Welcome to My Little Garden

Welcome to My Little Garden
Welcome to My Little Garden

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
There is something very serene and stable when I come and spend time in my Garden. These are my quiet moments where I seek God - listening and finding myself in that reflection. There are times when I'm not able to blog, If you have any questions or queries Do seek me out in Facebook and I will try my best to help you out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Colours of the Rainbow




The only thing that makes a lot of difference is these colours that brightens up the day in my garden. Without them, my garden would be probably be in white and green patches (thanks to my few dumbcane varieties)

So far I got these selection of plants. I realised that most of them had already made a full cycle back to me. As this scenario:

a) my plant passed as a first cutting and my plant matured & died.

b) The plant grew and matured and the cuttings passed to me & their plant died.

c) Now my plant growing and getting matured and my turn to pass the plant.

Most cases, these plants are passed to & fro from my mum's garden and my office mates garden.(some cases, the plants don't survive in my office mates garden due to lack of attention - watering)

Anyway, I found out few things about this plant:

1) Known as Painted Nettle - famously known as Coleus. (I think I should change my label from Painted Nettle to Coleus)

2) There is many different types of Coleus - these coloured garden ornament plant is known as Coleus Blumei. So, if you want to google and check more information check on the name "Coleus Blumei".

3) I guess there are 100's of varieties of colours but all of them are identified as "Coleus Blumei" variegated or hybrids.

4) I realised that the plant can have totally two different colours when one is placed in shade and the other in sunlight. So, its important to find out exactly where the picture is taken for identification (shaded or sunlight)

5) I also realised that most of these coleus have different characteristics. Some are very hardy and some are very sensitive. So, if you are planning to buy one from a garden centre - do check out the hardy issue with the gardener before buying.

6) Each of my coleus plant got a story to tell. Since I cannot find and identify their specific names - I came to a conclusion to name them according to my version. So - please, these are not the official names. (if they have and you know them, it would be great if you can let me know)



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The 1st top pic & the second pic is the same plant.
I'm calling this one: Red Heart.
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This one is passed to me by my mum. She gave me the whole pot and insist it that I should take it. From there henceforth came all the other collection of my coleus.
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Characters:
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a) Very easy - I experimented on this one, I actually pinched off the flower bud with 2 small leaf by their sides and poked it in this hanging basket. In few months time, the whole plant grew forcing itself from the flower bud!
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b) When the parent plant grew taller - their branches are thin and they tend to snap and wither slowly, some lucky ones put out roots by the end of the stem (that is if they manage to get in contact with soil and much rain)
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c) Other wise, its best to cut a few in and replant it immediately in the soil and water them. They seemed to survive and grow much better this way then placing them in water to get the initial root growing.
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I'm calling this one : Bleeding Rubies
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Ok, I may have over exaggerated. Can't think of any nice names.
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Characteristics:
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a) It has a magenta with white in the centre with green borders. The Magenta colour looks more brilliant when in sun. When in shade the whole colouring shrinks and the green takes the more prominent role.
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b) Over time, this plant become very leggy and the crown shrinks to 4 tiny leaflets. If these stem branches are not immediately trimmed and replanted the whole plant dies in old age. (more likely as a dried twig)
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c) I noticed that at this stage, the roots are already starting to get rotten and easily detached from the pot or soil.
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d) Do not wait until the plant almost going to die to get the cutting to be propagating again, rather take the cutting when its well developed and at its prime. Chances are when they are taken at the dying stage, they may not have enough energy to regrow.
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e) So, don't take chances if you only have one single plant and no copies of it - plant it soon and have more rather than waiting until old age and it dies without any spares.
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f) Better still, pass some of the extra cuttings to family and friends and mention to them to cultivate it and if needed that if you plant dies, you can always ask them to pass you some.
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I'm calling this: Tainted Glass
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This plant came from my office mate. She seemed to have many of these and that she constantly prune them and bring them to the office for distribution.
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Fairly easy plant, it has a glorious beautiful "splashed red" on the leaves when they are placed in the sun. The green borders becomes less and the red becomes more prominent.
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This plant here (the pic) is in the shade so none of that is evident here.
When in total shade - the whole red goes missing and what is left is just yellow & green.
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Check out this post for the "sunlight" area of my "Tainted Glass" Coleus:

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This one is "Wet Feet" Coleus.
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Also have the same character as the Tainted Glass. The Green borders goes missing and have fuller reds & whites when placed in sun.
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This one came from my mum's garden. She just constantly prune it and they continuously comes from the main branches, apparently their stem is much stronger and studier than the other coleus. And I have not seen this one ages compared to the rest.
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Somehow, the populate and evenly branch out from the stem instead of becoming leggy but this only happens when they are planted directly on the soil. (it doesn't work that way when placed in the pot)
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This is my "Green" Coleus.
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Seemed to be hardy plant, not much of colours except for the lime green and slight yellow tinge here and there. The leaves have fancy borders but other than that, its just a two tone coloured plant.
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This is my "Streaked Curtains"
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Not so interesting as I thought it was, somehow, its still have a nice colour when the leaves matures (a pink spine at the centre) When the leaves are young, it has a tainted brown blotch on its leaves. That colour remains if its placed in shades.
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This one is a bit sensitive and slow growing compared to the rest. I'm not sure whether I can get anymore cuttings from this one from my friends or mum as they do not any any stock from this kind.
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Conclusion:
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These are my experience and advice. (Applicable for tropical and mainly Malaysian gardeners)
If you see a coleus plant sold in a supermarket or garden centre - chances are they are the newest breed coming from many cross-breeding.
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These ones are more challenging and difficult to propagate compared to the ones that is already accustomed to the "hardy" environment. (Those usually found growing in the neighbourhood where cuttings are taken repeatedly and replanted over & over again)
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I guess once the plant sort of got used to the "real world" out there and comes out of the comfort zone of "Cameron Highland" or some special treatment - they will manage well.
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If not, then it would be the many cases of all the high maintenance plant which seemed to bloom & die in few months time. Those often sold during the festive season and many of the unsuspecting buyers buy them for decorative purpose for short term basis.

7 comments:

  1. Wow James, all your colues are beautiful. I like the ruby one. The I noticed earlier :-) It is so wonderful to see coleus as they are so colourful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stephanie - thanks, you should try few of these, they are very easy to handle - always colourful and brightens the day.
    Yes, you mentioned about it in the rose post and you are right they are coleus.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your coleus plants are very beautiful. The reds are so very deep.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the ruby one too :) Thanks for the useful info on how they grow!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the compliment - really enjoying my coleus more and more everyday.

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