EXPORT-READY SUCCULENTS GROW AMIDST THE COLD

Agriculture|April 2020

EXPORT-READY SUCCULENTS GROW AMIDST THE COLD
OVER THE YEARS, succulents have grown popular among budding and seasoned gardeners because of their various shapes, sizes, and colors that delight its growers. But what people like the most about these plants is their ability to withstand prolonged periods without water, making them suitable for those who aren’t exactly blessed with a green thumb.
PATTRICIA BIANCA S.TACULAO

Succulents store water in their leaves that allows them to thrive in dry and warm climates, which they commonly prefer over the humid and cold.

However, not many people know that the ideal temperature to grow succulents range from 15 to 27 degrees Celsius. These conditions are what helped Haight’s Farm grow quality succulents in Paoay, Atok, Benguet.

“[We learned that] succulents grow better in cold environments but are very resilient since they can withstand up to a temperature of four degrees for cold climates and 32 degrees Celsius for warmer conditions,” said Edward Haight, a member of the Haight family who currently manages the farm.

Benguet is mostly known for growing high-value crops that thrive well in colder environments. Yet, PJ Haight, Edward’s nephew, thought that it was time to divert from this usual scenario, which then led the family to start planting and growing succulents on their property.

“I decided that our farm should be different in terms of production since there’s the ongoing issue of oversupply in vegetables and cut flowers,” PJ Haight said.

Presently, the farm grows around 24 types of succulents classified under Echeveria, which is a large genus of flowering plants in the Crassulaceae family. This kind of succulent is native to the semi-desert areas of Central America, the northwestern part of South America, and Mexico.

The succulents from Haight Farm are exported to the Japanese market, where they get orders that can go as high as 1,500 seedlings per variety.

“We also sell our succulents to the local market, especially in Manila,” the younger Haight said.

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April 2020