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My Vertical Garden Wall

My Vertical Garden Wall


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Difference between Alocasia Black 'Ninja' & Alocasia Reginula 'Black Vel...

There have been a lot of contention and hype between these two Alocasias: 
Alocasia Black 'Ninja' & 
Alocasia Reginula 'Black Velvet' 

In most cases, they are basically identified as the same plant however there are some detailed differences between these two plants. 

Here in this video - I will be discussing all the main features and the differences between them, comparing them side by side for better visibility. 

Also more detailed information on how to care for them as they wouldn't suddenly die on your hands due to common mistakes.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Klang Valley Plant Acquisition - Plant Exchange Event 4 (PEE4) at Linc KL


After like a decade or more (feels like it) when the last time I had volunteered and got involved in a Plant Exchange Event. I had met up with Darren Chow a week earlier to exchange with my Colocasia Black Ripple Plant. I met up with him in Linc KL where he works with various conservatory project concerning butterflies and few others as such as endemic tropical plants currently on Colocasia and Alocasia.

I got excited about his works and we spoke about many matters concerning plant behaviour and had invited me to come and join in the fun for PEE4 which takes place on 7th November. As the days approaches; I volunteered and the excitement started booming when more and more people got interested with the plants that was listed for gifting; generating more traffic and awareness concerning the KVPA Event.

Initially there was a confusion where few other events were happening concurrently with PEE4; especially with another gardening event (City Gardening 3.0) where vendors selling plants and related items together with added confusion where another plant group (Plant Swag) exchange taking place on Saturday within the same location which may require "registration payments" or some "monetary factors" based on their terms and conditions & regulations during the course of the exchange.

Basically I want to emphasize that there were 2 different organizations doing the plant swap/give away in the same location. One involved monetary value and the other did not.
However those who showed up on Sunday were mentioning about "registering fees" - hence putting it the word here as not to get confused with 2 different events rather read and understand the organising group information protocol properly.

Though there was a lot of repetitive information given for proper awareness concerning KVPA  Event  guidelines in comparison to another plant group exchange (Plant Swag) - many were still confused thinking the same rules applied for this particular KVPA Event. Hence it is important to check carefully which groups is actually hosting and organising the event to avoid future problems and confusion.

KVPA Event, however do not require any payments of any sorts, it was solely relied on the gracious giving and exchanging purely on free good will. Surplus cuttings and plants were welcome from generous givers and equally freely given to those who would like to try their hands on the available plants displayed on the booth/table.

Any important information concerning the Plant Exchange Event 4 where placed in this tagline (#PEE4) in fb for easy reference. In a way, it was a bit difficult for those who are not tech-savvy to understand as such when I discovered that many came on the event day confused and some personally called/pm/WhatsApp me as they got lost searching for the venue.


Again another important information to note for future reference concerning  Plant Exchange Event 5 (PEE5) at Linc KL - Click on the highlighted blue colored #PEE5 in the facebook page under Klang Valley Plant Acquisition (fb group)

All highlighted updated information will be posted here when clicked at the hashtag: #PEE5

There were challenges too especially limited parking space of which the organizing committee directed those who can carpool or take public transport and also arranged free shuttle van service for this event.

Basic Information Posted in KVPA (PEE4) Event:
Its a plant exchange / swap / gifting taking place - info:

Date/Day: 7th - Sunday in Linc KL.

Parking: Very limited
Try to use LRT or carpooling
Time : 10am to 6pm

What to do:

1) Exchange Plants / Gifting / Swap

2) Plants for new Beginner - walk in if No plants available for exchange
3) Plant Types
- any plants: ornamental or edibles but in good condition.
Please don't bring any infected plants especially with spider-mites or dying ones..
- cuttings or rooted plant in a container
- seeds or tubers/bulb - labeled n properly sealed.
4) Very important rule:

Have Fun and enjoy the company n plants..

