Smaller and more affordable plants are very popular this Tết. VNS Photo An Phương
Various kinds of ornamental trees, fruits and flowers from all provinces can be spotted along many streets of HCM City.
Mai Chí Thọ Street in District 2 hosts vendors selling Diễn grapefruit trees on the pavement.
Vendor Cao Văn Thắng said that Diễn grapefruit trees are popular these days, despite the high price tag of VNĐ6 million to VNĐ55 million per tree.
In fact, multiple companies have been purchasing Diễn grapefruit trees for display because they symbolise good fortune, he said, adding that his trees were transported from Diễn, a suburb of Hà Nội, earlier this year so they can adapt to the HCM City weather.
Sa Đéc City is supplying about three millions of flower baskets of all kinds this year. VNS Photo An Phương
In addition to grapefruit, Thắng is selling about 60 pots of kumquat trees from Nam Định Province. Each pot is priced from VNĐ1.8 million.
Other major routes such as Thành Thái in District 10, Cộng Hoà in Tân Bình District and Phạm Văn Đồng in Thủ Đức District are currently packed with customers as well.
Vendors on Thành Thái Street, especially the part heading towards Bắc Hải Street, have been selling all kinds of unique ornamental flowers including ardisia crenata and aroid palm at VNĐ250,000 to VNĐ1 million per pot, depending on the size and type of pot.
“These types of flowers are very popular, particularly on the occasion of Lunar New Year because their bright red features are believed to bring good luck to the owners,” said the owner of Thiên nhiên Việt ornamental garden Hoà Lan, adding that they can be used as a New Year gift as well.
23/9 Park, along with Gia Định and Lê Văn Tám Park, will host annual flower markets this year. VNS Photo An Phương
Hoàng Yến plum is the new edition to the ornamental plant market in HCM City this year. The beautiful bright red fruit hiding behind green leaves makes the look of this plant special.
Thu Đào, 35, a resident of District 4, said she can have affordable choices by shopping ornamental plants early.
“Our family wants plants with meaningful messages and this can be seen in Hoàng Yến plum. Its red features represent luck, success, prosperity and fortune, so I had to purchase a pair for my yard,” she said.
Although unique ornamental fruit trees are expensive, many vendors said their prices are not going to increase significantly as locals want to save to buy essential consumer goods this year.
Affordable, smaller options
Various ochna blossom gardeners in Thủ Đức and District 12 are confident that this market is always “in”. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on locals’ willingness to shop for Tết plants, the market will offer more kinds of ochna blossoms at different price ranges.
Phạm Văn Phương, owner of Bốn Mùa ochna garden, said that he used to mostly sell giant trees, but now smaller options of 0.5m to 1m in height and at VNĐ300,000 to VNĐ1 million per pot, are trending.
In addition to ochna blossoms, many sellers have decided to introduce Bougainvillea trees that are 0.5 to 1.5m in height. Since they are relatively inexpensive, at VNĐ250,000 and up per pot, and come in different colours and shapes, they have been very much embraced by locals this year.
Thanh Hải, 34, resident of District 2, told Việt Nam News that his family buys ochna blossoms every year.
“To be honest, the pandemic has tightened my budget for ornamental plants this year, so smaller options are more convenient. Luckily, the flower garden which I usually shop at every year have kept their flower prices and their flowers are not blossoming so early,” he said.
According to the head of the Economic Department of Sa Đéc City, Đông Tháp Province, Nguyễn Thị Ngọc, Sa Đéc flower farmers supplies about three millions of flower baskets of all kinds to the market this year.
Compared to last year, the prices of some flowers have decreased slightly. Since there are many provinces that sell Tết plants in large quantities, it is essential for gardeners in Sa Đéc to offer a good price range to ensure sales.
HCM City plans to organise three Tết flower markets at 23/9 Park, Gia Định Park and Lê Văn Tám Park, according to the city's trade authority.
About smaller 174 district-level Tết flower markets will also open in the city as well, together with two markets prepared by business firms with an aim to entertain locals and provide them with a platform to shop while supporting gardeners in neighbouring provinces.
HCM City is expected to buy 600,000 to 700,000 pots of ochna blossoms, 250,000 to 300,000 pots of bonsai, 135 million branches of chrysanthemum and other kinds of ornamental plants this year.
Four major flower markets Hồ Thị Kỷ, Đầm Sen, Bình Điền and Thủ Đức will supply about 80 per cent of the fresh flowers for locals. VNS