Words by Isabel Aguas
The rainy season is here and although almost everyone dreads the chaotic city situation that comes with it, our plant friends definitely think otherwise. ‘Tis the perfect season to give them extra TLC! However, if getting down and dirty in the garden isn’t your thing, this crafty gardening method is a great alternative for those lacking botanical skill and space.
The Start explores the world of low-maintenance indoor gardens with Raab Bustamante to talk condo-friendly greenery and his budding plant business Terrariums by Raab.
Hi Raab! First thing’s first: what type of indoor plants are the easiest to start with?
I find that tropical plants that grow in shaded areas are easiest to grow. Examples of this are the cryptanthus, begonias, alocasias, and zamiculas zamifolia, or better known as the money plant.
Does this mean they need minimal supervision?
Well, indoor plants need ample lighting - at least eight hours of light. They also need less watering as opposed to outdoor gardening because water doesn’t evaporate as fast.
Tell us about your business. How and when did it start?
I use to live in a small condominium without access to a garden. A friend gave me a beautiful apothecary jar and I just decided to make a terrarium. I posted photos on social media and voila! A business was born.
Awesome! So what exactly are terrariums?
Terrariums are, in the strictest sense, fully enclosed containers mimicking or approximating the habitat of a given plant. I mostly use hardy tropical plants that can thrive in really humid conditions like ferns, selaginella, cryptanthus, fittonias, and begonias, most of which I grow myself. I have terrariums ranging from PHP2,000 to PHP6,000. This includes free refurbishment within six months of purchase. To see my designs, you can check out www.terrariumsbyraab.com.
For those who don’t have a green thumb, what’s the simplest way to get started in planting?
I do not believe there is such a thing as a green thumb. Growing plants is easy if you are willing to learn. Start with hardy plants, research online, find out what they require. Just simply start.