant is regarded as one of the best air-purifying plants you can have. It helps rid the air of synthetic chemicals and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and in Feng Shui, it’s said to bring prosperity and luck. Experts recommend keeping one plant close by all the electrical fields in the home, such as the television, computer and WiFi routers to reduce anxiety and stress.
Money plants require warmer temperatures. If the temperature gets too low, the leaves turn yellow and become spotty. Place your money plant somewhere it will get indirect sunlight, but still receive enough to grow efficiently. In too little light, the growth is slowed. Avoid over-watering during winter, but ensure you water frequently in the warmer months.
Money plants have a unique ability to be grown in a container without soil, and can survive on the nutrients of water alone without additional fertilizers. However, to grow your money plant to the best of its ability, plant it in a soil-filled pot and fertilize well with organic fertilizers, like urea and phosphorus.
Sage is a herb that contains remarkable cleansing qualities and can be used to get rid of negative emotions, like anger and fear, while promoting the flow of positive energy. It has a long history of being used for medicinal and culinary purposes, but Ancient Egyptians also used it as a fertility drug. Sage juice in warm water was recommended as a remedy for coughs and sore throats, and herbalists would use it externally to treat sprains, swelling, ulcers and bleeding.
Sage tea is used as a stimulant tonic to support the nervous system and digestive health, and is said to relieve headaches. Sage has antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used in steam inhalation to soothe asthma attacks. Having a sage plant in your home will benefit your health as you can use the leaves to treat many different conditions, and you can even use it as a garnish or herb in cooking.
Sage is a very easy plant to care for. It’s best grown in a large pot or planter box and kept in full sun for most of the day. Avoid frequent watering, as sage doesn’t thrive in soil that is moist all the time. Sage has a beautiful fragrance which will permeate your house and make it smell incredible.
Sage is used in an ancient Native American ritual called smudging. This is the practice of purifying the home with smoke from a sacred herb, like sage. Smudging can help combat negative energy and lift your spirits, and is a wonderful treatment for feelings of sluggishness or depression. It can be done at any time, but it’s recommended when moving into a new home, starting a new job, after an argument or recovering from illness. It’s important to remember that this is a sacred act, and must be performed with the utmost respect.
4. Holy Basil
Also known as Ocimum sanctum, holy basil is a member of the mint family. It’s native to Asia and is now found throughout the tropics. Holy basil is known as ‘Tulsi’ or ‘The Incomparable One’, and is one of the most sacred plants in India. It’s a popular herb used in different medicinal systems like Ayurveda therapy due to its many powerful properties, and has been said to benefit the mind, body and spirit.
Holy basil contains antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory compounds, and is used to treat a wealth of conditions from colds and flu to ulcers and digestive issues. It also possesses the ability to relieve stress and provide relaxation. Keeping holy basil in your home can aid in lowering stress levels by enhancing our natural response to physical and emotional stresses. Holy basil is an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that can help the body adapt and function at its peak during times of stress.
Studies have shown that supplementing with extracts of holy basil can decrease levels of corticosterone, a stress hormone that is linked to mental clarity and memory. It’s one of the only plants that release oxygen almost constantly, and will also absorb destructive gases, like carbon dioxide and monoxide, from your home environment.
It’s very easy to grow as well, and can reach a height of approximately 20 inches when well cared for. Place it in an area where it will get full sun and some shade, but without excessive dryness and heat. Use the leaves to purify water, and then sprinkle the water around the house to encourage even more positive energy to flow.
Orchid is the common name for members of the Orchidaceae. There are over 30,000 species of orchid all over the world, except in the desert and Antarctica. Through cross-breeding, there are now more than 150,000 hybrid species. Unlike most flowers and plants, orchids don’t grow in soil but in the air, by attaching their aerial roots to trees and rocks. There’s evidence of orchids going back as far as the dinosaurs, and they are one of the oldest, largest plant families in existence.
Orchids are one of the most prized ornamental plant. Certain species can survive up to 100 years, and different species vary in size, with some being as tiny as a fingernail. Some variations of orchid include the Monkey Orchid, the ‘Naked Guy’ Orchid, and the Owl Orchid.
Aside from their aesthetic qualities, orchids are also used for practical reasons. They have been popular in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, and is still used today, most commonly in the form of tea. The Vanilla planifola is a species of orchid that contains high levels of vanillin, and as such it is used commonly in vanilla flavoring.
Orchids absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the night, so they are an ideal plant for the bedroom. Orchids are used commonly in Feng Shui for relationship adjustments, so an orchid placed in your bedroom will also help cultivate an honorable and honest romantic relationship. When the flowers of an orchid bloom and fall off, remember that this just means the plant is dormant, so don’t throw it away! The flowers bloom every year, and their beauty is greatly rewarding.
6. Peace Lily
Peace lilies are known scientifically as Spathiphyllum, or closet plants. They were found in the Colombian jungle and were taken to Europe in the 19th century. Said to be some of the easiest indoor plants to take care of, not only do peace lilies liven up your home, they filter and clean the air too.
Keeping a peace lily in your home is said to provide spiritual, mental and physical wellness. They promote a sense of tranquillity, and can improve the flow of energy. It’s recommended to keep a peace lily at the front door to transmit positivity to anyone who enters, and throughout the rest of the home.
Keep your lily where it can receive bright light, but not direct sun exposure. They bloom anywhere between one to three flowers at a time, and can do so throughout the year. Keep the soil moist at all times, though not too moist. If it’s in need of watering, you will see the leaves ‘flopped’ over – this is a sign of dehydration.
