Saturday, December 19, 2009

Trimming of Adenium

Since joining the Adenium Yahoo Group, I have learnt some tips on Adenium maintenance. One of them is why trimming of Adenium is required.

If you want to have your Adenium growing many blooms then you need to trim its stems and let the stems grow more stems and the trimming continues with time, your Adenium will have more branches. With feeding of fertilizers on a regular basis (Adeniums need heavy & regular feeding of fertilizer in order to bloom), blooms will appear on these branches. The illustrations below (courtesy of the Adenium Yahoo Group) shows how an Adenium plant should be trimmed.

Another reason to trim the stems is when the stems have grown too long (just like the photo below). You may have seen many of such Adenium. Usually Adenium that looks nice are those with thick stem. In order to get those thick stems, you need to trim the long ones. Thus nutrients will be provided to the remaining stems and over time, they will thicken up ~ just like the Adenium in the garden of my friend, Rox.

My Adenium with messy, long stems. It's time to trim!

A photo of Adenium from Rox's garden.

The next 3 photos show the Adenium that I have newly trimmed.

New shoots appearing.

I left stems with seed pods untrimmed.
The stems are hanging backwards due to the weight of the seed pods.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Green Plants

In this blog, I have often featured my flowering plants and totally neglected my green leafy plants. After going through the plants in my garden thoroughly, I realized that I have quite a number of beautiful leafy plants.

Wild fern
I have this wild fern growing in various cool dim corners of my garden. I don't pull them out as I feel they add a touch of the forest feel to my garden. This kind of fern is commonly seen when I go jungle trekking. Based on its habit, I assume it likes damn, shady environment to grow well.

Above 2 photos: Species: Syngonium podophyllum/Nephthytis triphylla. Family: Araceae
Nickname: Goose foot
I think the above are 2 different species of the Syngonium plants. The top one has a narrower, longish leaves than the second photo. This is a creeper plant as you can see in the second photo that it has creeped over the wall. It is very easy to maintain and propagate. They grow healthily under the shades of my bigger plants. This photo was taken during rainy season and you can see that its leaves are green and lush. If planted under the hot, scorching sun, the leaves would turn into an unhealthy yellowish tone. To propagate, jus cut the stem place it in some water till it roots. Then transfer the stem into a medium that has good drainage and rich with organic matters.

Species: Scindapsus aureus/ Apipremnum aureum. Family: Araceae.
Nickname: Devil's Ivy or Money Plant. Locally called: Sireh Puteri.
This is a very common plant that can be found in many gardens in Malaysia. The heart shaped leaves and the variegated species make this plant attractive. It can be grown on soil or water. In my garden, it is grown on soil, used as grown cover for my bougainvillaea. As a climbing plant, it has climbed over my wall and grown healthily. My Chinese friends like to keep this plant as the name, Money Plant, is believed to bring one prosperity.

Xanthosoma sp. from the Araceae family. Locally called 'Keladi Belang'.
This plant grows well under the shade of my porch. The plant was bought from a nursery in Tangkak in April this year at RM16. To me, that is pricey but I love the attractive white patterns on its velvety dark green leaves. I have re-potted the original plant that I bought into this big pot and it is still growing well. This plant needs moist soil. The medium used are burnt soil and coco peat. On sunny days, this plant needs to be watered twice a day otherwise the leaves would droop. Too hot a day will scorch the edge of the leaves. So I will try to keep it under my porch as much as possible. Occasionally I will feed it with goat dung fertilizer.

Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia).
I have 3 pots of Dumb Canes. They are growing very slowly yet beautifully. Probably I didn't feed them with fertilizers regularly. I like the glossy sheen on that new leaf in this photo.

I don't know the name of the 2 plants above. If any of you know them, I appreciate it if you can share your knowledge with me. Thanks ahead.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lady Fingers - From Seeds to Seedlings

Recently I have collected some lady fingers seeds from the plants that I grew. To collect those seeds, I let my lady fingers aged and dried up on the plant. When it's totally wrinkled and the pod almost burst, I would cut down the lady finger. I sowed some seeds that I harvested and within a week, I had seedlings peeking out from the ground.

Healthy seedlings grown from the above seeds.

Yesterday evening it rained heavily and this is what happened to my young seedlings! I hope it would survive the daily heavy downpour. I plan to re-pot it when the stem is a little bit thicker. For those of you who have tried planting lady finger, how soon do you re-pot your lady finger seedlings? Can you share your experience with me?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gardenia Pfordii - Blooming Madly

My Gardenia Pfordii plant is producing so many blooms! I am so delighted to see it blooming profusely or madly. My garden is filled with its fragrant. I wish I can pack the fragrant and attach it in this posting so that visitors can have a whiff of its sweet-smelling fragrant.

The new bloom which is white in colour will usually appear at night. The next morning, this white bloom will turn into light yellow. The following day it will turn darker yellow before it drops off from the plant.

How do I get it blooming like this? I am not sure actually. I only remember putting some blooming fertilizer on the plant two weeks ago.

