Flower blossoms are believed to bring fortune, according to a popular Chinese saying, 花開富貴, which can be translated to “blossom flowers bring wealth”.
While some nurseries are churning out fun animal-themed products this year, others are sticking to time-honoured classics which are popular for their auspicious-sounding names or colours, including kumquats, lime trees, pussy willows and money plants.
Here are some other lucky plants that are popular for Chinese New Year in Singapore.
A popular flower you’ll often see during Chinese New Year, pussy willows signify the start of spring. Also known as catkins, this plant with furry buds needs a change of water twice a week if it is in a vase.
Care tip: If it is potted, water twice a week. Fresh water ensures the plant lasts longer and prevents mosquitoes from breeding.
Peonies are often associated with richness and peace in Chinese mythology because of how they grow in clusters. The red versions of these flowers are particularly more auspicious than the pink ones.
A perennial favourite during Chinese New Year, these potted shrubs are ideal for indoor decorations and are available at all flower markets. They represent “lucky tree bearing fruits” and are great for ushering in wealth.
These vibrant flowers often bloom simultaneously and this is commonly taken to be a symbol of harmony. They are available in various bright colours, such as striking shades of pink.
Care tip: Keep the plant in semi-shaded areas such as balconies. Water every alternate day and keep the soil moist.
With their bright gold or purple hues, chrysanthemums are an auspicious choice for the season.
The plant is said to symbolise longevity, while those with gold blooms represent wealth and prosperity.
These plants are considered lucky because they resemble a cock’s comb and because roosters are considered lucky animals in Chinese culture.
Known as wan zi gian hong – meaning thousands and millions of red and purple in reference to its small flowers – the kalanchoe is an easy plant to grow and is said to bring wealth and prosperity.
Flamingo lilies come in an auspicious red or pink colour symbolising prosperity. With blossoms shaped like little hearts, these flowers are perfect for Valentine’s Day too and if you care for them properly, they’ll last a long time.
What’s more, flamingo lilies can remove formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia from the air.
We know they’re often associated with Japanese culture but peach blossoms are also heavily used in Chinese culture. Peach blossoms are considered sacred in China and symbolise romance, prosperity and growth. They’re also popular with young people looking for love.
While this flower variety look similar to peach blossoms, plum blossoms differ as they develop individually and have no stem, instead growing straight out from the branch. These bright pink flowers represent perseverance and reliability, and are one of the most important symbolic flowers for the Chinese. Plum blossoms, alongside orchids (purity), bamboos (uprightness), and chrysanthemums (humility), constitute ‘the four nobles’ as their imagery are often used in literary and artistic creations representing virtues valued in the Chinese traditions.
Also known as Dancing Ladies, these orchids with their tiny yellow petals look like they are sprouting gold coins.
Besides their delightful shape, orchids have long been considered to be symbolic of fertility and abundance.
This plant comes in a variety of auspicious bright colours including red and pink.
Known as fu gui hua (wealth plant) in Chinese, it is a popular pick during the festive period because its swollen basal stem represents wealth and fortune. It is believed that the bigger the basal stem is, the more prosperity will be ushered in.
Care tip: If it is placed in a sunny area, water the plant once a day. If it is in a shaded corridor, water once every two or three days. Avoid over-watering because the roots will rot if the soil is waterlogged.
This tropical plant is highly sought after during Chinese New Year as it is believed to usher in luck. When the signature bright yellow flowers fall off, they resemble gold sprinkled on the ground . and this is why its Chinese name, man di huang jing, literally translates to gold all over the floor.
Care tip: The plant can be kept indoors for up to three weeks during the blooming period and should be watered every day. Once all the flowers have dropped, place the plant in a sunny area. After new leaves have sprouted and matured, pluck them off to quicken the flowering process.
For a more quirky choice, get this ornamental citrus plant that bears unusually shaped fruit. The fragrant fruits resemble the hands seen on representations of Buddha, which lends the plant its name.
This plant is believed to bring good luck and the orange-coloured fruits also add to the festive atmosphere.
Care tip: This is an outdoor plant so it requires a lot of sunlight. Water the soil thoroughly once a day and ensure that it is fully drained.
The plant is popular in Chinese culture because of how it looks like a phoenix’s tail.
This South African native, which is also known as crassula, is often in demand because of its emerald green leaves, which resemble the shape of a jade stone. The plant is regarded as a symbol of prosperity, wealth and fortune.
It requires very little moisture – water sparingly every alternate day. Place it in a semi-shaded area.
The leaves of the bonsai resemble jade, which is believed to represent good luck.
Care tip: Keep in a sunny and dry environment. Avoid waterlogging the soil. To ensure that the soil is well-drained, make sure that excess water flows out of the pot.
For those looking for variety, these mix pots come with dendrobiums of assorted colours, including yellow and dark pink.
They are a perennial favourite at Toh Garden during the Chinese New Year season.
Care tip: The orchids can last for up to one month before the flowering process begins again. Keep the plant in a partially shaded area and water thoroughly. It should be fertilised twice a week. Make sure that the plant media is completely dried out before watering again.
For those looking for a fuss-free plant that does not take up too much space, Far East Flora has brought back its series of potted prosperity and indoor plants – this time with a festive golden pig nestled among the greens. These coffee table favourites make for a festive tabletop display.
Care tip: There is no need for second guessing when it comes to watering because each pot comes equipped with a water indicator that lets you know when it is time to hydrate the plants. Keep the plant in a shady area with indirect sunlight.
A popular corporate gift, these seasonal orchids are sold only during the Chinese New Year period because they bloom just once a year from around November to March.
The orchids require a temperate climate to grow and will not reflower in tropical Singapore.
Care tip: When kept in a cool environment such as an air-conditioned office and watered once every three days, Korean cymbidiums can last for up to three months. Without air-conditioning, they can last for up to one month. As a general rule of thumb, water only when the media is dry.
Bent, twisted and twirled into various shapes, such as the number eight, the lucky bamboo is the Chinese symbol for strength.
The plant is decorated with red ribbons and lucky ornaments, and the number of bamboo stalks in one pot represents different things. For example, two is said to be an expression of love, while seven stands for good health.
Also known as Devil’s Ivy, this versatile and hardy plant can remove formaldehyde, benzene and xylene from the air, making it great for purification. And with its coin-like leaves, the money plant symbolises fortune and good luck.
Peace lilies are like flamingo lilies, but with ivory white flowers instead. Keep them around the home as they are one of the most effective air-filtering plants, removing chemicals like trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, xylene, benzene and ammonia.
They’re a little less popular but pitcher plants are also highly regarded plants for the Lunar New Year. Because of the fact that these plants look like money bags, they’re considered lucky.
Known as hu die lan in Mandarin, this plant is a popular festive plant as its petals resemble the wings of a butterfly, symbolising happiness, spring, vitality and longevity.