Saturday, November 20, 2010

Beyond Gardening 2!

Echinodorus Cordifolius Ovalis
Wow, the name is a mouthful! I love this plant. It is very easy to grow, I did not use any fertiliser, I guess they get it from the natural organic fish fertiliser in the little mini pond! This plant can be found in most nurseries. 

One of my 'mini-pond' with some goldfish

"Echinodorus cordifolius "Ovalis" is a small, orbiculate "sword" plant whose low, wide growth makes it suitable for small aquariums. A nutritious bottom promotes growth, and if the leaves turn light this indicates a shortage of micro-nutrients. The plant forms stems which (unlike most other "sword" plants) bend down towards the bottom and form their own adventive plants. It is hardy and easy for both beginners and the more experienced". That is the description I got from the internet.

But to me this is not a small plant, it can grow as high as about 5 feet and I really like the flowers. The flowers are about the size of a 50cent coin, white in colour, papery thin and extremely dainty and lovely! But these flowers are short-lived, they can last about 2 days and will wilt and dry off. The flowers grow along the long stem that grows from the centre of the plant.  There can be many 'tiers' of flowers along this long stem.  Plantlets (new small daughter plants) will develop from the nodes of this 'tier', and can be propagated by cutting just below the plantlets. However when grown permanently submersed in the aquarium, most species will not flower. 

I have two of this plants outside my house and two small ones in the aquarium which I posted here, earlier on.
I got one small plantlet from my neighbour several years ago and it has been growing well and flourish and over the years I have given many small plantlets to my sisters and friends. If you have a pond in your garden, this would be the ideal plant.

Another one of the 'mini-pond' with some Guppies and Red Mollies.

Close-up picture of the leaves.

The tip of the long stem with flower buds

The beautiful, white and dainty flowers fully bloomed

Another photo of the lovely flower

More pictures!

More pictures!

The small plantlet. The flowers has wilted and new leaves are growing. To propagate, just cut below the plantlets.

Some cute Goldfish

Another picture of the 'mini-pond' with Guppies and Red Mollies.

Guppies and Red Mollies

A heavily pregnant Guppy!

This post is for Stephanie of Steph's Green Space, who has asked me before about this plant. (Stephanie, I was waiting for the flowers to grow and bloom to show you the beauty of the flowers!) and also to Autumn Belle of My Nice Garden. Autumn Belle, there were four pregnant guppies, one has already given birth, now waiting for the other three. The picture above shows one of the pregnant guppy. When you buy guppies, make sure you buy more females than males!)

Happy Gardening !

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Welcoming Busybody!

Torenia needs plenty of sun to grow, but they must be well-watered. I have noticed that they wilt very fast too! The flowers are continuous with lots of blooms. Torenia makes great containers and window boxes plants and if you are looking for a plant that has continuous blooms, then this will be suitable.  I bought these plants ages ago at the nursery, with different colours.  Ever since then, this plant has been sprouting everywhere!  I guess that the seeds are extremely light, so it is easily carried away by the wind. 

I collected all the small little plants from my backyard and planted them in this pot last month. The plants has flowered and small plants are sprouting. Took that photo this morning and look at the rest :

My dill plant is wilting away. Waiting for the last batch of flowers to dry. Look at the Torenia, happily making themselves at home.  If you have seen my post on "Dill" on Oct 19th, there was not even a Torenia in the pot. Look at it now, only a matter of three weeks!

This is my pot of sage, already wilted! Torenia making this pot their home!

 My tarragon plant. The uninvited Torenia sharing a home with the tarragon!

My pot of Pentas is undergoing "nursing" care. It has been 'sick' , and I left it at a corner to get well. It is getting better, perhaps it is just lonely, now that it has the Torenia to keep it company! But it seems like the Torenia is taking over!

Pot of capsicum plant. Torenia has made it's presence known.

 This Torenia is growing at the corner of my Aspidistra plant. Wondering when will the other friends show up!

Torenia popping up at the pot of Hibiscus plant!

Torenia and other weeds sharing a pot with my palm.

It even grows in between cracks on the cement floor right outside my house!

This pot has been abandoned for so long, looks like Torenia has made it their family home! The whole pot is full of them. Wondering why there is a hole? I dug out a batch of the bigger plants for my sister. She refused to take the whole pot! She said, "a little of this will go a long way"!  She's right!

I will have to collect all the lonely Torenia and place them in a proper pot to grow. I have not bought this plant for ages. I don't have to. I have most of the colours too.  They are spreading and popping out in places where they are not invited, a real busybody!  But I welcome this busybody anytime! 

Happy Gardening !