get lost in Dubai’s plant souk

If extended periods at home have taught us anything over the past couple of years, it’s that almost any room can be brightened up with the addition of foliage. And for those looking for greenery, the Plant Souk in Dubai’s Al Warsan district should meet most needs.

A collection of dozens of nurseries – including Black Tulip Flowers and Green Trend Landscape – located between the E44 and E611 motorways, it’s a place to spend hours browsing the seemingly endless range of indoor plants and garden plants. ‘outside.

The humble houseplant has carried the weight of the world on its shoulders during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As people faced extended periods of time at home, they sought to bring the outdoors in, turning to plants to bring their domestic spaces to life.

A 2021 study published in Urban forestry and urban greening journal links houseplants to positive emotional well-being during the early days of the pandemic.

“The majority of respondents (73.7%) agreed that having vegetation at home contributed positively to their mood during the Covid-19 lockdown, while only 3.5% did not. disagreed,” the study reports.

“This seems to be reinforced by the frequency of positive (calm, optimism and cheerfulness) and negative (stress, sadness, fear and depression) self-reported emotions during the Covid-19 crisis in people with many (more than seven plants), few -one (three to seven plants) and none or very few (less than three) houseplants in the house.

For the green-fingered shopper, there are countless high-maintenance options available at the Plant Souk, including the notoriously tough, but stunningly beautiful orchids (see below) and bonsai trees.

Meanwhile, for those with a habit of killing greenery that oversteps their threshold, there are plenty of low-maintenance plants to consider.

Rubber factories, or elastic ficusare abundantly available and have a reputation as one of the best houseplants for cleaning or purifying the air.

You will also find cacti, peace lilies, fiddle leaf figs and birds of paradise, also known as Strelitzia nicolai (see below).

Although not native to the United Arab Emirates, cacti have a reputation for being hardy, resilient plants that can survive, if not thrive, in arid desert climates.

The selection of cacti (see below) at the plant souk is vast, with price options ranging from Dh100 to Dh25,000 and some reaching 2.5 meters in height.

The diversity of the horticultural audience was also prevalent early in the pandemic, when Gen Z content creators went viral on TikTok with videos about houseplant care.

“We’ve seen a lot of younger consumers coming into the market because of the pandemic and because they had to stay home,” Benjamin Campbell, associate professor at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said of a study. compiled for the University of Georgia. .

“Plants have been shown to help with many different things related to people’s psyches. Gardening has not only given people something to do, but it has also given them a little more happiness.

For those pinning their hopes on outdoor plants, there are even more options available at the Plant Souk. Browse the aisles of Citrus japonica (kumquat, seen above) and hibiscus; crepe myrtle, Heptapleurum actinophyllum and olive trees; and countless varieties of palms (see below).

The olive trees (see below) available at the factory souk cost between Dh150 and Dh200,000 and are shipped from Europe, mainly Italy and Spain. Some of the trees available for purchase are 800 years old.

Updated: 06 May 2022, 18:01

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