10 Bad Luck Plants in 2023 (And 12 Lucky Alternatives)

There’s no doubt plants add charm and beauty to your home – but can they bring you good luck? How about unlucky plants? A few different philosophies ascribe otherworldly power to putting the right plants in the right parts of your home. 

I always feel more prosperous in a living room bursting with lush foliage, but plenty of folks believe some plants are better than others.

In this article, we cover 10 bad luck plants to avoid in your home and give you 12 great alternatives to consider. We also take a look at some ways you can use plants to draw good fortune to your home.

How to Tell if a Plant Is Lucky

woman sitting in feng shui room near monstera

The power that a given plant has to draw good fortune to your home has a lot to do with what belief system you’re using. There are two main systems you can use to determine if a plant is lucky or not.

Feng Shui is a system originating in mainland China. Broadly speaking, Feng Shui practitioners believe the flow of energy, or qi, can be guided to improve prosperity.

If the flow of qi is poor, negative thoughts and bad luck will follow. 

Feng Shui also believes some numbers and shapes attract good energy. Heart-shaped foliage and round leaves resembling coins are valued, as well as plants that grow upwards toward the heavens.

Beautiful interiors full of fresh air and open space are also prized. 

Vastu Shastra, on the other hand, began life as an architectural philosophy. It comes from India and focuses on aligning buildings in the landscape to promote harmony with nature.

Over the years, other elements have worked their way into the practice, and these days, plenty of folks use it in a way similar to Feng Shui.

Finally, there are a few folk beliefs that are persistent across many cultures. Some are fairly common sense – almost all cultures discourage keeping dead plants, for example – but others are more specific to different regions.

Either way, having bad luck plants in front of the house, indoors, or in your backyard can cause a lot of unnecessary worry for homeowners with a pinch of superstition.

Read on to ensure you keep your karma in check and don’t accidentally plant bad luck plants in Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra. Happy planting!

10 Bad Luck Plants for Homes

1. Dead Plants

dead sunflower plants in a garden under blue cloudy sky considered bad luck plants

Dead plants are bad luck plants in every tradition. And no wonder – they’ve failed at life, and you aren’t going to find less unlucky plants than ones that have up and died.

Keeping dead things attracts negative energy.

In some traditions, a dead plant invites malicious spirits. And honestly, a pot of rotting plant matter is terrible interior design as well as a hazard to your health.

2. Fake Plants

artificial fern plants in black plastic pots on a hanging wood plank

Some traditions consider fake plants to invite deception, especially ones made of plastic and other artificial materials.

Artificial plants also attract dust, and as they fade over time, they can cause stagnant energy to build up.

In Feng Shui practices, cleanliness is significant in promoting good energy, so dust collectors are to be avoided.

3. Bonsai

bonsai tree growing in a shallow dish  with moss on it

Bonsai trees are stunted trees, held back from reaching their full potential.

Feng Shui practitioners and Vastu experts recommend you stick to plants that promote growth, not actively suppress it.

Such trees belong in a greenhouse, not your living space.

4. Cotton Plants

cotton plants with bloomed cotton bolls and cotton leaves under a blue sky

There are a few types of cotton plants, each with its own scientific name, but they’re all bad news. Their fluffy cotton bolls quickly become dusty and discolored, and fake cotton plants are hard to clean.

Even silk cotton plants soon turn grubby and collect bad vibes along with the dust.

The other problem with cotton plants is the sharp edges that form around the cotton tufts.

In Feng Shui, plants with sharp spikes have a stabbing or piercing energy that is undesirable in the home.

5. Tamarind Plants

Tamarind Plants with bunches of green leaves and pod fruits

In Vastu, it’s said that evil spirits live within the tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica). Practitioners are encouraged to never build a home near them and certainly never have them indoors.

A tamarind plant will produce more beautiful yellow blossoms and delicious fruit outdoors, so if you want one, it’s best to put them in the garden.

6. Mehendi Plant

The Mehendi plant (Lawsonia inermis) is also known as the henna tree, the mignonette tree, or the Egyptian privet. It’s sometimes confused with a myrtle tree, though the two aren’t related and are different plants.

In their natural habitat, Mehendi grows as a sprawling evergreen shrub. Like tamarind, it’s also said to play host to bad spirits.

7. Gum Arabic Tree

gum arabic tree with thin woody branches, green leaves and yellow round flowers

The Gum Arabic tree (Vachellia nilotica) is another cursed tree. Also known as the Thorn Mimosa, Babul tree, or Egyptian acacia, the barbs on the stems and branches are believed to encourage arguments and strife and are considered all-around bad luck plants.

According to Feng Shui principles, the sharp thorns are also a no-go, so it’s best to leave such plants outdoors.

8. Weeping Fig

weeping fig tree with smooth green leaves in bright sunlight

Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) is a popular indoor plant due to its easy care and elegant leaves. It’s also said to encourage negative energy and low vibrations.

