Friday, January 27, 2012

Plants for luck and prosperity

Apart from the abundant red and gold decorations, certain plants have gained a reputation for being essential to ringing in the Lunar New Year. Ascribed special value owing to the good feng shui they purportedly confer their owner, as eco warriors ourselves, we're all for the greening of homes and offices.


Kumquat plants are so common a plant to have every Chinese New Year that it would be odd to visit a Chinese household this time of the year and not come across one! The sound 'Kum' could mean 'mandarin oranges' or 'gold' in Chinese, and so by word association the plant has come to symbolise prosperity, wealth and abundance

Pussy willow

Pussy willow is frequently used to decorate households celebrating Chinese New Year providing the branches upon which to hang red and gold decorations like ang pow packets or gold ingots. As it is a plant that features multiple blossoms, it has come to symbolize abundance, while its soft texture and the colour of its shoots are reminiscent of traditionally prized items in Chinese culture such as silk and jade.

Golden Money Plant
The Golden Money plant got its name from its leaves, which are angular-shaped and look like Chinese gold ingots from ancient times. The plant's thick, fleshy, and naturally glossy leaves are lush denoting abundance, and when the plant flowers, it signifies that the household will receive a windfall. Ker-ching!

Fortune bamboo
The name says it all really. Referred to in Chinese as 'Kai Yun Zhu' which means 'the bamboo that brings in luck and good fortune', it represents the doorway to good luck, fortune, and happiness in a household. Buy your boss one; who knows, it could welcome higher profit margins and land you a raise.

Peach blossom
Peach trees don't grow in Malaysia, but that doesn't mean you can't substitute them with synthetic varieties. The flowers that grow on peach trees symbolise growth and development, longevity and prosperity. In Chinese culture, the bigger the flowers bloom, the better the luck! Wooden swords made for use during Chinese rituals or ceremonies are also made from peach wood as it is believed that the wood wards off evil.

Money Plant
The most popular among plants thought to bring good luck to homes, the verdant money plant symbolises abundance and prosperity and is believed to purify air. It's a hardy plant, able to survive indoors or outdoors. If kept indoors, the money plant would need regular watering and to be placed somewhere well lit or which gets natural sunlight, but generally as it is an easy to care for, it's a common tenant even among those not famed for their green thumb, thus ensuring even the most horticulturally-challenged benefits from good energy.

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