Blooming rose, hibiscus, lily and sunflower are a sight to behold in Mehrauli’s nurseries during the summer months. At least five nurseries near Qutab Minar Metro station, that have a range of seasonal flowering plants, are popular among garden enthusiasts. Both indoor and outdoor plants are in demand here as the buyers want to add seasonal colour and fragrance to their premises.
According to the nursery owners and gardeners, outdoor plants such as marigold, hibiscus, sunflower, lily, ratrani, asparagus and adenium bonsai are most popular this summer. “This is the best time for gardeners. Tell us which plant you need and we will get it,” said gardener Sanjay Kumar. He added that these days a number of customers ask for flowering plants that are easy to maintain. In such cases, he suggests, people can go for marigold, sunflower and lily which need little care, regular watering and good sun. Kumar, who has been working in these nurseries for more than 10 years, said that indoor plants like aglaonema, golden aralia, rhodiola rosea and areca palm are also popular among customers.
This summer, when Rashmi Tiwari, a homemaker from Lajpat Nagar, planned to set up a small garden in front of her ground floor apartment, her friends suggested a trip to Mehrauli’s nurseries. “The gardeners patiently showed me the whole nursery and helped me decide what plants to choose. Since summer is best for sunflowers and mogra, I bought two plants. I also bought a small palm tree and a Bonsai plant,” she said.
Besides needing little care, most of these plant are also affordable. The price ranges from Rs100 for small indoor plants to Rs 6,000 for a full-size tree. The plants are brought from Maharashtra, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh and the nurseries hire gardeners and florists who have hands on knowledge about plants and can help customers select plants that suit their requirements.
“Indoor plants need little sunlight and water. They can be easily kept in shade. But outdoor plants need sunlight for four to five hours and require more watering,” said another gardener. The nursery owners said that their customers come from as far as Chandigarh, Bhopal and Jaipur and the plants are transported in mini trucks to such customers.
“I have been coming here every summer for four years. This time, I bought sunflower and marigold plants. These will add some colour to my garden. Last year, I bought a rose plant. I keep coming back here as the nurseries stock fresh saplings and the gardeners are very helpful and knowledgeable,” said Smita Patel, a gardening enthusiast and resident of Hauz Khas.
Some customers prefer to come to the nursery more than once. On their first visit, they just stroll around, identifying the plants they want. The gardeners advise them on which plant is best suited to grow in summer. Some customers come with pictures of plants they want and the gardeners help them in identifying.
“I once saw a couple of plants at a friend’s home but couldn’t identify them. The plants were green and it looked like they required less maintenance. So I decided to get the similar plant for myself but was too embarrassed to ask my friend. I clicked a picture and found it in a nursery in Mehrauli,” said Priya Thomas, a resident of Munirka.
Tips to take care of your plants
*Summer plants need three to five hours of direct sunlight
*Plants need more water in summers to make up for the lack of humidity in the air. However, don’t water plants from the top, water at base
*Allow the soil to dry before watering again
*Plants in pots need more fertilizer, try to use organic compost
*Removing weeds is important, so is removing faded blooms which encourages plants to produce more flowers
Popular summer Price
Marigold Rs 30-50
Hibiscus Rs 50-250
Sunflowers Rs 50-100
Lilies Rs 350-650
Golden Aralia Rs 100
Rhodiola rosea Rs 300
Asparagus Rs 60-200