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My Vertical Garden Wall


Monday, September 28, 2009

Red Flame Ivy - Hemigraphis Alternata

This is my love-hate relationship plant. When a little neglect and it can cause this plant to die.
Both of the pictures (top and bottom) where the past history where the plant never survived.

The first time, it died due to lack of water - that was my mistake when I was thinking the rain would do that watering job for me.

The second time it died when I got confident as I uprooted and replanted them in a planter box, they all shrivelled and died.

I realised that its a sensitive plant. Few pointers about this plant:

1) Though placed in water before planting - they can still dry up.
(The leaves will appear to be dried as paper crisp)
(so the idea of rooting in water does not apply for this plant)
Alternatively - plant them immediately after the cutting and water it, they will rejuvenate within few days.

2) Its does well in shady areas. Good for hanging plant or ground covers.

3) Plant characteristics: Metallic sheen looking leaves, it has silvery gray-green above and purple beneath with tiny white bell shaped flowers. (They stand out in the foliage background)
The foliage colour are different from those which placed in shade and those are placed in sunlight.
Shade - have more silvery green
Sun - have more purple from the leaf tips.

4) There are similar types of Hemigraphis plant: (with similar characteristics)

a) Purple Waffle Plant - Hemigraphis Exotica (the leaves is crinkled & closes in a cupped shape)

b) Dragon's Tongue / Dragon's Breathe / Dragon's Flame - Hemigraphis Repanda
(narrow long leaves - edged & toothed)
It had been used as an aquarium plant as it would not rot or pollute the tank.
I had this plant before but died due to neglect.

5) Propagation:
They grow much easier when the stem cuttings are placed together in bunches of 3 - 4 cuttings.
They also have trailing stem that grows along the ground.

Additional Notes:
I finally managed to grow it at last, improving my technics (of course by trial & error)
Now, they look more vibrant then the first few trials. (I think I had tried this about 4 - 5 times)
The leaves looks more brighter and spaced out instead of the dark wrinkled shape.
Hope it last longer with blooms.


Shailaja said...

A post after my heart! I am glad you mentioned the purple waffle plant. I'm having it for years, maybe 20 years, but in all this time I have successfully propagated it only thrice! It is such a pretty plant,though, the leaves have a silky sheen. Should I now dare to get the red flame ivy, too? :)

Bay Area Tendrils said...

Hi there,
Just found your blog on Blotanical! Cheers,
aka Bay Area Tendrils Garden Travel

James David said...

Shailaja - thanks, Great to know that you have been keeping the purple waffle plant for so many years. I think you have more experience in trying out different varieties in your garden.

Alice - I had just visited your lovely blog. Thanks for dropping by.

Jan said...

Just had to stop by your blog after the comment you left on Blotanical. We do seem to grow just about all the same plants. I look forward to visiting more often now that I have found "Garden Chronicles".

Always Growing

Mary Delle LeBeau said...

You seemed to have got the knack of growing the sensitive plant. Good for you. You stuck with it. I can get discouraging when a plant continually dies. But try, try again, always helps. Thanks for all your really nice comments on my blog.

James David said...

Jan - I totally agree with you, been checking each of your every post in your past months and being marveled at it.

James David said...

Mary - there are some plant that I tried so many times and had not yet seen the success yet(still feeling envy about those who are successful with them)
Thanks for the encouragement,each support creates a new zeal to progress more.

Stephanie said...

James, I had problem with leaving comments past one/two day/s. I am sure I left you a comment for this one. Same with Bangchik's blog too.

In my friend's garden, she has this ivy as ground cover. The metalic sheen and dark purple were quite a sight to behold.

James David said...

Steph - thanks, I agree its a sight to behold, just waiting for the plant to populate the pot.

I was wondering whether you went for holidays as I haven't heard from you for sometime. I had some connection problems few days too - I guess it must be the earthquake that caused the fiberoptics interrupted.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Thank you for this post. I have a dragon's tongue, Hemigraphis repanda, that has lived for about 2 years inside. I've loved watching it grow and admiring the colors. To my dismay, this morning I checked it out and half of it is dead! What? I'm in shock... it's done so well and I check on it twice a week. It was good over the weekend and 2 days later half is dead!

Can I save the half that isn't dead?

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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