Peace lilies can be mildly toxic, especially to cats, so be wary of this before choosing one for your home. Dust or wash the leaves regularly with a damp cloth, as this will keep them bright green and healthy. When dirt and grime builds up on the leaves of a plant, it can attract insects, mold and bacteria that feed on the plant and result in an unhealthy, sickly-looking flower.
Rosemary is a member of the mint family, and an evergreen shrub. The name rosemary comes from the Latin Rosmarinus which means ‘dew of the sea’, which refers to the light blue flowers that bloom on the shrub, and its preference for wetter environments. It’s native to the Mediterranean, and as such it takes its moisture from the air rather than the soil.
Historically, rosemary has been associated with both death and weddings because it’s a symbol of remembrance. Folklore says rosemary was used for many curious things such as protection from plague and common thieves, and hung over the beds of children to stop fairies from stealing them.
Rosemary was also a popular herb used for medicinal purposes to treat a number of ailments like poor digestion, migraines, joint pain and muscle aches. Rosemary contains salicylic acid, which is an ingredient in aspirin. This may be why massaging rosemary oil into the skin can ease such pains caused by arthritis or rheumatism. It’s also believed to be able to dispel negativity. This makes it an effective plant to keep in your home and its delicious taste makes it a perfect herb to use in cooking.
The scent of rosemary can be uplifting and energizing, and placing a small bush in the south-west corner of your house will encourage remembrance and aid poor memory retention. Ensure your rosemary bush has full sun, and water the soil every two weeks (checking first to see whether the soil is dry). Because rosemary gets its moisture from the air, fill a spray bottle with water and mist it over the foliage once or twice a week.
Jasmine is part of the olive family, and the name is derived from the Arabic word ‘yasmin’, which means fragrant flower or ‘gift from God’. There have been many variations of the spelling over the ages, such as jessamine, gessamin, jasmin and jessamy. Jasmine is native to Asia, and there are some 200 species of plant.
Jasmine is an extremely fragrant flower, popular for use in products like soaps, creams and lotions. Jasmin officinale is best known for this purpose, and it’s been cultivated in France to use in perfumes. Jasminum sambac is used in herbal tea, and Chinese herbalists use jasmine to treat such issues like headaches and insomnia. It’s also a flower used in aromatherapy practices like essential oils, scented candles and incense.
In the Chinese culture, jasmine represents femininity, kindness, grace and delicacy. It is also used to attract wealth and romance. It’s a flower associated with love, and some people like to plant it outside bedroom windows to allow the fragrance to drift in. The smell can help sooth a stressed mind and create positive energy. It’s said to lift the spirits of those who are depressed, or who suffer from marital problems.
Jasminum polyanthum is the best jasmine to keep as an indoor plant. Commonly called Chinese or Star jasmine, the flowers bloom all year round and can last for many weeks. Place your jasmine plant in a sunny, well-lit room to encourage substantial growth, and keep the soil well-hydrated. If the soil dries up, so will the flowers and buds. As the jasmine plant is a climber, it’s best to provide structural support for them to flourish.
9. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the most well-known medicinal plants. It can be traced back some 6,000 years, where it was used in ancient Egypt. Known as the plant of immortality, it was presented to deceased pharaohs as burial gifts. It’s a succulent plant native to North Africa, Southern Europe and the Canary Islands, but it’s grown in tropical climates all around the world.
Aloe vera is roughly 99% water, but the remaining 1% contains almost 100 ingredients that have healing properties like protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and many vitamins. It’s used as an effective salve for skin sores and problems like scrapes, burns and eczema. Aloe can also be used internally for mouth and stomach ulcers and other issues. It’s an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral plant and in 1994, the FDA approved it for use in the treatment of HIV.
Esoteric beliefs were to plant aloe vera around the house to ward off disease and protect the residents from evil, and it’s said that keeping a small plant in the house will prevent mishaps and accidents. In Feng Shui, the aloe vera plant brings good luck, releases energy that can fight off bad luck and negative vibes, staves off loneliness and invites spiritual and physical healing.
It’s an easy plant to grow, and helps clear the air of formaldehyde, benzene and other environmental pollutants. Place your aloe vera plant in indirect sunlight, and be sure to water it regularly. Ensure it has proper drainage, as it doesn’t cope well in standing water. Using aloe vera as a topical cream can be effective and safe, but it’s important to note which species of aloe you have in your home, as some species can cause allergic reactions.
Chrysanthemums are a popular flowering herb that was first cultivated in China as far back as 15th century BC. It was thought to have the power of life and was used for many purposes. It was included in salads, brewed for tea, or boiled and used as a headache remedy. Chrysanthemums all belong to the daisy family, known as the Compositae, and they’ve been developed to include shades of pink, purple, red, yellow, orange, white and bronze.
In Japan, the chrysanthemum is seen as a royal symbol, and a sign of longevity and happiness. In fact, the Japanese people celebrate the Festival of Happiness every year, in which they honor the chrysanthemum. It’s also known as the ‘mum’, and it symbolizes lasting friendship, family support, cheerfulness, good spirits, recovery from challenges and illness, birth, loyalty and devotion.
Chrysanthemum is a powerful Feng Shui symbol. It’s considered a multi-functional plant, as it can symbolize many different aspects of life. They’re excellent as air filters, and they encourage tranquillity and help alleviate anxiety and grief. It’s important to water them regularly, as this is a crucial part of caring for chrysanthemums. But be sure to water them from under the leaves, which can prevent fungal issues. Place your chrysanthemum somewhere they will receive good air circulation, and avoid excess humidity.
Chrysanthemums only flower for three to four weeks, and unfortunately once they’ve flowered they are relatively useless and won’t re-bloom again. However, they still encourage positive energy, and can look attractive even after they’ve bloomed. If you decide to keep it on display after the flowers have fallen off, be sure to fertilize it once a month during the growing season.