For six days a week, between 8:30 and 9:45 PM, Ethan Britto returns to the cruelty of his 180 sq. ft studio in Kalina, Mumbai, and glances to his right. Seven Pearls of Nuremberg, varying in colour from purplish grey to salmon pink, peek out from his box window grill. He’d like to see some green in this lot now. So one morning, he texts an Instagram link and asks for an opinion.
seeds of discontent
Is #succulove turning prickly?
There's a clamour for no-fuss cacti and succulent plants among urban Indian millennials. But while these spots of green are welcome in shrinking spaces, collective demand for them may not be without thorns
A 2017 survey by a US magazine found that succulent plant sales shot up by 64% in the country since 2012. A similar pattern emerged in Europe and East Asia
Low-maintenance and featuring an array of colours, cacti and succulents have been a hit on Instagram. Online nurseries are now selling them in spades
However, while #succulove and #instaplant is picking up in India, most nursery owners and horticulturists feel supply isn't able to keep up with demand
All while a small, but significant number of cactophiles and cactus nurseries—concentrated in Delhi-NCR and Kalimpong—have existed here for decades