One enters the house compound through the Main Gate. Usually if space is available, people like to have a small garden in the front as well as at the back of the Site. Vastu Shastra lays down guidelines on all aspects of house designing, including the planting of auspicious trees and plants around the house.
As Vastu is a science, there is logical, scientific explanation for every guideline. As anArchitect, I have attempted to explain these guidelines rationally and scientifically, so that you can decide what you want to follow or don’t.
WHAT TREES SHOULD BE PLANTED IN THE HOUSE GARDEN ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA?
Some of the auspicious trees according to Vastu, that are good for the inmates are described below along with their usefulness:
PEEPAL TREE – It is also known as the Aswatha tree. Scientists have found that oxygen is produced in large amounts by the leaves of this tree and it is found in high concentration under the branches, probably due to the thick foliage. Hence it is considered very healthy to circumambulate this tree in the morning. Probably it is for this reason that it is considered a sacred tree and is worshiped in India. It is usually found near temples or temples are erected near Peepal trees. It has a very long life and can survive for centuries. It is prohibited from being cut. However, it is not suitable near a house, since it has far spreading roots which can affect the foundation of the building.
NEEM TREE – This tree has great medicinal value and its extract is used in pesticides. Its twigs are used to brush teeth and neem oil is used in physiotherapy. Since neem leaves are very bitter, a mixture of neem leaves, tender green mango and jaggery is eaten on Ugadi or the New Year in South India, as a symbolic gesture, that one is prepared to face the sweet, sour and bitter experiences of the coming year with equanimity. Therefore, this is a good tree to have in a house garden.
MANGO TREE – Most parts of the mango tree have medicinal value. It’s leaves are used as a pesticide, and its twigs are used for brushing teeth. Its leaves are used for puja purposes. It is considered very auspicious if the dead are cremated using mango tree fire-wood. Then of course, mango fruit is the king among fruits and very tasty. The raw mangoes are used for making pickles and as a vegetable. Mango trees also have a very long life and can survive for 400-500 years. Obviously, this is also a very useful tree to have in your garden.JACK-FRUIT TREE – Like the ‘mango tree, the jack-fruit tree also produces very tasty, seasonal, fruit in large numbers. The yellow juicy kernels inside the jackfruit are used to make different types of sweets and halvas. The raw fruit kernels are cut into strips and made into tasty jackfruit chips, a speciality of Kerala. The Jack-fruit’s seeds are also nutritious and are used like a vegetable in South India. The beautiful yellow coloured wood from this tree is used to make furniture, doors, windows etc. Its leaves are considered auspicious and are used for puja. Therefore, it is useful and can be planted in your garden.
BANANA TREE – The tender saplings of the banana tree are used for decorating doors of houses, pandals etc, during functions and festivals as they are symbols of prosperity and wealth. . Almost every part of the plant has some sort of economic or medicinal use. Bananas are available through the year and are very nutritious. Banana fruit is the best source for instant energy and are rich in potassium. Raw bananas are cooked and eaten like a vegetable. Banana leaves are used for eating traditional meals as they can be used and thrown and so are considered hygienic. The skin of the fruit is used in dyeing. The sap contains tannin and is used as marking ink. From the dried leaf stalks, fibres can be made and they can form a sound kind of string and are also used for tying fences, etc. A lot of illnesses can be treated with concoctions made from the roots, stem, flowers, and leaves of the tree. As far as usefulness is concerned, only one other plant can compete with the `Banana Tree` and that is the coconut. So this is a must-have in your garden.
COCONUT TREE – Every part of this tree is useful. The tender coconut water is a very healthy, cool, low fat drink. The coconut flesh is used in South Indian cooking in large amounts and gives it a distinctive flavour. The oil extracted from coconut is used in cooking as well as a hair oil. Coir is a very useful by-product which is used in making mats, carpets etc. The leaves of the coconut tree are weaved and used as roofing for huts by the poor. Its dry leaves are also used as fire-wood. It has a long life of about 100-150 years and is prohibited from being cut. Due to its usefulness it is considered a sacred tree. Hence it is considered a must, in every one’s garden.