I leave them outdoors for another reason – they irritate allergy sufferers and can bring on latex allergies in people without them.

9. Crown of Thorns

crown of thorns plant with green leaves and pink flowers and spiny stem

Cactus plants are discouraged in Feng Shui, and the Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) is especially disruptive. As the plant matures, its stem becomes long, bare, and covered in formidable spikes.

You aren’t going to find a plant with more puncturing energy than this.

10. Philodendrons

philodendron plant indoors with green and white variegation

Philodendron plants are some of the most popular houseplants for green thumb enthusiasts, so it may surprise you to see them on the list.

The reason Philodendrons are considered unlucky is due to their toxicity. They contain calcium oxalate crystals, which make them toxic for humans and animals when ingested.

Since toxicity brings bad energy in indoor spaces, some say that these beauties belong strictly outdoors.

12 Lucky Alternatives to Bad Luck Plants

1. Water Chestnut

water chestnut plants floating on pond wit yellow flowers

The Water Chestnut (Pachira aquatica) is a plant so lucky it’s one of the more popular gifts given by Feng Shui fans. It grows large, glossy green leaves in clusters of five, a very lucky number.

This powerful connection to wealth gives it one of its common names – the Chinese Money Tree.

2. Chinese Money Plant

chinese money plant in a modern pot near a bright window

The Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides) grows coin-shaped leaves, making them a very lucky type of plant. They’re also vigorous growers that frequently produce ‘pups’ with little to no prompting.

This glorious abundance makes the Chinese money plant one of the best to invite good fortune into your home.

I Stand By this Soil for Chinese Money Plants: Perfect Plants Money Tree Potting Soil

3. Jade Plant

jade plant in a cement pot with grey background

Succulents, in general, are considered lucky. They are strong and hard to kill, with fat and sassy foliage that just screams success.

Jade plants (Crassula ovata) are the luckiest of the lot.

They have nice round leaves, like thick heavy coins. They’re also very long-lived, promoting good fortune for years to come.

Check Out This Highly Rated Jade Plant from Amazon (It’s just $10!)

4. Aloe Vera Plants

aloe vera plants with spiny leave edges growing outdoors

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is another lucky succulent. Their thick, juicy leaves encourage success, and their healing properties help to draw nourishing energy to your home.

While the general rule is to avoid spiky plants like thorny succulents, the healing qualities of the aloes more than cancel any bad energy from bad luck plants.

I’m loving this set of Aloe Vera pots from Laila and Lainey

5. Golden Pothos

golden pothos plant leaves with water dorplets on them

Nothing says good luck like a vigorous grower, and no plant in my collection is more vigorous than Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum).

Their heart-shaped leaves promise good energy, and their reliable and relentless growth promotes the same.

My Favorite Golden Pothos Fertilizer: Professional Liquid Pothos Plant Fertilizer

6. Lucky Bamboo

lucky bamboo plant with curly stems and bright green leaves in outdoor

It’s right there in the name – lucky bamboo is one of the best plants for prosperity. Often the species itself isn’t bamboo but a Dracaena cultivar that is tough and enduring.

They symbolize good fortune through their steadfast growth. They also head upwards toward the heavens, a desirable trait in a lucky plant.

Check Out this 4-inch bundle of 20 bamboo starter stalks for inside your house! Live Lucky Bamboo Bundles

7. Rubber Tree

rubber plant in a white pot in white background

The rubber tree (Ficus elastica) has the sort of thick, glossy leaves the right size and shape to attract good things to your home. Their large, thick leaves promote success.

Burgundy varieties are especially lucky, as purple plants promote prosperity.

This Variegated Rubber Plant from Rooted is an excellent starter plant for those who are new to growing rubber trees!

8. Peace Lily

peace lily plant with green leaves and white flowers

For a peaceful home, consider a peace lily (Spathiphyllum). They are associated with calm, stress-free living. Their white flowers are long-lasting, encouraging enduring fortune.

In Vastu, they’re said to repel evil spirits and do their best work in the bedroom, guarding those who sleep nearby.

Having trouble getting big and beautiful blooms on your Peace Lily?

My go-to bloom booster fertilizer is Bloom Booster and Yield Enhancer by Flower Fuel – check it out!

9. Spider Plant

spider plant in a pot with white background

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) grow upwards in thick clusters, heading towards the heavens in a way that is said to promote good energy.

They also grow abundantly, producing many small baby plants as they mature.

That fecundity attracts prosperous energy.

Spider plants are also very good at pulling nasty chemicals from the air. They’re one of the best plants for allergy sufferers and improve the health of your home.

That on its own makes them very fortunate indeed!

10. Rosemary

rosemary plant in outdoor with blue flowers

Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) is a lucky plant across many cultures. In Feng Shui, it’s associated with love, beauty, tranquility, and personal relationships.

Its upright growth heading heavenwards draws positive energy to the home, too. It’s an all-around good plant to have.

The herb has long been used in European traditions to ward off evil spirits and promote good health.

