SEREMBAN, Feb 7 — Comes Chinese New Year (CNY), the homes of the Chinese community will normally be adorned with potted plants of oranges and brightly coloured flowers as a symbol of rebirth, joy and luck.
Potted lime or lemon trees, chrysanthemums and orchids are among the choices of the Chinese community in the list of home decor items for the new year celebration.
A survey by Bernama at the florists and nurseries here found that the demand for ornamental lemon trees is still high among the Chinese community, although preparations for the festival have not been as merry as in previous years due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Seremban Landscape & Nursery Sdn Bhd manager, Nixon Lau Tian Soon said he had received orders for more than 1,000 ornamental lemon trees for the coming CNY, with most of them from his regular customers.
“The implementation of MCO has slightly affected the sales of the ornamental lemon trees. However, the response is still encouraging and this year we are targeting sales of 1,000 trees compared to 4,000 last year.
“My customers are from all over the state, but this time around, the orders are mostly from my customers in Seremban,” he added.
According to Lau, who is born in Seremban, there are two types of lemon trees sold at his premises, namely the local ornamental lime tree, which is sold for RM68 to RM438 each, while the potted mandarin orange tree from China is sold at a price of between RM800 and RM1,400 each, depending on the size of the tree.
The trees are obtained from my farm in Tapah, Perak, he said.
He said the lime and orange plants are of significance to the Chinese community because they symbolize luck, as well as providing the ‘mood’ to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
A housewife, Chong Chin Yee, 33, said it has become a tradition for her family to buy the potted plants as decoration to welcome CNY.
“It also aims to liven the Chinese New Year celebration and this ornamental lemon tree can only be found once a year,” she added.
Meanwhile, a survey by Bernama at Sungai Ujong Walk along Jalan Murugesu, here, found that the area is not as busy and lively as in the previous year. The atmosphere was quiet and several rows of shops were closed.
For trader Kenneth Low, 41, who sells Chinese prayer paraphernalia, his sales this year have been relatively slow.
“Normally, we are able to get sales of RM3,000 to RM5,000 a day, but this year we can only make sales of below RM3,000 a day.
“This year the response is lukewarm and not as merry as in previous years. I believe it is because of the current situation, where many people choose to stay home and not go out,” he said.