“Dried Plants and Flowers are Bad Feng Shui” – Feng Shui Myth or Truth?

dried plants and flowers are bad feng shui

The use of dried plants and flowers in interior design is very common. Yet, many Feng Shui consultants say that dried plants and flowers are bad Feng Shui.

Take any magazine about homes, and you will find dried plants and flowers in most homes, even, and especially in, high end homes. Some of these arrangements look really beautiful. Many people see these arrangements as a statement of taste and status.

Many Feng Shui consultants say that dried plants and flowers are bad Feng Shui. Can all those interior designers be so wrong?

So what is the truth? Are dried plants and flowers bad Feng Shui? Feng Shui Myth or Truth?

Dried Plants and Flowers are Bad Feng Shui

It is indeed Bad Feng Shui to keep dried plants or dried flowers in your home or office.

These objects are former living beings that have died, and are in the process of decay. Any objects that remind of death and decay reduce the vitality of a home or business.

dried plants and flowers are bad feng shui

No matter how beautifully you arrange them, dried flowers are always a symbol of death.

Lots of People Talk about Dried Plants and Flowers on the Internet

Some months ago I joined a group on Facebook devoted to decluttering. At the time, I wanted to see what other people were offering around decluttering, as I was creating my own course (Declutter from the Heart) on the subject.

One time, in that group, a woman asked advice on what to do with a bouquet of red roses. Her husband had given it to her on their wedding day.

Immediately, lots of women offered their advice on how to best dry the roses and how to display them in the home.

I also posted, letting her know that dried plants and flowers are Bad Feng Shui.

Another woman, who said that she was Chinese, commented too. Laughing (out loud), she said that she had never heard of dried plants and flowers being bad Feng Shui, and, being Chinese, she knew about these things. She complained about people appropriating Chinese culture, when they were not born in China or spoke Chinese. I knew this was directed at me.

Just after prodding a little bit, I learned she was born in the USA, as were her parents, and her only fully Chinese ancestor was a grandmother. Her grandmother had lived through the Chinese “Cultural Revolution” (which sought to do away with traditional Chinese culture), and despised Feng Shui.

In short, this 1/4 Chinese woman knew nothing about Feng Shui except what she was googling at the moment of having this exchange on a Facebook group.

Not Everyone Agrees, but Dried Plants and Flowers are Still Bad Feng Shui

The woman, however, would not give up. She proceeded to share a link from an article written by an Anglo-American woman living in Hawaii. She seemed oblivious of the irony that she was sharing Feng Shui information from another non-Chinese woman, who didn’t speak Chinese, to try and make her point.

These Anglo-American Feng Shui consultant wrote that the belief that dried plants or flowers are bad Feng Shui is an “absurd superstition.” Her argument was “What about anything in your home made from wood? Is that not a dried plant?”

Dried Plants or Flowers and Wooden Furniture are not the Same in Terms of Chi

By reading the article this other consultant had written, I concluded that she really had not studied chi in depth or simply did not understand how chi works. She also did not understand how human psychology works.

Dried plants and flowers are only pretty and vibrant in the beginning (and some not even then).

They usually accumulate a lot of dust and if you try to dust them they break because they are very brittle. Then they look awful, and are nothing but bulky dust collectors and dust-mite-breeders.

Another reason why dried plants are bad Feng Shui is that they are “dead” in terms of chi.

When they have been dried, they have lost most of their original chi, and what little is left fades away quickly. Dried plants and flowers have no vitality, and they drain the vitality of a room.

Barren sticks of plants that have been polished and treated to look like dead trees are also bad Feng Shui.

Reminders of death are bad Feng Shui because they affect emotions negatively.

A piece of furniture, on the other hand, has been processed in a way that chi is added to the piece of furniture as the carpenter or laborer works on building it. Most furniture has been treated to do well over time and not get faded.

Wooden furniture is further charged by your own care whenever you dust it or clean it with a special blend to nurture the wood and keep it fresh looking. The same applies to bamboo.

Use Only Plants or Representations of Plants that Activate Chi

Dried plants and flowers are bad Feng Shui, but most people don’t know it.

It is easier to count the few homes where I have not found dried plants or flowers, than the hundreds of homes where I have had to ask clients to remove them.

Many people are surprised to learn that these decorations do more damage than good to a home (or business).

