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1. Introduction

Vietnam is located in South East Asia between latitudes 80 and 230 North. The total land area is 33,099,093 hectares (330,990 km2). Its population is approximately 76 million (1996). The country can be divided on the basis of its topography, soil pattern and climate into nine agro-ecological zones.

The country has a tropical monsoon climate with a pronounced dry winter season. The Northern delta has a cool winter from November to April with average temperature around 16°C, and frequent light drizzle from February onwards. Summer in Northern provinces is very hot, rainy and subject to typhoon. The Southern delta has a more equable monsoon with an average temperature of 25 - 30°C. Rainfall in most areas varies from 1,600 to 2,500 mm per year.

Soils are formed from parent rocks in the NE and NW, alluvium in the deltas, chronic buvisols in the coastal lowlands and fertile soils (basalt) in the central highlands. The soil and climatic conditions in Vietnam are very suitable for flower cultivation round the year, though presently it occupies a very small share in agriculture (Table 1).

Table 1. Agricultural Land Use in Vietnam (1993)


Area (ha)

Share (%)

I. Annual Species



a. Rice



b. Other Cereals



c. Vegetables



d. Flowers



e. Other Annual Species



II. Perennial Species



a. Industrial Crops



b. Fruit Trees



c. Other Perennial Species



d. Nurseries



III. Grazing Land



IV. Water Surface for Agriculture Use






As is seen in Table 1, the flower production area covers only 0.02 per cent of the total cultivated area, even though flower production is a traditional activity in Vietnam. Flowers are mostly cultivated in urban areas of Haiphong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Dalat and provincial towns. In the past decades, flower and ornamental production has been the business of small holders and could not be established into a viable industry, largely owing to a limited market. To make it a profitable industry, flower producers must be oriented to accessions of festivals, while the profit from flower production should attain the level of other crops.

Since 1986, with the economic renovation process, the situation of the country has changed as the life of the majority of the population has improved significantly. This is reflected on flower production through a significant increase in the area under flower cultivation, with new villages/regions becoming involved in flower production; also with product diversification with orchids, chrysanthemums, lilies etc. being introduced for commercial production; furthermore with research on flowers being started for variety improvement and standardisation of improved production technologies.

The flower industry in Vietnam is about to be established and form a new economic area involving thousands of farmers. This process will be accompanied by the economic growth of the country and raised living standards of the people. Foreign investments can contribute in this process and Vietnam flower producers could have a share in the international market.

2. Present Situation of Flower Production

2.1 Production Area

The area of cut flower production in Vietnam at present is rather small (Table 2). It is estimated that only 1,585 hectares are under cut flower production, which cover about 0.02 per cent of the total agricultural land. The major production areas are concentrated in big cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong and Dalat. The area under cut flowers has increased significantly during recent years and is likely to increase further in coming years. However, still big specialised cut flower farms do not exist. Cut flowers are mainly produced by small holders in their gardens. To meet the increased demand of flowers, the area under cut flower production needs to be increased through involvement of new producers, and the existing producers must increase their production area by renting or buying new land, formerly under other crops. It is expected that the production area will increase substantially if Vietnamese cut flower producers can enter the export market. The explosion of population, urbanization and industrialization also increases the demand and market for cut flowers.

Table 2. Area Under Flower Cultivation in Vietnam


Area (ha)





Ho Chi Minh








Flowers are cultivated in Ngocha, Quang an, Nhat tan, Tay tuu, and Vinch tuy village of Hanoi; also, at Dang hai commune, An hai suburb in Haiphong, Go vap and Hoc mon districts in Ho Chi Minh City and Districts 11 and 12 in Dalat. These areas cover 70-80 per cent of total land area under flowers. Flower production gives high economic return which is 10-20 times more in comparison to rice. Hence, farmers in these areas have better living standards than others.

2.2 Major Flower Crops

Table 3 shows the major cut flower crops grown in Vietnam and their share.

Table 3. Major Cut Flowers of Vietnam


Area (%)









Others (Carnation, Dahlia, Lilium, Gerbera, Violet, Tuberose, Arum, Peach, Lotus, Camellia, Forget Me Not etc.)


Rose is the most popular flower in Vietnam. It can be planted and harvested round the year in the Red River Delta, Dalat, Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces. The popular varieties are the white and red rose in Quang an; light yellow, light pink, dark yellow and dark red rose in Dalat; and black red and creeping rose in other places.

Chrysanthemum is also popular in Vietnam, particularly in the Red River Delta, Dalat, Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces. Popular varieties/species include Chrysanthemum morifolium, C. indicum, C. leacanthemum, Taiwan yellow, Japan yellow, Xuxi chrysanthemum etc. Popular varieties of gladiolus are white, violet, red, light pink, yellow, and short pink.

Most of these flowers are grown in Vietnam in the open fields and only in certain areas are grown in plastic greenhouses, nurseries and experimental gardens. Orchids and Camellia are grown in shadenets for protection from the sun in the summer. But these are not protected against rain, storm and floods, and hence their quality and harvesting are affected.

