Angelica Panganiban shares her ‘plantita’ journey, techniques in plant parenting

Getting their much-deserved glow-up since the pandemic, plants made us realize that there’s more to them than providing sustenance. They have health and therapeutic benefits, too which is why many celebrities including Walang Hanggang Paalam star Angelica Panganiban has now fallen more in love with her leafy babies!

Angelica used to house plants for just mere aesthetics. She’s not that invested until she renovated the house in 2014. She started to find them fascinating, although her green thumb needed a little more flexing. “Hindi ko pa nakikita ‘yung significance ng plants sa loob ng house. Noong nagpa-renovate ako, sinama sa design ‘yung mga indoor plants tapos nagandahan ako hanggang isa-isa silang namatay.”

Concerned for the remaining plants alive, she began her research and got more devoted to her planting journey. She started with outdoor gardening and slowly moved indoors. “Nag-start na ako sa mga kamatis, eggplant, sili, basil. Noong tumutubo na sila at nakakakuha talaga ako ng bunga, may puno ng malunggay pwede kang mag-tinola from your own backyard, doon ko na-enjoy talaga ang paghahalaman.” 

Touring us around her vibrant home garden, Angelica first showed the recent addition to the family – a Dracaena Anita plant. She’s still learning about the plant’s needs. For the meantime, she waters it once a week to avoid soaking and too much moisture. She also gives it just enough amount of sunshine.

Next is the Black Stem Alocasia which she thinks is the toughest to keep alive, “Sa plant na ‘to, hindi ako sineswerte, lagi akong namamatayan. Pero may mga panahon na grabe siya mag-sprout,” she said, showing us the growing bulbs and the sturdy stems. Alocasia may be tough cookies but Angelica seems getting her luck this time.

She also has a rubber tree, one of the easiest to grow.  Angelica calls them drought-resistant so she doesn’t worry much about watering them. The next baby is called Heart of Jesus, a variety of Caladium, which she only bought for less than Php 500 but is now probably priced at Php 800.

During the early days of quarantine, Angelica loved to shop for new plants. She eyed a Medusae air plant for long. It was priced at Php15, 000 then. Scared of gardening mistakes, she couldn’t risk such a big amount for a rare plant that she might just kill. She kept on coming back for the Medusae until it went on sale for only Php 8, 000.

Angelica used the art of haggling for that dear Medusae. Another plant enthusiast was trying to get it for Php 5, 000, so Angelica butted in and said she’s going to take it for Php7, 000. “Kasi alam ko ‘yung pinanggalingan niya na price, masasaktan talaga ako kapag hindi siya sa akin mapunta. Hindi ko ata mapapatawad ‘yung sarili ko. ‘Di ba medyo painful ‘pag hindi napunta sa’yo yung halaman na matagal mo nang minamataan.”

In her journey as a ‘plantita,’ Angelica learned that the best technique in gardening is to get to know the plant first.