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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, March 26, 2020

Different Types of Alocasia (Elephant Ears) - Names & Images

The very fact to note that there are a huge cultivars and hybrids on Alocasia which indeed and impossible task to list down, let alone to identify accurately which proves futile in my part.

However, I would like to list down what I want to have in my garden - labeling their identity at the closest I can identity based on their family or genus - which may not be that impossible.

Here are the list of the plants - specifically these Alocasia which I had managed to cultivate and grow in my garden.  However, Alocasia have similar foliage traits and characteristics with Taro but not cultivated for food crop as they can be poisonous. Here - it's more cultivated for ornament purpose and therefore I suggest to do proper study and research if in the intentions to identify to grow edibles.

These are the outdoor variety which appears to be much hardier and easy to grow in comparison the the sensitive type known as Jewel Alocasia (which I had placed in a different category)

These variety are much larger and hardy in comparison which often labelled as Elephant Ears - often planted outdoors which receives open bright sunlight and rain.


on their Care and Cultivation on each plant types and their characteristics.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Different Types of Taro - Names & Images

The very fact to note that there are a huge cultivars and hybrids on Taro which indeed and impossible task to list down, let alone to identify accurately which proves futile in my part.

However, I would like to list down what I want to have in my garden - labeling their identity at the closest I can identity based on their family or genus - which may not be that impossible.

Here are the list of the plants - specifically the Taro which is Colocasia which I had managed to cultivate and grow in my garden. I had found that Colocasia are plants that edible, hence Taro.

However, Alocasia have similar foliage traits and characteristics but not cultivated for food crop as they can be poisonous. Here - it's more cultivated for ornament purpose and therefore I suggest to do proper study and research if in the intentions to grow edibles.


This particular one is the most common type that can be easily found in any water body - like drainside, pond, bog, lake or puddle - they appear to be very much like Caladiums except they are all green. This is not so hardy - if uprooted and kept aside for few hours, they can easily wither and leaves dried up - therefore do give care to make sure this one is not totally dried if collected together with the foliage.

Otherwise, you can separately plant it with the tuber (keeping it separately in a dried condition for future planting)


Similar to the Swamp Taro, this one is also sensitive with it's foliage. 
The plus point is that - it has huge floppy leaves that can easily get damaged if proper care is not given. However, once established - they can look magnificent and graceful. 
Their appearance is very much in the cool dark green shades.


Blue Taro - Xanthosoma violaceum

This is not a Colocasia family but it is still known as Blue Taro. 
It has a very dark coloration and can appear in blue in the right condition. 

The stem is also in dark blue to black and has a beautiful dark border around the foliage that adds a beautiful feature for this plant.

Black Taro - Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic'

This particular type is no mystery, these require to be in an aquatic setting or else the foliage tends to get burned by the edges. These are planted for ornament purpose.


Similar like Black Magic, this has a reverse appearance on the foliage, 
a silhouette sheen on the leaf surface adds another mystery.

Taro - Colocasia esculenta 'Black Coral'

Black Coral has a darker coloration in comparison with the other two. 
They are truly a beauty to behold.
This one is similar to "Black Coral" with an additionally ripple effect on the foliage. 
Black Coral do not have this feature.

This particular cultivar is known as Teacup, there is another which is known as "Coffee cup" which has more broader bigger hollow size than this one.

Do click on their names to get to the link to get into more detailed information on their Care and Cultivation on each plant types and their characteristics.

Dumbcane - Dieffenbachia "Mary'


I had written comprehensively on the Care & Maintenance of this particular plant, 
do check on the link below at the end of the post.

Here I want to showcase in detail specific individual dumb-cane plants.
These varieties are so huge with the countless number of cultivars and hybrids - it would be impossible to identity them.

And so my closest guess is that this is Dieffenbachia "Mary' or "Mars" which may accidentally mis-named and the name got stuck in the plant community.