Ancient Roman families planted it in their gardens to protect their homes.

In some traditions, it’s associated with the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, the protector of Mankind. It also symbolizes remembrance and fidelity.

Interested in a windowsill garden? This Windowsill Grow Planter Kit comes with Rosemary and Thyme seeds to get you started!

11. Basil

basil plant with dense foliage in clay pot on wooden floor

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a holy plant in many traditions. Throughout southern Europe, it’s said basil by your door will protect against evil.

Unsurprisingly, the herb is associated with St Basil, the patron saint of exorcists. Not a bad guy to have on your side if you want to eliminate evil spirits!

In Vastu, the Tulsi variety of basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is the most lucky. It’s considered a sacred plant in Hinduism and promotes good luck, vitality, and prosperity.

More prosaically, basil also has many health benefits when eaten as a herb, and I personally can testify there’s nothing more prosperous than a fresh Caprese salad with homegrown basil.

This Indoor Planter Set from Barnyard Designs is the perfect choice for anyone looking to start a small herb garden in their kitchen.

12. Citrus Trees

lemon tree branches with green leaves and  riped lemons under sky

In some European folk traditions, lemon trees planted near a home will ward off evil. It’s much the same in Feng Shui, with a potted citrus tree a good addition to any home.

Be sure to stick to dwarf varieties – you don’t want to wind up with a bonsai plant by mistake!

Potted Exotic Pro Tip: Using Snake Plants for Good Luck

Also known as Mother-in-law’s tongue or sword plants, a snake plant is both good and bad luck plant under the principles of Feng Shui. It’s tall shape and green color are both lucky, but some consider its sharp shape and vicious name to attract negative energies. Its sword-like shape can be protective, especially when placed near doors, so don’t be shy to use it to ward against negative vibes as well as attract prosperity.

How to Use Plants for Good Luck

woman watering indoor potted plant

No matter what plant you opt for or what system you’re using, there are a few common things you need to do to maintain their good vibrations.

Position, Position, Position

In both Feng Shui and Vastu, where you put the plants is just as important as the species. Both belief systems divide each room of the home into sections that have specific properties.

Putting a high-energy plant in a corner dedicated to relaxation or meditation and you may find the energy in your home becomes unsettled and restless, for example.

You must also be mindful of the energy flow through the house, especially in small rooms.

Different rooms also call for different approaches. Feng Shui experts recommend caution when placing plants in bedrooms. Too much energy and you may not sleep well.

Vastu, on the other hand, recommends protective plants to watch over family members as they sleep.

I also suggest you keep the plant’s needs in mind when you place them. You’ll lose the benefits of your plants if they don’t grow at all.

Chinese Money Trees need a lot of light, for example. They’ll struggle in a dark corner, dragging the energy level in the home down with them.

Keep Your Plants Clean

Dusty plants are slow, stagnant energy in all systems. Dust on the leaves is smothering and prevents the plants from growing. Depending on the variety, you can rinse them occasionally under a shower head or garden hose.

Make sure you remove dead leaves and expired flowers, too.

Keep Your Plants Watered Appropriately

Droopy, dehydrated plants ‘drip’ their energy downwards. They also signal tiredness. It’s the opposite of the good vibes we’re aiming towards.

Again, how to treat this will depend on the species.

A droopy Golden Pothos will perk up with a quick drink once every week or so, but a Money Plant will need more consistently damp soil. Always be mindful of their care needs.

Discard Dead or Dying Plants

I know just how heartbreaking it is to throw away a dying plant. I’m always keen to try and revive them – and there’s strong, rejuvenating energy to be had from a slumbering plant springing to life.

But in every indoor gardener’s life comes the moment when you just have to admit defeat and toss that dead plant right in the trash.

Keeping sick or dying plants in your home attracts the same vibrations. It’s best to just let go.

Photo: Dashapetrenkophotos via Canva.com
Photo: Thijs Van Laarhoven via Canva.com
Photo: Undefined undefined via Canva.com
Photo: Darrylbrooks via Canva.com
Photo: Bonetta via Canva.com
Photo: Varaporn_Chaisin via Canva.com
Photo: via Canva.com
Photo: Jobrestful via Canva.com
Photo: Sahil Ghosh via Canva.com
Photo: Santje09 via Canva.com
Photo: Oh via Canva.com
Photo: Uthaipat via Canva.com
Photo: Sammy Jones via Canva.com
Photo: Natalia Klenova via Canva.com
Photo: Stephen Barnes via Canva.com
Photo: Nalin Prutimongkol via Canva.com
Photo: Raghu_Ramaswamy via Canva.com
Photo: Rorygezfresh via Canva.com
Photo: Izzzy71 via Canva.com
Photo: Trygve Finkelsen via Canva.com
Photo: Janaph via Canva.com
Photo: Linda Raymond via Canva.com
Photo: Hanshgmb via Canva.com
Photo: SHVETS Production via Canva.com

Leave a Comment