WHO would ever think that the hobby of growing cacti and succulent plants at the backyard would become a booming agriculture business?
In Binugao Toril District, kindergarten teacher Robby Codilla, 45, was known for her cactus and succulents. What started as a hobby ended up a business when people came to visit her house just to buy pieces of her plants while some would buy in bulk.
A cactus is a type of plant that that can survive in dry habitats. It has thick herbaceous stems and plant hairs called areoles and in almost all species, spines or barbed bristles. Codilla said, compared to succulents, cactus are very easy to take care of and grow as it could already propagate three to four months after cutting.
The succulents, however, are the fragile type. It could be a beautiful sight as an indoor plant but taking care of it is a tricky part. Codilla said one need a good background on how to grow a succulent before actually enjoying its sight. Growing it needs a good drainage pot hole, the right soil and the right watering technique. Propagation could take at least six months.
In 2018, she decided to focus more in growing varieties of cactus and succulents as a part-time business since the market demand is already knocking on her door. Using a garage-sized lot beside her house, she has more than 500 pieces of plants available. Most of her plants are shipped from the Province of Benguet.
Cactus ranges from P60 to P80 depending on the size and its variety, while succulents cost P50 each.
“When I ventured this kind of business, it really helped me a lot since our family became more financially stable. And of course, doing what I love most while earning from it is already satisfying,” Codilla said.
At present, other women who are interested in earning through selling plants are asking her to become their supplier. As her business grew, she planned on converting her 300-square-meter lot in Darong, Sta. Cruz into a greenhouse for cactus and succulents.