A Guide to Chinese New Year Plants

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Chinese New Year is a celebration of spring. It is a time of awakening and renewal, when the air seems a tad fresher and the world a little more vivid. Take a moment to stop and smell the roses, or shall we say chrysanthemums? This is the best time of year to enjoy the sweet-scented blossoms decorating our homes, offices, and shopping malls. Usher in a blossoming new year with auspicious plants and flowers. We share the basics on Chinese New Year plants and their symbolic meanings.

1. Orange Trees

Chinese New Year wouldn’t be complete without two orange trees standing sentinel at the front entrance. This citrus plant, also known as a kumquat tree, is popular for attracting good fortune and abundance. The syllable ‘kum’ rhymes with the word gold (金) and ‘quat’ rhymes with the word luck (桔) in Cantonese. The mini oranges resemble gold coins. When displayed in pairs, it means the doubling of wealth.

Buy your own pair of Four Season Orange plants from Chye Heng Garden. This smaller version can be displayed on table tops and interior living spaces.

Chye Heng Garden Four Season Orange

2. Iron Tree

Also known as dracaena fragrans, this resilient species is referred to locally as 铁树 (Tie Shu) or “Iron Tree” due to its resilient nature. It is said to ward off bad energies and attract good fortune. You won’t have to worry about the air quality in your home, because the Iron Tree is a natural air filter. According to a study by NASA, dracaena fragrans is one of the most effective plants in removing air pollutants under simulated space station conditions. This leafy life form is a welcome addition to a home whatever planet you are on!

Chye Heng Garden Dracaena Fragrans

3. ZZ Plant

If you’re a newbie to gardening, then the ZZ plant is for you. This resilient plant can handle all forms of neglect, from drought to minimal sunlight. Originally from Eastern Africa, the ZZ Plant or Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, is sometimes referred to as the eternity plant, because it is un-killable. The upward facing leaves symbolise growth, consistency and advancement.

Fun fact: The ZZ plant has potato-like rhizomes at the roots, which store water during times of drought. Perfect for the most negligent of owners.

Chye Heng Garden Zamioculcas Zamiifolia with Cow

4. Pussy Willow

Chinese New Year wouldn’t be complete without a bunch of pussy willows in your home. These elegant stalks are dotted with furry buds called “catkins”, because they resemble grey kitten fur. The appearance of catkins are one of the earliest signs of spring in nature. In Chinese culture, their tall height represents growth and the bountiful buds represent abundance.

Spruce up your home with this Coloured Pussy Willow arrangement by Chye Heng Garden. Pussy willows can last for several months, so you’ll be getting mileage out of them even after Chinese New Year. They look great in any home year round.

Chye Heng Garden Coloured Pussy Willow

5. Orchids

The orchid represents one of four noble plants (plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum) commonly referred to as “The Four Gentlemen” in traditional Chinese paintings. The four varieties personify moral virtues that were upheld by the Chinese literati. Fragile in form and elegant in appearance, the orchid symbolises humility, beauty, grace and springtime. The orchid family consists of well over 25,000 species, but a popular choice during Chinese New Year is the Moth Orchid or Philaenopsis. This auspicious flower represents fertility, abundance, longevity and happiness.

Chye Heng Garden Philaenopsis

For more Chinese New Year varieties, visit our horticultural oasis in TANGS at Tang Plaza, Level 4.  Chye Heng Garden offers a range of easy to maintain houseplants that will beautify your home. Click here to view a select range available on  

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