It is that time of year again when those celebrating Chinese New Year are busy getting prepared for this much-awaited festival.
Technically when it comes to spring cleaning and sprucing up the house, we tend to simply apply the rule of thumb of “out with the old and in with the new” which can be applied in certain circumstances.
However, some of the plants that we choose to keep indoors or outside the house can definitely fill our homes for years to come — provided that they are still healthy and flourishing.
Palace Rose Nursery owner Keith Tang said we don’t necessarily have to wait for a specific occasion like Chinese New Year to start collecting these plants, which are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use at home all year round.
According to Tang, there are more than a dozen highly sought-after plants especially when it comes to Chinese New Year. Here are 10 of the most favoured ones.
1. Anthurium andraeanum
These plants which are also dubbed as Flamingo Lilies have red and pink heart shaped flowers which is definitely ideal as a Valentine’s Day gift too. The Chinese believe that the red colour symbolises good fortune and prosperity so there is no surprise why it is among the favourites. Apart from its aesthetics this plant is also beneficial as it can help filter out ammonia, formaldehyde and xylene from the air.
Also belonging to the Araceae family like the Flamingo Lilies, these plants which are known as Peace Lilies have ivory white flowers. Like its cousin, Peace Lillies, which are shade loving plants that also do a great job of purifying the air. The plant has been known to remove benzene, trichloroethylene formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia.
While the flowers are famously used to make tea, Chrysanthemums are also making their way into homes as decorative plants as it symbolises longevity, optimism, fidelity, perfection and joy.
Feng Shui practitioners also believe that the gold blooms can bring wealth and prosperity.
With variety of blooms in white, orange, pink, yellow and red which can last up to six weeks, these plants which literally means thousands and millions of small flowers when translated from the Chinese language also symbolises wealth and prosperity. Definitely a favourite because it thrives well indoors and requires less watering.
5. Pitcher Plants
The shape of these plants are said to resemble coin pouches, hence its association with luck and fortune.
These carnivorous plants are also called Monkey Cups as it has been discovered that primates really drink from them in the wild. They thrive in shady areas and do not require much sunlight.
6. Tangerine tree
This fruit tree shrub is a must have during Chinese New Year as they represent wealth and anything that is round in shape denotes completeness. Of course the colours of tangerines which are close to the colour of gold and its name, which rhymes in Chinese is perhaps why it is so significant during this festival.
This is another favourite houseplant because they are easy to care for and require low light. The red flower of this plant is also associated with good fortunes among the Chinese community.
8. Ananas bracteatus
The Red Pineapple Plant which is native to South America are grown indoors and outdoors. While it probably tastes like the regular ones they are rarely being eaten on Chinese New Year and yet again being kept due to its striking red colour which brings good fortunes and fit the festive theme.
Known also as false capsicum or winter cherry, the solanum are sometimes regarded as weeds but cultivated as garden ornaments. Its fleshy fruit turns from green to yellow and eventually bright orange-red as they mature and their roundness is said to symbolise completeness.
Another auspicious plant, which flowers bloom and is believed to bring luck and happiness to the family. This plant thrives well in shade though some indirect light will help to maintain the colours of the flowers. However, it requires to be watered daily.