As we slowly inch towards Chinese New Year, it’s not just the loud, cringe-y songs that are taking over Singapore.
Festive plants and flowers like the money plant, lucky bamboo and more are now being sold at heartland markets and supermarkets like Fairprice and Cold Storage.
Lunar New Year or not, plants have always been good fengshui because they are believed to have good “chi” (energy), which brings good luck to your home.
So in addition to your Marie Kondo-esque spring cleaning, don’t forget to pimp your crib with these super huat plants and flowers.
8 LUCKY PLANTS FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR 2020
Whether to spend $5 or $50, it’s up to you.
|Money plant||$5 to $10|
|Bamboo||$5 to $20|
|Pineapple flowers||$10 to $20|
|Jade plant||$10 to $30|
|Pussy willow||$15 to $26|
|Orchids||$20 to $100+|
|Kumquat||$30 to $100+|
|Various blossoms||$50 to $100+|
MONEY PLANT (DEVIL'S IVY) ($5 TO $10)
The cheapest, most common plant found at these CNY markets are money plants. A small pot can be as cheap as $5, but even bigger, more sizeable ones can be bought for around $10.
They’re considered lucky because their leaves supposedly look like coins, but I personally don’t see it. (shrugs)
Also called the Devil’s Ivy, these indoor plants bring not just wealth, but health too. They’re known for being good at purifying the air, which makes them great house plants even when it’s not CNY.
LUCKY BAMBOO ($5 TO $20)
Another common plant is the bamboo. The CNY ones don’t look like regular, pole-shaped bamboo plants though – they’re usually decorated with red ribbons and bent into auspicious shapes like the figure 8.
Small bamboo plants go from $5 to $10, but the bigger ones with more stalks can cost up to $20 (or more, if you get the fancy ones from big nurseries).
For maximum huat, get the pots with 7 stalks.
PINEAPPLE FLOWERS ($10 TO $20)
We all know that pineapples are lucky because “ong lai” means “wealth is coming” in Hokkien, but did you know that you can actually buy auspicious pineapple plants too?
They’re called guzmania lingulata, and have bright red flowers, which is very conveniently festive too. These are pretty cheap, and usually cost between $10 to $20 per pot.
JADE PLANT ($10 TO $30)
The jade plant is a succulent which has deep green, rounded leaves that look like jade stones. They symbolise wealth and prosperity, and unlike the precious gem, this plants is relatively affordable (from $10).
As an added boon, they’re easy to keep and suitable for HDBs. They need little water and can thrive indoors.
PUSSY WILLOW ($15 TO $26)
Perhaps the most iconic of the CNY flora, the pussy willow is often simply referred to as the “CNY tree”. I remember how as a child, I used to love plucking out the brown “casings” to reveal the fluffy flower buds. #goodtimes
This plant signifies growth and the start of spring, which is why it’s used as an auspicious symbol to usher in the Lunar New Year.
You can get these from markets and nurseries, and the prices don’t differ much. They’re $15 to $26, depending on how tall you want your tree to be (3ft to 6ft).
ORCHIDS ($20 TO $100+)
In general, orchids are great fengshui plant for good luck and fertility (because it resembles a certain something down south…? #yikes).
For Chinese New Year, there are various types, including:
Oncidiums (from $20+)
These have tiny yellow flowers that look like gold coins, symbolising abundance. Oncidiums are the cheapest of the lot.
Phalaenopsis (from $30+)
Phalaenopsis orchids feature large purple flowers that are often likened to butterfly wings. That’s why it’s called “hu die lan” in Mandarin. It is a symbol of happiness, vitality and longevity.
Cymbidiums (from $80+)
Cymbidiums are expensive, and each pot is usually close to $100. They’re large orchids with auspicious Chinese names: The red ones are called “hong pao” for “red crackers”, while the yellow ones are called “huang jing” for “gold”.
KUMQUAT ($30 TO $100+)
Kumquat is “金橘 (jin ju)”, which is literally means “golden tangerine”. These fruit-bearing trees are a symbol of prosperity and wealth, and are often placed at the entrance of your home, by the door.
Because these are actually potted trees, they cost a lot more than the other smaller plants. They’re about $30+ each for tabletop pots, but the taller trees (perhaps for gardens) can go up to over $100.
There are two variants usually sold: the four seasons lime and the mini mandarin oranges.
These trees are also popular for making bonsais, but those carefully sculpted mini trees can easily cost hundreds.
PEACH, CHERRY AND PLUM BLOSSOMS ($50 TO $100+)
The last huat plant is not so much for money, but for general good luck, especially in the romance department. These blossoms are also associated with growth.
Because of how beautiful and rare they are, peach, cherry and plum blossoms cost significantly more than the other mainstream CNY plants.
They’re also usually not available at the seasonal markets, so you’d have to go to a nursery to get them.
A small pot will cost about $50 to $80, but those big ones with multiple branches and buds (that are usually timed to bloom during CNY week!) can cost over $100.
The sad thing about these pink flowers is that they don’t do well in our tropical climate, so don’t be too hopeful that they’d survive after the festive season.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.