When decorating your home with plants or flowers there are only three options that have good Feng Shui:

  1. Real plants and flowers. (Remove fresh flowers as soon as they start to wilt.)
  2. Silk plants and flowers.
  3. Crystal plants, trees or flowers.

Do not use plastic plants or flowers. They are cheap and tacky looking. Plastic is also considered dead in terms of chi.

Replace fresh flowers as soon as they start to wilt.

Healthy live plants add vitality to any home.

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  1. Well said, Moni. Totally agree personally and from a vibrational-energetic-chi standpoint.

  2. This is one I love because it is so logical, I can actually remember. Can’t think of much lying dead around a home that feels like good chi. Thank you, Moni. Great Feng Shui Myth Busting!

    • Sharon, it should be common sense, right? Yet, as a Feng Shui consultant, you find dried plants everywhere! It feels to me like the story “The Emperor Has No Clothes,” like no one wants to admit how horrible these arrangements look after a very short time. I guess this is someone everyone can relate to. I remember as a child, long before I knew Feng Shui, trying to dust some dried flower arrangement that really needed it at my grandma’s and feeling so frustrated that the petals would disintegrate with dusting!

  3. Moni, I loved the foundation on which your article is based. At one time I only had a few Silk Plants in my home and when I did my big move, I left them all behind.

    I do have a question for you though. I have been a collector of Animal Skulls and also feathers for many years. I have Bear, Coyote, Horse and Deer because they integrate well with my West Coast Indian Masks and Totem.

    Is this “good or bad” Feng Shui?

    • Mahala, in theory, it is bad Feng Shui. They are reminders of death. The only way I can see skulls not draining a home’s vitality is if you place them in an altar, if such an altar would be congruent with your beliefs and spiritual practices. Feathers are OK, because they are gifts from Heaven.

      • I have certain areas that are my Altars…three to be precise…Two Skulls and a Totem are in one area and two skulls with a beautiful watercolor of a Horse are where the Deer and Horse are. I have done much with animal medicine in all kinds of different way, and feel honored to have the energy of my Totem, which is Bear, and Coyote, the Trickster, whom I have always loved. The Deer and Horse represent the balance of the Predators. Maybe I am just attempting to justify…I do not know. I have lived with them for a very long time and they do not seem to affect me negatively.

        Your thoughts?

        • You can always test. Try placing them in an altar for one week and see how you feel. Then put them back in their previous places and see how that feels.

  4. Darling Moni,

    My Bear Totem is 4 1/2 feet tall by 38″ wide…LOL! It would never fit on my Altar. My Altar, which is a wooden Chinese chest, has Quan Yin and many crystals on it and is only 2 feet wide. I guess if I took her and the crystals off, there might be room for the Horse by itself…then I would have play around with the others…

    I will however, dowse for the energy and see what I can feel. How does that sound?

    Hugs, Mahala Veda

    • Mahala, I was referring to the skulls. The skulls, strictly speaking, are bad Feng Shui, except if to you they are religious objects and you can place them in an altar. You do not need to move other items into an altar. I am glad you mentioned Quan Yin. One day I will write an article about why I do not use Quan Yin as a Feng Shui cure for love.

      • Dear Moni,

        My understanding of Quan Yin is that she is the Goddess of Mercy and hears the cries and prayers of those who need her help. I have never really associated her with being a cure for love.

        I will sit with the idea of Skulls, strictly speaking, being bad Feng Shui. To me, they have been rather sacred objects, most especially Bear, because that is my Totem.

        Hugs and Love, Mahala Veda

  5. María Feliza González

    Hi dear Moni!!! Greatings from your homeland!! I had been going through a long period of difficult times, without a permanent job, sometimes having to choose to pay rent or buy food. Then a book of Feng Shui came across ( master comes across when the disciple is ready) and I read about dead flowers. When I returned home, I simply threw away all the dead flowers arrangements I had been keeping for a long time. In a week’s time, a friend told me she would resign to her job & I was applying for it. In less than 15 days I had my permanent job, where I still am, and hoping to retire this next april. Since then, and this was january 2000, I have been a faithfull student and practitioner of Fenf Shui under your wise advise. So, for me dead flowers really are bad Feng Shui, I am a living example!!!!

  6. Silk flowers aren’t bad feng shui? I can spot fake plants of any kind a nile away, and can feel them sucking the energy out of the space.

    • Silk flowers or plants are not bad Feng Shui. You may feel they are sucking the energy out of a place because you do not like them. A photograph of a plant, if you think about it, is a fake plant. Yet both images of plants and silk plant help bring in the impression of nature to a space, especially where you cannot have real plants.

