Shelalane’s prize-winning Acapulco Gold hibiscus.

IF YOU ARE like Shelalane Custodio of Davao City, you can make fast cash by rooting 5-inch gumamela cuttings in three months and sell the same at P150 apiece with production cost of less than P20 each. She could do that because she has all the ingredients that enable her to. What are the ingredients?

3 INGREDIENTS – No.1, she has a collection of more than 400 varieties of the most colorful hibiscus varieties. No.2, she belongs to a chat group on hibiscus numbering by the thousands who are her potential buyers. No.3, she is an expert in marketing her products online. If you don’t have these ingredients, we don’t think you can make fast money just like Shelalane.

PAPER COFFEE CUPS – Shelalane’s cuttings are rooted in paper coffee cups using rooting media of fresh rice hull, carbonized rice hull and coconut fiber with peat. The cuttings are covered with transparent plastic and placed under the shade of trees. In one month, the cuttings would be fully rooted and their plastic cover is removed. The cuttings are then hardened for a month or two and would  be ready to go to market. She sells a lot of rooted cuttings online. But she also sells big plants in containers for P700 to P1,500 each, depending on the variety.

KADAYAWAN TRADE SHOW – At the agri trade show, Shelalane entered one of her favorite varieties in the flowering plant competition and easily won first prize in its category. This is the Acapulco Gold she obtained from the United States. Her stocks of plants in bloom as well as rooted cuttings sold like the proverbial hotcake at the trade show. We interviewed her on August 15, 2017 and when we asked her how much she sold the day before, she said it was at least P20,000. Not bad for a day selling gumamelas.

HER DREAM – Her dream now is to develop her own hybrid that could become the pride of Davao. She has learned to breed hibiscus which she says is easy. By the way, her know-how in hibiscus propagation and breeding were acquired through her own research largely from the internet and from exchanges of experiences with members of her chat group. She enrolled in college but quit without finishing the full year because she got married. After that, she went to work abroad only to find out later that her goldmine is right here in her native Davao City.

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