75 Trendy Plants for 2021 in the Philippines (Part 1)

Plantitos, plantitas, plantiquarians,halamoms,plant enthusiasts from many parts of the country are waiting for the next plants to watch out for 2021 to early 2022.

Unlike the last quarter of 2019 and towards the end of 2020, There are a lot of ordinary plants which became craze and fancy among many plant collectors. 2021 and 2022 year will be a different ball game and a more educated gardening public will be always on a look-out for plants to propagate and grow.

75 Trendy Plants for 2021

75.) Christmas Aglaonema hybrids– pink, reddish colored aglaonema and anything with spots. Some of the cultivars are old time hybrids grown in the country. While there are exciting new aglaonema hybrids developed in Thailand, Taiwan (ROC), Malaysia,Cambodia, Vietnam, Costa Farm and elsewhere. Lunar Chinese New Year 2021 will be celebrated on February 12, 2021 and this will drive -up the demand for more of these “La Swerte” or Chinese Evergreen in the market.

Photo courtesy of : Suan Unyamanee

Plant collectors and those who believe in feng shui will surely drive the prices of the reddish, pinkish,those with spots and new hybrids. Practitioners believes that having several plants inside one’s home will surely drive negative chi away.

Coleus blumei hybrid

pixabay user: jamesdemers-3416

74.) Coleus blumei hybrids ( aka Mayana) Plectranthus scutellarioides – This had different colors and is considered as a medicinal plant ages ago. This can be grown in partial shade, semi-indoor locations or sometimes grown as hedge plant all over the country. A proprietor in small garden stall within Quezon City had to keep on propagating mayana plant in order to supply their growing clientele. Their supplier from Tabang- Guiguinto, Bulacan always ran out of stock.

A recent big discount sale at Philvirra Homes near Project 8 in Quezon City also drew record buyers for their Coleus blumei hybrids.

Euphorbia milii hybrid

73.) Euphorbia milii hybrids- which are different color types of Euphorbia milii and Euphorbia lophogona hybrids which are more popularly called ( Corona de Cristo, Crown of thorns, Christ’s thorn) have flowers that grow in clusters of brilliant blooms. They are considered indestructible because they can grow year-round on a sunny windowsill in a warm, bright location, tolerating long periods of dryness.

They are in demand as flowering and curiosity plant in the country way back from 2005 to mid-2007, When local farm propagators imported a lot of varieties from neighboring Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan. The hybrid had a short come back around 2016 to 2018 when more hardy types or those which did not rot in the care of the propagators for the past several years.

72.) Dracena marginata – Locally called as Dragon’s tree, Lucky Dragon, Madagascar’s dragon tree among local growers, This is a relative of the more popular snake plant/mother’s in law tongue or formerly called Sanseviera. The ordinary ones are quite affordable in the local market and are used in dish garden, terrarium and stems are grown in water culture.

People are always in a look-out for the variegated types and those with compact leaves. Chinese, Thai, Indonesians, Singaporeans, Indians, Europeans and other Southeast Asian countries have a fancy for these types of plants. They are quite hardy and can be propagated via cuttings or rooted on water.

The popularity of these plants will surely be trendy and people will still propagate these plants.

71.) Tillandsia species and hybrids- Tillandsia are known as air plants and close relative of Bromeliads. For the past few years, small tillandsia species, hybrids and cultivar varieties have cause sensation among plant lovers. These plants do not require big space and can be grow within minimal care. Tillandsia fasiculata, Tillandsia capitata, Tillandsia ionantha are some of the popular ones grown by beginners and even seasoned collectors. They will still be popular in the market as almost all plant center stalls would carry at least few species or hybrids.

Epiphyllum oxypetalum or Queen of the night

70.) Epiphyllum oxypetalum ( Dutchman’s pipe cactus, princess of the night, queen of the night ) – This is a semi-epipiphyte cactus which is grown in the country for centuries. This was introduced via Acapulco, Mexico to Manila, Philippines during the later part of the galleon trade and one of the old time favorite among plant growers in the country. It’s blooming season normally coincide with the rainy season around late June to late October.

It is quite popular in many Asian countries Taiwan,Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, naturalized in China and many parts of the world.

