Sona Shelly, a native of Perumbavoor, has been farming decorative ginger plants for the past 12 years. She began by growing bamboo ginger, cigar ginger and red ginger on an industrial basis. After striking gold in this business, Sona now has ventured into selling the saplings of these decorative plants. The demand for flowering ginger varieties grew when landscaping became a fashionable addition while building houses.
The decorative ginger plants don't require too much care and would flower abundantly in both sunshine and shade. Sona grows her flowering ginger plants, along with the mango trees, teak, jack fruit tree and a number of other plants, in her elaborate garden which covers almost 1 ½ acres. Besides selling the flowers, Sona, who is a flower decorator herself, uses it to make beautiful bouquets and other floral arrangements as well.
The flowers of the cigar ginger are usually dried and used in dried flower decorations. Sona says that this variety is very much in demand these days. The ginger plants which are cultivated in polybags would grow saplings in just 2 months. In the summers, the torch and cigar varieties have to be watered regularly. Sona has arranged an automatic sprinkler to water her garden.