Japan’s cherry blossom, forsythia, winterberry and serissa japonica have been imported by many fresh flower shops to serve decoration demand during the upcoming Tet holidays.
Not only flowers, the marketplace is more diverse as several exotic fruit stores also have imported apples that are imprinted with the images of the rat – the Chinese zodiac sign of the year 2020 - and other special products for the lunar New Year.
It is only more than two weeks until the lunar New Year, besides traditional products of Vietnam like ochna integerrima, peach blossom and chrysanthemum morifolium, many fresh flower shops have started to display extraordinary products. This year, the flower marketplace is vibrant with several types of flower cuts imported mainly from the Netherlands and Japan.
To introduce new products, most flower shops set aside an area for Tet flowers to showcase new products for customers. As for imported flowers, they only have samples, if customers want to buy imported flowers, they make deposits then the flower shops will import flowers and ship to their houses before the lunar New Year.
It is recorded that at the Dalat Hasfarm Flower Shop in District 3 in Ho Chi Minh City, there are several types of imported flower cuts, such as winterberry and forsythia imported from the Netherlands, cherry blossom imported from Japan and dried lavender imported from South America. Ms. Phuong Thuy, the shopkeeper, said that these types of flower cuts are fond of by customers as they last for a long time, which is suitable for decoration during Tet holidays.
The flower shop has planned to import 2,000 branches of winterberry and cherry blossom and 5,000 branches of forsythia. Not only imported flowers, but the flower shop also sells exotic flower varieties that can be grown in Vietnam such as Dutch hyacinth, South African arum lily and peace lily.
Similarly, the Liti Florist in District 3 has also displayed winterberry imported from the Netherlands, forsythia, serissa japonica and cherry blossom imported from Japan. To provide consumers with more options, it also put on sale some domestically-grown potted flowers that are usually used for decoration during Tet holidays, such as dahlia, violet, lily, amaryllis and lady slipper orchids. The Liti Florist said that it will import the first turn of flowers by January 9 for customers who want to buy flowers as Tet gifts and the second turn of flowers by January 21 for customers who buy flowers to decorate their houses for Tet holidays.
Potted flowers from the North transported to the South are also displayed a lot. At the Happy Trees in Tan Phu District, several pots of camellia, begonia, Maule’s quince, Mrs. B.R. Cant rose, rhododendron simsii, and chains of glory are put on display. To prove that these flowers can bloom in the Southern climate, the flower shop exhibits plants with buds for its customers to see the product quality with their own eyes.
In addition, it also provides mini potted flowers that can be put on tables, desks and shelves which are suitable for apartments. Especially, customers can plant various types of flowers into the same pot, said Mr. Huynh Minh Tuan, Director of Happy Trees.
The foreign fruit market is also diverse. For instance, the Mia Fruit in District 1 is selling Japanese Aomori apples which were imprinted with the images of the rat at VND500,000 per item. The images of the rat on the skin of apples are produced by natural sun-burning during the development of apples and apples are harvested once a year so the price of this product is extremely high.
Besides, there are also fresh and dried exotic fruits, including apricots, peaches, dates, apples, plums, blueberries, and Mediterranean apricots which are already packed for gifting. Moreover, there is a special product this year - chicken egg with a light-yellow shell but smells and tastes like citrus fruit, which fetches VND60,000 per egg. The chickens are fed a diet mixed with the Mikan citrus fruit peel of Japan.
Many farmers in provinces in the Mekong Delta have also shaped their fruits, such as pomelos, coconuts and mangoes into wine gourds or boat-shaped Chinese gold ingot or imprinted their fruits with words, including Tai (Wealth), Phuc (Blessing), Loc (Prosperity), and Tho (Longevity).
Having been supplying shaped fruit products for many years, Mr. Thanh Tam, a farmer who is famous for the brand of Dua Phu Quy Ben Tre, introduced that he will provide bonsai Thai papaya plants with round-shaped fruits and some fruits imprinted with words of Phat Tai (Prosperous) – Phat Loc (Successful) are sold at VND8 million per pair.
In addition, traditional products, such as coconuts shaped into wine gourds with words of Tai, Phuc, Loc, and Tho with weight of above 1 kilogram per item are priced VND300,000 per item; mangoes imprinted with words of Tai and Loc cost more than VND100,000 per item; and word-imprinted and Chinese gold-boat-shaped pomelos are sold at more than VND100,000 per item.
Farmers in the Mekong Delta and the Central of Vietnam said that unfavorable weather, such as saltwater intrusion and unusual rains, last year has prevented ornamental plants from developing, thus, the prices of ornamental plants, flowers and fruits will climb by 10-20 percent compared to last year.