Unlike most dumbcane where the plant is small to medium size - this one can grow into a giant size with lavish huge leaves like elephant ears - somehow makes a great compliment plant with other Colocasia & Alocasia species.


This particular one is very much of a cream with green splashes with green borders. The leaves are broad and heavy upright and may need to set with a support when it gets top heavy. 

It appears to have two-tone colors and hardy noticed white patches on them.
Each leaves has it's own characteristics. Also the midrib have slightly a brighter coloration from the rest of the foliage - sort of giving a visual impact.




They can get easily burned when exposed to direct hot sun and care is required that it receives bright indirect sunlight. Alternatively, I trim off the burned spend leaves and let the new shoot and foliage to take precedence.



Pictures Below:

I had found that this particular one tends to become greener and the coloration has a totally difference appearance when planted in shade.  

The colors seemed more jaded, the cream diminishes into light green and have more of a 2 tone appearance. The younger leaves are very much have a darker green coloration totally different from the matured plant.




Do click on my link below for more detailed information concerning on
How to Care & Cultivate Dumbcane Plant:
Dumbcane - Dieffenbachia - Best Indoor Plants

Monday, March 23, 2020

Caladiums Sold in Nursery


These are what currently sold in the market, these are the new hybrids where it is introduced during the CNY season. They haven't really made a come back in their popularity zone as everyone is aware about their setback - dormancy.


And therefore these are sold in a good price, normally spanning around RM10 - RM12 depending on their availability and generosity of the nursery owner. Sometimes they want to clear the stock and release them at the wholesale price - getting them at a good price is good but sometimes the plant condition can be a little bit detrimental especially when they going into dormancy.




Some cultivar are so interesting as they appear to dish out their normal green into the colorful array of unique red appearance. However it is, red somehow has it's best appearance for this plant especially not may plants are featured as such graceful as this.



Do let me know if you own a Caladium and how you care and cultivate them. Share your thoughts and experience and I would really love to hear from you.





How to Cultivate Caladium


I find this particular one is the best so far. It had withstand the test of time where it is faithful to remain in my garden for years and with short dormancy period. 

This big leaf type is hardy and able to withstand neglect and forgivable. 



Growing Condition:

Earlier I had planted them outside where it get optimum sunlight in shaded area but they still not doing their best. I had transferred the tuber here in this water feature and placed them on constant flowing water. It was a good decision as I noticed the tuber never rot or gone dormant.

The leaves are much healthier and stable and I don't have to worry about losing one particular type.



This is the best sunlight it ever gets in the morning till afternoon. The evening will be indirect shaded situation here.


Once I got it successful, I started introducing few other varieties and they too loved it here. It's so easy to just poke the tuber inside the water feature and watch them grow. It may take few weeks for them to stabilize but once they do, its a beauty to behold.

I love what most plants can't offer - the coloration on these Caladium brightens up a shaded garden, especially the red speckles - truly it's a time stopper - the mesmerizing effect just captivates and makes one just stand and admire the beauty.


Care:

Basically these are grown in an aquatic feature where the water is constantly flowing.
I had placed a small pot where the tuber sits surrounding sand and pebbles and placed inside the water container.

Therefore, I don't have to worry about watering in this situation.

Light:

Bright indirect Light - best with few hours of good direct sun on them but not scorching heat (afternoon burning type) these are not sun lovers.

Fertilizer:

I think the water already contained enough fertilizer as I also rare goldfish in this pond and somehow the fish water makes these plants grow well.















These tubers were planted years ago in these pots where they go dormant and come back year after year. I had kept some of them here as my spare plants just in case if the water feature experiment didn't work out. (so far so good)



Another good thing with Caladiums is that you can work out a combination planting arrangement with them, they are not fussy in sharing with other plants and actually they really look good complimenting with other colored featured foliage plants.



I'm thinking of adding different new cultivars and hybrids recently introduced in the market.
Seeing these are doing very well in the water feature. I may venture into these Caladiums as another collection.


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