BY PATRICIA BIANCA S. TACULAO

Julie Ann Lacsina, 33, is a single mother with a three-year-old daughter. She is currently employed in a BPO company but she spends most of her time as an entrepreneur in Angeles City, Pampanga who sells high-quality roses. 

She began growing roses in August 2020 but she had reservations about starting her new hobby. She had the notion that roses will not survive in Central Luzon because of the weather. 

But because she’s really interested in learning how to grow roses and wanted to challenge herself to break boundaries, Lacsina did all she can to learn how to grow roses. Through experimenting, observing the roses in her care, and absorbing all the information she can about how to grow the flowers from YouTube videos and online articles, Lacsina managed to grow all kinds of varieties such as Pitimini’s, climbing roses, American roses, Japanese roses, Korean roses, Ecuadorian roses, and even roses that are not yet out in the market.

Lacsina wanted to learn about growing roses so she did what she can to gain knowledge and experience.

(Find out how Lacsina started growing roses and earns from them

“Roses are very sensitive. If you don’t know their basic needs, definitely you will fail,” she said. 

Her favorite varieties are the David Austin roses and some English roses that are yet to be released to the market. She’s currently propagating these varieties. 

To grow these varieties, Lacsina made sure that these roses get full sunlight and are planted in a well-draining soil medium. 

“Some of my roses are in large pots and others are directly on the ground. Roses love [being planted] directly on the ground because they can expand their roots properly,” she said. 

Another way that she maintains her roses is by watering them early in the morning and late in the afternoon during the summer season. During the rainy season, she doesn’t water them at all to prevent overwatering.

Even though she had reservations about growing roses at first, Lacsina decided to challenge herself and learn more about the basics of growing roses.

Lacsina added that she also gives her roses additional inputs to promote healthy growth. 

“I maintain them twice a month for fungicide and organic insecticides and organic fertilizers like cow manure, chicken manure, rabbit manure, and vermicast. I also spray them with foliar to help their foliage be healthy and lush,” she said. 

She also uses Epsom salt, fish amino acid (FAA), and calphos. Lacsina shared that she has a compost pit to help the environment while providing her roses with the nutrients that they need. She even makes the calphos and FAA herself. 

“For fungicide, I use cinnamon powder dilution. While for insecticides, I use a mixture of dishwashing liquid, neem oil, and a liter of water that’s put into a spray bottle,” she said. 

To share the information that she has on roses, Lacsina has a YouTube channel to help growers and aspiring ones learn the basics of growing roses. 

Finding a specialty

Lacsina has always had an affinity for growing plants because of her grandmother who taught her the basics of growing things when she was young. Eventually, she found her niche with roses.

Lacsina encourages aspiring gardeners to grow as many plants as they can until they find their preferred varieties.

She encourages aspiring gardeners to try growing as many plants as they can until they find their preferred variety that brings a sense of joy and fulfillment. 

“Don’t hesitate to try different types of ornaments and flowering plants, especially roses. It seems that they are hard to deal with but when you get used to it it’s just easy,” she said. 

By growing and selling roses, Lacsina has found a way for her to earn an income to provide for her daughter’s future. She has also worked closely with a local rose farm to help sell and propagate Ecuadorian roses to interested customers, thus intensifying the gardening trend that continues to interest people everywhere. 

For more information, visit Hardin Ng Tala on Facebook.

Photos courtesy of Julie Ann Lacsina