8 Lucky Plants to Buy for Chinese New Year 2022
Here are 8 auspicious plants to usher in the blossoming new year.
ZZ plants are a popular houseplant that originated in Africa. Great for beginners, it can tolerate neglect and drought, even low-light conditions so you can easily keep them indoors. This plant is sometimes referred to as the Eternity Plant as it’s almost impossible to kill. In mandarin, the ZZ plant is also know as 金钱树, meaning money tree. The plant’s upward leaves also symbolise dedication, growth, balance and encouragement in Feng Shui.
Fun fact: According to a NASA study, the ZZ plant has an added benefit of removing toxins like xylene, benzene, ethylbenzene in the air. However, parents of young ones and pets beware - this plant is poisonous to humans and animals.
There is a saying in mandarin that goes, 花开富贵, which means a blooming plant brings prosperity to its owner. Flowers are popular during this festive season - and when it comes to colour, bright reds, pinks and even yellows are preferred.
Not coincidentally, Adeniums are known as 富贵花 (wealth flower) in mandarin, and its swollen basal stem signifies abundance and wealth. It is believed that the bigger the basal stem, the more prosperity the plant will bring. Since Adeniums are easy to care for and flower all year round, they are popular choices even outside of the lunar new year period. To care for your Adeniums, give them at least 6 hours of full direct sunlight a day.
Despite its name, Lucky bamboos are actually from the family Dracaena, which is more closely related to African lilies than bamboos. They are favoured for their close resemblance to actual bamboos, which symbolise strength, honourability and modesty in the Chinese culture. You might have seen Lucky bamboos decorated with ribbons and decorative coins - that is because the 5 elements (earth, fire, water, metal and wood) are represented through these decorative pieces to amplify prosperity; stones placed around the Lucky Bamboo represents earth, decorative coins represent metal, red ribbons represent fire, the Lucky Bamboo itself represents wood, and finally, water used to water the plant represents water.
Money trees are Malabar Chestnut trees and represent financial success. It has many stories, with one popular rendition involving a poor farmer who was down in spirits. One day he chanced upon a curious tree with a braided trunk, and as if the tree was speaking to him, he became inspired to be as tough and resilient as its sturdy trunk. The farmer then grew more money trees from its seeds and sold them for a fortune.
To help your money tree thrive like this farmer’s, provide her with bright indirect sunlight and deep watering when the top inch of soil is dry. Remember to have drainage holes in your pots and a well draining potting mix to prevent root rot!
Orchids are known for fertility, wealth, elegance and abundance. Some popular species include Oncidium Orchids, which have yellow petals that resemble gold coins, Dendrobium Orchids (also known as Vanda Miss Joaquim) and Phalaenopsis Orchid. If you are a beginner to orchids, the Phalaenopsis is a good start. It is a survivor and if properly cared for, can bloom more than once a year.
Since the colour red is BIG during Chinese New Year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when the Red Anthurium makes it to our list. Red is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity in Chinese culture, and the red waxy leaves called spathes (no, they are not flowers!) are the main focus of the plant. On top of being affordable, the Red Anthurium is quite easy to care for, which makes it a popular houseplant in general.
Provide your Red Anthurium with well draining soil and water when the first inch of soil is dry. Ensure she receives indirect sunlight and high humidity. Anthuriums are poisonous so parents of toddlers and pets, beware!
The Pilea Peperomioides is native to Southern China, which is how it got its colloquial name, Chinese Money Plant. They are loved for their round leaves that resemble coins and is believed to bring prosperity to its owner.
Basic care includes providing well draining soil, bright indirect sunlight and deep watering when the plant nearly dries out. Soil pH between 6.0-7.0 is best for this plant. If you’re using a terracotta pot, remember to waater more frequently as terracotta absorbs water from the soil.
Tip: rotate your Pilea Peperiomioides regularly to ensure exposure to sunlight on all sides, this helps the plant even out and grow fuller.
Calamondin Orange Trees are another favourite as they symbolise a fruitful and abundant start to the new year. Often, these trees are decorated with red packets (红包; hông bāo) and placed by the door. Like Adeniums, these trees need direct sunlight for at least 4 hours each day. Water them thoroughly when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
Tip: It is said that trees can be induced to bloom by withholding water until the leaves wilt, then thoroughly watering them.