Quezon City , Philippines
I have listed some top 10 cheap house plants in the Philippines. Every plant lovers must have seen, grown or common in their locality , Sometimes it is so common that they are sometimes thrown away . Some are commonly propagated as hedge plants and readily available in garden centers or flower arrangement stores – They can be bought for less than Php 100 pesos .
10.) Sansevieria bacularis ‘Musica’ A beautiful decorative plant for any household. With this plant standing at your window, you make every pedestrian stand still, wondering what kind of of plant this is. In the Philippines, This is commonly sold as indoor plant ideal for air purification and can tolerate low intensity lights such as bathroom areas , office areas or living rooms. A plant company distributes these plants in malls and even during plant shows or bazaars. I got our plant from a neighbor which threw away most of their plants, They are getting messy . They are quite useful as their stiff leaves are used for cut foliage and are being utilized for ikebana arrangement. There were several experiments conducted by a lot of scientists from all over the world on the usefulness of having plants in our home. It can be classified as easy to grow, indoor, patio area, partial shade , full sun etc…
There were extensive studies conducted In the late ’80s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs).Other studies have since been published in the Journal of American Society of Horticultural Science, further proving the science.
Sanseviera trifasciata variety ” Laurentii”
9.) Sanseviera trifasciata variety ” Laurentii”
This plant had been a long time favorite way back in the 1950’s and gained its popularity again sometime in the middle of 2000 when Sanseviera collectors from other Asian countries went to the country looking for rare and mutant forms . The original plant was extensively hybridized and there are a lot of cultivar names such as variegated foliage with yellow or silvery-white stripes on the leaf margins.
Popular plant cultivars includes ‘Compacta’, ‘Goldiana’, ‘Hahnii’, ‘Laurentii’, ‘Silbersee’, and ‘Silver Hahnii’. ‘Hahnii’ was discovered in 1939 by William W. Smith, Jr. in the Crescent Nursery Company, New Orleans, Louisiana. The 1941 patent was assigned to Sylvan Frank Hahn, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This plant is are locally known as mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plant, Saint George sword ( called in Brazil and other Latin American countries) – The shape of the leaves are quite sharp and some plant enthusiasts compare this with the stiffness on one’s mother in law . This plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. Put one in your bathroom — it’ll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping filter out air pollutants.
Because of its unique foliage and hardiness, They are extensively grown as hedge plants , landscaping and as indoor plants. Plants are commonly sold at the weekend markets, garden centers and i have seen a lot of these types of plants that are planted in subdivisions . They have a very beautiful flowers and it is highly fragrant. 8.) Dracena fragans ( Corn Plant) This is a fairly common house plant in the country. The leaves are used for foliage and flower arrangements, while stems with some leaves are commonly sold and peddled on streets as lucky plants! I got some stems from a neighbor pruning their tall plants. There are several species of Dracena that were naturalized in the country and are planted in the provinces of Quezon, Batangas, Laguna, Rizal , Bulacan .
They are commonly sold as cut foliage at Dangwa Flower Market in Sampaloc , Manila. They are native throughout tropical Africa, from Sudan south to Mozambique, west to Côte d’Ivoire and southwest to Angola.
Dracena fragans ” variegated – albo marginata”
Recently , People tend to collect the variegated forms of these plants and they tend to cost a little bit more expensive compared to the ordinary green leaves . The plant was exhibited at the last Hortikultura Extravaganza 2015 held at the Quezon Memorial Circle. ( Plant winning second place)
7. ) Cordyline– Ti Plants They are commonly planted in provinces in Laguna, Quezon, Batangas,Rizal and are sold in Dangwa as ornamental cut foliage and ornamental plants. People tend to soak the stems on water to make them root and their colorful purplish leaves are an added delight . In one town festival, I took some cuttings of these colorful plant , since the town folks are again throwing them after the festival. They are also considered as lucky plants and It is native to tropical southeastern Asia, Papua New Guinea , Melanesia , Indian Ocean , northern Australia and parts of Polynesia.
The plant are eaten as food or as medicine, and its leaves were used to thatch the roofs of houses, and to wrap and store food. In the Philippines the Ifugaos used the leaves as part of the ornaments during their festivities . There are a lot of varieties and cultivars of ti plants.
Portulacas are planted in colorful plastic pots in Malolos , Bulacan
6.) Portulaca ( Rose Moss, Moss Rose , Vietnam Rose, 10’o clock flower )
Portulaca comprising about 40-100 species found in the tropical areas and temperate regions. They are also known as Moss Roses.
Here in the Philippines they are commonly sold in plant bazaars, garden centers and is cultivated as a hedge plant. They are easily propagated by cuttings and seeds.
Vietnam Rose double petal variety- orange color
New varieties of portulacas are sold between Php 10 to Php 25 ( wholesale ) in different garden centers like Cubao, QC Circle, Mindanao Garden Center , Fairview -Neopolitan Avenue , Centris Sunday market . There are single petal and double petals varieties . They are sometimes called 10′ o clock flowers , since they usually open their flowers fully at around 10:00am. Their flowers are short lived and tend to close shortly at noontime.
( portulaca- single petal by the author ) grown from a few cuttings
We were given some cuttings by a staff of Joy of Urban Garden within Quezon City Memorial Circle , when we arranged an educational/ walking tour last February 2015 . Most of the cuttings are now grown in a plastic containers . These plants prefer sandy mixture with compost, burnt rice hulks, loam, coconut coir for potting mixture. Once a week you can add some fertilizers like slow release or water soluble fertilizer ( 20N-20P-20K) .