A recent episode of Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho aired on GMA channel 7 last November 28, 2020 featured this cacti plant which is said to worth at least a million pesos if properly grown with blooming flowers. Some old time growers would give a blink of an eye and give their expert opinion that there are many growers of this particular species of cacti.

Plant stalls would sell their newly propagated stems between Php 100 to Php 450 depending on the lushness of growth. A popular online selling site sells a foot of this cacti for about Php 888 obviously targeting numerology or Filipino-Chinese buyers. Bigger specimen queen of the night would command a few hundreds of pesos or at least a few thousand of pesos. But not hundreds of thousands of pesos or millions of pesos as claimed by some FB or online sellers.

Almost every house within our area grew this kind of cacti from the mid-1970’s to early 1990’s. Whenever this cacti is in bloom. This had become some sort of viewing celebration and photo taking opportunities by people who grew this cacti. There are also some myths behind the blooming of this cacti as one wish can be granted thereby propagating the plant will help the owner brings luck.

Some believe that it can repel the negative vibes and even ailments.

Note: These are just a partial list of the 75 trendy plants for 2021 and 2022! Happy Growing to all .

Sources:

Personal Interview among plant center owners, Orchid and Plant Lovers of the Philippines FB, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Fairview Neopolitan Garden Center, Cartimar Garden Center, White Plains, Bulacan Garden, Arid and Aroid’s Farm, Quezon City Memorial Circle, Tabang -Guiguinto Plant growers, GreenScapes Garden CenterNovaliches, Farmer’s Garden Center -Cubao, Sidcor -Eaton Centris Sunday Market, Rona’s Garden.

Opuntia Cactus recipe

Prickly Pear Grown for Food

Prickly pear or more popularly known as Opuntia Cactus was probably introduced in the Philippines during the ManilaAcapulco galleon trade by the late 16th century to 19th century  from Mexico .

Local people  quickly learned  that prickly pear pads can be eaten and are used in various local dishes like tinolang cactus , cactus patty , nopales are added to eggs, or as a vegetable in soups, chilies or a filling in a tortilla and even as salsa base food for tortillas .

In the country of origin, Opuntia cactus is also made into jams, candies and medicine

Tortilla chips

Here are the basic ingredients : Salsa

1 to 2 pads of Opuntia cactus

1 to 2 small to medium sized sibuyas de bumbay / onion

1/4 cup cheese whiz

1 to 2 pieces of kesong puti –   sliced or cubed

2 to 4 pieces of small or medium sized tomatoes ( sliced ) / with seeds removed

1 to 2 tablespoon of  salt

1 to 2 teaspoon of pepper

grated cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 to 3 tablespoon of olive oil ( optional)

1 pack of commercial tortilla chips

How to prepare the opuntia cactus pads

select 1 to 2 pad of Opuntia cactus, then cut the pads. After cutting the pads, you may blanched the pad into a boiling water , then remove the outer skin and use a large knife to sever the stem. Beware, there are large and fine thorns so be sure to keep your hands protected. To prepare the pads remove the thorns and the “eyes” with a vegetable peeler or a small paring knife or this new gadget designed just for spine removal. Wash the pads well with cool water and peel or trim off any blemished or discolored areas. Slice the pads in long slices or in pieces or leave whole depending on the dish you will prepare.

Another type of preparation is to rotating the fruit/pads  in the flame of a campfire or torch has been used to remove the glochids  to partially charred the opuntia cactus pads. This type of preparation is like barbecue style .

Nopales is a vegetable that can be eaten grilled or boiled. Over cooking may give them a slightly “slimy” texture you may want to avoid.

The best preparation we have tried is to prepare the nopal leaves (remove spines) then grill over hot coals till tender and slightly browned. Then slice into nopalitos strips and toss with a squeeze of lime and a little bit of olive oil. They are delicious.

Additonal notes:

The fruit  of prickly pears, commonly called  cactus figs , Indian figs or tuna is edible, although it has to be peeled carefully to remove the small spines on the outer skin before consumption. If the outer layer is not properly removed, glochids   can be ingested causing discomfort of the throat, lips, and tongue as the small spines are easily lodged in the skin.

Author’s note:

The author together with Mr. Botchie Canicula was featured in Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho episode aired last January 10 ,2009 saturday

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