You can see flowers in 3 different colours in these 2 photos
~ white, light yellow & darker yellow.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Birds of Paradise for Road Divider

While stopping at the traffic light along the crossroad of Newcome Road (current name is Jalan Munshi Abdullah) & Jalan Bendahara in Melaka, I was fascinated by these beautiful, vibrant orange bird of paradise plants lining along the divider in the middle of the road.
A compliment must be given to the Melaka City Council for doing a good job in the landscaping work here. It definitely makes our historical city more attractive to the many tourists that visit us here. This is crucial as tourism is one of the major sources of income for Melaka. Even to a fellow Malaccan like me, I find it a pleasure to stop at the traffic light as I get to stop by to enjoy the beauty of the plants decorating this road divider!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bright Blooms of Ruellia in Mom's Garden

Selamat Hari Raya Haji to all Muslim visitors to my gardening blog. Wish you have a contemplative and spiritual celebration.
Today's posting will featurs Ruellia (Wild Petunia) from my mom's garden. I found bright blooms of three different colours ~ pink, white & purple. Together, they really brighten up my mom's garden.

From an article written in New Straits Times (Oct 25, 1997) by horticulturist, Mr. Lam Peng Sam, the capsules of the Ruellia when ripe will explode and scatter its seeds. That's how a Ruellia propagate. That may be the answer to how I get Ruellia plants scattered in different corners of my garden.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Caterpillar on Lemon Plant

I read in Blur Ting's Growing Vegetable with Ms. Green Finger blog that lime butterfly loves lime plant. This time a butterfly chooses to lay eggs on my lemon plant (also another plant under the citrus family group).

Last Friday I found 2 tiny newly hatched larvae in black colour crawling on the leaves of my lemon plant. After the weekend, the 2 black babies have grown into 2 fat green caterpillars. They have chewed many leaves from my lemon plant. However, I didn't want to kill them or throw them away. I am fascinated by their presence in my garden. I left them to enjoy their free meals & boarding. This morning I went out looking for them again, but I can't find them anymore. I wonder if they have metamorphose into pupas or chrysalis. I can't wait to see them turned into butterflies.

Caterpillars spend their whole life eating and growing.
Caterpillars eat approximately eight times their body mass each day.

I have found some interesting reading materials on butterfly and its life cycle. If you are keen, do read on.

From the website entitled BUTTERFLIES AND THEIR LARVAL FOODPLANTS by Peter J. Bryant, he said:

Butterflies can be attracted to your garden by providing suitable flowers from which they can obtain nectar. Most butterflies can utilize a wide variety of flowers, including those of many cultivated varieties, as nectar sources. However, a more critical need is for the plants that provide food for the larval (caterpillar) stages, and most species will accept only one or a few species of plants at this stage. If a butterfly is found near your area, you can probably attract it and increase its population by planting the correct foodplants for the caterpillars. Although the caterpillars will feed on the leaves of these plants, the damage is usually minor and only temporary. Caterpillars of some species feed on plants that are usually considered weeds, and you can benefit populations of these species by not removing all of the weeds.

The Life Cycle of A Butterfly

The butterfly's life cycle is made up of four stages. Follow the links given to find out more about each life cycle stage of a butterfly:

The Life Cycle of Butterfly picture was taken from here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mulberry Stem Cuttings

I trim my mulberry plant very often when I need to pluck the leaves. Those leaves would be dried and used to brew tea for my brother. It is believed that the mulberry leaves tea can lower cholesterol level and high blood pressure. My brother consumes it regularly and it seems to improve his condition.

Recently I have trimmed the mulberry plant. Usually I will give away the stems to friends who are keen to plant them. This time I decided to plant those stems in the container used for planting choy sum. Due to the regular rain, most of the stems have shoots now. Amazingly, one even produces many fruits! A forummer from our community forum,, has requested for one of this plant. So, I will get to pass on the joy of gardening with our community here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Growth Progress of Thai Basil

In August, I posted how I got my Thai Basil to root. Today I am glad to share with all of you how much that the Basil plant has grown. From the stem cutting that I placed in water and allow them to root, I now have a pot of lush Thai Basil plant.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Growing Pineapple

I have seen my mom planted pineapple in her garden. It really fascinated me and I asked her how it's done. Has it ever cross your mind? I don't know if pineapple has seed or from where do you start to grow a pineapple?

Mom said just cut the crown of a pineapple and place it on soil. The crown will start to root and that's how you grow pineapple!!! Easy, right? Unbelievable!! What mom said was true! It's so simple. I just cut away the crown of a sweet Josephine pineapple and place the crown on some soil in a pot. That was 3 weeks ago. Now when I tried to remove the crown, it seems to have rooted and not moveable! I just can't wait to see fruit growing from it!!! Why not try planting a pineapple in your garden?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Purple Wild Flowers

Some insects have sowed the seeds of this purple wild flower around my garden. Now I have a couple of this plants around my garden. I wanna say thanks to those who send me this plant. The purple blooms are attractive and big. They add colours to my garden. Aren't they beautiful?

