Growing Ornamentals As Agribusiness Can Be Profitable

Mario Atillo and his prize-winning Asplenium Colibrium which he grew from spores.

We just attended the ongoing Kadayawan garden show in Davao City and we are all the more convinced that growing ornamental plants as a business can sustain a family’s needs and more if they are willing to soil their hands and using some business sense.

In the ornamental plant business, one need not have land by the hectares. We have met garden people in Davao City in our most recent trip and one lady gardener who is making good business operates on just 1,500 square meters.

What are her strategies? She specializes in rare plants that command a high price in the market. There are plants that she can usually sell at P1,500 which cost her only P300 to produce in a growing period just over a year or thereabouts. She does not mind to pay a high price for an outstanding mother plant for as long as she knows she will be able to multiply the same in her growing area.

Mario Atillo, a veteran in the plant business, loves to grow and multiply high-priced ornamentals. One example is his Alplenium Colibrium which won first prize in its category in the ongoing Kadayawan garden show. He said that his winning fern which he grew from spores could fetch several thousand pesos. He did not spend much in producing the same because he grew if from spores collected from the mother plant he bought from Vangie Go, another plant enthusiast specializing in plants that fetch a high price.

The Golden Rosal of Ven Gallego which is a bestseller in the ongoing Kadayawan garden show in Davao City.
Ven Gallego, a retired personnel from the Philippine Coconut Authority, is a smart player in the horticulture industry. At the ongoing Kadayawan garden show, he released a lot of his propagations of his Golden Rosal. On the second day of the garden show, practically all the hundreds of his stocks were sold out.

His strategy has been to select something that has commercial potential i.e., for landscaping, and then produce the same in big numbers. Nobody else was selling Golden Rosal at the garden show so he practically had the monopoly as far as the particular ornamental plant is concerned. And who are the buyers?

The buyers could be landscapers who have ongoing projects that need the type of ornamental. Or the fellow could multiply the same plant as fast as he can so he will have enough material for his next landscaping projects.
Other buyers could be other nursery people from other parts of the country. These buyers could be small time operators. They take home their plant to their own province, multiply the same and then sell their propagations at a good price.

ALAIN and IMELDA AGUSTIN are a young couple in the ornamental plant business.

FOR SENIORS – Growing ornamental plants for money is one of the best projects retirees can engage in. Growing plants could be therapeutic and at the same time profitable.

One lady retiree we know specializes in plants that can be grown in small pots but which command a good price just the same. Small plants are easy for senior citizens to carry or move around. Even a limited space can produce good income for the elderly gardener.

What are some of the easy-to-grow plants that seniors can grow? Sansevierias are very hardy plants. There are many varieties to choose from. Some are very small while others are big ones. They come in various shapes and colorations. Some are really expensive while others are more affordable.

Another lady retiree that we know specializes in African violets. These are small flowering plants that are easy to grow if one has mastered the technique. But many people find it difficult to produce so that the few who supply the flowering plant have the market for themselves. Another hardy plant that is attractive and that can be produced in a limited space is Crypthantus, a kind of bromeliad that comes in various attractive colors and shapes.

BETH AND NOEL ATON with their expensive King of Kings foliage anthurium. The couple goes for the high-priced ornamental plants.
Oh yes, there are countless plants that an aspiring gardener can choose from. The best thing to do for the beginner is to attend garden shows to observe what plants are available and what are not. It is also good to join garden clubs to meet people of the same inclination and be able to know the trends in the horticulture business.

OLD ROSE is a prize-winning aglaonema at the Kadayawan garden show grown by Imelda Agustin.
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