Over the last three years, the Colombian nursery growers have witnessed a boom in the sale of orchids, bonsai and even succulents to give on special dates.
By Laurasofía Polanco Hincapié - firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you noticed that the kiosks where orchids are sold are the most crowded in the shopping centers? It is not an isolated event, because this type of point of sales, which commercialize ornamental plants, as well as nurseries, go through a boom in sales. The turnover of these types of plants, such as bonsais, cactus, orchids or succulents, grew 20% during the past year. This increase in the income of a sector that in Colombia generated 150,000 million pesos in 2018 (USD50 million) is due, to a large extent, to the tendency to give away plants.
The occasions to present them vary from a brand new home or fulfilling an achievement, to celebrating Mother's Day. Even, contrary to the belief that women are the ones who receive these plants, bonsai are given away mainly to parents, according to Patricia Salinas, owner of the El Nativo nursery.
The gift boom is also explained by the interest of a new target audience: young people. The new generations have a greater taste for plants compared to their predecessors. "They see them as if they were a pet, that's why we see more purchases from these customers than before, especially those that are easy to care for," added María del Carmen Amórtegui, one of the associates of Colviveros (Association of Colombian Nursery Growers).
Another factor that has increased the interest of this population has been the Environment, as younger consumers prefer to buy live plants to artificial or cut flowers, to meet their sustainable living model. This could also be related to a health issue. According to Amórtegui, many people seek to have small plants that they can consume, taken care of by themselves, that guarantee that they do not have chemicals. Hence, it is not strange, for example, to see eucalyptus, rosemary, mint or lemongrass in apartments or offices.
According to the experts, the plants also provide an interesting option when looking for a gift, as they can be given to men and women alike. In addition, there are all price points, so they can be used for any budget. According to Salinas, the average cost of a plant in Colombia, such as the famous succulents is 12,000 Pesos (USD 4). Even if you buy a plant with a special design, it is still a very accessible gift. On average one of these plants in a pot of this type can cost on average 41,000 Pesos (USD 13). Prices can go up to 150,000 Pesos (USD 50) when orchids are purchased.
One last factor that explains the boom of the plants as a gift is that they have become a fundamental element of decoration for any space, going from being exclusively in the courtyards to decorating rooms, kitchens and even bathrooms. This has been accompanied by the innovative design of the pots, since the classic container of mud for exteriors has been transformed into pots in porcelain and modern materials, which are even friendly with the environment.