Ornamental table roses are in full bloom in home gardens across Kerala and Tamil Nadu

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Prasannavathini, a homemaker from Neyveli in Tamil Nadu, is busy packing stem cuttings of portulacas and purslanes from her roof-top backyard to despatch to Bengaluru, Chennai and Mainpuri (Uttar Pradesh). “There are over 80 cuttings of 30 varieties in every consignment,” says the 30-year-old, who grows 120 sorts of the decorative plant.

In Kerala, floriculturists Seema Shamsu, Vidyadharan P and Anju Karthika Gee Nath are taking it gradual on account of the monsoon. “My [social media] web page has over hundred orders, most of them from exterior the State. But when I take the cuttings now, they could rot by the point the courier reaches the shopper,” says Thiruvananthapuram-based Seema who has practically 200 sorts of the plant.

Transfer over roses, adeniums and lillies: portulacas and purslanes are in.

With extra folks planting these decorative flowers for that signature riot of colors round their houses, on their balconies and terraces, there was an exponential rise within the variety of folks promoting them. Kerala is within the lead, carefully adopted by Tamil Nadu.

For the uninitiated, portulaca vegetation (Portulaca grandiflora or moss/desk rose) or pathumani poo for Malayalis, has multi-petalled flowers and needle-shaped leaves, whereas purslane (Portulaca umbraticola/ Portulaca oleracea) typically has flowers with 5 petals and ovate-shaped leaves.

Straightforward to develop and preserve, the vegetation bloom with ample daylight. “I by no means imagined that my pathumani vegetation would ultimately earn me an revenue. Impressed by my success story, a number of girls in my neighbourhood have change into small-scale entrepreneurs,” says Manju Hari, a homemaker from Pathanamthitta, who began her enterprise early this 12 months.

What triggered the development was the arrival of types from Thailand and Brazil. They got here into the image by way of social media, particularly Fb, which has a rising variety of buyer-seller teams with portulaca lovers from throughout the globe, offering common updates about new and unique varieties.

Riot of colors

“We had been used to seeing portulaca blooms in white and purple. Purslanes had been in shades of yellow, white, pink and purple. However the imported varieties are available in mind-boggling color mixtures,” says Anju, who began out with 15 colors and now has 200 shades in her backyard at Kayamkulam. She provides, “Since cross-pollination occurs by itself, one could make hybrids simply. It’s these cultivars and hybrids that produce flowers in a variety of shades. Maybe, no different flower has so many sorts.”

Native to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, these flowers are actually broadly grown in, and offered from, Thailand and the Philippines from the place nurseries and people purchase in bulk.

One petal at a time

  • Purslane has extra of blooms in several colors and grows sooner than portulaca. Along with the generally seen ones, portulaca is available in three extra varieties: hybrid, tiara and jumbo. Purslane has single-colour, multi-colour, Cinderella and Tiger Stripe varieties.
  • Develop the vegetation in well-drained soil. Vermicompost, coco pith and pink soil guarantee higher development. Sufficient daylight, for not less than 4 hours is obligatory. Since they’re succulents, water sparsely.
  • Prune the plant as soon as each two months. There isn’t a lifespan as such for a plant until it will get destroyed by excessive climate situations or pests. If the guardian plant is repotted as soon as in six months, it should proceed to provide flowers for a few years.
  • Use natural pesticides to guard the vegetation from mealybugs.
  • Fb has umpteen teams that has Indian and worldwide sellers and consumers. Among the many standard ones are ONZE HORAS – PORTULACA Troca de mudas e informações (6.3k members), PORTULACA LOVERS (4.5k members), PORTULACA PHILIPPINES (5.6k members), Portulaca/Purslane Gross sales/Succulents alternate (2.4k members), Nature’s Colourfull Studio of Portulaca. (2.1k members) and Portulaca & Purslane collections (1.6k members)

The stem/root cuttings or the complete plant stay intact for 10-15 days in transit, which makes it handy for the sellers to import them or ship them throughout the nation. Additionally there are quite a few web sites promoting seeds of hybrid varieties. “The seed-grown flowers are completely different from these grown from cuttings in that you may see the pollens whereas they continue to be hidden underneath the petals in vegetation grown from cuttings,” provides Prasanna.

Apart from the fiery, single-shade flowers, you discover flowers with multi-coloured petals or a double layer of petals in several hues. Though these wither away by night, some new hybrid varieties bloom for 2 days. “There are new blooms daily, all by way of the summer time. You can also make a gorgeous backyard with minimal funding and that’s why there’s all the time a requirement for portulacas and purslanes,” says Vidhyadharan from Palakkad, who has a gentle clientèle in Gujarat. “This consists of three nurseries and people. Whereas nurseries purchase in bulk a few times a 12 months, others place orders intermittently, as and once they want new varieties,” he provides.

Stiff competitors

Importing varieties is an costly affair. “The fee can go as much as ₹2,000 for only one selection, inclusive of transportation and courier/postal fees,” says Anju. Seema recounts paying ₹30,000 when she purchased 180 colors (500 cuttings in all) from Thailand three years in the past and ₹6,000 for six varieties from Brazil. The catch is that they can not anticipate the customer to pay the identical quantity. “If I pay ₹1,000 for a pair of cuttings I can’t cost greater than ₹100 once I promote it as a result of there might be one other one who would possibly promote the variability at a decrease price,” says Seema. Enterprise has change into so aggressive that cuttings promote for as little as ₹5 for native varieties [single colours]. The present advertising and marketing technique is to promote a bundle of colors. For instance, 20 colors for ₹200 or 50 colors for ₹500, with two to 5 cuttings of every selection.

Prasanna, admin of the Fb group, Portulaca Lovers, which has members from throughout the globe, says that Cinderella (a puffball of petals with a hoop of petals round it) and Tiger Stripe, each purslane varieties, are in demand now. “All of us are all the time on the look out for brand new varieties. There appears no finish to the variety of color mixtures,” she provides. Anju, for instance, is making an attempt so as to add six colors of Tiger Stripe that’s lacking from her checklist.

Vidhyadharan provides that he dropped his plans to purchase a Tiger Stripe selection from Israel after the entire price got here to round ₹30,000! “The pandemic has affected the transport of imported varieties. However the demand retains rising, going by the rise in variety of sellers and consumers on completely different teams on social media,” he provides.

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