It seems that the quarantine period and the stay at home protocol have converted countless individuals into “plantitas” and “plantitos”. A lot in social media have been flexing their potted indoor plants at home or their garden full of a lovely variety of plants. Are you one of the proud newbie “plantitas” or “plantitos” who just recently become so interested in plants and have been spending much time shopping for gardening tools, checking for new for sale plants online that you can add in your collection, and most especially spending hours taking good care of your new “babies”?
With the rising interest of growing plants that surges during the quarantine, one of the plants that have been loved by people to buy and collect is succulents.
The Succulent Craze
What’s the reason behind all the hype? As we are all quarantined at home due to the pandemic, succulent has become so popular that it helps in relieving stress and ease the boredom. With all the restrictions which include the banning of travel, others buy succulents for fun and it serves as entertainment that they spend most of their time planting succulents at home. Some would grow succulents for it’s a hobby for them to collect. While for others, succulents are their source of income and an investment to some.
Here in the Province of Benguet, aside from being known as one of the producers of vegetables, it is also known as one of the sources of succulents. With the help of Sherley Francisco Sugot, a succulent grower who has started planting succulents since 1998 in Baguio City and have a succulent stall located at Wright Park, we have identified some of the common succulents we can find here in the province.
Benguet has thousands of different succulent species. According to Ms. Sugot, “Some farmers here in Benguet import several varieties from different countries such as South Korea, Thailand, USA, etc.”
Ms. Sugot added that the succulents in the province of Benguet were usually categorized as common, and uncommon which are also called rare and “Korean Succulents.” Common succulent were grown for a long period in the province and it is prolific, abundant, adaptable, and it needs minimal care.
5 Common Succulents in Benguet
Here are a few of the common succulents in the province of Benguet which you might have one in your house or probably one of your friends has it in their collections of beautiful succulents.
First on the list of common succulents in Benguet is the moonstones. It’s a hassle-free plant as long properly provided with the right type of care it needed. This can survive full and partial sunlight. In watering moonstones, make sure that the water doesn’t come into contact with the leaves which can easily damage it. When leaves are soft, it indicates that moonstones need watering.
As there are different ways of propagating plants, Kalanchoe plants can propagate through cuttings. It is a low maintenance plant and requires well-drained soil. The best thing about growing Kalanchoe, especially indoors, is it has few pest problems.
Ghost plant is one of the succulents that are easy to grow, it’s a low maintenance plant. To perfectly get the healthy look of this plant, it requires full sun or bright dappled shade. If this is grown indoors, it needs watering every other week and requires a weekly watering if grown outdoors in full sun.
The jade plant might be the most common among the succulents on the list. Jade plant requires minimal attention, it is easy to grow and can survive even in the rough conditions. Jade plant needs less water and full sunlight. This plant is also called the Money Tree, Friendship Tree, and Lucky plant.
This succulent is one of the easiest to propagate which can be done through the leaves. Banana Cactus grow under direct sunlight and just like other succulents it prefers the soak and dry method. As long as it has good drainage, Banana cactus survive in any type of soil.
According to Ms. Sugot, succulents are known in Benguet including Baguio City. The Municipality of Buguias is known for succulents because there are a lot of online sellers in the place but most of the stocks were also sourced from almost all of the Benguet municipalities.
Right Care for the Plants
In terms of how to ensure the succulents’ success to survive and grow beautifully, Ms. Sugot shared that most of it requires full sunlight, less water, and well-aerated soil. For a good medium composition and nutrients, others use the combination of pumice, rice hall, Alnus leaves compost, and animal manure.
As these succulents require less water for excess water and moisture can kill the plants, greenhouses are used for protection. Greenhouses are perfect especially during the rainy season to keep the plants safe from any possibility and danger that might lead the plants to die.
One of the components of growing succulents is also using fertilizers, Ms. Sugot recommends the use of organic fertilizers. Though, commercial fertilizers such as urea and osmocote can be used when needed.
The More, the Merrier
The best part of having plants is to be able to propagate it, right? There are a lot of ways on how to do plant propagation. For succulents, it can propagate through stem cuttings, leaf, seeds, and pups or babies.
Benefits of Succulents
With years of experience, Ms. Sugot has shared her thoughts about the benefits of succulents. According to her, “Succulents also helps in purifying/cleaning the air. Some varieties are edible. Some elderly use the parts of it as a cure to wounds, skin disease, and toothache. Succulents have aesthetic value that beautifies our home and surroundings. Succulents have a psychological effect on individuals, it relieves stress and depression and has a big impact on our well being.”
More than Just a Plant
Some might see succulents as additional decorations at home. In Benguet, succulents are now a source of income for some farmers. It was a great help for many families to survive the pandemic. Not only the farmers were positively affected by the sudden surge of succulents, but it has also helped others such as the industries for pottery, pebbles, and also logistic services.
“It helps many families to survive this pandemic. Economically it helps the succulents stakeholders and support other industries such as pottery, pebbles, soils, pumice, and other plant decors. Logistic services such as truckings, couriers and bus shipping also benefited in succulent industry.” – Sherley Francisco Sugot
Are you up to join the succulent hype?
This pandemic has greatly affected our daily life and has limited us from doing things we used to do. Let us not allow this crisis to stop us from enjoying life and learning new and cool things. If you are up to try new things to keep yourself busy and productive while at home, join the “plantita” and “plantito” gang and discover the fun of growing plants.