The country has two different climatic regions i.e. tropical in the South and sub-tropical in the North. Besides, in both parts of the country, there are regions with a particular temperate climate, where temperate flowers can be grown such as Sapa and Tamdao in the North and Dalat in the South. Due to this fact, large number of flower varieties could be included in production. These regions are also important for the introduction of new temperate flower varieties, seed production and storage of planting material during summer time, when temperate flowers are difficult to handle.

A tendency of increasing the number of varieties of temperate flowers in production has been observed. These varieties are easily introduced into production because of their commercial value. In recent years a range of varieties of roses, anthurium, chrysanthemum, carnation, orchids etc. were introduced and were quickly established in the local market. As a result, these have become the most important commercial varieties.

2.3 Production Systems

As was mentioned earlier, production systems in Vietnam have not yet been developed well; open field is employed for the cut flower industry in most cases. For temperate flowers like rose, chrysanthemum, carnation and lilium, simple shading cover from local material (bamboo) is used; special production system viz. greenhouse is yet to be developed. In rare cases in the South small greenhouses are used for cultivation of orchids. But generally orchid production is not popular because of the high investment to build up controlled production systems.

Irrigation is provided daily by overhead or surface watering in the summer time. In the rainy season a cover for temperate flowers is needed to avoid development of diseases. At different stages of growth different kinds of organic fertilizers are used.

Due to the fact that producers usually have small area of land, they undertake intensive continuous cultivation. Flower producers therefore practice renewal of the top cultivable layer of soil by removing 10 - 15 cm of top soil and adding new soil every few years. This practice proved to be a good and cheap method to avoid built up of soil-borne diseases, nematodes and mutation exhaustion.

2.4 Advances in Production Technology

As mentioned above, cut flower production has become important in Vietnam only in recent years. Research on variety improvement was initiated in the Institute of Agricultural Genetics (AGI) in 1994. It has resulted in releasing a variety of chrysanthemum (CN-93) and collections of local orchids and chrysanthemum. The work on characterization and evaluation of these genetic resources is in progress.

Studies are being conducted to assess the influence of light on blooming of chrysanthemum and the influence of NPK fertilizers on quality of flowers. Official program on disease control, pest management and post harvest handling has not yet been initiated. However, specific studies are being carried out by some groups of researchers in different insitutions to resolve particular problems.

3. Production of Planting Material

Planting material is supplied in many cases in the form of exchange between flower growers. Specialized nurseries on production of planting material do not exist. Production of planting material via tissue culture is employed in some cases for roses, carnation, chrysanthemum, authurium and orchids. However, planting material is mainly supplied by the importer or multiplied by conventional methods. There is a great demand for planting material of introduced temperate flower varieties of chrysanthemum, anthurium, carnation and orchids, but an effective system of in vitro production has not yet been developed. The main reason for this situation is the lack of investment and effective technology of in vitro production.

Most of the flower varieties in Vietnam are cultivated from seed (Chrysanthemum, Dianthus caryophyllus, Gladiolus communis), branch (Chrysanthemum, Dianthus caryophyllus) bud, branch and cuttings (Rose, Orchid) and bulbs (Gladiolus communis, Lilium longiflorum Thumb). Propagation from tissue culture is employed for orchids, Dianthus caryophyllus and Chrysanthemum. Conventional methods are simple, cheap and easy to apply, but virus and other diseases develop easily, which lowers the quality. Seedlings from in vitro methods are strong, but more expensive. Since the market for flowers is limited, farmers are more interested in conventional methods.

4. Marketing

Marketing of cut flowers in Vietnam is not organized. There is no organization or association for marketing and distribution of cut flowers; hence it traditionaly follows the sequence of producers Õ businessman Õ market. This situation adversely affects cut flower production. For certain types of cut flowers the country has a potential to increase production for export but can not realize it.

In Vietnam, flower production is largely undertaken for local consumption. Previously, Vietnamese flowers were exported to Russia and East Europe (Chrysanthemum, Gladiolus), though in a small quantity. Presently, there is only one company dealing with export - import.

5. Potential for Cut Flower Production Development

Cut flower production has a good potential for further development in Vietnam, and it appears that the cut flower industry is on the way to being well established in the next few years. The agro-climatic conditions are suitable for cut flower production development. The Government is also encouraging this activity.

6. Constraints in Cut Flower Production Development

The export market has not yet been developed; therefore, there is no motivation to make use of the country’s potential. Also, advanced technologies are not available. Moreover, equipment and transport facilities to ensure good quality of flowers are lacking.

7. Conclusion

Vietnam is a country with good potential for cut flower production development. To promote this, it is necessary for Vietnam to collaborate with other countries in the region in order to be able to apply advanced techniques in production, harvesting and storage of cut flowers.

[10] Research Center for Ornamental and Flower Plants, Institute of Agricultural Genetics, Tu Liem, Hanoi, Vietnam.

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