Few Ground Rules were also mentioned as to prepare for the Event:
What to bring for the Event:

1) Recycled plastic cups or cut off PET bottles to hold your cuttings.

2) Recycled shopping bags to carry your plants.
We will NOT be providing single use plastic bags! 
Do not request for them from the volunteers.

3) Recycled newspapers or bubble wrap to pack your plants in.

4) A smile for the Volunteers.

Also suggestions were made for the rest of the members to bring some snacks for the volunteers or buy some seeds to give away, in case of not sure what to contribute but would love to do not know what to bring but would like to bring something.

Regardless, it is not a force if unable rather the main focus was to create gardening interest among new beginner gardeners and experts alike.

These are the listed plants that I manage to bring - all of which cuttings; some easy to grow and some not so easy. In most cases due to the high demand, most of the cuttings spans to 20 cuttings on each species which in total which would easily amount to 150-200 plants.

These went like hot cakes due to their uniqueness and rare quality of which they are not commonly found in most nurseries.

They are known as:
1) Clerodendron Bungei
2) Rose Jasmine - Grand Duke of Tuscany
3) Night Blooming Jasmine
4) Brazilian Button Bush
5) Spiderwort
6) Blood Berry.
7) Huernia schneideriana

These two went out first like wild fire followed by Night Blooming Jasmine and Brazilian Button Bush, eventually within an hour - everyone of the cuttings were sought after first as the first choice before checking on other counters.

8) Philodendron Lacerum
9) Philodendron Mican
13) Sweet Potato Vine 'Blackie'
14) Maranta arundinacea variegata

I also brought in these standby plants (8 - 14) as such as these were considered rare and unique to me however I only have few in my hands and was reserved to those who took the trouble to call out to me and make an effort to have a conversation in why they would love this plant -  or at least name the plant of their liking from what I had posted.

However with the initial havoc took place, a lot of promised plants went missing or mis-given, I end up graciously compensate them with these cuttings and they were happy to see them in joyous mode to receive some nice unique types of plants.

But those who came later in the afternoon, some was a bit disappointed as I have nothing left to give and I didn't feel good about and somehow made arrangements to meet again to pass it the next round.

And these are the plants which I managed to exchange and some received as gifts and open gifting. 
Jean Rozario, Tong Hin Tan, Ho Yee Ning, Ashikin, Isabella Lalitha, Yin Meng Teoh and Fe Krishnan.
I'm pretty sure there were more (sorry if I had missed out your name)

I think the next round I would opt for First Come - First Serve Basis to avoid disappointment, instead of booking / listing them in the sets. Let's see - its still subject in discussion for PEE5

Thank you so much for specifically looking out for me and exchanging to me - really appreciate it very much. 

Sunday 9.00am - 2.30pm

I left my house around 8.00am and had a slow and easy Sunday morning drive to Linc KL and was happy to choose a nice spot nearer to the lift entrance. I guess I was too early as I reached there about 9am and nothing was open at the 2nd floor.

I wondered whether I was too early as the 10am and even the main lights were not switched on.

Nope, I was wrong, by 9.30am the crowd started pouring in, the tables were yet to be set in proper and while I was arranging the plants both donors and receivers started the exchange. It wasn't chaotic yet until the full crowd appeared before 10am.

This was due to the fact that many showed up too early before the event and started gifting and exchanging before the booth was set up and a lot of promised plants went missing or went to the wrong hands.

Yet the enthusiasm was overwhelming and although it costed some mistakes to happen, it was so enjoyable to see how excited all of you were as well. All going like hot cakes but glad to join in the fun of the rush hour.

Eventually more of the Volunteers walked in and the rest of the members were asked to wait outside the booth zone and slowly order was restored. However by 11am - just within an hour, all my plants were taken, gifted or exchanged - hence it was a mixed up taken place during the hustle and the bustle.

Those who came early got the best "worm" and those who came late was fairly disappointed however there were a lot more plants which was on the table but the choicest ones were taken like hot cakes earlier in the morning. 