  7. Great article. Personally I have never really like any dried plants aside from pine cones and berries sometimes. I really dislike floral dried plants and mainly because I find they are a trap for dust. I do love green house plants which purify the air. I’ve read that these shouldn’t be in the bedroom, is that correct?

    • That is correct, there should be no plants in the bedroom, but there are exceptions. You can place plants in the bedroom if they release oxygen at night. Most plants release oxygen only during the day. Snake plants release oxygen at night, so they can be placed in bedrooms.

  8. What if the flowers were molded into glass/plastic? Where they stay fresh and can never be touched?

    • Audrey, if they look alive, vibrant with chi, then they are OK to keep. If they look wilted, then it is not a good idea to use them.

  9. Hi Moni-I just bought a floral arrangement that includes three Ametbyst clusters nicely placed among organic preserved mosses in a hand carved wood log. Would this be considered bad since the mosses are not living or does the Amethyst and wooded log balance this out. If it is not considered bad, which room would be best to use this in. This arrangement also comes in Citrine.

    • If the moss becomes brittle in a way that if it gets dusty you could not clean it, then it is not Feng Shui correct. I can’t tell you what room it would be best for because I have not seen it and I do not know the layout of your home.

      • Hi Moni, I am a big fan of your blog and new to Feng Shui. I Am designing my new office space to correspond with the western Bagua map. I have a similar question regarding preserved moss wall art. They are so vibrant and would be perfect for a back conference room. But I am worried that they could be bad Feng Shui because the moss is not living. Not great to start a business with bad Feng Shui in the fortunate blessings area. Have you seen these?

        • Hi Jess! I am not familiar with moss wall art, but I just looked it up. If the piece you are considering is not live moss, then it probably best that you don’t use it. It would be just the same as a dried plant.

  10. Hi Moni, I am curious about dried lavender. I love the smell and I have two bouquets in a downstairs bathroom. Should I throw them out? or replace them when they get dusty? Is there any place in the home where they would be OK?

    • Dried lavender is OK if it is inside a sachet, not exposed to the air, because it will get dusty and brittle. If you keep them as bouquets you may have to replace them very often.

  11. Hi. How about those artificial flowers beautifully arranged placed in table halls at hotel lobby or at big houses, are they Ok?

  12. Hi Moni. How about preserved flowers? I have some preserved roses that were given by someone as present.

  13. Hello, my daughter wanted to hang paper flowers on her bedroom wall. My mother-in-law quickly stopped her from doing so being as she is from China and strongly believes that it’s bad luck. My question is, are paper flowers bad luck hung on a bedroom wall? My daughter is young and actually was very upset that she wasn’t allowed to hang them.

    • She could hang them for a little while, but she would need to remove them as soon as they get dusty or start looking wilted. Paper decorations have been used for thousands of years in Asia, but usually as temporary enhancements for holidays. Paper fans are the exception. Maybe your mother in law had an issue with the color. You should not use white flowers because in China they are used for funerals.

  14. Hello Moni,
    Thank you for your article, I enjoyed reading it and I benefited from the information. I wanted to ask you about tall dried bamboo stalks that I wanted to keep in vases at the top of my stair’s landing and in my dining room flanking my china hutch. Is that bad Feng Shui as well?

    • Lisa, bamboo stalks are an exception, because they fall into the category of wood. Bamboo stalks are OK to use and they make a great cure for wealth.

  15. I have a question that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere. I have my eye on some gorgeous bedside tables that have inlaid bone patterns (camel bone). Is this bad energy for the bedroom or does it fall into the category of having chi added by the craftsman?

    • Bones are parts of cadavers. It’s not good Feng Shui to have pieces of cadavers in your home. The same applies to starfish and sea horses, they are corpses!

      • Wow, thanks Moni, I never thought of it that way. I had a fossil, gorgeous, in my bedroom for a while. I was having bad dreams ever since I brought it in so I found a new home for it. What about mother of pearl inlay from shells? I actually do have a bowl of shells in my bedroom. No starfish or sea horses 🙂

        • Something that came out of a living being but is not part of the being’s structure, like a pearl, is OK and the homes of sea creatures, such as shells, are OK. I would have thought a fossil would be OK because none of the original body remains, but if you had bad dreams since you brought it in, it was the right call to move it.

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