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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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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

How to Care for Selaginella


Name: Selaginella willdenowii

Selaginella is a fern amd moss ally, not a true fern commonly known as spikemoss.
This particular species is known as Selaginella willdenowii due to the blue iridescent blue sheen that appears on the leaf surface when it grows under bright shade. 

Often appears under forest canopy, these are a climbing, trailing type and can easily wither if lacking humidity and growth care.


WATERING

It requires good watering, too less watering may cause leaf drop and droopy.
Too much water can cause the leaves to turn yellow the tips.

MEDIUM

It won't do well in epiphyte mix medium like orchid mix type - this require soil based medium, ideally 50% potting mix and 50% sand (fast draining medium)

However, this appear to be loose trailing plant with fine thin root spikes appearing at each nodes with each top growth and may able to grow together with  other epiphyte plants.

FERTILIZER

Foliar Fertilizer, spray weekly on half strength works best for this type of fern

LIGHT

Bright Shaded Light, this can also acclimated to receive bright direct sunlight with good humidity surrounding it.


This the green species which is much more stable and easy to grow compared to the blue iridescent one. I found that cultivating this selaginella must be immediately done as it is very sensitive and can easily wither and dried out if not placed in a high humidity condition with good watering regime.



Above is the how the fine roots filament, it appears at each node section at each plant growth.

How to Care Asparagus Fern


Commonly known as Asparagus Fern (Asparagus setaceus) but it is not a true fern but from a lily family.



WATERING

It requires good watering, too less watering may cause leaf drop and droopy. 
Too much water can cause the leaves to turn yellow the tips.

MEDIUM

It won't do well in epiphyte mix medium like orchid mix type - this require soil based medium, ideally 50% potting mix and 50% sand (fast draining medium)

Too wet can cause root rot which may be too late to safe the plant, so do be cautious in the watering regime. It be better not to over-water than under watering this plant.

FERTILIZER

Foliar Fertilizer, spray weekly on half strength works best for this type of fern

LIGHT

Bright Shaded Light, this can also acclimated to receive bright direct sunlight with good humidity surrounding it.


I had killed this plant few times and I would say that this one is not easy to care for as what it seemed. This one is very sensitive and therefore what I have done is just maintain the one that I had recently bought from the nursery.

I'm been having this one almost for a year now, All I do is water it lightly and kept it in a dry moist area where is receive a good morning sunlight and occasional foliar fertilizer spray on it.


How to Care for Pygmy Sword Fern


Commonly known as Pygmy Sword Fern, Duff's Sword Fern (Nephrolepis 'Duffii')


WATERING

It requires good watering, too less watering may cause leaf drop and droopy. 
Too much water can cause the leaves to turn yellow the tips.

MEDIUM
It won't do well in epiphyte mix medium like orchid mix type - this require soil based medium, ideally 50% potting mix and 50% sand (fast draining medium)

FERTILIZER

Chicken manure or light organic fertilizer works best for this type of fern.

LIGHT

Bright Shaded Light



Unlike most ferns, I find this one a little bit on the sensitive side. 
It requires more on the cool humid shaded side. Too hot can burn the leaves. 


This may require pruning when the leaf stalks are burned & dry. This will keep the whole fern spray looking neater and able to grow more freely without restrain getting stuck with dry, burned twig like spend fern fronds.

How to Care Fishtail Fern (nephrolepis falcata)


This particular large fern variety is known as Fish-Tail Fern (nephrolepis falcata)
I had hard time placing this as they seemed not to fit well in small space areas as the leaves span long and form forked at tips.

This unique leaf formation resembles like a fishtail fern, it also have invasive roots where it trails to form a new root-ball forming new fern fronts.


WATERING

It requires good watering, too less watering may cause leaf drop and droopy. 
Too much water can cause the leaves to turn yellow the tips.

MEDIUM
It won't do well in epiphyte mix medium like orchid mix type - this require soil based medium, ideally 50% potting mix and 50% sand (fast draining medium)

FERTILIZER

Chicken manure or light organic fertilizer works best for this type of fern.



LIGHTING

Unlike most ferns, this one can handle direct hot sun and bright shade as well. 
Ideally bright shade works best for optimum for darker well formed leaf formation.



Friday, December 20, 2019

How to Care & Cultivate Maiden Hair Ferns

This particular fern is known as Maiden Hair Fern (Adiantum Capillis Veneris)
I would consider this one as one of the most difficult ferns to cultivate and yet the most rewarding one.


I have been keeping these for years and these are my updates.
These are the different types of Maiden Hair Ferns:

(small version)




(medium size version)

(big leaf type - version)

(long leaf type - version)



(fan version)

Like most ferns, the Care & Cultivation is almost similar to most fern Allies.

