The yellow flowers of Forsythia complement very well
with the auspicious colour of Chinese New Year which is RED.
Everyone can recognise Forsythia immediately by its beautiful
golden-yellow bell-shaped flowers. The bare, budded stems will
open INDOORS in plain water with no problems and I do not understand
why it is not popular among the local Singaporeans. One main reason
that I could think of is probably the shorter vase life of the
flowers as compared to the pussy willows. Personally I prefer
forsythia as I dislike white flowers though some may argue that
pussy willows are not white but SILVER! Whether it is silver or
not, yellow is still a very striking colour during spring time
and will light up any living room or table top. As for peach blossoms,
they are usually very expensive and flowers will only open when
the weather is cool unlike the forsythia which is more heat tolerant.
to purchase them
Forsythia takes 3 days from buds on the left to
full bloom on the right.
the flowers open very fast within 1-2 days in water, it is best
to purchase them about 3-5 days before Chinese New Year. This
year can be a bit tricky as Chinese New Year falls on a Sunday
and it always pays to check with the nurseries on their shipment.
Frankly speaking, most have already arrived but are kept in refrigerated
containers and are on sale only a few days before the new year.
Thus you may need to buy them on Wednesday or Thursday as they
will be snapped up very quickly by the early birds and by the
time you reach there, most of them have already opened which I
doubt you will be buying them anyway.
to select plants
those with lots of buds prefably with some yellows at the tip
of the bud to ensure the bud is healthy. Yellows should be bright.
are more expensive than pussy willows and a dozen stalks (five
feet) costs at least $60 or more in most nurseries.
a week though they can be kept till the fifteenth day where the
coarsely toothed leaves about 5-10 cm long will start to sprout.
Yellow bell-shaped flowers bring out the festive cheers of
water once a day.
The coarsely toothed leaves emerge.
is discarded after flowering. Recently, potted Forsythia
are available too but are best discarded as well. Forsythia species
should be tried in areas where winters are cold. They are very
easy to grow in any rich well-drained soil in a cold temperate
climate and are easily stuck from cuttings. Too bad, we are talking
about tropical Singapore here and I shall not elaborate further.
It was pure luck that I ran into this bouquet with lots of
buds and 1-2 partially opened buds to ensure they were red
Right: Flowers were opened in 3-5 days. Smell heavenly
of you may be surprised that I recommend lilies as cut flowers
for Chinese New Year since they have notoriously very short vase
life in our warm climate, most ending up to five days or less.
Though I like the orange ones, they do not last long and fail
to open fully when days are warmer. Some may even fail to open
and drop prematurely instead. Sounds bad for Chinese New Year
right? The yellows are as bad. Lately I come across the red oriental
lilies and they have proven to be more heat tolerant than the
rest. Their fragrance is more empowering and most of them have
a longer vase life.
to purchase them
3-5 days before Chinese New Year since each flower takes about
2-3 days to bloom. progressively.
to select plants
end of each flower stalk should be white and the buds are plump
and elastic. It is good to select a bouquet with an open flower
so that you are rest assured that it is the RED ones that you
are buying as all lilies, whether white or red look almost the
same when in bud. Your family will swear at you if they turn out
to be white on the first day of Chinese New Year. Touch wood!!!
$15 for 5 stalks.
last up till the fifteenth day if the flowers are very fresh or
the vase with slightly more than a quarter of water. Too much
water will cause the flower stalks to turn soft prematurely and
flowers will not last that long. Cut off about an inch of the
stalk for better absorption of water. Change water once a day.
Usually, florists remove the huge anthers as the pollen grains
stain pretty bad on your new tablecloth and your shining marble
floor. Removal is difficult. I feel that the flower does not look
like a lily anymore with its anthers removed. Anthers are removed
only when the petals have changed colour as it is a sign that
the stamens are going to drop anytime.