Ornamental table roses are in full bloom in home gardens across Kerala and Tamil Nadu

Prasannavathini, a homemaker from Neyveli in Tamil Nadu, is busy packing stem cuttings of portulacas and purslanes from her roof-top backyard to despatch to Bengaluru, Chennai and Mainpuri (Uttar Pradesh). “There are over 80 cuttings of 30 varieties in each consignment,” says the 30-year-old, who grows 120 types of the decorative plant.

 a Gee Nath are taking it sluggish on account of the monsoon. “My [social media] page has over hundred orders, most of them from outside the State. But if I take the cuttings now, they might rot by the time the courier reaches the customer,” says Thiruvananthapuram-based Seema who has practically 200 types of the plant.

Move over roses, adeniums and lillies: portulacas and purslanes are in.

With extra individuals planting these decorative flowers for that signature riot of colors round their properties, on their balconies and terraces, there was an exponential rise in the variety of individuals promoting them. Kerala is in the lead, intently adopted by Tamil Nadu.

Purslanes in full bloom

 For the uninitiated, portulaca vegetation (Portulaca grandiflora or moss/table rose) or pathumani poo for Malayalis, has multi-petalled flowers and needle-shaped leaves, whereas purslane (Portulaca umbraticola/ Portulaca oleracea) typically has flowers with 5 petals and ovate-shaped leaves.

Easy to develop and keep, the vegetation bloom with ample daylight. “I by no means imagined that my pathumani vegetation would finally earn me an revenue. Inspired by my success story, a number of girls in my neighbourhood have develop into small-scale entrepreneurs,” says Manju Hari, a homemaker from Pathanamthitta, who began her enterprise early this 12 months.

Anju Karthika Gee Nath

What triggered the pattern was the arrival of sorts from Thailand and Brazil. They got here into the image by social media, particularly Facebook, which has a rising variety of buyer-seller teams with portulaca lovers from across the globe, offering common updates about new and unique varieties.

Riot of colors

“We were used to seeing portulaca blooms in white and purple. Purslanes were in shades of yellow, white, red and purple. But the imported varieties come in mind-boggling colour combinations,” says Anju, who began out with 15 colors and now has 200 shades in her backyard at Kayamkulam. She provides, “Since cross-pollination happens on its own, one can make hybrids easily. It is these cultivars and hybrids that produce flowers in a wide range of shades. Perhaps, no other flower has so many varieties.”

Vidhyadharan P


Native to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, these flowers are now broadly grown in, and offered from, Thailand and the Philippines from the place nurseries and people purchase in bulk.

One petal at a time

  • Purslane has extra of blooms in totally different colors and grows quicker than portulaca. In addition to the generally seen ones, portulaca comes in three extra sorts: hybrid, tiara and jumbo. Purslane has single-colour, multi-colour, Cinderella and Tiger Stripe varieties.
  • Grow the vegetation in well-drained soil. Vermicompost, coco pith and purple soil guarantee higher development. Enough daylight, for at the least 4 hours is obligatory. Since they are succulents, water sparsely.
  • Prune the plant as soon as each two months. There isn’t any lifespan as such for a plant until it will get destroyed by excessive climate circumstances or pests. If the mum or dad plant is repotted as soon as in six months, it’s going to proceed to provide flowers for a few years.
  • Use natural pesticides to guard the vegetation from mealybugs.
  • Facebook has umpteen teams that has Indian and worldwide sellers and consumers. Among the favored ones are ONZE HORAS – PORTULACA Troca de mudas e informações (6.3k members), PORTULACA LOVERS (4.5k members), PORTULACA PHILIPPINES (5.6k members), Portulaca/Purslane Sales/Succulents trade (2.4k members), Nature’s Colourfull Studio of Portulaca. (2.1k members) and Portulaca & Purslane collections (1.6k members)

The stem/root cuttings or the full plant stay intact for 10-15 days in transit, which makes it handy for the sellers to import them or ship them across the nation. Also there are quite a few web sites promoting seeds of hybrid varieties. “The seed-grown flowers are different from those grown from cuttings in that you can see the pollens whereas they remain hidden under the petals in plants grown from cuttings,” provides Prasanna.

Besides the fiery, single-shade flowers, you discover flowers with multi-coloured petals or a double layer of petals in totally different hues. Although these wither away by night, some new hybrid varieties bloom for 2 days. “There are new blooms every day, all through the summer. You can make a beautiful garden with minimum investment and that’s why there is always a demand for portulacas and purslanes,” says Vidhyadharan from Palakkad, who has a gradual clientèle in Gujarat. “This includes three nurseries and individuals. While nurseries buy in bulk once or twice a year, others place orders intermittently, as and when they need new varieties,” he provides.

Stiff competitors

Importing varieties is an costly affair. “The cost can go up to ₹2,000 for just one variety, inclusive of transportation and courier/postal charges,” says Anju. Seema recounts paying ₹30,000 when she purchased 180 colors (500 cuttings in all) from Thailand three years in the past and ₹6,000 for six varieties from Brazil. The catch is that they can’t anticipate the customer to pay the identical quantity. “If I pay ₹1,000 for a pair of cuttings I can’t charge more than ₹100 when I sell it because there will be another person who might sell the variety at a lower rate,” says Seema. Business has develop into so aggressive that cuttings promote for as little as ₹5 for native varieties [single colours]. The present advertising and marketing technique is to promote a bundle of colors. For instance, 20 colors for ₹200 or 50 colors for ₹500, with two to 5 cuttings of every selection.

Seema Shamsu


Prasanna, admin of the Facebook group, Portulaca Lovers, which has members from across the globe, says that Cinderella (a puffball of petals with a hoop of petals round it) and Tiger Stripe, each purslane varieties, are in demand now. “All of us are always on the look out for new varieties. There seems no end to the number of colour combinations,” she provides. Anju, for instance, is making an attempt so as to add six colors of Tiger Stripe that’s lacking from her record.

Vidhyadharan provides that he dropped his plans to purchase a Tiger Stripe selection from Israel after the whole value got here to round ₹30,000! “The pandemic has affected the transport of imported varieties. But the demand keeps growing, going by the increase in number of sellers and buyers on different groups on social media,” he provides.

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