WATERING

The love high humidity, not too wet & not too dry - the medium in the root ball must be moist wet. Do allow it to dry before watering but check on the condition of your garden. 
If your garden is too dry then water more, if your garden gets wet often, the refrain from over-watering it.
This is a very sensitive type of fern, so proper care is required for this one.

UNDER WATERED - FOLIAGE FEATURE:
You will notice that the leaf may look burned, withered and limp - almost like paper crisp if it is lacking water. The colors looks lighter than bright brilliant green.

OVER-WATER
The leaf will show signs of yellowing all over the plant, sometimes with burned edges. Sometimes the whole leaves will fall off if the root-ball is sitting inside the water and the whole thing is rotting.

- Do remove everything and let it dry off a day or wrap the whole root-ball with paper towel as the water is soaked off to the paper towel. Too much soaking root medium can kill this fern.

LIGHT

All ferns prefer indirect bright light. 
It can also do well in full shade but it may take few adjustment around the garden to check and balance to see where it does well. Normally it may require on hanging pot in shaded areas but it does well to on pots placed on ground.

FEEDING

These ferns do very well using organic fertilizers like chicken manure, rice washed water and banana peel. I found that common conventional granule types burns these ferns and will not recommend it - perhaps try it out first in a one single pot with low dosage and observe it.

Also used tea-bags with tea inside it - using it as additional organic fertilizer makes this fern grows well.

MEDIUM

It is best to use fast draining medium:
50% Regular potting mix with 50% river sand.
This ensures that the water drain out well as it avoids root-rot if water is stagnant.

I also noticed currently that this particular ferns are planting in sphagnum moss and let it stand on trays of water. I'm not sure if this works for long-term measures as most nurseries are focused in selling off the plants and these are kept for quick sell off and in this condition for short duration.

Do continue to monitor and check as these are very sensitive fern and may burn and die if mistakes were made on this particular one.

How to Grow & Care Bird Nest Fern



My first experience with this particular one was a failure. I had over-watered it and killed it due to root-rot. I was wondering, how come I had managed to kill one of the most hardy type of ferns - the Bird Nest Fern (Asplenium Nidus)


Bird Nest Fern can grow fairly large given the space for the rootball to grow. 
Often I had found these big ones are thrown & cast aside when it had overgrown and the rootball had grown too big and the leaves are extremely huge, often get damaged and burned due to it's size and nature.


Currently, new varieties had been introduced in the market where it has wavy features on the foliage but these are considered sensitive compared to the normal version. Due care is required on the humidity and over watering as these can rot easily.

These my experience with them (10 years ago) when I grow it in a big hanger pot which eventually broke due to the heavy weight of the rootball. I had given this plant away to a friend.




These my experience with them (10 years ago) when I grow it in a big hanger pot which eventually broke due to the heavy weight of the rootball. I had given this plant away to a friend.

Also, I found Episcia (Flame Violets) loves to grow together inside the fern root-ball.



The downside of the keeping the Bird Nest Fern in a huge size is that the mature leaves tend to burn and look unruly. Unless you have a big garden space, it will grow huge and well but it is not practical for small space garden.


I had recently purchase this particular variegated bird nest fern. 
I really love this one especially seeing white colored stripes on them.


Like most ferns, the Care & Cultivation is almost similar to most fern Allies.

WATERING

The love high humidity, not too wet & not too dry - the medium in the root ball must be moist wet. Do allow it to dry before watering but check on the condition of your garden. 
If your garden is too dry then water more, if your garden gets wet often, the refrain from over-watering it.
This is a hardy fern, so it is not so difficult to care for it compared to the rest of the fern allies.

UNDER WATERED - FOLIAGE FEATURE:
You will notice that the leaf may look burned, withered and limp - almost like paper crisp if it is lacking water. The colors looks lighter than bright brilliant green.

OVER-WATER
The leaf will show signs of yellowing all over the plant, sometimes with burned edges. Sometimes the whole leaves will fall off if the root-ball is sitting inside the water and the whole thing is rotting.

- Do remove everything and let it dry off a day or wrap the whole root-ball with paper towel as the water is soaked off to the paper towel. Too much soaking root medium can kill this fern.

LIGHT

All ferns prefer indirect bright light. 
It can also do well in full shade but it may take few adjustment around the garden to check and balance to see where it does well. Normally it may require on hanging pot in shaded areas but it does well to on pots placed on ground.

FEEDING

These ferns do very well using organic fertilizers like chicken manure, rice washed water and banana peel. I found that common conventional granule types burns these ferns and will not recommend it - perhaps try it out first in a one single pot with low dosage and observe it.

Also used tea-bags with tea inside it - using it as additional organic fertilizer makes this fern grows well.





