Mumbai: In the maze of concrete, where one apartment building towers over the other and fights for space, one can still grab sight of green. Plants growing in pots seen hanging from the fourth floor of a building or sticking their neck out from the narrow space in the verandahs or roof-tops of homes and offices are a pleasing sight to see.

Breathing fresh air into the polluted environs of urban life, they remind us of nature, and how it will always form an inherent part of our lives. It is true that plants not only add colour and life to the interiors, they also act as de-stressing points of our homes.

Though plants were always grown in pots by plant lovers of all generations, in the past five years or so, the trend of keeping potted plants has increased.

Potted plants are fast becoming the in-thing to have. People who don’t know much about plant-care are now visiting nurseries with renewed interest and choosing plants of different varieties for their homes.

So much so that sale of plants in packets and pots is now supporting a large number of people. These plant-sellers can be spotted in busy market areas, street corners and in hand-driven carts moving through localities.

Interestingly, soap-serials on the television are playing a good role in reviving the interest among people for potted plants.

“Ninety per cent people who come to us ask for plants they saw in a particular serial. Though many times we ourselves don’t know what plant they are talking about, it is good to see people taking interest in decorating their homes with plants,” proprietor of one of the biggest nurseries in the city said.

Agrees Madhu Vats, house-wife and a keen gardener. “Potted plants are much in vogue nowadays. They are excellent for decorating the sitting-rooms or other areas of the house. But one must take good care of the plants. Often, people buy potted plants and then don’t give much time to tending them.”

“I have a good collection of indoor plants. Apart from them, I keep twenty pots aside for growing seasonals in them. I buy Aster, Dahlia, Marigold, Antirrhum. But my favorite is Rajnigandha. Exotic and hybrid flowers are good to see, but I feel Indian flowers are much more fragrant and long-lasting,” she said.

While non-flowering indoors like palms, ferns, begonias are an all time favorite, potted seasonals have become the hot-new favorite.

A wide variety of hybrid seasonals have flooded the market. Even the small, road-side nurseries are now offering take-home blooming hybrid seasonals that are a delight to see and need minimum fuss.

“Till six years back, we used to sell more of indoor potted plants and bunches of seasonal saplings. But now our major earning is from potted flowering plants like gazania, gerbera, etc. In winters, we sell potted hybrid marigold, dahliyas, chryxanthemums, verbenias, petunias, pansys, cinnenarias, etc.

In summer, we mainly sell Cosmos and hybrid Zenia grown in pots. We buy the hybrid seasonals from bigger nurseries,” said Shanta Tai who sells potted plants and saplings on the road-side.

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