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Green gold: Vietnamese woman cashes in on carnivorous plants

Saturday, February 25, 2023, 10:18 GMT+7
Green gold: Vietnamese woman cashes in on carnivorous plants

Nguyen Thi Hong Thu, a 32-year-old resident of Ho Chi Minh City, grew an interest in carnivorous plants after spotting them in several films.

In 2009, Thu planted her first carnivorous plants on her balcony.

Ten years later, that hobby turned into a full-fledged business opperating out of a 30-square-meter garden.

Over the past decade, Thu has experimented with several species of carnivorous plant, gaining expertise in growing magnificent trumptet pitchers, venus fly traps, cape sundews, butterworts, and swamp pitcher-plants.

Cape sundews in Nguyen Thi Hong Thu’s garden in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Cape sundews in Nguyen Thi Hong Thu’s garden in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Trumpet pitchers in Thu’s garden. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Trumpet pitchers in Thu’s garden. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Each of these plants, Thu explained, needs atleast four to five hours of natural light each day.

If the plants are grown indoors, then lamps must be used for ten to twelve hours instead.

The water used to grow these plants should never be collected rain water, or water with alum or saline. 

A swamp pitcher-plant in Thu’s garden. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
A swamp pitcher-plant in Thu’s garden. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Carnivorous plants need neither soil nor fertilizer for their growth. Instead, a mixture of man fern and perlite creates ensure steady growth.

Thu’s carnivorous plants sell for VND150,000 to 400,000 (US$6.30 to $16.81) each.

Nguyen Thi Hong Thu (left) speaks with a customer about carnivorous plants in her garden in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Nguyen Thi Hong Thu (left) speaks with a customer about carnivorous plants in her garden in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

To buy these plants, customers can visit Thu’s garden at 350/13H Tung Thien Vuong in District 8 or purchase online through the Facebook page Hắc Tê - Exotic Garden.

Aside from producing carnivorous plants, Thu’s garden also serves as an educational space for children to learn about plants and gardening.

Venus flytraps in Thu’s garden. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Venus flytraps in Thu’s garden. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Butterworts in Thu’s garden. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Butterworts in Thu’s garden. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

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Ngoc Phuong - Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

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