Everybody Has An Identity
A few months ago when I was in a frenzy mood to decorate our outdoor with plants, I came across a bold but clumsy, oval-shaped leaves (the size of my palm strecthed open n wide) plant in IKEA. I thot it looked stupid and cute so I bought it. It was then shorter than me, about 4". Kenzu thot it looked plain and boring while I thot it looked out of ordinary. I recently found out from a gardening book "Easy-Care Guide To Houseplants by Jack Kramer" lent to me by a colleague, that it is called Burgundy Rubber Plant. The books says it can be quite sizable and grow as tall as 36 inches. That kind of freaked me out. Then again, it is currently about 6 inches and still looking strong and fit. The problem is, I dint plan for it to grow that huge or convert my mini-garden to become a mini jungle. I also learnt while plucking a sick burnt leave off from the stem that it bleeds a sticky white sap. Oh well, I still find it cute, tho worrisome.
Due to the rainy season, most of my Madagascar Periwinkles are either dying or rotting away, not to mention my 2 pots of hanging Petunias and Starfire Kalanchoe (with pretty bunches of red flowers that bloom thruoughout the past half year or so). I have shifted the other 3 rectangular pots of petunias away from the bare sunlight, at the porch area.
It may be a bit too late now to save them. After reading this excellent book that provides step-by-step illustrative guidance, I learnt that some can be propogated by way of division, cutting, leaf cutting, bulbing, etc. But the more comforting knowledge is also that certain plants are best to be replaced with new purchase from suppliers as they are seasonal and for decorative purposes, and not meant to last. I must get the new batch of plants that require less attention and hardy. So I can now tell people "It is not my problem but the plant's!"
I am also very much attracted to the Begonia family (esp the Picotee Begonia - long-lasting, profuse blooms that comes in many colors like milk white with a hint of reddish pink at the outer ring of the petals), Bromeliads (Plume Bromeliads - pink plumelike flower stalk that bears large, short-lived violet-purple flowers), Gesneriads (like African Violets and Cape Primrose) and Ginger family (esp the Java Tulip with pink bracts hiding tiny yellow and violet flowers) but they are too fragile for an amateur like me to handle. Aiyoh!
At one point in time, my Zebra Plant, the one with a plume of yellow flowers with bright yellow bracts appearing at the top with big green leaves ribbed in white went bald after it was infested with mealybugs. I thot they were whiteflies as suspected by my uncle. I was so mad I practically trimmed them flat leaving a long stem. I dint expect it to put up a struggle and come back proud and handsome. I left it on the same spot the day I brought it home but it is showing signs of growth again.
Actually, a friend suggested Morning Glory (Blue Dawn Flowers) as creepers for our Arch. I thot it was a good idea.
Oh, another book "Simon & Schuster's Guide To Plants And Flowers" taught me some stuff. The Plant I bought much earlier and died as quickly was called Balloon Flower (or Chinese Bell-Flowers). As the name suggests, the flowers are a bit bell-shaped, resembling swollen balloons when in bud and popping open to mauve-blue, 5-petalled, saucer-shaped blooms. I may try again since I am looking at this sort of color theme, mixed with pink tones too.
Then there is another one called Autumn Zephyr Lily (or Flower Of The Western Wind), that is normally found by the road side and grown in heaps. Little bulbous plant with pure white or pink flowers of 2 inches long in 8 inches stems. The flowers come in 6 segments like the shape of Tulips. The leaves are narrow and longer than the flower stems. My mom contributed that to me. The only problem is that I see the greens more often than the flowers. The flowers are so shy they wilt after 1 or 2 days.
I am still looking for the remaining identity of my other Plants.