By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao 

Over the past year, gardening has become a popular hobby for people from all walks of life. One underlying factor is the community quarantine that’s kept everyone indoors for their safety against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Apart from the increased numbers in plant purchases, the gardening trend has also sparked new terms that refer to plant parents: plantito and plantita. 

These are a combination of the word plant and the Filipino terms tito and tita, which commonly describe those who are nearing or of middle-age. Nowadays, it is also used for young people who have an old soul. 

But in gardening, you don’t have to be a tito or tita, or one at heart, to enjoy the process of growing and caring for plants. Here are some insights from plantitas who are not titas yet as they are in their early 20s on why they enjoy gardening: 

It’s a fulfilling hobby 

For many plant parents, the idea of gardening is a fulfilling hobby because they get to pass the time doing something productive while being able to see their progress through the conditions of their plants. 

This is what prompted Raye Danielle Peralta, a 22-year-old business owner, to try her hand in gardening. 

“It was late November when I decided to purchase and nurture my first plant. The quarantine has been so long that I wanted to start on a new hobby. I started following houseplant blogs and was immediately excited to start my plant journey. I figured that this would be a fulfilling hobby considering that I would be able to see my plants grow,” she said. 

Raye started caring for houseplants, particularly those that are low maintenance. Although she started caring for plants as a hobby, she also wanted to make sure that she can take on this kind of responsibility. The longer she engaged herself in her newfound hobby, the more she learned.

Raye cares for low-maintenance plants because she first wanted to dip her toes in the responsibility of caring for another living thing. (Photo courtesy of Raye Danielle Peralta)

Now, she’s caring for both indoor and outdoor plants and she gets excited when she sees new leaves on her plants as these serve as constant reminders that her plants are happy, healthy, and thriving under her care. 

“I believe the feeling of nurturing another form of living thing should not be limited to one’s age.  My first memory of gardening was when I was in elementary school. My mom once owned a beautiful garden of roses and orchids. I would watch her in the early mornings as she takes care of them. It was that moment that I realized that someday I want to have my plants,” she said. 

Raye added that she believes having the heart to nurture plants is enough to begin as well as some patience and attentiveness because the feeling of watching plants grow and multiply is worth all the time and effort.  

It gives a sense of companionship 

Most of the young generation today live alone in condos or dorms because their new living conditions may be more accessible to their work or school. Although living alone can give one a feeling of independence, it can sometimes be lonely too. 

Marj Cano, a 21-year-old media buyer, started caring for plants because they look good inside her condo unit and she relaxes in the fact that there’s another living thing thriving in her space beside her. 

She began by caring for low-maintenance plants because there’s not enough sunlight in her place and she has yet to find the right approach on how to make her plants thrive in such conditions. 

“I wake up early to open the curtains so they can get the sunlight they need,” Marj said.

To provide her houseplants with sunlight, Marj wakes up early in the morning to open the curtains to her condo. (Photo courtesy of Marj Cano)

Her hard work in caring for plants pays off and she considers it her small success whenever she gets to see new leaves on her plants. 

Caring for plants has given Marj a feeling of adulthood because gets to engage in a hobby that is usually done by older generations, or those who feel old at heart. 

It can be a source of income 

One benefit of gardening that many seasoned plant parents have discovered is its profitability. 

Because of gardening, Isabela Beatrice Gonzales, a 22-year-old fresh graduate, managed to establish her online plant store, Bloomtiful MNL, that served as her source of income while she actively searched for a media-related job. 

“My love for plants was influenced by my parents and grandmother, we already have a lot of plants at home but when the pandemic started and a lot of vloggers and influencers [became interested in] plants, I decided to also hop [on] the trend,” Isabela shared. 

She currently cares for low-maintenance and budget-friendly plants which include a mix of indoors, outdoors, and flowering plants. The ones that she didn’t get to sell also end up under her care.

Plants that don’t get sold in Isabela’s plant shop falls under her care. (Photo courtesy of Isabela Gonzales)

By tending to her plants, Isabela gets to relax while enjoying how her plants grow and thrive. Not only that, but she has also learned some traits such as patience and being sensitive to the needs of others just by looking after her green babies. 

“Gardening is a very sustainable hobby. You don’t even need to invest in fancy pots, fancy or super expensive plants. Just the plastic bottles and microwavable materials alone can be used as pots. Soils are inexpensive too, and a lot of people are generous when it comes to giving plants. I think this is mainly the reason why gardening isn’t limited to any one, it’s simple but also enjoyable,” Isabela said. 

The past year isn’t the only time when gardening has become popular. Growing plants is more than just a passing trend–it has always been there and can be seen by the fact that there are many plant enthusiasts and sellers who have already established themselves for years now. 

But no matter what year or generation it may be, gardening will always be popular among the people because it has countless benefits that can be enjoyed by everyone of all ages.