Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thai Aglaonema 2

Holiday season is around once again and I've been extra busy. I've been decorating, shopping and attending several social events. 

I haven't even been able to purchase a poinsettia as yet. I like them in spite of their gaudiness and overabundance this time of the year. I still have the one I got last year but it hasn't re-flowered because it receives some artificial light at night. Poinsettias need complete darkness for 12 hours at night for 10 weeks to induce blooming. I had one years ago that bloomed several times a year even though it received some artificial light at night. I guess it was probably an anomaly.

This is another one of my Thai aglaonemas. I quite like it as it has a nice colour. 

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Orange Amaryllis

I am very fond of the amaryllis as it was one of the first plants I grew when I started gardening as a tween. I had rescued some peach coloured amaryllis type bulbs from a neighbour who dumped them. Although not as spectacular as the Dutch type hybrids available today, they did well. Quite hardy, they multiplied and bloomed well. Unfortunately, due to several projects around the house over the years, the garden bed where they grew was destroyed. It's possible that a bulb or two may have survived and are dormant for now.

The amaryllises around here are mostly single reds and a couple other passalong cultivars of varying colours. Grouped together in gardens beds in full sun, established plants seem to bloom on cue at certain times of the year. Thus "forcing" these bulbs to produce blooms is rarely practiced here.
Amaryllis plants are occasionally available for sale and imported bulbs even less so. Two years ago I purchased some bulbs when they became available. I got several varieties but all were not true to name. I didn't keep proper labels so each bloom is a mystery unless it is a particularly recognizable cultivar. Two years after their initial blooms, one bulb decided to grace me with a bloom. I guess I could get regular blooms if I "force" the bulbs, but I'll leave them as is and just enjoy their randomness.

This amaryllis bloomed in all its orange glory fittingly for Halloween. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2013

This is almost the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post that never was. My internet connection at home is having technical issues yet unresolved. These photos were taken quickly under overcast conditions. However, I am a garden blogger and must persevere! 

Purple hard-cane dendrobium orchid

White chrysanthemum

Pink chrysanthemum

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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Phalaenopsis - Dtps Sogo Golden 'A07867'

Probably the most common and popular orchid in temperate regions, phalaenopsis orchids aren't kept as much as hard-cane dendrobiums, vandas, cattleyas and epidendrums in the Tropics.

I don't have much experience with phals. I've tended to stay away from them in favour of hard-cane dendrobiums.

This little doritaenopsis is a recent impulse purchase. The foliage was damaged but it had a keiki and two developing spikes. 

One spike produced three flowers and the other only two. Not very floriferous but the medium-small yellow flowers look nice on the compact plant.

Keep phals out of direct sunlight and fertilize lightly but regularly. The potting media must be free draining but never allow it to completely dry out. 

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Saturday, August 17, 2013


An indoor foliage plant in temperate regions, dieffenbachia is well suited to the tropics. It is a very common potted plant and is occasionally found in shade gardens. Cultivars range from dwarf varieties to others reaching more than five feet in height, in various shades and combinations of green, yellow, white, cream and silver. It is an attractive and strong grower.  

Dieffenbachias are great for novices and those who only have time for one or two potted plants.

Dieffenbachias are low maintenance and suffer from few problems. Plant in well draining soil as improper drainage can lead to rot which spreads and can decimate the whole plant. The plants are not affected too much from occasional under-watering. Place in shade though some cultivars can handle more light than others. Fertilize lightly.     

Top shoots or stems with at least a few nodes can be rooted in moist soil. This usually takes a couple of weeks.

Care should be taken when handling the plant. The sap is toxic and causes painful rashes, allergic reactions, numbness, and even the temporary inability to speak or paralysis if ingested. Keep away from children and pets.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August 2013

After several months of never quite getting the timing right due to several factors, I am finally participating in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for the first time. I guess this makes me a veteran garden blogger now. Hehe.    

 This hardy compact cattleya blooms several times a year. More spikes are developing. It puts on quite a show.

The smallish flowers fade into a lighter pink as they age.

Yellow lantana


To see more of what is blooming in other gardens around the world please visit Carol at May Dreams Garden. Happy gardening! 

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

San Fernando Hill

The San Fernando Hill makes a scenic background for my trini garden. Here it is at dusk. 

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Today's Flowers - July 21st, 2013

This purple hard-cane dendrobium blooms without fail every time it produces a new cane. Like so many other plants it was sold without a cultivar name. As far as orchids are concerned now, I try to only purchase ones that are properly labelled, but this limits my choices! 

Vincas thrive well here in the heat. They are always in bloom and sometimes self-seed. 

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Yellow Spathoglottis

This is a medium size cultivar in terms of both leaves and flowers.  The very edge of the petals seem to damage easily thus tarnishing the beauty of the flower when viewed closely.

For care of Spathoglottis see previous post here.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Purple And White Spathoglottis

Have you ever dreamed of an easy care orchid? If so the Spathoglottis genus is your dream come true. Commonly known as ground orchids, these terrestrial orchids grow in general garden soil and only require a little tender loving care to thrive. It is one of the most hardy orchids available.

The Spathoglottis genus contains different species and inter-specific hybrids in shades of mostly purple, pink, yellow and white. They generally have crowded pseudobulbs and pleated palm-like foliage. The showy  flowers arise on long spikes and open consecutively thus plants can be in bloom for months on end. Individual flowers don't last long but the flower spikes do!    

This particular cultivar is compact and neat. The leaves are less than a foot long with medium-small flowers. The flower spikes are likewise shortish, making overall a well balanced plant, which looks great in containers. This cultivar produces many individual flower spikes so it is always full of blooms. The flower petals look like they have been airbrushed. 

