Lucky Plants

The first gardening tip we ever got was from our parents, explaining the unfortunate fact that money doesn’t grow on trees. Although this proved to be good financial advice, they neglected to mention all the health and emotional benefits we get from plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs. Indoor plants remove airborne toxins, humidify the air, improve our mood, and give any room an instant facelift on any budget.

Over the centuries, plants have also been imbued with meanings by many cultures for reasons that are sometimes immediately obvious and at other times escape explanation.

Placing strawberry leaves on serving plates draws fortunate circumstances to your guests

Plants have come to symbolize health, happiness, wisdom, purity, peace, love, wealth, longevity, and good fortune. Generally, plants associated with prosperity have leaves resembling coins or precious stones; those thought to attract good fortune grow quickly, reaching straight up with few branches; those credited with attracting love typically have feminine blossoms that open in early spring after a long winter.

Design principles such as Feng Shui embrace the idea of attracting positive energy by adding certain plants to your home, office, or garden. Plant placement determines how energy flows—the east for health and family harmony, the southeast for prosperity, the west for creativity, and the northwest for guidance.

Plants for Good Luck

Just like a lucky penny, rabbit’s foot, or other good luck charm, certain plants considered lucky remind you to look for opportunities and make the most of them. You never know, with the right plants you just might be able to attract a little good fortune and happiness.

Lucky Bamboo (dracaena sanderiana) is a popular plant with a reputation for attracting health, wealth, happiness, and love. Its stalks are artfully grown into spiral shapes and tied in bundles of various numbers that determine the kind of energy it draws. In general, the more stalks, the more powerful the bundle:

•  2 stalks express love and double your luck

•  3 stalks bring together happiness, long life, and wealth

•  4 stalks attract negative energy and should not be used

•  5 or 7 stalks attract health

•  6 or 8 stalks attract wealth

•  9 stalks create general good fortune

•  10 stalks express a wish for contentment

•  21 stalks bestow the blessings of enduring health and great wealth

A gift of lucky bamboo multiplies good fortune and expresses a meaningful sentiment for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or housewarmings. To attract luck, the gift must combine the five Feng Shui elements of wood, water, earth, metal, and fire. Typically, stalks of lucky bamboo plants (representing wood) are grown in a container of water, filled with stones representing earth, holding a coin or figurine representing metal, and tied with a red ribbon representing fire.

Chrysanthemum petals dropped in a wine glass ensure a long and healthy life

Certain fruits and flowers have also become synonymous with good luck. We all know the four-leaf clover, credited with the luck of the Irish, but you might not have heard that placing strawberry leaves on serving plates at a dinner party, wedding, or special event is said to draw fortunate circumstances to your guests. A chrysanthemum petal set inside the bottom of a wine glass ensures a long and healthy life. Lilies paired with lotus flowers bring luck and purity to a garden. Just be mindful that to maintain positive energy, you must remove wilted or spent flowers and trim any dead or dying parts from the plant.


Although you can’t actually grow legal tender, the braided money tree (pachira aquatica) might just be the next best thing. Thought to reflect a vibrant, well-rooted energy that brings prosperity, ornamental varieties of the money tree have long adorned Japanese homes and businesses. In Chinese culture, they are traditionally given as gifts during New Year celebrations—a sign of good fortune for the coming year.  

The jade plant (crassula ovata) is another popular good luck charm in Asia thought to activate financial energies. This beautiful succulent has vibrant green leaves symbolic of growth and renewal, closely resembling jade coins, symbolic of wealth and prosperity.  Jade is a traditional gift for businesses and many business owners place a jade plant near the entrance, or in a southeast location to bring prosperity and success.

Bay leaves under your mattress enhance your intuition

Certain herbs are also credited with helping people succeed in business without really trying. For example, soaking basil leaves in water for three days and sprinkling the infusion in the corners of your office or business can bring financial success. Looking for a promotion? Bay leaves tucked under your mattress increase your intuition and help you know when the time is right to make your case.

Another plant credited with attracting wealth is the philodendron, a widely popular tropical plant with coin-shaped leaves growing on trailing vines. Its abundance of leaves growing effortlessly in a sunny window symbolizes good fortune. For the philodendron to bestow prosperity on a home or business, the vines should not be allowed to dangle downward, but instead be trained to grow upward to promote the flow of good energy


Love life need a little help? Turns out there are some remedies that not only improve your chances for romance, but beautify your home and garden while you’re waiting.  Peony blossoms have long been a powerful symbol of love in Asian cultures. A peony bush in full bloom or a vase filled with a bouquet of fragrant peonies is said to attract a soul mate. Pink peonies are best as they symbolize the blush of young love but any color will do the trick. With lush full blooms that embody romance, peonies are considered an omen of a happy marriage and are frequently featured in wedding bouquets and table centerpieces.

Planting sweet peas in your garden attracts new friendships and gives you courage, which you might need to approach that certain someone you’ve had your eye on. Floating apple blossoms in your bath increases your charisma and popularity, another step on the way to romance. To seal the deal, plant crocus in your garden or in pots at the entrance to your home—they’re said to attract love, joy, and hope.

Peace of Mind

Morning glory seeds under your pillow stop nightmares

Morning glories in the garden are said to bring peace and happiness and its seeds under your pillow encourage restful sleep free of nightmares. These pretty summer flowers open their prolific bell-shaped blooms in the early morning before the summer’s midday heat, so it’s not surprisingly they have earned their reputation for helping to brighten your day.

Peace lilies get their name from the white leaf at the top that resembles a white flag waving in surrender. They remind us to let go of the stress that can build up in our day when the pressures of jobs and family mount. Peace lilies are great for offices to create a sense of calm during a hectic day or in bedrooms to provide a sense of tranquility and restful sleep. As a gift, peace lilies are a sign of good will. Their glossy spiked leaves speed of the flow of good energy in your home, particularly in narrow hallways or small doorways.

What to know


  1. Lucky bamboo is sensitive to chlorine, fluorine, and salt in tap water, which may cause leaves to yellow. Use bottled water and maintain the water level about an inch above the bottom of the canes. Change the water weekly to keep it fresh and feed periodically with diluted plant food. Lucky bamboo does best with moderate levels of indirect light and prefers temperatures between 65°F and 70°F.
  2. Jade plants are tough, low-maintenance succulents. They grow well in containers and like the warm, dry conditions found in most homes and offices.
  3. Braided money trees are one of the easiest plants to grow, tolerating low light and drought better than most plants.
  4. Choose plants with blossoms that match the Feng Shui element you are trying to improve. Use pink blossoms for relationship, red for wealth, blue for career, yellow or orange for knowledge and health, silver or gold for friends and creativity.

Further Reading

Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Magical Plants

See Also