Gardeners from southern provinces and HCM City's suburban districts of Hoc Mon and Thu Duc are hoping that their hard work to meet customers' demands for the coming Tet (Lunar New Year) festival will pay off in handsome profits.

Foreign hybrids seem to be increasingly favoured over traditional flowers, said Tran Van Tiep, owner of a farm in Dong Thap province's Sa Dec Town.

"This year Sa Dec expects to sell 4 million flowers and plants of different kinds, many of them foreign hybrids from Australia , the Netherlands and the US ."

"For the foreign hybrids, we hope to attract vendors from HCM City and northern provinces who prefer quality and exotic flowers, even if they are expensive," he said.

For Tet, Tiep and his colleagues have invested several millions of dong in new foreign hybrids as well as the more traditional flowers.

Traditional Vietnamese flowers like daisies, carnations and roses are selling at 20,000 VND – 40,000 VND (1-2 USD) a bush/pot, around 15 percent higher than last year.

Dealers from HCM City and Hanoi have shown greater interest in buying foreign hybrids such as tulips and lilies at prices ranging from 10,000 VND per flower and 50,000 VND per pot.

Florist Nam Tien of An Giang province's Hoa Binh town said:"This year Hoa Binh's 40 farmer households are offering 350,000 different traditional flower plants and pots.

"We hope urban customers change their minds and that we can sell the more traditional flowers as the festival draws nearer."

Local farmers in Thu Duc and Hoc Mon said ochna flower prices will increase about 20 percent compared to last year.

Truong Van Du, who owns a farm in Thu Duc, said he has cultivated more than 2,000 ochna trees and expects to sell them at about 500,000 VND – 2 million VND a tree, 100,000 VND to 400,000 VND higher than last year.

"Because of good weather, the ochna flowers would open in time for Tet. I hope God will bless our farmers," he said.

In Hanoi , people prefer peach blossoms, typically grown in the famous flower village of Nhat Tan , and will pay about 1 million VND for a big branch, while a peach bonsai may sell for 20 million VND or thereabouts.

Gardener Vu Van Lan of Tay Ho district, who plans to sell 400 mandarin trees in Hanoi , hopes he can get 1 million VND for a quality tree and that prices would go up further during the last few days of the holiday.

Traditional flower fairs in HCM City and Hanoi are expected to attract the participation of hundreds of local and provincial florists and hundreds of thousands of residents.

As in previous years, HCM City has designated Nguyen Hue street as the " Flower Street ," where millions of flowers from all over the country will be assembled to depict an overall theme chosen every year./.