Hanoi, Vietnam

peaseblossomJanuary 29, 2006

Hey Everyone,

I am in between Vietnam and the US a lot right now...and hoping to settle back in Hanoi soon, so of course thinking about which plants to try to grow there. I don't know what I'll be able to take back with me (customs) but I have a friend who was able to bring some cuttings of plants. So don't mind if I ask a lot of questions about which plants might/might not grow well in my conditions!

Hanoi has very high humidity all year-round. Average high temps in the summer are in the mid to upper 80s, sometimes in the 90s, and it rains quite a bit. In the winter, average highs are in the 60s, and lows are in the upper 40s and 50s with little rain but cloudy weather. So there is a distinct "winter."

How would Brugmansia do in these conditions? I think the winter weather would be beneficial, but not sure if it's too humid. Also, you don't see a lot of ultra tropical fruits being grown commercially in the north (mango, mangosteen), but I wonder if I'd have luck in small quantities. Anyone with similar conditions?


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momiji79(BKK Thailand)

Mangoes, should do OK in Hanoi. What type of plants are you thinking of bringing back to Hanoi with you? Most likely they can be found there, or in neighboring countries eg Thailand, China.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 9:18AM
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You can bring as much Brugs as you want Peaseblossom, they will do great there. Philippines has the same climate as Vietnam and my mother's brugs in her garden are so beautiful. I even sent her a "Snow Bank" and she said that it is doing ok but a little slower than the non-variegated ones. I used to remember seeing brugs growing along road sides since I was a child. I just don't know if it is a native plant there. The elders would forbid us from trying to eat the flower, said it was poisonous. If that was true, I also don't know. Lol, maybe they just didn't want us picking out the flowers.
Other plants that are growing well in her garden that she brought home with her when she visited me here in US:
CLEMATIS...the small flowered varieties specially the white and pink one are doing very good. Large flowered ones are slow.
AFRICAN VIOLETS...these are her favorites, we have been growing these for years in the nursery. We import newer varieties from NY and they do just fine.
CANNAS...they grow like bananas there. I sent her some roots of newer varieties from "K...sky" something, I can't remember now.
PASSIFLORA...another one of her favorites.
CALADIUM...got her some at Home Depot and she said their leaves got bigger and had brighter colors there.
There are a lot of other plants that she grows but I just don't know their names. Knowing her, she'll try to grow anything. By the way, she's coming over here in US in a couple of months. How was your friend able to bring some cuttings to US?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 10:28AM
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Hi guys--thanks for the info! Mariava, I meant that my friend was able to bring cuttings into VN, not the States. Thanks for all the suggestions--I will definitely be growing most of those!

It should be interesting to see what does well in Hanoi, since it actually has a very different climate from nearby cities (since it gets quite cold in the winter). I think since it gets cool I'll try growing some veggies (spinach, etc.).

momiji79--I plan to take a whole bunch of annual and perennial seeds as well as any cuttings of vines and other zone 10/11 perennials I can get my hands on that I might not be able to find there. It all depends on what they let me bring into the country!


    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 1:39AM
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daai_tou_laam(Hong Kong)

Looking at the weather maps, I think Hanoi will get much cooler than the Philippines. A bit closer to Hong Kong's weather than to Manila's.

Mangos should do well. Guava, sugar apples, banana, jackfruit, wampei, pomegranates, and a lot more do really well here.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 5:21AM
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You wouldn't want to bring back plants that are native to Ha Noi, would you? If you want to bring back plants from the US, you may want to see what grows in the NW area of Houston, or West of Texas such as San Antonio, etc., North of Florida too. Ha Noi and North of VN is a 4-season climate region. Winter is not cold enough to snow in the city. Although, it may on the mountain region. The whole VN country is along the ocean which brings in the humidity to most of the country.

You may want to bring certain citrus, apple, pear or other varieties that is not common in Vietnam but do well in cold climate.

