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Archive for May, 2009

Chiku for everyone!

May 30, 2009 3 comments

The Chiku plant (Manilkara zapota) can be a easy and rewarding plant to grow in your garden, even along apartment corridors. They are extremely hardy and adaptable to varying conditions.

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Chiku, as known as Sapodilla, is an edible tropical fruit originate from the tropical Americas. The egg-shaped fruits are brown in colour and rough texture. The common chinese name for this fruits is “人心果” meaning human’s heart fruit as it has little resemblance. Malay name is “Buah Chiku”, simply means Chiku fruit.

IMG_1114Chiku flower 

The flowers are produced at the growing tips of the plant and usually produce singly or in a cluster. Therefore, it is not advisable to trim or prune the plant. Bear in mind that this plant is actually a tree! And can grow to enormous size! Pruning would be inevitable for apartment gardeners but they will still fruit all year round.

Full sunlight is the best condition for this plant but 4-6 hours of direct sunlight is good enough to maintain a healthy plant. It is not a very fast grower and flower and fruit regularly, makes this plant an ideal collection for any aspiring apartment gardeners!

Shui Mei

Shui Mei (Wrightia religiosa) is a very popular garden plant favoured by the experienced gardeners. The plant is known for its stunning fragrance and they flower all year round. There are a few hybrids or cultivars of this plant, and the most sought after cultivar is the Double Petal Wrightia religiosa.

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Double Petal Shui Mei

I managed to get a pot of Double Petal Shui Mei from Ji Mei a week ago. The plant is small but to my delight, it is flowering profusely! It is also a popular plant for bonsai, as this plant can be pruned and shaped.

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Some senior gardeners told me that removing all their leaves will induce flowering which I have yet to try! I visited some of their gardeners and amazed by the curled branches of this plant! They told me that this curled branches are made by curling it under the hot sun when the branches are soft. And indeed the plant looks gorgeous!

My Garden!!

It’s been some time since I last talk about my garden… Well, there are new additions to my already crowded garden and many of them are flowering too! My latest addition is the Star Glory (Ipomoea quamoclit). This vining plant produce small red star-shaped flowers but mine has yet to bloom. I attached a very long string for it to climb and within a week, it had already hit the top of the ceiling! The leaves looked special and resemble palm leaves. From the information I gathered, this particular plant can climb to a height of 6 metres!

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Ipomoea quamoclit

Remember my cherry plant (Malpighia glabra)? They are fruiting like no tomorrow and this time round the fruits turned burgundy red! They fruit in bunches of two and three and definitely a very beautiful sight to behold!  Some of my friends who visited even tasted these sour but full of vitamin C fruits!

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Malpighia glabra 

My Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) is going for a second round of flowering and this time even more spectacular. The flowers are arranged in an encircled manner and flowers point to all directions! It has been a year or so without flowers but the wait is definitely worth it!

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 Adenium obesum

My signature plant, the Flamingo Flower (Anthurium andraeanum) is still at its best condition, keeping the constant number of ten flowers for at least a year! There are new shoots and growing fast, even some have started to flower!

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Orchids

I got some orchids flowering too! Two of my mini Dendrobiums are putting out flowers now and add to the already very colourful garden! Their coloured and patterned blooms brings more exciting colours and you can’t resist not looking at them.

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Rosemary                                           Nepenthes veitchii

My rosemary plant is growing taller and bushier now. Every time I am watering plants, the fragrance of this plant can be even detected at a further distance! And brushing your hand against the leaves will leave a strong aroma that lingers around you for a long time!

 

Finally my carnivorous plants, strong winds have resulted in strong fluctuations in humidity makes the plants grow slower and losing quite a number of pitchers. But my Nepenthes veitchii is still growing strong putting out the biggest pitcher for me! Soon, the monsoon season will come and this beautiful sight may not last long. So I have been spending more time admiring my plants before it is too late!!