By Vina Medenilla

The sudden spike in the demand for plants has resulted in the rising numbers of plant sellers in the country. Many growers have also started offering their plants. Unfortunately, this has also made the market susceptible to overpricing. 

Lito Dimaculangan, 58, a former OFW who has extensive experience in the horticulture business, is a Lipa, Batangas garden owner who has been selling plants even before the pandemic occurred. 

Read his story: Longtime horticultural industry worker builds own plant shop in his 300 sqm garage.

From entertaining garden guests to propagating and growing plants, Lito Dimaculangan is a hands-on garden owner. Soon, he will also be opening a farm.

What matters the most when managing an agribusiness is strengthening its foundation so that it can thrive even after the pandemic. To do this, Dimaculangan shared tips with the acronym “PLANT” to better remember the things needed when setting up or operating a garden business: 

Passion. Everything boils down to one’s passion for plants. As Dimaculangan said, passion is the most important “capital” or investment in the business. Plants do not magically multiply and thrive by themselves. He added, “There will be times that your plant will die. Accept it, move on, try again. Learn from your mistakes.”

Learn every plant’s needs. Knowing the different kinds of plants by heart would be a walk in the park if it is something that one is passionate about. Growing or selling plants for the sake of money might be a business that is difficult to sustain. 

Selling plants requires familiarizing oneself with the plants, including their common name (or better yet, their scientific or botanical name), and requirements like water, sunlight, growing medium, fertilizer, and other things important to plant care. Connecting with the buyers will be natural and easy since this will allow sellers to cater to their client’s needs and answer their concerns as well.

In a 300 sqm garden, Dimaculangan was able to grow and fill his garage with various ornamentals, crops, and more.

A superb customer service. Sellers must also be plant growers themselves. This way, it would be much easier to explain the plant requirements, their differences, and other information that customers will need to achieve success in growing plants. 

“Answering their raised issues is very important for the benefit of the plant and the customer.” Dimaculangan expounds, “Share the technical know-how to the customer to further encourage them to buy more plants. The more they get inspired, the more they will love plants.”

Not following the trend. When establishing a garden business, Dimaculangan emphasizes the importance of not relying on the buy and sell scheme. As a plant seller, one must know how to multiply or propagate their plants to be able to increase profitability and knowledge. 

Take charge. Be involved in tending the plants and in managing the business.  Like any other business, “You will never know it if you don’t do it by yourself.”

Photos courtesy of Lito Dimaculangan

For more information, visit Plants for home by Lito Dimaculangan on Facebook.