A guide to Chinese New Year flowers and fruits

Not just pretty decorations, there’s more to these CNY symbols than you might realise
CNY Flower Market
By Graham Turner |

Flowers are a big part of Chinese New Year, they’re representative of all kinds of good stuff. But, if want to get involved, you best go in prepared. Our treasured flower markets are absolutely bonkers this time of year – think the opening scene from Saving Private Ryan, but with more pomelos.

Before you even get down to haggling at the market, you need to know what you’re buying and what benefits you’re supposed to be acquiring.

Guide to Chinese New Year flowers and fruits



Fertility, abundance, refinement, luxury and innocence are what these flowers bring – ideal for that special LKF someone. There’s a formidable variety of orchids out there, so don’t get burned by beliving that you need all the varieties for the magic to work. They’re all good. Just get one, stick it in a pot and boom, luxury awaits. 



Feminine beauty, innocence, affection and charm. Peonies are good for wooing, but you’re probably going to be bored of that so soon after Valentine’s. Still, if your big V-Day celebration fell flat, follow up with some of these.



Hooking yourself up with a pair of these doesn’t just give you a pair of biodegradable stress balls, they bring good luck and are a symbol of family unity. Bear in mind that they come into season just before CNY, so you’ll see them in both ripe and unripe varietals (yellow and green, respectively).



The mac daddy of CNY fruits – these are everywhere at this time of year, and for good reason. Looking somewhat like the sun (or as close as a fruit can) and being aligned with the yang principle (that’s a good thing), oranges are a never-ending party of abundance and happiness.

Jujube. Who would of thought?

Grapes, plums, kumquats and jujube

Alone, these small bites aren’t much. But combined all together, good luck, wealth, fortune, gold, prosperity and fertility are yours.

Peach Blossom

Peach Blossoms

Customarily placed in an expensive vase to reflect their lofty status in Hong Kong, these flowers represent romance, prosperity and growth.

Pussy willow

Pussy Willows

Another flower that is meant to symbolise growth and the coming of prosperity. A word of warning, though. You should only interested in the buds of the plant – the rest is about as magical as the twigs people on eBay pretend are potent wands. 



Good fortune and prosperity are the name of the game. Narcissi are one of the most auspicious flowers around and they smell like an absolute dream. Therefore, we suggest you fill your house full of them and then hit Happy Valley Racecourse. Surely a no-fail plan.

Hungry for a great CNY meal?