Green plants have an interesting influence. Place one in a quiet corner and you might find that the atmosphere changes overnight in that corner, and possibly even in your life. According to the precepts of Chinese geomancy, you can enhance your store of happiness, good health and good fortune with the proper placement of green plants in your home and office.
Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is indigenous to tropical west Africa and not China as some assume, although today it also grows in Asia. It just about cares for itself, growing as easily in water as in soil. It prefers bright light but not direct sunlight. Yellowing leaves are likely a reaction to chemicals. If using tap water, wait a day for the chlorine to evaporate from an open watering can before watering the plant. Another solution is distilled water. For plants in containers, change the water every two weeks or so.
The number of stalks on a lucky bamboo plant has different meanings. Three stalks represent happiness, five stalks stand for good health and six stalks symbolize harmony. Any of these would make a suitable housewarming gift. Prosperity is a key factor in the configuration. A lucky bamboo plant with eight stalks is an ideal gift for a new business or a home office, because the number eight means prosperity. Other favorable numbers include 18, 28 and 38.
Braided bamboo is also a popular gift for its positive associations. Lucky bamboo fashioned like a trellis attracts an ideal flow of energy. It also symbolizes achievement because it looks like a ladder of success.
The money tree (Pachira) is distinguishable by its pattern of five-leaf clusters. These graceful, easy-to-grow plants bring a new vitality to quiet corners of a home. According to the principles of Chinese geomancy, they also attract good fortune. That's an agreeable prospect when all you have to do is water regularly and ensure sufficient light.
The five leaves represent the five major elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. It is a traditional belief that money plants fortify these elements through their presence. That is why placement of the money tree is an important consideration in Chinese geomancy. Some Chinese businesses or individuals employ the services of geomancy masters to calculate exactly where to place items like money trees for best results.
The shamrock plant (Oxalis regnellii) grows from a bulb, so its pretty, shamrock-shaped leaves and delicate white flowers die away when the flowering season ends. That's when this plant needs a "time out," usually in the fall. Set it in a cool dry spot during its vacation and it will return rejuvenated in the spring.
The shamrock plant is native to South America and South Africa, and not to Ireland. For the original "luck of the Irish," look to the white clover (Trifolium repens) or the real shamrock.