By Marjorie Gorospe
LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET— Just like any plant, growing a cactus will require proper care and maintenance, according to Benguet entrepreneur and cactus grower Elaine Daclis.
Elaine has been selling different varieties of cactus since 1970. Cacti easily grow in Benguet with its good cold weather and Elaine says there’s a big demand of cacti grown from the province.
“Maybe because we are known to be good planters and we also sell the plants cheaper,” Elaine says.
Elaine transports her products from Benguet to the Manila Seedling Bank in Quezon City to make the cacti closer to more customers. She says it's easy to look after the plants in Benguet since they have the luxury of space there.
Three potted cacti can be bought from her for as low as P100. “These cacti that I sell are eight-month old although they are still in a small pot. There are ways that customers in Metro Manila can prolong the life of these potted cacti,” Elaine says.
First, Elaine says if the buyer intends to make it as a home decoration, make sure that the plant is placed near a window where the plant can get enough daylight.
“Remember that it can get burned too, so this should be one of your considerations,” Elaine says.
Potted cacti needs more watering than those planted in the ground. But Elaine says too much watering can be harmful to the plant.
“It is best to keep the soil moist. You can water the potted cactus every three days especially if you’re using mixed soil and some husk,” she says.
You can also check if the soil is dry by placing a wooden pencil or stick at the bottom of the pot and check whether the soil has moisture.
Like any plants, Elaine says cactus grows and needs food too. “The best way to give the right nutrients to the plants is by re-potting them into new mixture of soil, kusot, and fertilizer as they grow.”
(For those interested in getting in touch with Elaine Daclis, click here - http://loqal.ph/business-and-finance/2011/07/11/elaine-daclis-cactus-grower/ )
loQal.ph (http://loqal.ph/ ) is a website owned and operated by Filquest Media Concepts, Inc. It works under the principle of giving voice to the voiceless, empowering Filipinos and uplifting the image of the Philippines by highlighting its unique culture. To do this, the loQal.ph team produces stories, video, photos and other multimedia content types to inspire and celebrate Filipino achievements, ideas, products and places.