Overall, Bird Nest Fern is an easy plant to cultivate and I would recommend it for new beginners who would love to venture into this kind of ferns.

How to Grow & Care Fluffy Ruffle Fern (Part 2)


This particular variety of Fluffy Ruffle Fern  (Nephrolepis Exaltata) has a long feature different to the one that I had cultivated for years. I got this one from a friend twice as it proved to be elusive when it get stressed while propagating its root-ball clump.


Nevertheless, once it picks up, it truly shows its beauty as its features are very different from the ones that I had grown earlier. These are longer and slim.



I had also planted it on ground pots just to keep some spares in case the potted ones failed to thrive. These loves high humidity and does well near water body - like drainside areas, ponds or water feature areas.



This is a different type of fern, however this one is so stubborn to grow properly and had slowly succumb to drying up eventhough it is well watered and in good humidity. Some ferns doesn't do so well and may require check and balance to identify their required needs.

Like most ferns, the Care & Cultivation is almost similar to most fern Allies.

WATERING

The love high humidity, not too wet & not too dry - the medium in the root ball must be moist wet. Do allow it to dry before watering but check on the condition of your garden. 
If your garden is too dry then water more, if your garden gets wet often, the refrain from over-watering it.
This is a hardy fern, so it is not so difficult to care for it compared to the rest of the fern allies.

UNDER WATERED - FOLIAGE FEATURE:
You will notice that the leaf may look burned, withered and limp - almost like paper crisp if it is lacking water. The colors looks lighter than bright brilliant green.

OVER-WATER
The leaf will show signs of yellowing all over the plant, sometimes with burned edges. Sometimes the whole leaves will fall off if the root-ball is sitting inside the water and the whole thing is rotting.

- Do remove everything and let it dry off a day or wrap the whole root-ball with paper towel as the water is soaked off to the paper towel. Too much soaking root medium can kill this fern.

LIGHT

All ferns prefer indirect bright light. 
It can also do well in full shade but it may take few adjustment around the garden to check and balance to see where it does well. Normally it may require on hanging pot in shaded areas but it does well to on pots placed on ground.

FEEDING

These ferns do very well using organic fertilizers like chicken manure, rice washed water and banana peel. I found that common conventional granule types burns these ferns and will not recommend it - perhaps try it out first in a one single pot with low dosage and observe it.

Also used tea-bags with tea inside it - using it as additional organic fertilizer makes this fern grows well.

MEDIUM

It is best to use fast draining medium:
50% Regular potting mix with 50% river sand.
This ensures that the water drain out well as it avoids root-rot if water is stagnant.


How to Grow & Care Fluffy Ruffle Fern (Part 1)


The beautiful cascading flowing fern is known as fluffy ruffle fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
I have been keeping this ever since 1995. So many memories with this fern.


If you noticed the front part, the leaves looks a bit brown / drier.
That's how it appears to be if it lacking water.


This is how it would look like in the optimum when it receiving good watering and in wet shaded area.


There is quite a confusion of different varieties when the foliage formation changes to fine leaf texture. Basically, its all the same plant but changing its formation due to atmosphere / climate conditions.




Like most ferns, the Care & Cultivation is almost similar to most fern Allies.

WATERING

The love high humidity, not too wet & not too dry - the medium in the root ball must be moist wet. Do allow it to dry before watering but check on the condition of your garden. 
If your garden is too dry then water more, if your garden gets wet often, the refrain from over-watering it.
This is a hardy fern, so it is not so difficult to care for it compared to the rest of the fern allies.

UNDER WATERED - FOLIAGE FEATURE:
You will notice that the leaf may look burned, withered and limp - almost like paper crisp if it is lacking water. The colors looks lighter than bright brilliant green.

OVER-WATER
The leaf will show signs of yellowing all over the plant, sometimes with burned edges. Sometimes the whole leaves will fall off if the root-ball is sitting inside the water and the whole thing is rotting.

- Do remove everything and let it dry off a day or wrap the whole root-ball with paper towel as the water is soaked off to the paper towel. Too much soaking root medium can kill this fern.

LIGHT

All ferns prefer indirect bright light. 
It can also do well in full shade but it may take few adjustment around the garden to check and balance to see where it does well. Normally it may require on hanging pot in shaded areas but it does well to on pots placed on ground.

FEEDING

These ferns do very well using organic fertilizers like chicken manure, rice washed water and banana peel. I found that common conventional granule types burns these ferns and will not recommend it - perhaps try it out first in a one single pot with low dosage and observe it.

Also used tea-bags with tea inside it - using it as additional organic fertilizer makes this fern grows well.

MEDIUM

It is best to use fast draining medium:
50% Regular potting mix with 50% river sand.
This ensures that the water drain out well as it avoids root-rot if water is stagnant.

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