Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

Knowing me, Knowing you..... Aha.....!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Chinese New Year Plants and Flowers 2015

1. Lucky bamboos and peach blossoms

Happy New Year 2015!

This year Chinese New Year falls on 19th February 2015. This is the 1st day of the Lunar Calendar where Chinese celebrate the Lunar New Year.

2015 is the Year of the Wood Goat and it starts on February 4th, Lichun Day (立春) at 11:58 am local Malaysian time. Lichun denotes the start of the first solar term and beginning of spring in ancient China. It is a day when farmers would go back to the fields and begin work after a long winter's break.

2. Peach blossoms
Chinese New Year season is a very busy period for nurseries and garden centres. By now many of them would have already stocked up on many types of auspicious plants and flowers for Chinese New Year.

Hey, this is the best time of the year to shop for plants especially those imported and temperate climate plants.

Let's take a look at what plants the nurseries here in Malaysia have for Chinese New Year 2015. For this very important occasion, we would love to start the year with fresh hopes and aspirations. What we want is everything good and positive.... health, wealth, fortune, self and career improvements, prosperity, longevity, etc.  I always like to check out the auspicious names of plants, flowers and fruits as there is no limit to the creativity of the minds business people when it comes to pushing sales!

3 Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis

Buddha's Hand, Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis is a variety of Citron plant with fruits that are oddly shaped, resembling our human hand. It is also known as "Fingered Citron".

In Chinese, it is 佛手柑 (fo shou gan - Buddha's hand tangerine), 五指柑 (wu zhi gan - five fingered tangerine), 福寿柑 (fu shou gan - prosperity & longevity tangerine).  In Japan, it is called "bushukan" (ブッシュカン).

4. Celosia argentea var. plumose

The Plumed Cockscomb flower, Celosia argentea var. plumosa is known as "feng wei" (凤尾) meaning Phoenix Tail. 

5. Celosia argentea var. cristata

The crested variety of Celosia called the Cockscomb Flower, Celosia argentea var. cristata, is known as "ji guan hua" (雞冠花) with the same meaning. It is favoured because the blooms in red and yellow look like rubies and gold.

Red is the colour of prosperity, fame and honour while gold is the colour of wealth.

6. Tagetes erecta

Tagetes erecta is also known as Mexican marigold or Aztec marigold. Its Chinese name "wan shou ju" (万寿菊) when directly translated carries the meaning of "10,000 years lifespan chrysanthemum", so this plant denotes unlimited longevity!

7. Guzmania lingulata

Guzmania lingulata is known as pineapple flowers. Pineapple is auspicious because the Chinese word in Hokkien dialect is "ong lai" meaning the arrival of good fortune.  The flowers can last a few months.

“Chinese New Year Plants and Flowers 2015”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ 


Alocasia cucullata, the Chinese Taro is commonly known as "yu tou" (芋头) which sounds like 好意头 (hao yi tou)  in Mandarin meaning good omen. Similarly Colocasia esculenta, the Cocoyam is also used for the same purpose.

9. Crinum asiaticum
Crinum asiaticum or Crinum Lily is known as Fa Cai Suan. The stems of this plant resemble the leek. The words "fa cai" in Mandarin means "to get rich" while  garlic and leek is called "suan" in Mandarin. "Suan" sounds like "count" and this is prosperity when you have lots of money to count!

10. Lucky bamboo and bonsai

Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) grown in containers with auspicious wordings and decorated with festive ornaments. Some even have miniature statues of the goat/sheep.

11. Cactus (L) and Yam/Taro (R).

These are money trees. The Pachiras are called "US Dollar Trees".

13. Hyacinth

Hyacinth bulbs.
Hyacinth is 洋水仙 (yang shui xian) meaning water fairy, or 风信子(feng xin zi)

 Remember to check what is the colour of the flowers unless you want to leave it to chance.

14. Guzmania

15. Silk  Flowers

It is difficult to get real peach blossoms and peonies in Malaysia, so we use silk flowers to decorate our homes. These can be placed in vases and made into money trees.

16. Kalanchoes
Kalanchoes are called "wan zi qian hong" (  - million purple thousand red) which translates to an abundance of wealth and prosperity. In Cantonese, 'zi' for purple colour also sounds like money (银纸 - ngan zhi) and son (子 -zi). The pronunciation of "wan zi qian hong" also rhymes with "a million offsprings, a thousand fame and honour".

Potted kalanchoes come in colours of red, pink, yellow and orange.

17. Tillandsia cyanea
Another plant nicknamed "pineapple flowers"

18. Mandarin oranges
Potted mandarin oranges ... "kum" means gold.

19. Aglaia odorata
Aglaia odorata is also known as the "Chinese perfumed plant".

It is also called the Chinese Rice Flower  - mi zi lan (米仔兰 - rice, little, orchid).
Just saying the words "mi zi lan" in Cantonese reminds me of my grandmother so much!

The flowers are very fragrant with a sweet lemony scent hence the common name "mock lemon". The tiny flowers do not open fully and each one look like a grain of rice. I guess this would signify and abundance of food since rice is a staple food in Asia.

20. Dahlia
Dahlias are called "da li ju:" 大麗菊 = big/very beautiful chrysanthemum.
Perhaps "li" sounds like "da ji da li" (大吉大利) meaning great fortune and great profits/gains.

Florists also give the following names to dahlias:
芍藥 shao yao (Chinese peony)
大利花 da li hua (great gains flower)
紫牡丹 zi mu dan (purple peony)

21. Dragon Lime

22. Chrysanthemums

23. Azaleas
Azalea is called  映山 (ying shan hong) or 满山红 (man shan hong) which means a mountain of red.

Azalea is the symbol of happiness, harmony and balance in life. It is used to foster and strenghten relationships. Azaleas are warm temperate plants that bloom in spring and the flowers last a few weeks. They like the shade and acidic soil. Choose one that has lots of unopened buds but before that you need to view 1 or 2 opened blooms to choose the colours that you like, e.g. pink, red or white and pink. However, as the new year day draws near, you can choose those partially open ones. It takes about 2 weeks for azalea buds to open fully, otherwise your plant may only start blooming after the first 15 days.

24. Pitcher plants

25. Red lanterns
Many nurseries in Sg Buloh are already blaring Chinese New Year music and decorated with lots of red lanterns. The "tree" on the right is overloaded with artificial peony flowers.

26. Chinese New Year promotions

27. Citrus lime trees
Locally grown citrus lime trees are called "Four Season Limes". They are more lasting than the imported ones.  The most wonderful part is that these citrus limes are cultivated to flower and fruit and ripen just in time for Chinese New Year.

Like Christmas trees during Christmas season, the Citrus Lime trees are the best seller of the Chinese New Year season in Malaysia.

Citrus lime trees decorated with red ribbons and planted golden pots. At the entrance to this nursery, there is even the Chai Shen Ye (God of Prosperity) holding lots of gold ingots to greet customers.

Wishing you abundance of wealth, good health and prosperity.


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