HCMC – The Lunar New Year 2023 has just three months to go. This is when gardeners in HCMC are at their final stages of shaping trees and seeding various types of flowers, hoping their business will bloom after a two-year hiatus induced by the pandemic.
Busy preparing for Tet flower season
Farming households in HCMC’s District 12, the largest flower plant growing area in the city, said that seeding and looking after short-term flowers such as chrysanthemum, marigold, petunia and celosia cristata for Tet is pretty hard and time-consuming.
The right flower pots with large flowers blooming evenly at the right time require care, attention and experience.
Gardeners in Binh Chanh District are also rushing to prepare orchids for Tet. Besides selling orchids, they also have orchids on rent. The selling price of a normal orchid pot is VND35,000, while artistic orchids can cost up to several million dong.
According to Luu Cam Hung, director of Da Phuoc Orchids Cooperative in Binh Chanh District, this year, his cooperative expects to provide around 300,000 orchid plants of all types.
Early this year, the seeds and output materials were not plentiful. In addition, most orchid farmers are still concerned about the pandemic. Therefore, the orchid supply this year is lower than usual, with consumption estimated at 40-50% over the years before the pandemic.
Binh Loi Commune in Binh Chanh District is one of the largest places in the city, providing apricot flowers. There are currently 22 households with an area of 60 hectares growing apricot flowers in this commune.
The cooperative is estimated to sell around 20,000 apricot flower plants ranging from VND400,000 to VND1,500,000 each without a pot and VND1,000,000 to VND1,500,000 an apricot flower pot this year.
Unpredictable weather patterns, especially heavy rain in this season, adversely affect the growth of the trees. Therefore, the farmers must ensure pumps are always available to drain the water when necessary.
Still relying on the consumption market
Farmers at the traditional apricot flower growing village in Thu Duc City are busy preparing for the biggest business season of the year with many expectations. Over the years, they have maintained their operations and product stability. Some households with a long tradition of growing apricot trees are in the communes of Hiep Binh Chanh, Truong Tho, Hiep Binh Phuoc and Tam Phu.
Huynh Van Hai, the owner of an apricot tree garden for over 30 years, said he invested in growing 1,300 apricot trees, including big and small ones, this year. Besides the local market, he hopes foreign customers will return and buy his flowers this year.
Tet is always an occasion that flower gardeners look forward to. The price of apricot flowers this year is still stable compared to the years before the pandemic outbreak. Depending on each type of apricot flower, it can cost several to a hundred million dong.
The revenue generated from selling a special apricot flower tree can reach over one billion dong. On the other hand, if customers only want to hire an apricot flower tree, the farmer’s revenue would be around VND500 million to VND700 million.
Picking infected leaves from the apricot trees, the owner of the Ha Ba Tran apricot garden, said there is no increase in the number of trees this year, at around 2,000 big and small ones. According to him, a majority of apricot trees are consumed in HCMC, a minority in Dong Nai, Binh Duong, while a few are brought to Hanoi, Bac Giang and Haiphong for sale.
Though he has a lot of experience growing apricot trees, the gardener said that whether the apricot flowers are in full bloom during the Lunar New Year depends on weather. The growing of apricot trees also depends on the yearly demand of the market, which is usually bustling at the beginning of the lunar year-end month. However, given the current situation, the flower market this year appears less vibrant than in the years before the pandemic outbreak.