The crowd started diminishing by 11am and slowly came to a nice manageable size by noon,  I managed to help out and volunteer till 2.30pm and bid goodbye to the rest of the volunteers after having my lunch break sponsored by Darren.

Also I had a lovely time with all the volunteers and the people alike. It was extremely exciting and had loads of fun. I believe most of listed members managed to get most of my plants also I apologize if you had missed out your selected cuttings. However we can meet up on another day and plan the swap/exchange. To those you haven't managed to get from me, who missed the chance in the hustle and the bustle.
I hope you enjoyed meeting me n received the gifted plants.
Finally I must thank you for the gifts n plants I had also received in exchange. 

Unforgettable Cherished / Funny Moments:

There were so many to list however these are the ones that touched my heart:

1) Clerodendron Bungei for Joyce Huang

Just before 10am when it's still dark and the crowd started together, the first person came over and asked for a 'Bungei" and when I was sorting for that give away, I managed the dish out the best one for the first person who asked for it - She got the one with a rooted cutting and was overjoyed.

2) “Frames of Little Things” by  Kuan Nee Koay

Later after some time when I took a break, I had a chance to meet up with Kuan Nee Koay, the author of a coffee table book: “Frames of Little Things” where it showcase of the flora in Malaysia and one of her photoshoot was this particular "Bungei" inflorescent.

She was quick to mentioned that she don't want the plant cutting - rather she was impressed to see the wonderful flower bloom in my garden; as she expressed that it took all over Damansara only to find only one person having this plant in their garden. I was very surprised to hear about it's rarity and glad to share this to many others in their garden.

3) Hoya lacunosa from Ho Yee Ning

In the hustle and bustle of the plant booth, I get a chance to meet Ho Yee Ning and she graciously gifted me a Hoya lacunosa - I was touched to find that kind gesture so overwhelming - just to come and pass me a gift without receiving anything from me. I was so touched.
I also got to meet her parents who came along and greeted me, we met at Taman Megah in our first plant exchange as I passed my first batch of spiderwort for an exchange for succulent plants.

4) Black Magic / Black Runner from Ashikin

I had a chance to chat with Ashikin when she was one of the first person to arrive very early in the morning with her box of goodies. We had a cordial conversation trying to identify which one is exactly a black runner as both almost look the same. One clear distinction difference between both is Black Runner has a wavy leaf features on the edges of its foliage but only visible when it had grown in maturity size.

And here we were - both in the dark, groping over the leaves and I'm trying to guess - this one must be it until Darren mentioned that we both are most likely wrong as all of it could be Black Magic (lol)

5) Purple chilli plant from Jenny Cheong

Likewise another person who took the trouble to gift to me anonymously; a purple chilli plant which I only came to know when I saw the KVPA fb group. I appreciate this kind gesture when she mentioned this:
"Oh the purple chilli plant was my gift to James in exchange for the cuttings he gifted me. It was very popular amongst my friends, so I thought he might like one too."

One of the strange things about gardening is that I fail miserably when it comes to seeds, especially edible plants and this is my first round in receiving a chilli plant and I'm quite intrigued by it as I only focused on easy plants such as ornamental ones.

6) One on a Humorous Note:
The Plant that was named "James David"

I had chanced to meet a person calling my name out and when I had introduced myself only to hear a response, "No, I want another James!" 
which left me and other volunteers slightly puzzled, wondering who was the other James?

Later after Darren investigated and mentioned that, 
this is clueless person that asked for a James David and he pointed at me and then she proceeded to ask you for a "James David." 
It was only after a lot of unintelligible conversation he had with her that he realised she thought "James David" is the name of a plant and she wants one because everyone was talking about James David. *Double facepalm*

7) Walking Plant Dictionary mentioned by Yin Meng Teoh

It happened slowly but gradually when the volunteers started to ask me the ID of the unknown plants on display. Ad hoc, I can immediately recognise the plant and quickly gave out their names: brinjal, rangoon creeper vine, baby tears, little white soldier, etc. but suddenly got stuck when I know the plant but just get it out at that moment.

