Tell our readers about Gardengram? Kindly take us through your journey since inception. What have been your major achievements and your major challenges?
Gardengram is an e-commerce platform that makes gardening a hassle-free experience for the millennials by providing them gardening related products at one place, helping them save on their time and energy spent in the process of setting up their own gardens. We are working on creating an engaging gardening experience for the millennials by providing them with products, information and community connect related to gardening. We sell products ranging from plants to plant food.
It was started in 2021 by Tanvi Prakash and her mother Nisha Prakash where we started by selling plants. After that we worked on adding products in the plant food and soil food category that have been very popular among the millennials as the nutrition requirements of the plants can be procured online easily.
Our focus is on making gardening products accessible by keeping the customer requirement in the centre. We are a government recognised start-up operating out of Bihar. Human resource is a challenging area for us but we are working on it by capacity building of the team members.
Kindly give some insights into the gardening segment in India. How is the size the same?
The gardening sector in India is growing at a very fast pace. In our experience, we have seen that there is a craze for gardening in tier four cities as well and a major segment of our customer comes from there.
Millennials also find it easier to buy the plants if they are provided with guidance on how to buy space specific plants. The uptake of products increases when we are able to offer bundles for spaces such as living room, washroom, bedroom, study room etc.
What is important for good quality fertilizers and nutritious soil for plants?
It is one of the most important things to keep in check while growing plants. In the case of kitchen gardens, especially what we put into the soil is returned to our body when we consume the vegetables and fruits. Hence, it is important that we provide the soil with a balanced dose of nutritious soil. Usually, there is a trend of container gardening owing to the constraint in space.
The soil in the containers are not able to replenish the nutrition on their own. Also, plants need a certain balance of water, humidity and aeration. It is hence critical that they use good quality potting mixes and plant fertilisers that aids a good foliage and bloom. The gratification in gardening increases when the green babies are happy and healthy.
Your view on the emergence of this segment during COVID time India?
Pandemic saw a breakdown of the entire social fabric and healthcare structure. Mental health which was on a backseat for very long saw focus. People in light of social alienation started exploring avenues and activities to engage with self-care. Gardening emerged as one such activity along with baking and cooking.
More and more people started to cultivate the activity of harvesting plants and kitchen gardens, owing to several health benefits, air purifying nature, immunity boosting properties and aesthetic purpose. The feeling of having grown something has a huge psychological reward and is an important life skill that can also be cultivated in children.
What are a few important plants everyone should have at their homes?
We recommend people buy plants according to their spaces. Infact a lot of considerations factor in while choosing the perfect houseplant. However there are some plants we would suggest. For low maintenance plants which are air purifying in nature, we would recommend snake plant, spider plant, zz plant, jade plant.
For immunity boosting plants we would suggest aloevera, tulsi, and some succulents. For luck, it is said that areca palm, ovata crassula are beneficial. For aesthetic purposes, we would suggest monstera deliciosa, philodendron birkin and aglaonema. We would reiterate that there are no mistakes in gardening, only experiments. We would suggest following the gardening heart and enjoy the greens.