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.