Added on 24 November 2009:

Thanks to James Missier, a visitor to this blog, who informed me that this is not a wild flower. The name for this beautiful purple bloom is Ruellia or Wild Petunia. According to Wikipedia, Ruellias are popular ornamental plants. Some are used as medical plants, but many are known or suspected to be poisonous.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Planting Your Own Vegetables

It's raining season in Klang Valley now. Almost every afternoon, there will be downpour. The weather is really cool and nice. The plants are getting sufficient water supply daily.

But for vegetable farmers, the rain brings less crops. That's why vegetables price have increased recently.
How're the vegetables in your garden growing?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Rare Appearance

Growing orchids require a lot of tender, loving care. They need consistent feeding of fertilizer. I used to spray liquid fertilizer every morning. As such, I get blooms after blooms. However, in recent years, I have not been dilligent at growing my orchids. As such, most rotted, died or just didn't bloom. I have only a few small pots left. I have decided not to grow orchids anymore. However, during my recent travel to Manila, I just couldn't resist the temptation of buying a few young plants from the Quiapo market. Old habit dies hard! Ha ha...

This plant that I posted today was purchased from Cebu island in the Phillipines too. The orchids in the Phillipines are beautiful and irresistable. So glad that it gave me a rare bloom this week! Everytime I see it, I just can't help appreciating its elegance!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blooms from My Edible Plants

I have some nice blooms in my garden now. So, how can I make my posting today more interesting than just featuring blooms in my garden? Be creative, JC!!!!

How about featuring blooms from my edible plants then? That's something that I have never posted before! As many of us have complaint (including moi) about there's nothing worthwhile happening in the garden for us to blog about and thus, we are stucked in a rut. Follows by the silence from posting!

To inspire myself, I still go out regularly in the morning to take photos of my garden. Now I am making myself think out of the box! I know there are many plants that I do not know the name of. That makes me stay away from blogging about them. So, how about getting my fellow gardening blogger friends out there to give me a helping hand? That would make the exchange of information interesting. In return, I can do something for my blogger friends. Brillian, huh? Ha ha ha....I just gotta pat myself on the shoulder and be creative, if I intend to continue blogging as long as possible! Bear with me, folks, if you think I sounded arrogant. Ha ha.....or if you think I am rambling nonsense! Ha ha ha....

Here's the flowers of my Choy Sum vegie. I didn't throw away those Choy Sum that are attacked by the leaf miner. I just left them in the polystyrene box. They grew and grew. Now I have cluster of yellow flowers from the vegie. Aren't they delightful to the eyes?

A single flower from my bird's eye chilli. I can't wait for it to turn into a fruit just like the bird's eye chilli I have below.

This fella won the award of being the first bird eye chilli produced in my garden!!!! I am so happy when I saw it! After several pots of curled leaves bird's eye chilli plants that died on me, I think of giving up on this little plant. If you can see, some of the leaves are curled. I have been moving it around the garden, from shade to bright sunny spot. But it loves this partly shady, partly sunny spot best. So I am going to keep it here for good.

Above photo shows the flowers of my lime plant. Since I applied my No. 47 fertilizers last week, many little buds are appearing. I hope those would turn into fruits too.

I had 3 lime fruits on my plant. But now only 1 left. They last very long on the plant, if not mistaken over 2 months. I plucked the other 2 for my sambal belacan as I didn't have any citrus in my fridge at the point of time. It's really nice to have lime plants in the garden to supply me with the limes as and when I require them.

My lady finger plant has been repotted. It has thrived hard and is now over 6 feet tall, much, much taller than me. It has produced its first lady finger and now there's another bloom appearing.

Growing edible plants bring another kind of joy ~ food for the kitchen and beautiful blooms for me to appreciate. If you have not tried planting edibles, how about starting one now?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Adenium's Beauty

I can't help having this smile pasted on my face whenever I look at the Adenium blooms in my garden pridefully. They are so beautiful and some of them came in a big clusters of 5-8 blooms. Their vibrant pink colour brightens up my green garden. Here are some photos of the Adenium to be shared with all of you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bright Blossoms in the Garden

It may be the start of autumn in the northern hemisphere where one would enjoy cooler weather. But not where I am! Over here in Subang Jaya, we get scorching heat from morning till mid-noon. By late noon, the dark clouds would be looming. Occasionall we will have rainfall in the evening. Otherwise, it will arrive when we are in deep slumber. We will be greeted by fresh morning air! That's what I like best. The plants in the garden would look so alive!!

As an effect of the weather, my bougainvillaea has produced profuse bright-coloured blossoms. My bougainvillaea has vibrant pink that shout for attention from afar. Neighbours have came over to give me compliments for their radiant blooms. This time there are blooming more than what I have blogged previously in April's Bougainvillaea - Forever Blooming. Everytime I look at the splash of pink, I just can't help smiling with admiration.

I think the hot weather plus the dosage of fertilizer 47 that I fed to the plant has helped in producing the profuse blooms.

Apart from Bougainvillaea, the Bird of Paradise is also producing many blooms.

How is your garden blooming? Look forward to seeing what's blooming in your garden too!


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