Plant in well drained soil, water and fertilize moderately. They must receive at the least very bright light. I have seen some cultivars grown in full sun but I grow them in morning sun and afternoon shade. If growing in containers use standard or larger type pots as their root system is quite vigorous. Pseudobulbs can be divided. From one initial clump you can end up with quite a few plants.   

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Today's Flowers

The rainy season started late last month. The plants respond well to the copious amount of rainfall but the weeds like it even more.

Pink anthurium. It is not uncommon to see these growing under the shade of a mango tree in someone's yard. Some cultivars are also grown for the cut flower trade.

 Hard-cane fuschia dendrobium orchid. Dendrobiums are among the easiest blooming orchids.

 Matte petals

Purple Mexican petunia (ruellia simplex). Grows easily from cuttings and requires little care. A plant for those with a brown thumb.

Red wax begonia. Instant flower power. Great in containers and beds. 

Thanks to the team of Today's Flowers, where we can see what is blooming in different parts of the world.

Also thanks to - I Heart Macro

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thai Caladium

I have always liked caladiums. They are easy to grow and suffer from few problems. With varying shades of white, pink, red and green, some truly are eye-catching. Who needs flowers when you have foliage like this? Everyone is familiar with the American cultivars, with a few such as White Christmas quite notorious. In recent years Thai cultivars have become available. They were supposedly kept a secret from Western horticulture for a substantial number of years. Some are considerably unique, others are unbelievably beautiful. However, many of these cultivars are not as hardy as their American counterparts.        

I got this Thai cultivar a couple of months ago. It had small rounded leaves. Only recently have the leaves gotten bigger and more elongated, and might I add more beautiful. It appears to be one of the more vigorous Thai cultivars.

All caladiums basically require the same care. Shade or semi-shade is best unless it is a variety that can take full sun. Fertilize lightly as these plants are very sensitive to over-fertilization. Adequate water is needed for the leaves to remain at their best and to prevent the plant from going dormant prematurely. Most of these plants do go dormant at sometime or the other, lasting from a couple of weeks to months on end. They would be almost perfect if not for this trait!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thai Aglaonema

If croton (codiaeum variegatum) and dumb cane (dieffenbachia) had a lovechild this would be it. With many varying colour and leaf types, these cultivars have taken the plant world by storm. From the understated to the almost gaudy, there is sure to be one to your liking.

This pink cultivar has been with me a couple of months now. It started as one main stalk with a smaller offset. It has since started to produce more offsets and is growing quite nicely. My only complaint is that the intensity of the pink variegation tends to vary from leaf to leaf, possibly due to light and/or fertilization issues.  

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Hibiscus By Any Other Name Would Be As Beautiful!

Hibiscuses were once widespread throughout the island. Many a garden was graced by this exotic beauty. Unfortunately, most of these beauties were wiped out by the mealybug epidemic of the 1990s.

These beauties are slowly making a comeback. The older hardy cultivars are being complemented with more showy, though less vigorous, newer hybrids. Some of these new cultivars are quite breathtaking. These cultivars are slower growing and produce much less, though more beautiful, blooms.

I had one of the older cultivars long ago, a peach coloured one. I recently purchased a cream and pink cultivar. I have no idea of the variety as there are so many, that it would be quite difficult to obtain a proper identification. I enjoy it just the same, name or no name. Here's hoping that this one is the first of many.

Grow in full sun to part shade. The older cultivars do well in the ground, the newer ones are better in containers. Water moderately and fertilize lightly, as these plants are quite sensitive. Hibiscuses are quite prone to pests and diseases. These are the roses of the tropics; beautiful and popular but sometimes needing lots of care. The hibiscus breeders should take a cue from the rose breeders and develop more cultivars less susceptible to pests and diseases.   

Monday, May 20, 2013

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

The Peace Lily is related to other aroids, including anthurium and alocasia. These plants are native to the rainforests of Central and South America. The genus Spathiphyllum is found on the forest floor, thus explaining its ability to cope with poor lighting indoors. The flowers are produced in a spadix, surrounded by a white, yellowish, or greenish spathe. Though its colour options may be limited, it is one of the best houseplants for low light conditions.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dendrobium Anosmum

I've had this nobile dendrobium orchid for many years but sort of neglected it. I was unaware of its need for both a wet and dry period. After I paid it a little more attention it finally bloomed for the first time.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Dendrobium Sripho Stripe

Sripho Stripe is a hard-cane dendrobium. This orchid displays some antelope type dendrobium features. What it lacks in showiness is offset by its tendency to be a prolific bloomer.

For care of hard-cane dendrobiums see previous post here.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Dendrobium Aridang Green x Burana Stripe

Aridang Green x Burana Stripe is a hard-cane dendrobium. The flower is a lovely striped pink on a white base with a greenish lip.

Hard-cane dendrobiums are among the easiest of orchids to grow. These orchids aren't very fussy and with some care will reward you with multiple blooms. They need bright light or even a couple hours of direct sunlight. Being epiphytes loose potting mix is essential for their roots to breathe. This can be one or more of stones, charcoal and coconut fiber chunks. I tend not to use much coconut fiber as it deteriorates quickly. Some people grow them on branches and trunks of trees. Fertilizer is essential as the growing media doesn't have much nutrients. Water daily in hot environments and less in other conditions. If you have an irregular watering schedule they wouldn't be adversely affected if it is not too extreme. They do well in tropical gardens once they receive some shade.   

Hard-cane dendrobiums are quite floriferous. Some bloom on each new growth. Others bloom on older canes. Sometimes there are multiple spikes on both new and older canes. The blooms open on spikes successively and last from a couple of weeks to months.   

Plants occasionally produce keikis. These can be potted up. A keiki would take at least six months to reach blooming size in ideal conditions.