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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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Monday, September 20, 2010

Fragrant Flowers in My Garden

Its been ages since I remember when my Rose Jasmine bloomed. Also known as Grand Duke of Tuscany (Jasminum Sambac). Somehow I have decided to prune, fertilise and pay attention to this one until it blooms - and yes, it had rewarded me a glorious flower just after a week of attention. If you notice the flower somehow seemed to fastened strong compared to the regular jasmine flowers (where those flowers easily detach once the bloom is spend or dry up)

Its been raining strong these few days and so this one had seen the good days. The flower now had turned brown but still attached to the stalk.

The fragrance is so majestic, seemed to be more fresher than the regular jasmine. Have you felt a sense of refreshing, rejuvenating? Only that - it happens together with the regular jasmine scent. This is the added advantage compared to the regular jasmine bloom scent.

This one is my Orange Jasmine (Murraya Paniculata). I had relocated it to the shaded area. The raindrops seemed to be more merciful compared to the earlier location (where the raindrops whips the bloom to shreds!!!) Even the leaves seemed glossier. I had pruned just as the same time with my Rose Jasmine. Its just mesmerising to sense and enjoy both of these jasmine bloom scent together.
Truly this scent is so similar to the frangipani blooms. (Plumeria)

Something had gone wrong with my Ylang-ylang plant (Cananga Odorata),
the flower buds seemed to drop before the bloom.
Anyone can tell me what went wrong?

Finally my Water Jasmine (Wrightia Religiosa),
I had pruned all the branches and new shots with lots of tiny flower blooms are sprouting out..
Just can't wait to see the glory of this flowers again..

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trailing Watermelon Begonia - Pellionia repens

If you purchase this plant in a hanging basket from the nursery and will find that the vine tend to overlap one another and give that cascading look of overwhelming burst of growth.Well, it might want to enjoy that "glorious look" while it last and they suddenly tend to change from that condition drastically after few months.

And so what would you want to do to keep the plant alive? Take some cuttings and propagate them separately - sort of training the plant to get hardy in your garden climate. Leave the parent plant alone but have this one as your spare. Later you will find the "spare" tend to do much better than the parent plant.

I got this plant from a friend. It was her pruned pieces - somehow they didn't really thrive nor died. After months of trials and error I finally found a spot for them. They tend to be hardy compared to many plants which I have and so I really have not found their weakness yet. So far, they do great in hanging pots in shady areas. And perhaps they are happy together with their same kind in a collection of pots.

That probably makes the difference in having the few of the same kind together instead of all of different kinds hanged together (I have noticed some of the houses that hangs trailing plants and was wondering what would be the optimum, best presentation would be)

So far, I'm contented with these - they do not require pruning - in fact they don't have the "leggy" problems as some plants where they tend to dry up in the middle or at the root area (on hanging pots) and the whole plant dangles drying up from top to bottom. Flame violets tend to do this.

These can also be planted as ground cover, they do well nicely but you need to watch out for snails and slugs - the damage they cause is disastrous. You might just want to rip the whole half chewed, dangling vine and throw and start with a new strip.
(But hold that feeling - those "naked vine" can be propagated and new shoots do tend to spring back to life - with a little patience, of course)

Once the plant picks up the growth - you will have a lovely bouquet of watermelon skinned coloured leaves adorning your garden. So don't throw away those spend vines if you find them unbearably ugly. Do take that second chance. I did.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Coleus in Hanging Pots - the 2nd & 3rd Generation

BEFORE: (2nd Generation)

I got excited with all the various colours of coleus. They seemed to do very well in hanging pots and I decided to experiment them with few other variegated species hanged together.
They last about 4 months, easy maintenance and well behaved.
Until.. they start to crawl all over....

As you can see, the Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina), Joyweed & Coleus had become too leggy.
Weeds started to appear and had taken root and half of the hanging pot. Some of the coleus had died and the pot appear to be barren. All an ugly site to behold at the front entrance of the house.

NEW: (3rd Generation)
I had finally reset these ones and cut back most of the Coleus from the hangers. Its a pity most of them didn't survive & slowly wither away. I had lost few species (those which are not the hardy ones) I had manage to keep aside some cuttings and placed them on ground pots but they don't seemed to bounce back.
Anyway, those that had pull through are Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) and the white variegated Joyweed. Purple Queen too does well but they tend to rot with too much water.
These compliment very well and quite hardy. They also maintain the non-leggy appearance by growing downwards (instead of upwards) and able to do very well in both extreme (heavy rains and extreme heat)
Hope these last till next year (another 4 month's duration). Alternatively I can hang ferns here which they do quite well actually but I'm not so interested in the monotone green (not at the entrance for show)
Share with me your ideas on hanging pots in your garden - those that give the rich colour, hardy and last long.

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