Plant sales rise as mercury dips

 06 Dec 2016 - 2:01

Plant sales rise as mercury dips
Customers choose plants at Omani Souq in Doha. Pic: Qassim Rahmatullah/ The Peninsula

By Huda NV / The Peninsula

The cooler weather is translating into better business for many plant traders here. Demand for natural plants, especially flowering ones, is on the rise, say sellers.
“We are enjoying robust business. Our collections of flowering plants are in high demand and many Qataris drive in and buy these plants in bulk. Some also buy fruit plants like lemon, orange, papaya and a few other tropical plants,” said a seller at Omani Souq.
Stretching over a few metres on one side of the Omani Souq, the row of outlets that sell plants is an oasis of verdant beauty, with a large number of flowering plants on display. Several varieties of plants and trees from Holland, China and Thailand are found here. Also, varieties of planting pots and gardening equipment, seeds, soil, and much more is on offer at the market.
Apart from the flowering and fruit plants, date palms, different types of cactus and Chinese bamboo sticks are also popular during all seasons.
“People buy indoor plants as it is easy to maintain them regardless of the season. Many people also buy Aloe Vera, Indian borage, Oregano, Rosemary and few other seasoning herbs and medicinal plants imported from different parts of the world,” another seller said.
However, many who own nurseries say that there has been a decline in buyers compared to previous years. For florists here, sales during winter months usually bring highest profits, enough to cover-up the considerably low sales during the summer months.
“We do have buyers, but not enough as in the previous years. This is because many of our customers have left the country. Expats who have their own space outside the houses are usually into gardening and landscaping, and over the last few months many of such people have left the country, which does have a heavy impact on the business,” Asgar Ali, Managing Director, Floranza International Nursery, told The Peninsula.
The type of plants bought usually depends on the availability of space.
“Most Qatari families are more into fruit plants, vegetables and also lawns, while expats mainly go for seasonal plants. Lawns are also in high demand among people coming from Europe and the West. And also round-the-year, there is demand for indoor plants. Our major customers are commercial facilities and also those who live in villas,” Ali said.
“Gardening in Qatar is rather seasonal for majority of the people here. People are mostly looking for flowering plants, as winter is the best time for blossoming here,” he said. Meanwhile, sellers at Omani Souq are at an advantage with many people driving into the market .Florists in the souq are doing brisk business as more expats plan gardens on balconies and outdoor terraces.