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Archive for December, 2011

Another Pitcher Plant Project

December 24, 2011 Leave a comment

My craze over Nepenthes is back after having success with African violets in the office! That prompted me to order some pitcher plants from Borneo Exotics, through my old time friend. Nepenthes ampullaria has always been my favourites as their squat round pitchers are just too cute!

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Nepenthes ampullaria ‘Harlequin’ (L), Nepenthes ampullaria ‘Lime Twist’

I have made orders for Nepenthes ampullaria ‘Lime Twist’, which bears red speckled pitchers with green peristome, and also Nepenthes ‘Harlequin’ (‘William’s Red x ‘Harlequin’), similar but red peristome. I am definitely surprised  that the plants delivered are much bigger and healthier!

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As they are shipped without potting media, I have potted them into a round glass dish filled with pumice and topped with sphagnum moss. The setup was pretty fast and simple, but the end product is simply amazing! As they are grown in office environment, the wet sphagnum moss will supplement the necessary humidity for them to grow well.

Indeed, it’s a showpiece in the office with my colleagues crowding around and asking questions. I took the opportunity to share knowledge with them and some are even interested to grow! This is definitely gratifying moment to me that I have sparked interest in many of them!

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Idea for pitcher plants!

December 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Many woul think that tropical pitcher plants, Nepenthes, may not be the best candidate to beautify your home. Well, just a bit of gardening skills and being adventurous, they can make good houseplants too!

The previous post I worte was about Borneo Exotics’ Biodome, a plastic container with sponge, provides the necessary growing conditions for them to grow well in different settings and environments. However, they may not be aesthetically pleasant, so they can be removed and potted in glass bowls. With decorative terrarium materials, I have managed to create something close to their natural habitat.

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With pumice and pebbles as potting media at the bottom, which will served as the reservoir for the attached wick which came together with the biodome. All I need to do is to set the plant together with the sponge collar and top up with pumice and pebbles, making sure that the wick is able to reach into the pool of reservoir. Viola! its done!.

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The glass bowl will act just like the biodome, trapping the much needed humidity and at the same time allowing adequate sunlight to reach the plant. It’s been a week, and looks like the pitcher plant looks happy!

Categories: Uncategorized

Biodome, another gardening innovation

December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

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Many of us may have heard about wick watering, where there is a wick coming out from the bottom of the pot to a reservoir of water. The water is then drawn up to the pot when the soil is dry. It was a hit within my gardeners specifically in growing African violets. We improved the design quite a bit to make the entire system last longer and better. Check out my previous entries for that!

  As I am also a carnivorous plant enthusiast, I was quite amazed that our long time dealer, Borneo Exotics, made wick watering system for tropical pitcher plants! It was named Biodome, after its dome shaped lid with an opening at the top. The pitcher plant is sitting in a small pot with a sponge collar around it, which absorb the excess water and provide humidity. The dome actually helps to contain and maintain the relative humidity in the dome, which is extremely helpful since providing humidity is always a challenge in gardening.

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There is a also a wick that leads to the water reservoir, this will mean that you need not worry about watering it everyday! All you need to do is to top up the reservoir by pouring it into the sponge through the dome opening. This actually reduces the chances of the plant dying from root rot, fairly common cause of death in growing pitcher plants.

The only downside about this is that there is too much plastic around the plant. It does not look natural, and it resembles kind of take away lunch boxes! Well, you can easily decorate it with some stuff, but I will be trying out something else.. Stay tuned, I will share it in the next post!