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Archive for February, 2010

Musical Note Plant!

February 25, 2010 Leave a comment

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Have you heard of ‘musical note plant’? It is definitely not a plant that gives out nice music! I stumbled upon this plant in my recent nursery trip and found them pretty amusing. The flowers resemble the musical notes which are found in music scores and white in colour. They bloom in clusters of more than 10 buds but produce no fragrance.

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Botanically known as Clerodendrum incisum, also commonly named ‘witches’ tongue’, this shrub is a sun-loving plant and can grow pretty well in our climate. Eventually the buds will open and the long red stamens emerge.

Chinese New Year Nursery trip

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

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Every Chinese New Year, my family and I will visit many nurseries around Singapore to view and buy some festive plants for the celebrations. As Chinese believe that 花开富贵, which means blossoms will bring luck and happiness to the family, many festive plants are flowering plants and exclusive to this period of the year.

cockscomb tulips

                           Cockscomb                                                                          Tulips

As many will know, red is the festive colour for Chinese New Year and red flowering plants are the among the favourites. The usual cockscomb plant, Celosia cristata is a traditional plant which many will buy and also the newly introduced red tulips! Azalea is also prized for their red or pink flowers which bloom in great quantities, covering the entire plant!

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                                  Azalea                                                                   Hydrangea  

Other flowering plants which  are popular during this season include peach blossoms and Hydrangeas. Their blooms are extremely attractive and unique which make them showy houseplants for the season. I have noticed that there isn’t much variety of plants to choose from compared to last year, probably due to the conservative festive flower market after a bad economy downturn.

cactiNeon Cacti!

However, there are plants which amazed me such as these golden barrel cacti had new hairdos! The spikes are “dyed” with neon colours! Unique but it doesn’t appeal to me as it look unnatural to me.

IMG_2725Wishing everyone Happy Chinese New Year! 

I would like to take this chance to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year and every success in your future endeavours and gardening! Thanks for all your support the past year!

A Fertilizer Experiment

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Not long ago, I met my neighbour who was watering her plants outside her house. Her plants are very healthy and have been giving out colourful blossoms all the time. It was only after a short discussion when I found out she had used “something” as fertilizer. I was awe-struck and surprised that this household ingredient can be used as fertilizers for plants!

The “secret” ingredient is MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) which is used as a taste enhancer in many of our dishes. Being so amazed with the results using MSG, I continued to find out more details. She was applying a teaspoon of MSG every 2 weeks for her plants in 6-inch pot. The MSG used in crystalline needle form which is sprinkled on the top soil before watering.

jan004 Pot fertilized with MSG on the left and control on the right

I decided to give it a try and added MSG to my “stubborn” plants. I had an experiment set-up of two groups of pomegranate seedlings and an Adenium plant which did not flower for at least half a year. A pot of seedlings are fertilized with a teaspoon of MSG every 10 days and the other is used as control.

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Finally it bloomed!

After the 3rd round of fertilizing, there are significant results from the seedlings. It seemed that the seedlings with MSG are growing much faster than those without! How about the Adenium? It actually produces 3 blooms!… My friends had also joined in the MSG experiment and they had good results too. I wonder whether the MSG really helps and therefore we are still trying out with more plants.

If you are keen, you can try out with your plants but no guarantee yet! I have yet to find scientific proof on MSG and the accumulation of sodium in soil. If you decide to give it a try with your stubborn plants, remember to email me your results!!