By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Following the official declaration of the beginning of the rainy season from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), gardeners are taking extra precautions to make sure their plant babies won’t suffer from the cold weather.

According to Lino Rom, a well-known plant collector from Cavite, cacti and succulents, like most plants, benefit from rainwater as long as they’re receiving the right amount.

Cacti and succulents are known for being resilient against warm weather because they are able to store water in their stems to keep them from shriveling up. Yet these plant types are still happy when the rainy season comes in.

Rom explained that rainwater helps clear any dust that accumulated on the plant during the dry season and even improves plant growth by providing minerals from the atmosphere.

He added that with the ongoing water interruptions in the metro, it’s best to recycle rainwater by collecting them in buckets so they can be later used for watering plants.

“Gardeners should be extra careful though, especially the beginners. Their soil mix should be made up of fast-draining materials to avoid wood rot or waterlogging among their cacti and succulents,” Rom said.

Cacti and succulents grow well in regions where there are less than 25 inches of annual rainfall.

In the event of a rainstorm or heavy rains, take the plants outside to allow them to soak up a few minutes worth of rainwater before transferring them to a dry location such as indoors.

Rom discussed the proper care for cacti and succulents during the 2019 Cactus, Succulent, and Bromeliad Festival held last month at the Main Mall Atrium of SM Mall of Asia.