How to Choose the Best Office Plants for Workplace Feng Shui

Live Bamboo plants with Croton underplantings.

These masters studied hundreds of homes to see if there was a formula that, with proper placement, created either success and harmony or distress and struggle for the homeowners and their families. Using methods taught by the great masters, Feng Shui can be used in a business environment and have the same positive outcome as when it is used in a home.

The Bagua Chart

A feng shui Bagua Chart was created to display how to best use the elements of feng shui. The Bagua Chart is a rectangular key that is divided into nine sections. By standing in front of the entrance to a building or office suite, and holding up this chart, you can visualize the different portions of the building and what should become the focus in each of those areas.

The Bagua Chart and each area mapped out relates to a key aspect of one’s life, as seen below:




(Business Relationships)


(Free of Encumbrances)


(Relax and Meditate)

(Destiny and Personal Path)

(Contribution to Others)
Front Door


By looking at the Bagua Chart, you can then place symbolic items in the relevant areas to enhance those areas of your life. This can be done in an office building or in your personal office space. If using just one room, break down the chart to reflect different corners of the room you are using to create the feng shui atmosphere.

Why Use Plants?

Mature Jade Plant ‘Gollum’ variety

One of the easiest and most satisfying ways to achieve an environment that has a strong feng shui influence is to place plants in areas of relevance. Using plants has always been an important part of feng shui. Feng shui itself is translated into wind and water. These are both essential parts of life that flow freely and create the life force known as chi. Chi directs good energy throughout a space to create harmony. The use of plants thus becomes an important part of creating a feng shui environment.

Tips for Placing Plants in the Workplace

  • Focus on the entrance to the building.
    The front door is one of the most important areas to focus on. If you look at the chart, you will notice the front entrance is listed as Journey which is your personal path and destination. It is here that you welcome visitors to your establishment and set the tone for the success of your entire business. Your front door is the first impression that new clients come across. It is a statement of your productivity, profitability and organizational skills. Positioning plants at the front entrance creates a sense of life. It is also where the air circulates most freely. You can create the right atmosphere by using potted plants, hanging plants or both.
  • New business and wealth.
    By adding plants that reach upward like a bamboo plant or tall potted plant, you will energize new business and wealth if placed in the Blessings or Relationships area of the chart.
  • Soften sharp corners and dead space.
    Areas of the office that have sloped ceilings, sharp corners or jutting walls benefit by adding plants to soften up the space. These areas are negative energy enhancers because they stop the natural flow of chi through the room. Plants will bring some life back into these dead spaces.
  • Jade Plant crassula ovata in bloom at the Planterra Conservatory.

    Water represents energy flow.
    A fountain, aquarium or other water feature is a good way to enhance the wealth corner.

  • The importance of wood.
    If you are looking to enhance your success, anything made of wood is important to use in the area of the chart where fame is listed. You can also use a live plant with a woody trunk, such as a ficus.
  • Make sure there is balance.
    Think of the yin and yang when decorating. Use light and dark colors and rough and smooth textures to create a sense of balance.
  • Don't forget to use plants in cubicles or individual offices.
    An abundance of plants replicates being in nature. In an office, plants release good energy and soak up any negative energy.
  • Rocks and crystals can increase concentration and promote health.
    The best place to put rocks or crystals is the surface of the soil on a potted plant. These can be used as decorative topdressing.
  • For luck, use bamboo.
    Bamboo is best used next to a desk. Bamboo helps enhance a peaceful energy and reduce distractions. Make sure to place the bamboo on the side that faces your office or cubicle entrance. A good choice for bamboo is the chamaedorea aka Bamboo Palm.
  • Get rid of dead or dying plants.
    Plants that are in poor shape give off negative energy.
  • Avoid plants with sharp edges or thorns.
    Thorns and sharp edges stop the flow of chi (good energy). Avoid plants such as cactus with needles pointing outward.
  • Avoid Bonsai Plants.
    These plants signify blocks to one’s growth as they have been overly pruned and their growth has been stunted.

Recommended Plants for Feng Shui

Chinese banyan Ficus microcarpa

Aside from the plants mentioned above, most healthy plants are good to use as they provide positive energy and clean the air. Some plants are more beneficial than others because of additional characteristics such as smooth round leaves or bamboo which is considered the best plant of all.

  • Jade Plant, Crassula ovata (attracts wealth)
  • Dwarf Umbrella Tree, Schefflera arboricola (prosperity)
  • Bamboo Palm, Chamaedorea (good luck)
  • Ficus, (Buddha achieved enlightenment while sitting under a ficus tree)
  • Peace Lily, Spathiphyllum (strong and peaceful energy)
  • Money Tree, Pachira aquatica (attracts wealth and prosperity)
  • Rubber Plant, Ficus elastica (thrives in spaces with abundant natural light)
  • Jade Pathos, Epipremnum aureum (cleans the air, especially formaldehyde)
  • ZZ Plant, Zamioculcas (round smooth waxy leaves)

Using a combination of the above methods will improve office productivity, wealth, focus, motivation and organization. Feng shui can also help minimize distractions, reduce stress and get rid of negative energy.


Shane Pliska is president of Planterra, a nationally-known interior landscaping business that provides and maintains office plants for corporate spaces. He also serves as president of Planterra Conservatory, an award-winning botanical garden wedding and event venue in West Bloomfield, Michigan.



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