SANDAL WOOD TREE- Sandal wood is very expensive as it is used to make exquisite handicrafts, and its oil is very fragrant. Sandalwood paste when applied on the forehead, cools the head, and so is used in temples and in hot places like Kerala. The sandalwood is used to make incence sticks. It is very rare to find sandalwood trees and hence there have been so many instances of robbers cutting down trees in the middle of the night, if found in any house compound. If you like this fragrant tre, it is a good idea to try and grow one- but you may need to secure it!
ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA, WHERE SHOULD THE TREES BE PLANTED IN THE PLOT?
Smaller shrubs– may be planted on the East or North sides, but no trees should be planted in the North-East corner as they block the useful morning sun rays.
Tall trees– like Coconut can be planted in the South-West, West sides but should should not be too close to a building as they block the sunlight completely. A tree should be planted such that it’s shadow should not fall on the house, at least between 9.A.M to 3P.M.
Large trees– like Peepal, Banyan should not be located too near the house as their roots can damage the foundation and compound wall. Also, the large trees absorb most of the sunlight, meaning these positive rays will not be received by the building.
Good trees– that can be planted in a house compound are useful trees like coconut, neem, betel, sandalwood, lemon, pineapple, bilva, almond, jackfruit, pomegranate, mango, amla, and katha.
Avoid flowering trees in gardens: Reason – They shed leaves during the summer.
Trees with insects, worms, honey bees, bumble bee, owls, serpents, should be avoided for obvious reasons.
If a tree must be removed because it is inauspicious or for other reasons, the day before cutting the tree, one should express regret to the tree, and it must be removed from its rooting. A new tree should be planted in its place within the next three months. This is a way of conserving nature.
ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA, WHICH PLANTS ARE TO BE GROWN IN THE HOUSE GARDEN?
TULASI (BASIL) – It is also known as holy Basil and it is always good to grow a Tulasi plant on one’s property. Tulasi should be located on the North, North-East, or East sides of the house, or in front of the house. Tulasi is a medicinal plant and is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicines. It purifies the blood and improves the digestive system. It is believed to be useful in treating many types of diseases. Hence it is recommended to eat a few leaves every day. Its probably for this reason, that it is considered a sacred plant and used in daily worship.
JASMINE – In general, plants with sweet smelling flowers like jasmine, red lotus, blue lotus etc are good in the house compound as they give out a pleasant perfume, and can also be used in daily worship. Flowers like the Jasmine are stringed together and used as a decoration on the hair by Indian ladies. Moreover, as these flowers are produced round the year, they are always available.
THORNY PLANTS – Thorny plants should not be planted near the house. Cactus should not be planted at all. Thorny plants other than roses have a negative energy. Ideally all thorny plants should be pulled up and destroyed. The reason could be that the thorns can hurt you when you brush past them.
CREEPERS – Creepers or other plants should not be grown using the building or compound wall as a support as their clingers will slowly creep into tiny cracks in the walls and gradually widen them as they grow, causing damage and seeepage of water through the walls. Creepers should only be grown in a garden, and they should have their own independent supports. A creeper like a money plant can be grown within the house but should not be grown outside, using a tree for support.
FLOWER POTS – Flower pots should not be kept on the compound wall in the North, East or North-East as they will block the useful morning sunlight coming in from these directions. Flower pots and decorative plants can be placed on the ground in these directions, but they should not grow taller than 3 feet.
LAWNS AND WATER BODIES– Lawns should be in the East or the North. A small water-fall of three to four feet or a water body can be constructed in the East or the North leaving the North-East corner. If there is a swimming pool in the garden, it should be in the North or North-East direction, so that the people using the pool benefit from the sun rays and also, the water will get purified by the U.V rays of the Sunlight.
BENCHES – Benches are useful in big gardens and can be placed in the open space in the East and the North direction so that people sitting in these directions, can benefit from the useful sun rays.
This post was about the Vastu guidelines regarding the useful trees and plants that can be planted in a House garden. One passes through the front garden to reach the front Verandah and it is adjacent to the Car Porch.