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Welcome - Malaysian Tropical RainForest Garden Blog.

Here is where I share all my tropical garden design, concepts, themes & experiences, secrets and tips in gardening, plant care, my plant discoveries, experiments of my trials & errors.

I'm blessed with the Hot & Wet Tropical Climate and my endeavour with Tropical Garden & Rare, Exotic Plants.

I am a Plant Enthusiast and Gardening is a major part of my life where I love to share my thoughts, experiences & life work.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia


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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trailing Watermelon Begonia (Pellionia Repens)

These plants are best grown in hanging baskets. It has a trailing vine like stem with dual soft satin leaves.

It had bloomed together with my flame violets, those which I place on the ground with pebbles making them look like a rock garden theme. All was well & good until it rained continuously and they started to rot. The snail infestation had added to the damage until the whole ground plant rotted & died.

The blooms are very small clusters which looked like little spikes ripped off from the grapes. (nothing to shout about - in fact they are so insignificant that you hardly notice them)

If you notice the last 2 pictures, the plant seemed to be more greener than others. Its because that one is placed in shade. I realise that this one too is sensitive to sunlight as most of its colour pigments respond to sunlight. Though its called begonia, its not from a begonia species.

The Satin Pellonia (Pellionia pulchra) look similar to this one, so the names seemed to inter-relate with each other. I for one not sure which is the right name. As for now, I'm satisfied with the best identifying name: Pellionia.


1) They are not draught tolerant nor do they like too much watering. I once found a nice long piece suddenly shrivelled and rotting (top to bottom) until now, I'm really not sure what is the identifying factor for that cause. I suspect lack of water may had caused it.

2) Their roots do not go deep, so its best to keep in shallow pots.

3) They need to be trimmed & re potted time to time or else they will slowly become mature and die. Feeding & watering gives them a lushly look.

What is rewarding is that they have a handsome painted leaves that goes well for coloured foliage theme garden. And they do well in hanging baskets, especially when lacking space.
Unlike creeping figs or tradescantias, this one do not have roots coming out at the side of the hanging plant.


Stephanie said...

Got your advice on the begonia. TQVM! I like this plant too. The colour is unique and look like an ancient antique. Btw, I notice those green weeds like Irish leaves. I do not pull them out as I think they look quite pretty. Have a pleasant evening!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I love the color and pattern of the leaves on the two last pictures. Very pretty! So, you also have slugs there? They are the pests number one in my garden.

Helen said...

I particularly like the look of the leaves in the last picture. I don't believe I've ever seen this available in Canada. Thanks for broadening my horizons.
Helen at Toronto Gardens

Chloe m said...

This is an excellent plant for foliage. Thanks for the information you provided. You are very knowledgeable!

Noelle Johnson said...

Hello James,

I just love reading your blog because you feature so many beautiful plants that I have never heard of before, like this one...

Mary Delle LeBeau said...

I, too, like the leaves as a contrast to other plants. It has such a nice name, watermelon begonia.

sharp green pencil said...

Hi there James .. Val from Pencil and Leaf (bees) thankyou so much for dropping by . How nice to see some Malaysian fauna and flora. Nice piece re the butterfly!

Scott & Liz said...

Hi James, Nice little Begonia, one I'm not familiar with. Thanks for the knowledge.

Autumn Belle said...

This is a plant with nice foliage.

I hate the little snails. They are murderers to my beautiful plants. Can't seem to be able to get rid of them. There are so many and it is a tedious job picking them out.

Katarina said...

Hi and thanks for visiting Roses and stuff! Your garden is so different from mine and it's such a pleasure to get to know tropical plants - most of which are new to me. Like this Watermelon Begonia - how peculiar that it's called Begonia, when in fact it's a different species... nevertheless, the foliage is beautiful!

James David said...

Most welcome Steph. - The weed is actually clover, also known as oxalis. And yes, they do look very much like an aged antique piece.
The leaves are soft like satin.

Tatyana - I have slugs coming up in the night, I manage to throw most of them in the drain. The leave a sliver trail and sometimes stick on the wall.

Helen - I think this one is quite common in most places, hope you manage to find them in your place.

Rosey - indeed, its an excellent plant. Thanks for the encouragement.

Noelle - I too enjoy all the desert plants that grow in your place. Thanks for sharing.

Mary - it took me very long to identify them, I thought it was ivy or inch plant. Never knew it was a melon begonia. Guess it must look like a melon skin colour tone.

Thanks Val &Scott - appreciate your comment & visiting my blog.

Autumn Belle - I agree with you, often I pick those little snails but they still find the way to do damage to my plants. I use crushed eggs to deter them, it only help but temporary.

Katarina - My garden is mostly tropical, it is very difficult to plant & grow cold climate plants in my place. Though some of them are available, but they don't survive long term.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello there James
You are a store house of information ! .. This is a very pretty vine and I wouldn't mind having some in my baskets some day ? : )
You suggested a leaf press for my leaves yesterday and that is what I had planned and executed .. as for the results .. I'm peeking a little today since I forgot to follow the directions ? LOL
Thanks for dropping by my blog : )

Unknown said...

Hi James, what an interesting post! Although I've seen this plant, I have not grown it. I like the way it trails down...just right for hanging baskets. It does look better in the shade, doesn't it? The patterns are more clearly seen as your last photo shows.

James David said...

Thanks Joy for dropping by, Good luck on the pressed leaves.

Kanak - Yes, it look good in shades but most gardeners are unaware of the shady look and go for the sunny look and so it would like the first pic. in the hanging basket. Do grow them in shade if you decide to plant them for more maximum colour contrast.

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