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Vietnamese man grows kumquat bonsai trees in glass bottles

Saturday, February 02, 2019, 08:28 GMT+7
Vietnamese man grows kumquat bonsai trees in glass bottles
Phan Minh Quang tends to a kumquat bonsai tree grown inside a glass bottle. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

A Hanoi man with a green thumb has invented a new way decorating houses during Tet – by growing unique kumquat bonsai trees inside glass bottles.

Tu Lien Village in Tay Ho District is known for growing one of Vietnam’s best-tasting and most beautiful kumquat trees.

People from around the region flock to this small village every year around Tet to buy kumquat trees for decoration.

Locals believe having a kumquat tree inside their house brings good luck in the new year, as ‘quat’ – the plant’s name in Vietnamese – sounds similar to ‘cat,' which means ‘good deed’ or ‘success.'

This year, Tu Lien villager Phan Minh Quang, 35, has come up with a new way to lure his customers by developing a unique and arduous technique of growing kumquat trees inside glass bottles as bonsai trees.

Quang said the idea came to him after he watched a documentary on television showing a Vietnamese couple drawing patterns on empty bottles and selling them for VND200,000-300,000 (US$9-13) apiece.

His mind set on innovating the way decorative kumquat trees are grown, Quang began experimenting with growing the flowering plants inside glass bottles.

The most challenging task is watering the plants, which Quang has to do up to four times a day during hot summer days.

This year, he is putting a hundred of the unique decorative trees on the market, most of which have been pre-ordered at VND300,000 ($12.90) to VND3 million ($130) per tree.

“My family has been putting up kumquat trees as Tet decorations for years, but this is the first time that we have seen them in such unique shapes,” said Tan Tuong Nhan, a Hanoi resident.

A five-year-old kumquat tree can remain small in size when grown inside a glass bottle. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
A five-year-old kumquat tree can remain small in size when grown inside a glass bottle. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
Kumquat trees grown inside glass bottles can still bear many aesthetically good-looking fruits fit for home decoration. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
Kumquat trees grown inside glass bottles can still bear many aesthetically good-looking fruits fit for home decoration. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
Ceramic vases are also used as containers for growing kumquat trees. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
Ceramic vases are also used as containers for growing kumquat trees. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
Phan Minh Quang tends to a kumquat bonsai tree grown inside a glass bottle. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
Phan Minh Quang tends to a kumquat bonsai tree grown inside a glass bottle. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
The root system of a kumquat tree is clearly visible when grown inside a glass bottle. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
The root system of a kumquat tree is clearly visible when grown inside a glass bottle. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
Kumquat trees grown inside glass bottles can still bear many aesthetically good-looking fruits fit for home decoration. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
Kumquat trees grown inside glass bottles can still bear many aesthetically good-looking fruits fit for home decoration. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
A customer inspects a kumquat bonsai tree grown inside a glass bottle. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
A customer inspects a kumquat bonsai tree grown inside a glass bottle. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

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