‘It’s not a contest of who has the most expensive plant collection’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Tuesday Vargas
Tuesday Vargas

(Second in a series)

A successful heist was captured on camera last week. The video showed a car suspiciously parked in front of a house at midnight. Two women got off and stole a potted areca palm.

The demand for plants nowadays is so high that people resort to unscrupulous means to get their hands on them. This is what seasoned plantitos and plantitas warn newbies about.

You must do your research before you make a purchase. Some sellers will try to sell seedlings that are not yet established. You might also be tricked into paying a higher price for your purchase.

They also said that the joy of having plants is watching them grow under your care. Here are more words of wisdom from plantitas.

Tuesday Vargas, comedienne, actress and owner of @TuestoGrow on Instagram

I was my grandma’s assistant in her garden growing up. When I moved to our house, I did our own landscaping because getting it professionally done was expensive. I consulted with my batchmates in University of the Philippines who have a degree in landscape architecture, hired two gardeners, and rented a truck to get plants and rocks transferred into our lot.

I’ve been a gardener for a very long time. I’ve bought plants from Manila Seedling Bank. I knew all the vendors before they started selling in Quezon City Circle and before some transferred to Mindanao Garden Center. I’ve also been purchasing plants directly from farms in Bulacan. I get seeds or seedlings and I cultivate them in the house.

When the lockdown started, I was in the philodendron phase, ’yung mga crawling plants cause it’s nice to see them progress. But now I am in my anthurium phase. I’m collecting rare ones like clarinervium, magnificum, crystallium.

I am trying to grow Palawan Cherry Blossom and Golden Shower trees here in my community. So when the kids grow up they will see nice trees in our community.

Some plant collectors have been asking me to sell my older monstera. There were only a few of us growing this plant before and now it is so popular. It’s become a status symbol that when you have monstera, you’re rich. There’s the thrill of acquiring.

It’s better to call yourself a gardener than a collector talaga. Buy plants that you can actually take care of, because it is a commitment. It’s not a race or a contest of who has the most expensive collection. If you buy just one and then you grow it to its fullest potential, the greenest and the biggest it can be, you’d be proud of yourself.

Don’t get into this because it’s a fad, or for your [social media] content. You need to think that when you do this, you have to do it right. When you buy a plant and then it dies on you, it’s a waste of resources. If you want to grow bougainvillea, grow a bougainvillea.

Jill Lejano

Tues To-Grow will resume operations in October.

Jill Lejano, photographer and interior designer

I have been a plant enthusiast for three years now. I grew up surrounded by plants from my mom’s garden and I have been curious ever since. I’ve “killed” a few, too. But my love for plants grew when enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) began. I started propagating plants I’d had from three years ago and have been researching more on interesting plants ever since.

I like the calathea species or what is commonly known as the prayer plant. They have different and interesting leaf patterns. I have also started collecting plants with dark leaves like the Philodendron Royal Queen, Colocasia Black Magic and Calathea Dottie. I also like caudiciform ones like Phyllantus mirabilis and Stephania erecta. The more weird-looking, the better.

Research about the plant that you want before purchasing. Know the type of sunlight they need. It is always better to underwater plants than overwater them to avoid root rot. Use rain water as much as possible or dechlorinated water. Use plant food! Plants need food, too; use the right fertilizer for them. Always check the quality of soil when purchasing plants. Plants acclimate when moved to a new environment; they might lose a leaf or two while adjusting.

Valerie de Veas

Valerie de Veas, believer of #plantsforwellness

I started in March during the ECQ. Our company had a Zoom session on Urban Gardening 101 and I joined. It all started with planting tomatoes! I have tomatoes, spinach, kangkong, Thai and green chili, eggplant, lemon, lemon lime, calamansi, basil, rosemary, mulberry, okra, papaya, onions and onion leeks. I also have garden plants, indoor plants, succulents and your trusty cacti.

Research, research, research! Check the internet, ask your plantito and plantita friends. Check if you have family or friends who are into planting and plants, too.

Unfortunately, scammers have also entered the world of plants, more so now.

There are a lot of Facebook groups that focus on plants and gardening. Best to also join them to get more information and guidance from those who have experiences with a particular plant. Planting is a commitment. It is also like getting a new pet! Ang daming needs! And not all plants have the same needs so research before buying. INQ

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