I’ve never really made a master post about all my succulents and cacti before. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile but I guess I’m just very lazy.
It all began in April 2015 when I purchased my first plant baby at the annual Aklan Day Community Fair. After that faithful day, I have become a full-pledged plant mom and dedicated a bit of my leisure time with re-plotting and propagating.
Much like the Pokemon games, these were my starting three plants:
A lot of the tiny babies you see (above) have grown their own roots over the succeeding months and have since been re-plotted in their independent pots.
Every few months or so I would find a place to buy some plants. In 2015, you could barely find any places to buy these in Kalibo or in Aklan in general. Many people think they’re not great or believe they’re unlucky or aesthetically unpleasing. When I traveled to Iloilo City for work, I would make sure to stop by vendors to buy a plant or two even though they could be a bit pricey at the time.
I would also occasionally find a house with a garden and shamelessly ask the owners if I could have some of there plants. Great thing about succulents and cacti is that they are extremely resilient and you can cultivate them pretty easily. Just cut-off a stump or branch or leaf et viola! So when I do purchase or get a new plant, I’d choose the ones I could propagate the most.
As the popularity of succulents grew, at the next Aklan Day Fair in 2016, there were more vendors that sold succulents. More shops have popped up afterwards and sold them at an annoyingly very steep rate. They arrange the plants with expensive porcelain bowls with marble/rock chips and that extra presentation amped up the prices. I honestly prefer potting them on my own.
These two (below) were actually hand-me-downs from my paternal grandma and maternal aunt, respectively. And I’m using hand-me-down very loosely here. Me saying having been given these is more of me walking out of their gardens with the plants with a quick thanks and a smile… or a high five.
Here are some of my propagation efforts which my mom helped me a lot with. I lived in the province, in a very rural area, I would usually scout the neighbouring rice patties for some rice stalk hay or dayami in Filipino. Farmers traditionally burnt them and the ashes make great fertilizer. We would mix up all these soil types we had with compost and the occasional coffee grounds (which you can get at Starbucks for free!) for potting.
I buy most of the plants in those black disposable plastic thingies before eventually moving them to a more permanent home. And since pots and planters are so expensive I would end up bargain hunting at the local Korean/Chinese stores or get creative. I used to eat a ton shit of Nissin Yakisoba at work so I ended up collecting, spray painting and using them as pots. My dad also drank a lot of vending machine coffee so I ended up recycling a ton shit of the paper cups too.
Since I’ve been in Manila for months now, I never got the chance to see my propagated echeverias sprout. My whole 2017 so far has been plantless, only living vicariously through Instagram photos. A few weeks ago, I asked my cousin and mom to send me some snaps. So these are updated photos of my beautiful babies.
My mom actually ended up commissioning a plant stand to be made to support all them. Who would’ve thought that a whimsy purchase a measly three cacti would become this monstrosity. Mom used to joke that I would end up being a vendor at future fairs but we’re not there yet. Maybe in a year or two.
I really miss the feeling of actually nurturing these bad boys though. I miss taking care and exerting effort to help them grow (and to not get pricked). It’s relaxing, rewarding and a pretty great stress reliever. I was never much of a green thumb but my succulents have been one of the best hobbies I’ve endeavored.
This last month or so, I’ve been also doubling my efforts in trying to start a new succulent garden here at my place in Manila. You can see photos of the plants I already have in the previous posts!
Well, that’s pretty much it you guys. Please excuse my shoddy editing skills but I hope you enjoyed my plant babies!