IN A PREVIOUS Kadayawan Agri Trade show in Davao City, we interviewed Grace Belleza who has found bougainvilleas as a good money-maker soon after joining a chat group in the Internet called Bougainvillea Philippines organized by Baby Spowart.
BRISK SALES – When we met Grace who had a stall at the trade show, she was enjoying brisk sales of her grafted bougainvilleas. She said that in 2015 she recognized the potentials of growing bougainvilleas as a good source of income.
GRAFTED BOUGIES IS THE TREND – She started her own nursery using a portion of her mother’s rice farm to produce grafted bougainvilleas. Why grafted? Because that is the trend in Thailand. Growers graft onto one rootstock two or more varieties to produce one plant with flowers of different colors and other characteristics. And these plants command a high price because they are something unique.
CULINARY COURSE – Grace is a 30-year-old housewife who earlier took up a culinary course hoping to become an OFW someday. But OFW it was not to be because she has found growing grafted bougainvilleas as a profitable small business. Because of her membership in Baby Spowart’s Chat Group, she has become a friend of so many other bougainvillea enthusiasts from all over the tropical world. And she has accumulated at least 200 varieties in her collection through plant exchanges as well as by purchases.
LEARNED BY VIEWING YOUTUBE – Grace said she had an easy time learning to graft bougainvilleas by viewing the procedure on You Tube. And so today, she has at least 5,000 grafted plants and counting. She has also learned to nurture newly gathered rootstock materials by her hunters. Many of the sources include homeowners who have long wanted to get rid of their old bougainvilleas.
SELLING ONLINE – Aside from selling her grafted plants in garden shows and in her nursery, Grace also sells her grafted beauties online. One lady from Pangasinan has been ordering Grace’s bougainvilleas which she sends through LBC. Within a short span of time, Grace has sent to the Pangasinan aficionado at least P30,000 worth of grafted bougainvilleas.
P35,000 FOR ONE PLANT – A grafted bougainvillea, two feet tall, with two of the more common varieties sells from P250 to P350. On the other hand, a single graft of the rare varieties, like Red Fantasy from Malaysia, sells for P700. The highest price she got for a big plant onto which 19 different varieties were grafted was P35,000.
STAGGERED RELEASE – Grace has a strategy on how to win the continuing interest of her buyers. She only releases a few varieties in one year. The following year, she would release new ones. That way, buyers will always go back to find out what new varieties are available.
Now you see, there is money that can be made on bougainvilleas. We will be watching if the trend will continue.