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My Vertical Garden Wall

My Vertical Garden Wall


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Earth Star - Cryptanthus

There are a huge number of resource concerning this type of Bromeliad to certain degree is quite overwhelming. One factor that over-rights everything else is experience in successfully keeping them in your garden. And that is what I would like to share - The Joy of Earth Stars in the Garden.

Unlike many other garden plants - I would consider this one unique, especially the leaves - it is everything except the dull boring green & from a far - it does shine with its fluorescent like colours in comparison to other foliages.

Most of my Earth Stars are now producing pups (baby plants/offshoots from the side)  I have yet to properly set them as they are quite fragile (easily breaks off when come in contact) and they are indeed a slow grower.

Given proper attention & care, Earth Stars make a very strong visual contrast of colours especially when it comes to small spaced shaded garden areas. I had seen some gardeners use them in terrariums and bottle gardens. Perhaps when I have more time in my hands to venture into such task.

This one is the strangest - the original was green and pink and slowly turned pink to white. I guess this one cannot make up its mind it setting its colours.

This is actually an ornamental pineapple. I had a small pup and its been doing fine - very slowly growing for many years.

These Bromeliad had been rescued from the dumps.
It could be neoregelia tricolor.

And the bottom one which is totally green could either be neoregelia compacta or billbergia pyramidalis. Both species can only be defined unless the flower starts blooming - until then I just have to be content with their foliages.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cactus Garden - 2013

 One of the most exotic looking plants are succulents which in fact goes very well hand in hand with cactus plants. I could go on with great length of description concerning their autonomy and structure together with their climatic behaviour and sorts.

To be honest, my intention is to share my experience in keeping them for years and in my case - keeping them successfully for years & propagating them for many more years to come.

Let me begin, I bought two succulent plants - both are similar to the type (the one on top) and the bottom which recently died for no apparent reason. I think its about 3-4 months old.

The difference - the top one: I had changed the soil medium and replanted all the pups.
The bottom one (I left it alone without disturbing its root structure. Both receive the same amount of water once a week or 2 weeks once (depending on the rainy season)
To date - I cannot explain why the plant at the bottom died unless the only reason I can think of is that the soil composition didn't agree with the plant in long term basis.

This bought this one  (below) for 3 plants for RM10.00.
(the other two cactus pictures didn't look good)

It had eventually grown very big. What I like about this cactus is that it has a hairy, furry top with thorns hidden inside it. Very elegant looking and I'm hoping to see any new shoots or baby sprout from this only species.

This succulent was rescued from the dump. The leaves didn't look like this when I picked it up. It was totally bare with few damaged leaves and stumps. It took almost a month to put up new sprouts and its totally beautiful. It has a powdery dust on the leaf surface like find gloss and its quite sensitive as they can easily snap when handled.

These are the most easiest of cactus. They had given out so many shoots over time that make-up 90% of my collection. I think once they establish in the pot - they tend to sprout out pups slightly from the trunk and eventually put out roots and fall taking out all the immediate space available within the rim of the pot.

Another favourite is the Mother of Thousand plant. Here I keep it in control as they can be a handful putting off many babies from the leaf offsets, invading the garden. They do fine here with the cactus.

This is supposedly a water planting pot where there is no drainage hold underneath it. I previously used it for my waterlilies and other aquatic plants but somehow I find that there tend be mosquito's breeding in it if I'm not careful. I used to put fish inside to counter the situation but when it rains the whole pot gets flooded and the fish washed out. Putting it in a shade has its downside where the flowers tend not to bloom - they need full sun.

And so - I decided to turn this into a Cactus Collection Planter Box.

I often see broken pottery used as creative planting medium and I have decided to do so here. This is Mother of Thousand babies fastened in between the soil and clay pieces. Hope they can stick around.

This is another type of Mother of Thousand. They don't do well in my balcony (with once a week watering)
Here they seemed to be happily sitting even without propagating themselves out of control. As many gardeners used to say that they are quite invasive.

Agave - rescued from a dump site. I had found few pieces of it and all of them survived.
I think I will skip the description of how it looked like when I found them.

Finally my very favourite succulents - Donkey Tail.
Had been very faithfully strong and able to handle the weather well in my garden. Once I made a mistake of replanting them and the whole of them died with very few survivor and they manage to pick up themselves back better than the former glory.
I would say they are so sensitive that these can be classified as "touch me nots".

I didn't realise that I have many succulents now in my garden carefully tucked away between so many plants and cactus that they can easily ignored and forgotten. And it is best that way as over-watering can kill them.
Best viewed from afar, not taken cared on a daily basis.

About Me

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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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