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New Year's Greens
Traditional and Good Luck Plants for the New Year

As the New Year is upon us, thousands of people are making resolutions to improve themselves and their businesses in 2018. For those who are superstitious, adding a little greenery might just help them achieve their resolutions.

Some plants are traditionally considered lucky to have around at the start of the New Year. And, some nations have New Years traditions involving plants to bring prosperity in the coming year.

Lucky Plants

Money tree, or Malabar chestnut (Pachira aquatica)


Money trees are said to bring good luck and fortune. Several plants are traditionally braided together while they are still saplings. Four is considered bad luck.

Lucky bamboo (Dracaena braunii)


Lucky bamboo, actually a member of the lily family, is usually grouped together in bundles. Four is bad luck, but three stalks represent happiness, longevity and wealth; five represent wealth; six represent luck; seven represent good health; eight represent growth; ten represent completion; and 21 represents blessings of enduring health and wealth.

Jade (Crassula ovata)


The rounded leaves of jade plants bring good fortune and increase the flow of financial energy to those who grow them. These are traditionally given to business owners.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)


Rosemary is said to increase the brain and psychic power as well as love and lust.

Orchids (Orchidaceae)


For reducing the stress of the holidays, bring in the orchids, said to aid in relaxation, deepen friendships, and increase love.

Green Traditions
In Siberia, professional divers place a decorated Christmas tree at the bottom of a near-frozen body of water. Past years' placements have included the Lena River and Shchitovaya Bay in the Ussuriyski Gulf.


Costa Ricans exchange Santa Lucia (Ageratum) flowers to ensure prosperity in the coming year. One tradition is to keep a dried sprig of the flower in your wallet or purse. This means you will have a steady supply of cash. But, it only works if the flowers were given to you, not picked yourself.

The Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland is conducting their seventh annual New Year Plant Hunt from December 30, 2017, to January 2, 2018. Botanists and citizen scientists alike participate by spending three hours recording flowering wild and naturalized plants. The record is more than 600 species recorded during the 2016 Plant Count.


In Japan, kadomatsu, or "gate pine," are placed in pairs in front of houses to welcome toshigami, the god of the coming year. Since Christmas trees have become more popular, households are placing kadomatsu on December 26 instead of the traditional December 13. The grouping of bamboo shoots, pine, and occasionally plum tree sprigs or other decorations are left until January 7, after which they are traditionally burned to release the spirit. This tradition has also spread to parts of Hawaii.

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September 20, 2019, 2:28 pm PDT

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