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Archive for July, 2009

Flowering Hoya

July 24, 2009 3 comments

It has been a long wait since the last flowering of my Hoya nummulariodes. This extremely fragrant Hoya produces 50-cent coin size umbels of flowers. The plastic-like flowers earn Hoya’s common name, Wax flowers, give off very strong fragrance. The fragrance of this particular Hoya is so strong that it is overpowering. It is nice to smell it in the wind but it definitely not if you sniff the flowers under your nose!

Plants_0013 An umbel of flowers (Hoya nummulariodes)

Plants_0016Unlike other Hoyas like Hoya obscura and Hoya lacunosa, Hoya nummulariodes is not a frequent flowering plant. It is a very slow grower and has grow less than a centimetre since I got it in January. The pink-centered white flowers are a sight to behold, the translucent centre of the plant, possibly the stamens, resemble stars.

Hoyas generally need 4-5 hours of sunlight and bright light throughout the day to do well. High humidity is also preferred. Hoya nummulariodes is an easy plant to keep and no repotting is needed. Not only a good candidate for apartment gardens, it is a Hoya and fragrant flowers collector must-have plant!

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Byblis

July 19, 2009 1 comment

Byblis, also known as rainbow plants for their glittering leaves under the Sun. It is a small genus of plants, consisting of seven different species and all native to western Australia. They have tiny droplets of muscilage or “dew” similar to sundews (Drosera) but they are classified in different order. Byblis is placed in the order of Lamiales whereas Drosera is placed in the Caryophyllales.

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Byblis liniflora 

Once thought to be a proto-carnivorous plant which depends on insects to break down the captured prey before digestion, it is only proven to be truly carnivorous in the recent years that it produces enzymes to digest prey.

Gardeners grow them for their beautiful flowers. The five petaled flowers of Byblis liniflora are purple in colour which emerge from the leaf axes. Fertilized flowers then mature into small seed pods which split open and drop the seeds into nearby ground.

IMG_1539Flower of Byblis liniflora 

Byblis enjoy good amount of sunlight of around 4-6 hours and keeping the media moist at all times. They can grow up to a height of 15cm and produce numerous flowers all year round. Byblis are annual plants and therefore, it will die away after a period of time and new seedlings will take its place in the same pot!

Sinningias

I received this plant from an experienced Gesneriad grower from Green Culture Singapore. It is a miniature Sinningia, as compared to my previous post on the  micro Sinningia “Little Wood Nymph”, it is much bigger than the latter. Sinningia belongs to a big plant family called Gesneriaceae, which also consist the African Violets (Saintpaulia ionantha), Gloxinia and Kohleria.

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This plant has very similar leaves in a rosette arrangement as the African Violets. Flurry leaves and stem are nice to touch but delicate too. Water droplets on the leaves need to be removed to prevent “sunburn”. They are grown in the “universal” soiless mix with the wick-watering system.

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Wick-watering is not a new horticultural methodology as it has been around for the past few decades. Using the capillary action, water is drawn up to the soil from a reservoir via a “wick”, which can be a cotton string or polyester string. Polyester string is preferred as it doesn’t break down like the cotton counterparts.

Bright-light and morning sun will be optimal for these plants and regular light feeding of fertilizers is preferred. They enjoy high humidity too, which I placed the entire plant in a much larger plastic cup so to retain the layer of humidity around the plant. This is one of the many gardening tips by our experienced growers from Green Culture Singapore.

 

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Generally, Sinningias are hassle free and mini plants. Suitable candidate for office gardening. But these plants are hardly found in local nurseries and we got our plants from overseas orders or through the gardening enthusiasts.