They are easy to grow and regular pruning of the plant will give you additional planting materials. In some areas , They are grown in plastic soft-drink bottles and are treated as a hanging plant.
5.) Zamioculcas zamiifolia ( commonly called as ZZ plant, Zanzibar Gem, welcome plant , lucky Plant , fat boy, money plant, zu -zu plant ,ever green plant, timbuktu gem, card board gem , feng shui green, Taiwan green zem )
It is a tropical plant native to eastern Africa from Kenya to northeast South Africa . Nurseries from Netherlands started wide-scale commercial propagation of the plant around the mid 1990’s and some of the first plants were bought by some Asian collectors during that time and quickly spread. Some feng shui experts would recommend planting them on pots near the doors or openings as it can attract good chi .
Zamioculcas is grown as an ornamental plant , mainly for its attractive glossy foliage and its good luck charms. It can be grown indoor and can tolerate low intensity light levels.
( this plant was grown using an old leaf several months ago )
Propagation : Z. zamiifolia may be propagated by leaf cuttings: typically, the lower ends of detached leaves are inserted into a moist gritty compost and the pot enclosed in a polythene bag.
When it was first introduced in the country several years ago, One small plant can reach several hundreds of pesos.
Local propagators soon knew the tricks on how to mass propagate them and the price of this plant began to stabilized . A small plant is sold at between Php 50 to Php 100 .
The only season that these plant may fetch a high price when Christmas, Chinese New Year or Valentine’s Day as there is a high demand for these plants for giveaways.
I have written an article about this plant several years ago – a variegated form was exhibited at the Flora Filipina 2012
4.) Chlorophytum comosum ( spider plant, airplane plant , hen-and-chickens )
This is another old time favorite among ornamental growers . They are always present in almost every gardens and in offices.
This is one of the top plants that NASA recommends for growing indoor . It can absorb indoor pollution and can tolerate low light intensities. It will reward its growers with white flowers . The inflorescences carry plantlets at the tips of their branches, which eventually droop and touch the soil, developing adventitious roots. The stems (scapes) of the inflorescence are called “stolons”.
There are the ordinary green leaves and the variegated ones. Some garden centers retail this plant from Php 25 to Php 75 ( depending on the area and availability ) . Mostly in hanging baskets . If you are lucky to have some neighbors which grows this plant, a small plantlet can be propagated and within six months can reward it grower with a healthy specimen size.
3. ) Spathiphyllum ( Peace Lily, White Lily )
is a genus of about 40 species in the family Araceae . They originated from the tropical regions of the Americas and southeast Asia . Certain species of Spathiphyllum are commonly known as Spath or peace lilies.
Peace lilies can tolerate low light levels and it is listed as one of the top 10 best indoor plants. They are extensively grown in Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, Batangas and is readily available in major garden centers. Small plants can fetch less than Php 50.00 at wholesale market . Bigger specimen with large flowers can fetch a few hundred of pesos.
2. Dieffenbachia ( Dumb Canes or Bachia)
It is native to the New World Tropics from Mexico , Guatemala, Honduras, the West Indies , Colombia, Brazil , Ecuador and south to Argentina . It is widely cultivated as an ornamental, especially as a house plant, and has become naturalized on a few tropical islands. There are between 50 to 60 known species .
The common name, “Dumb Canes” or ” Bachia” refers to the poisoning effect of raphides , which can cause temporary inability to speak; for this reason it is also known as the mother-in-law plant.
This was probably introduced into the country during the American occupation , as the plants are easily propagated via stem cuttings and are quite popular among city and town dwellers. The colorful white markings in their leaves are contrast to the green color of the leaves. This plant can tolerate neglect and can be grown with minimal care. I have seen some of these plants that are grown as hedge plants in townhouses and in tin can containers which gives it a very rustic appeal.
In the late 1990’s , the popularity of these plants began to decline because of the introduction of more colorful aglaonema hybrids and its notoriety of being poisonous . In recent years, with the introduction of new hybrids and more compact plants . The growing public are beginning to grow them in quantities .
Leaves of the plant are used in flower arrangements and are sold in Dangwa , Sampaloc . They are grown in big numbers for their foliage.
We got several cuttings several years ago from a neighbor who regularly prunes her plant.
1.) Dracena sanderiana
( commonly known as Ribbon Dracaena, Lucky Bamboo, Belgian Evergreen , Ribbon Plant, Water Plant)
This is commonly sold in garden shops, flower arrangement stores, garden centers and plant peddlers . During special occasions like Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and Christmas season , The stems are package into decorative items with red ribbons and vases . Stems are twisted shapes to produce more interesting shapes.
Although it grows better in soil, it often is sold with the roots in water. The water should be completely changed every two weeks. The water should be bottled water, soft tap water with very little flouride or even water from a filtered, established aquarium. It does best in bright, indirect lighting .
The plant is sold on per cuttings or entire plants with several stems . It can cost anywhere from Php 20 to more than Php 100 depending on the size of the plant. I have seen some ordinary plants being sold at few hundreds of pesos during Chinese New Year which is dictated by demand and supply chain.
I got my ordinary green leaves variety from our neighbor and a variegated type from a raffle draw of the Philippine Orchid Society party last year.