Wish you a smooth transaction whith your moving.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 2:09AM
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Ntt_hou--thanks! Yes, Hanoi is humid sub-tropical...so it'll be interesting to see what grows. I look forward to trying things that do well in temperate climates as well, just to see what happens! I know a lot of Singapore gardeners who try some pretty crazy things---non-Asian plants in Asia! But why not, since we grow Asian plants in the West all the time, right? Hanoi, in my opinion, has ideal weather...moist, cloudy, cold in the winter, warm in the summer--perfect for lots of different kinds of plants--and people too! (I'm biased since it's the place I call home.)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 2:29AM
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momiji79(BKK Thailand)

abit out of the topic but what i know vietnam has but thailand dosent is that during chinese new year, you get potted peach tress on sale. I was in Vientaine, Laos a week after chinese new year and saw one or two plants still in bloom. I would very much like to grow one of these in northern thailand (chiang Rai) where i know for sure it will be able to grow. Anyone know where i can obtain these dwarf plants from?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 9:26AM
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I was born in Hanoi and just got back from my vacation in VN. Still have the Chinese new year spirit in me :). Hanoi is having a cold winter this year. It was down to 35oF on new year's eve. Hanoi is not known for growing mangos b/c it's too cold. Some variations might be able to thrive but their fruits are small and not as sweet. All the mangos in the market are from the Mekong Delta (southern VN) and from Thailand. Some of the native fruits in Hanoi are: lechee, peach, pear, apricot, plum, jackfruit, grapefruit...

I agree with Ntt_Hou, you should bring s/t different instead of native. I know we don't have kiwi in VN.

Peaseblossom, do you know where you will be staying in Hanoi? It's a big city but small in size. Space is very valuable. Most ppl only have enough living space let alone space for gardening. Thus, big trees might not be good choices. Flower maybe? Hybrid lily is preferred. There are not many tulips there either. Bring lots of bulbs, easy to carry and grow.

As far as customs is concern, it's relatively easy. Fruit and plants won't be a problem. You can even bring in animals. Hanoi is a beautiful city with lots of histories. I know you will have a good time there. Good luck. TT

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 5:24PM
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TT--thanks for the info! I lived in Hanoi most of my life, so I know what you mean by "big city, but small in size"! I normally lived around Tay Ho, so we had some space for gardening. I miss the climate so much though and can't wait to garden there---even on a little balcony:) Bulbs will be fun...and potted plants of jasmine, etc.

I was there over Christmas break and it WAS colder than usual...I left before New Year's though, so I didn't get to experience that huge dip in temperature, but my friends told me about it. That's what I love about Hanoi though, it gets cold in the winter, but not cold enough for everything to die.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 9:47PM
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Peaseblossom, check your e-mail for the reply.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 5:54PM
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Peaseblossom: Please don't bring any kind of citrus to VN because everywhere in the US, citrus have problems with leaf miners, the leaves become curly and retarded. It all started when a lady from Hongkong hid a citrus tree in her suitcase and offered it to a relative in the US as a gift! It is not good to bring plants and trees from one area to another because in the same time you'll bring the germs over too! K.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 11:39PM
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Peaseblosom, how about SU' THAI' LAN (adenium) va` SU' CUI`(Plumeria)?
there are variety of Jades and Aloes, Christmast cactus is do well in tropical climate so as hipeastrum, also many Daffodils do well without coldstart and they are require no attention at all.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 9:41AM
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Tuanh: Su Thai lan are abundant in VN. Their trunks are as big as our heads and beautiful. Su Cui are everywhere in VN especially in the gardens of the temples. They are as big as our live oaks trees here. You can see them at the central librairy of Hanoi and even on the way to chua Huong. Daffodils won't repeat blooning every year because the summers are too hot, we have to replant each year from the bulb. People love narcissus but in order to enjoy the flowers, Hanoians have to import bulbs from China just like us in Houston. I haven't seen Christmas cactus in VN. K.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 1:10AM
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Hi Kquat
wow, i wish i could have an Adenium obesum that large! i wish one day i get to travel from the tips of Ca` Mau to Ha` Giang (Heaven s' Gate!) i just talked to a far uncle who live in Ha Giang , his place is realy fascinating!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 2:38PM
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When I was in Sri Lanka apples were considered a luxury exotic fruit. Maybe bring the seeds from some low chill requirement variety. I would guess almost everything that grows well there is already there. Maybe bring a couple of Florida variety avocado pits. It would probably be too humid for California varieties.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 1:18PM
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