|Nguyễn Đức Thọ takes care of his amaryllis garden. VNA/VNS Photo Nhựt An|
A man from Sa Đéc town, Đồng Tháp Province has successfully started a business after trying to grow and breed amaryllis flowers in his garden.
Nguyễn Đức Thọ was born into a family of many generations of florists. Inheriting his parents’ legacy, he soon developed a special love for flowers.
After working at the local Veterans Association, Thọ spends hours tending to his potted plants every day.
He used to grow two traditional varieties, red velvet amaryllis and multi-petal red amaryllis. But since 2017, the florist decided to explore and collect many new foreign types from Australia, the Netherlands, China, Japan to improve economic efficiency from these flowers.
Thọ said that he had failed many times before successfully planting this unique flower.
"Things went pretty well when I started growing this variety, but when it came to the stage of dividing the bulbs to propagate, they all died," he told Việt Nam News.
Not giving up, he continued to research more effective ways to split bulbs.
Now, Thọ has become one of the experts in growing this flower variety in Đồng Tháp Province and owns a 1,000 square metre garden with various kinds of amaryllis, worth billions of đồng.
He said amaryllis flowers are a relative of the lily and have a vibrant colour. Their bulbs are round and small, shaped like onions with many layers around them.
|A multi-petal amaryllis flower with vibrant colours. — Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Đức Thọ|
Using many modern breeding methods, the amaryllis plant now has a lovely shape, colour, and unique aroma, much better than the traditional varieties. This plant is suitable for indoor and outdoor cultivation but is ideally planted in open spaces such as building lobbies, restaurants, resorts or parks.
The 47-year-old florist said that the most challenging problem when growing amaryllis flowers is that they take a long time to harvest.
"Caring for amaryllis to flower on time and breed new varieties requires growers to have knowledge and techniques. Along with that, it is also necessary to pay attention to the stage of splitting bulbs for propagation and preparing the suitable growing media to prevent bulb rot," he said.
Spending a lot of time researching amaryllis, Thọ realised that the more unique and strange the flower’s colour and shape, the higher the value.
Typically, traditional amaryllis in Sa Đéc cost from VNĐ10,000-15,000 per bulb. Meanwhile, the selling price of each exotic bulb can be up to several hundred thousand to millions of đồng, depending on species and size.
In 2021, after successfully breeding many new varieties, Thọ started selling about 2,000 bulbs of amaryllis. With a price of VNĐ120,000 to VNĐ4 million each, he earns a profit of more than VNĐ200 million.
Thọ said the amaryllis plants flower naturally from March to May every year. However, with unique treatment methods, his flowers often bloom on the Lunar New Year and are sought after by many customers.
“I choose plants that are 18 months old or older, cut the leaves and roots, bring the bulbs to the sun for about one week, then store them in the shade for two months. Finally, I bring those bulbs back to the pot and take care of them for about a month to flower,” he said.
|The bulbs are taken special care of before being brought back to pots. — Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Đức Thọ|
Not only do they have beautiful colours and diverse shapes, but their flowers are also popular with customers due to the long blooming time of about one week before they fade.
Thọ said he loves to breed many different types of amaryllis because they are beautiful, easy to care for and bring high income compared to traditional varieties.
Currently, this type of flower brings considerable revenue to his family. In addition to local customers, many people in other provinces are also willing to pay high prices to own this unique flower variety.
“I posted pictures of my flowers online and received many orders in provinces and cities across the country. Many customers praise this flower variety and do not hesitate to pay millions for them,” he said. VNS