Is Having A Bonsai Tree Good Luck?

General

Evergreen trees including bonsai symbolize fortune, prosperity and longevity that are considered to bring harmony between nature and human beings.

What is bonsai

Bonsai is the Art of Miniature Landscape: a natural landscape created with plants in a bonsai pot.  Everything that is used in bonsai including the tree, soil, moss and pot is a reflection of nature’s beauty.

Feng Shui philosophy aims to pursue a perfect natural landscape that brings good Qi, a form of energy, around humans.

So, there is a close relationship between bonsai and Feng Shui.

Feng Shui and plants

History of Feng Shui

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that has been practiced for thousands of years.  Its origin dates back as long as 6000 thousand years and has existed in China since the beginning of Chinese history.  It is rooted in the philosophy of harmonious coexistence with nature and humans.

Feng Shui has been widely practiced in China and influenced its neighboring East Asian regions including Korea and Japan.

What is Feng Shui

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese systematic knowledge base that aims to achieve harmony between nature and the surrounding environment.  It helps to situate the environment built by humans in spots with good Qi, a form of energy.

Using Feng Shui, all elements in the surroundings, including plants, should facilitate good Qi that is flowing within the environment to promote the prosperity of the people.

Feng Shui trees

Feng Shui trees: evergreens

Greenery is considered one of the important criteria for good Feng Shui.  It is believed that a flourishing forest can keep Qi, living energy, to guarantee richness and honor for the family because plants are thought to nourish good Qi throughout the place.

The green of plants symbolizes life and growth.  Feng Shui tradition believes that auspicious energy is flowing around us when plants are flourishing.

In many Feng Shui documents, a Feng Shui tree is always defined as an evergreen species without limitation to which kind as long as it is evergreen.  Bamboo, pine and cypress are the most commonly planted species among evergreen Feng Shui.

Bamboo and pine: symbol of luck in Japan

In Japan, bamboo is considered a symbol of luck due to its rapidness in growth having firm roots in the ground, and its stunk growing straight up to the sky.  Pine trees also are a symbol of life force due to their long life.

New Year Decoration (bamboo and pine)

New Year Decoration (bamboo and pine)

Both bamboo and pine are traditionally made into decoration and put in front of houses on New Year’s day in Japan, representing longevity and prosperity.

As to the Emperor’s Palace, a traditional New Year’s spring decoration is a large size forest bonsai with auspicious trees such as pine, bamboo and plum that have lived for a long time.

Feng Shui trees: deciduous trees

Although evergreens are considered the Feng Shui tree species, people sometimes use deciduous tree species in different regions of Asia.

Maple trees (Acer buergerianum Miq.) are commonly planted as Feng Shui trees in Fujian mountain villages and Jianxi Provinces in China.

In Hong Kong, ancient large banyan trees (Ficus microphylla) were the most usually cherished species.  It is thought that a huge old tree has accumulated more and more
Qi during its long life.

Major Feng Shui tree species and symbols

Species Symbol
Evergreens
(pine, cypress, beech, juniper, etc.)
Positive energy flows
Harmony of Ying and Yan
Bamboo Longevity
Maple Fortune, prosperity
Zelkova, oak Vital energy

Are bonsai lucky?

A bonsai tree itself is not a symbol of good luck but evergreen trees as well as some deciduous trees are.  Those trees are the symbols of fortune, prosperity and longevity.  As such, having those bonsai trees can bring luck if you believe in it.  Evergreen bonsai trees are always thought to be auspicious, especially pine in Japan.

You do not necessarily have to bring a bonsai tree inside the house to bring positive energy flows.  You just have to have it and care for it so that the tree stays healthy.

In fact, most evergreen bonsai trees are sun-loving species and cannot be placed inside the house for a long time.  If you decide to bring it indoors, keep it short like a couple of days.  Give them plenty of sunlight afterward.

If you are interested in gifting a bonsai tree, please read the following post.

“Best bonsai species for a gift” (link here)

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Reference
Chen, Bixia (14 March 2008). A Comparative Study on the Feng Shui Village Landscape and Feng Shui Trees in East Asia.