Turning to plants for some money

A 53-year-old Sulbiah Budin showing the flower's enthusiast favourite choice known as Pokok Puding Thailand that she sold for RM55 per pot at her residence in Kampung Buntal, Kuching. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to plague the world, many – Sarawakians included – have turned to soothing activities to get their minds off the outbreak – and make some money as well.

Sulbiah Budin, 53, known fondly as Slalus, and her sister-in-law, Sarimah Mahwi, 59, have been selling a variety of plants at Kampung Buntal, Santubong since the pandemic started early 2020.

The plants come from various parts of Kuching and their customers are mostly locals who are interested in gardening.

“We sell plants supplied from areas like Matang and Bintawa. There are also some imported plants at affordable prices,” Sulbiah said.

Not limited to selling indoor and outdoor plants, Sulbiah also sells a variety of herbs.

“We sell common herbs used in cooking like curry plants, oregano, mint, and rosemary at RM5 per pot.”

Plants sold include easy-to-care variety such as Snake plants, ZZ plants, Solenostemone or locally known as Bunga Ati-ati, Caladium and Crotone imported from Thailand, ranging from RM7 to RM55.

Meanwhile, Sarimah mentioned that most of their customers are from the younger generation.

She explained that there was one occasion where a Primary Six student came to their stall and purchased a rose plant.

“It was nice to see the student carrying the rose plant home. I think it is good that the younger generation are interested in positive and healthy activities like this.”

Sulbiah and Sarimah also sell soil and fertilizer obtained from a supplier in Lundu at RM6 per 3kg.

On average, they make up to RM300 monthly, with more customers during the weekends than weekdays.