Flowering and Fruiting plants play a huge role in the celebration of Chinese New Year. But beyond looking lovely and brightening up the space, these plants all have symbolic meanings.

We have listed below some of the most popular fruits and flowers and what they signify, to help you usher in the best fortune for the Lunar New Year!

Image courtesy Lambley Nursery

Solanum Mammosum – don’t be tempted to eat these fruits because they are not edible. In fact, all parts of this peculiar looking plant are poisonous. Aptly referred to as cow’s udders, this plant is especially auspicious this year as the fruit when cut in half, resembles an ox’s head. Its Chinese name is 五代同堂, which translates to five generations living harmoniously under one roof, symbolising longevity, prosperity and happiness for the family.

Guzmania Lingulata – these flowering plants are also known as “pineapple flowers”. The pineapple is an auspicious fruit to the Chinese, as it is called ong lai in Hokkien, meaning “good fortune arriving” and better yet, these plants are relatively easy to keep alive.

Marigold – called wan shou ju in Mandarin, signifies longevity and comes in a myriad of hues, making it a favourite during new year.

Chrysanthemums – are an auspicious choice for the season as it is said to symbolise longevity, while those with golden blooms represent wealth and prosperity.

Lucky bamboo – the lucky bamboo is the Chinese symbol for strength. It is common to find the plant decorated with red ribbons and lucky ornaments, and the number of bamboo stalks in one pot represents different things. Two stalks are said to represent love or to double your luck, while seven stalks refers to good health.

Oncidium Orchids – with their tiny yellow petals look like they are sprouting gold coins. Orchids in Chinese culture, have long been considered to be symbolic of fertility and abundance.

Kalanchoes – also known as wan zi qian hong – meaning “thousands and millions of red and purple” in reference to its small flowers is said to bring wealth and prosperity.

Pussy Willow – easy to look after and keep alive, these plants symbolise growth and the coming of prosperity.

Tangerine or Kumquat Tree – a favourite during Chinese New Year, these potted shrubs represent “lucky tree bearing fruits” and are great for ushering in wealth.Tangerine plants can also be placed near doorways to ensure you bring in good fortune when you’re stepping into your home or workplace.

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 auspicious and are associated with feminine beauty, innocence, affection, and charm. It is known as the ‘flower of riches and honour’.

Celosia Plume – popular in Chinese culture because of how they look like a phoenix’s tail and thereby bringing in harmony and prosperity to the home.