Monday, April 14, 2014

Chilli Plants and The Unknown Culprit!

Last weekend my sisters and I went to Sg. Buloh nurseries to look for some plants. I came back home with three colours of gerberas, which I shall be sharing on another day, and two chilli plants. The chilli plants were really cheap, RM10 for 3 medium to large sized plants! Could not help buying those even though I have some seedlings growing in my garden pots.  Gave one to my sis and took home the other 2. Did not buy any other plants as could not find what we were looking for.

I transferred the two chilli plants to bigger pots and placed them in my front porch garden. A few days later, I noticed some leaves on the soil. I thought it strange, as the leaves are not being bitten and they just seem to dropped off in perfect piece. At first I thought it was the rain, as it has been raining quite heavily these past week. 

Plant A
On the next morning, to my horror, I found that some of the stems of both plants are missing! Look at the photo above, it looks like the stems are being snapped off or bitten off!

Plant A
See those stems on the soil. The weird thing is, neither the leaves nor the stems are being eaten, look at the perfect condition of those leaves!

Plant A
And notice the corner of the pot, where there is a little hole, looks like something stood in that corner while busy bitting off the stems, and thus the stems dropped off to the other side of the pot!

Plant B
This is the second chilli plant. 

Plant B
Notice the same pattern. The broken stems are on one side of the container.

I have to do something to protect whatever are left of the chilli plants, before the rest of the remaining stems are all gone! It was raining very heavily that evening and did not have time to get some wires to do a proper cage, so here's what I did at 9.00pm that night, as soon as the rain stops.

Plant A
LOL!!! I know you must be laughing, I certainly laughed at myself when I took these photos! I used old rice plastic bags, some strings, staples and a couple of sticks to hold the plastic in place. Do you think this would work? Keeping my fingers crossed.

Plant B
Now you really must be laughing! I was laughing too when I took this photo and my neighbours must think I'm a crazy woman, laughing to herself, taking photos in the garden late at night (with flash on!) just after a heavy downpour! I have used a metal stool as I could not find anymore sticks to support the plastic bag. A smart idea too, I might add!  Hehe!

Well, it worked. The next two mornings, found my plants safe and sound. Seems that my method worked! I took the stool off Plant B on the second morning to allow the chilli plant to enjoy some sun, and I have forgotten to place it back that night.

Plant B
This was what I found this morning! All the remaining stems from the plant, are now on the soil, just as I've feared would happen if I did not protect the plants! My chilli plant is now bald! I placed back the stool over the plant this evening, as there are other young stems growing.

Plant A is safe!

Very weird and strange. Which creature did this? My guess is either a rat or a squirrel, though my guess is, the culprit is a rat. My hubby has caught a couple of rats these last few months, as we have seen them scurrying around the drains outside. And I have seen a couple of squirrels in my neighbour's mango tree a few months ago. Could either one of them is the culprit? Strange thing is, whatever did this, did not eat the leaves, but merely snapped off the stems, and it came back a few nights to do it's naughtly job! Have this happened to any of your plants before? Any ideas? 

I guess the only way to find out is to set a trap! And hubby is setting the trap as I'm writing this post. Hopefully the culprit will be caught, better sooner, as I have other chilli seedlings growing, and it seems to favour chilli plants over the rest. 

Happy Gardening!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What's Blooming Right Now

Hi everyone, I'm back, I haven been missing in my gardening posts for almost 5 months now! Oops....hopefully I'll be able to post at least, once or twice a month. I have received some emails and a comment or two in my previous blog posts, asking when I'll be back to posting again. I have been slacking in my gardening blog posts and have not done much gardening in my potted garden lately, mostly due to the hot weather and also pure laziness. I'm planning to get back to active gardening again with whatever space I have. Thank you for your emails and your support and encouragement!

I'm planning on some changes in my garden, some plants that are not doing well need to be discarded, seeds needs to be sowed again as I have been having lots of failures in my seeds sowing lately, maybe most of them are past the expiry dates. Meanwhile, I'm sharing today, some of my potted flowering plants.

 Euphorbia Milii. Bought this plant as a tiny seedling many years ago. Really easy to grow without much care at all, as it thrives really well in hot weatHer. Notice the basil  plant growing in the same pot. The Thai Basil plants seems to be popping up in most of my pots, they are everywhere.

 I like the cute little flowers of the Euphorbia Milii against the green leaves and the spiky stems.

Pinkish Peach Gerbera Daisy. This is the same plant that I had back in 2010 which I have posted here. Only this peach and the yellow gerberas have "survived", while the others have all wilted and died. The yellow gerbera is not flowering right now and is not doing as well as this peach gerbera, though it is slowly coming back to 'life", keeping my fingers crossed that it would continue to do so! Am planning to get a few other colours, as this is one of my favourite flowers to grow. 

I have no idea what this pretty flowers are called. The white flowers are small with small orange-yellow seed pods. Do you know the name of this plant?

 Thai Jasmine

 Water Jasmine Bonsai

 Brunfelsia Australis Bentham. This plant has been in my garden for many, many years. Though it does not seem to grow much in size these few years, but it has been blooming pretty white and purple flowers very frequently.

Torenia, popping up and sharing homes with most of my pots. I called these plant, "The Busybody", it always pops in most of my garden pots, making their presence known with their cute flowers, in various shades of colours. I would usually collect them all and place them in a pot of their own.

One of the Cats Tail variety?  Not sure what it is called. It just grew in two of my pots. And have seen this plants growing by the roadsides and it is quite a common plant.

What's blooming in your garden right now?

Happy Gardening!