I suddenly realized that majority of the people first want to know the name of the plant first before the decide to adopt the plant. In a way, it intrigue me as most of them are fairly new beginners and venturing into the gardening excitement - what best way to start with something that of a hardy plants as most of them are meant for encouraging the confidence of a new gardener.

8) Generating Awareness and Excitement

Over the period of a week - It was exciting and also exhilarating during the initial period in creating excitement, a few other donors too joined the band wagon in displaying their plants for adoption and more and more people got excited - sparking joy and excitement.

And finally the day came, it was truly a joyous moment to cherish and enjoy in the fun in blessing others with the gift of plants and the joy of gardening.

There were many more cherished memories which are dear to my heart but these are the few that I would like to share here to encourage others to share and enjoy gardening.

Pic 1:
PEE4 Extended Version - Outside the exchange area..
The guy who made that difference:
Mohd Fadhil FE

Pic 2:
Unmasked Version
Yin Meng Teoh, Hoh Choy Har , Callie Chan n Prof. Chan Eng Heng

Pic 3:
Bottom from left:
Yin Meng Teoh, Isabelle Lalita, Chan Eng Heng, Darren Chow
Top from Left:
Callie Chan / ? / James David /? / Jeffri Lim / ? / Wayne L Salinger

Apart from plants, some of them brought food for our volunteers. We were really touched by your kind gestures. Fe Krishnan brought butter cake and pineapple tarts, Fong Bee Sim, Winnie brought marshmallow cupcakes and Summer Tan, kaya kok and pineapple tarts. They were all so yummy and gave us the sugar lift needed . Darren bought us all lunch and drinks.

Chyn Mei brought along 10 beautiful pouch bags hand sewn by her mother to show her appreciation to the volunteers. Prof. Chan brought along turtle fridge magnets for plant donors and turtle pins for our volunteers.

And, the one special thing that made our event so very unique - pesticide free vegetables gifted to everyone who dropped by our booth. He had arranged 100 packets of hydroponically cultured 100% pesticide free veggies for KVPA members!

Thank you Wong Ryui Bynn of Opus Farm for your generosity. We truly appreciate it.

Opus Farm Sdn Bhd
Lot 298 Jalan Kota Raja A/27A Seksyen 27, 
Taman Alam Megah, 
40400 Shah Alam, Selangor
017-298 0700 

A big thank to Darren Chow and Prof. Chan Eng Heng for organising this event. 
Darren Chow was the key person in getting PEE4 together and he and his staff from the Chrysalis Project received and curated plants in the days leading up to the event.

Also Kuan Nee Koay for the beautiful coffee table book “Frames of Little Things” where it 
showcase of the flora in Malaysia and it comes with a visual directory to help you identify the flowers.
Kuan Nee has kindly donated three copies of the book, each worth RM89, for the lucky draw.

Photo credits : Elvin Loh, Yin Meng Teoh, Jimmy Tan and Chan Eng Heng.
Source from KVPA (FB group page)

Look out for the coming Klang Valley Plant Acquisition - Plant Exchange Event 5 (#PEE5)

YouTube Video Compilation by Jimmy Tan

Klang Valley Plant Acquisition - Plant Exchange Event 4 (PEE4) at Linc KL (Part 1)

Klang Valley Plant Acquisition - Plant Exchange Event 4 (PEE4) at Linc KL (Part 2)

Klang Valley Plant Acquisition - Plant Exchange Event 4 (PEE4) at Linc KL (Part 3)

Do click on the Link Below for more detailed write-up post on all the List of Collections of 
PEE1 to PAE10

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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Do put your queries on the contact form above and I will come back to you ASAP via e-mail. Also I'm open for any business / advertisement proposals / magazine articles / product sampling and sharing personal product experiences here in my blog. Also for specific plant queries where you need to send pictures for free consultation and plant help and aid.

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