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My Vertical Garden Wall


Thursday, October 31, 2013

How to Keep Roses in Your Tropical Garden

I wouldn't recommend any new beginners
 to start their garden with roses. 
They are really tricky to start with, 
unless you got the hardy ones but those are not sold in nursery nor supermarkets.
I'm pretty sure most gardeners would have those heart wrenching moment to see their whole plant wither and die within those few weeks of purchase.
And as everyone's guess - they are from Cameron Highland
 (which are not yet adapted to lowland climate)
 But all is not loss.

These are the rose plant which are actually came from a pruned material, bundled and thrown out along the street side. I didn't have the heart to see them go to total waste and manage to get few branches to propagate them. From all of the branches only one survived and its been always blooming ever since.
(This is now like 3 years ago)

I had other varieties too but I had given all of them away but kept this one. Seemed to me that this is quite hardy & strong even after a lot of pest and fungus attack. And I love the formation of this shrub where I can prune it in an umbrella shape and it fills it with many blooms.

A lot of my friends & family often purchase their roses from nurseries or supermarket and they somehow do not last more than a month. I had experience it few times myself even after some tender loving care - after the bloomed spend the plant shivered and dies.

It was a terrible experience actually - my mum bought for me a rose plant with many blooms and passed it to me on my birthday. I insisted that it was too much for me, knowing the fact that roses were not much of my garden plant to begin with. Anyway I took it as a challenge and failed miserably at it.
Regardless, I pay back the favour by presenting another rose plant to my mum for Mother's Day and that plant too sadly died..

I begin to investigate and found few of the matters that it needed to be rectified. These are my tips to begin with - nothing personal to refute others who are more experienced than me. What I'm suggesting is that these are my personal experience and you might want to try it - that is if you find that roses don't survive in your garden.

When you purchase Roses from a nursery and you find that the rose flower bloom is beautifully compacted and formed - understand that chances are those roses are actually grown on highlands (chances are from Cameron Highlands)
Highland Roses may face a shock when suddenly introduced to a hot lowland climate - that's why you will find that the flowers appear to be exploded, leaves falling apart and the plant eventually die from fungus or root problems.

What to do?

Most of these roses are laced with chemicals to protect them from pest. Do not consume them as they are poisoned with pesticide and fungicide. Also remember that the soil medium is actually cocopeat which will cause root rot when they are planted in hot lowland climate. They don't so well when the rose is overwatered as the normal lowland counterparts do.

a) Keep the plant in shade for a week.
b) Water lightly and remove all the dying, yellow leaves.
c) Trim off all the spend rose blooms.
d) Enjoy the flowers until all of them are finish it prime blooms.
e) When you notice the newly formed buds turning into flowers - you will find that they are not so beautiful as they are first purchased. You can if you wish trim off those flower buds and keep the whole plant in leaf formation first.

1) Change the soil medium
Carefully remove the plant from the pot and slowly break of the chunks of the cocopeat from the root ball.
They will be slightly moist and you can slowly break them off from the root base.

Mix 50% of the cocopeat medium with another soil mix.
This is the soil mix that I often use - 30% red soil & 30% black soil. & 30% sand.
I use one third of each portion and mix well and together mix with the current cocopeat medium that was used for the rose.
Plant the Rose plant in slightly a bigger pot from the current one.

2) Plant back the Rose using this Soil mix and keep the plant in shade for another few days (3-4 days)
And slowly introduce it to a bright shaded plant of the garden within 2 weeks.
Increase the watering as you notice new growth appearing from the rose shrub.

3) Start putting organic fertiliser after 3 weeks.
Too soon can cause burns on new shoots and leaves.

This variety is very much like a miniature rose. It begins with pink and turns red when fully matured after few days old. I had once put the petals in ice cube and served them & it certainly taste refreshing. (Most of my family members didn't like the bitter taste of the rose petals)
I guess it is an acquired taste.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cool Blooms in my Garden

A friend of mine was clearing out most of his garden plants as he wants to focus very much in orchids. These are his collections which I had adopted in my garden. (There is another half more sitting in his garden which I still need to take which right now I'm truly lacking space)

These are blue flowering plants which I find truly rare compared to white & warm/hot colours (yellow, orange & reds) I guess it got to do with the UV colouring formation on the flower petals that makes the difference for the nectar loving insects to identify the "input" for them to drink the nectar from.

These hard pruned Golden Dewdrops (Duranta Erecta "Sapphire Showers") truly give a welcome show at the Gate Entrance. I placed them there as they need so bright sunlight for them to bloom. (A place where its getting tight to go & out of my house)

Blue Plumbago (Plumbago Auriculata) seemed to be a messy plant giving out spikes everywhere and when they do not flower - its truly a sore-eye. These too had a hard pruning which didn't do so well compared to Golden Drops.
Somehow it managed to pick up and gave couple of clustered flowers which is in a soft blue notes. Truly it is very ecstatic to see them bloom early in the morning.

My Mexican Sword Plant is blooming in shade place. Something truly a feat to note as these are very much too bloom when they receive a good bright sun on them. I guess sometimes you can get lucky. There will be small pups appearing at these flowers once they are spend.

Its another challenge whether to keep or discard them when these pups appear.

Finally after many months of keeping this plant. Powder Puff Plant had decided to bloom. These are the flowers in the bud formation. I always marvel at the berry like buds - I first thought it was actually a fruit after the flower had spend but its actually the reserve.

I guess these need good strong sunlight for it to bloom. Earlier I kept it in shade and its quite pathetic to see the leaf formation & its colours where weak and faint. Now appearing strong but it took few months to recover to this strong stage.
Not a Shade lover - I once thought.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hot Red Blooms in the Garden

One of the joys of having this ground orchid is that its started blooming again after the 6 months blooming span. Its started after the 3 day heavy rain that took place this week with 2 new flower spike together with it.
I guess its a good thing to put them outdoor where they face the weather and spring forth new flower spikes.

 These pictures (below) are taken 2 weeks ago before the rainy season. Still going strong since May (6 months in bloom ever since)

The Spicy Jatropha had a major pruning session. It was terribly infected with mealy bugs together with the farming ants. I tried to controlled it with insecticide time to time but they seemed to get the upper hand every time and bring forth major disaster as the flowers and new-shoots started deforming.

This time after the pruning - I placed them outdoors where they ants have no easy access to them and now they are blooming profusely.

These miniature Anthurium don't seemed to get back to their major many blooms instead just one at a time. Seemed like they are happy that way - not getting into the lime light of blooming. Though it happens discreetly the bloom does last very long.

I finally found a good place to put my Fire Cracker Plant.
There is however a big problem faced with their cascading effect when it appear to fall all over spilling from a standing pot giving that drunkard messy look in the garden of that want not - throw not factor.

Here happily cascading for the Sun birds to drink its nectar from and they are happy to hold on those flower branches.

I had isolated this Crown of Thorns as they do prove very hostile when it comes to their spiky thorns.
Nevertheless, they are also giving their beautiful cream blooms which is normally rare during the rainy cloudy season.

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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