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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Growing Pulses in our Garden

Close up of Leaf on the  Plant
 Pulses, moong, mat, chavli and others can be grown very easily in containers. Direct sunlight is essential and you get a good harvest even from a plant grown in container. I accidentally got this growth from feeding some pulses for the birds,  some may have sprouted in ideal conditions and the growth was very fast. I had to stop the tendency of pulling out the plant, as it looked like a wild plant growing profusely.
Flowering of Pulses Plant
 The leaves of the plant have three to four sides and are of deep green color that look bright in the sunlight. The pulses plant gives out beautiful small yellow flowers and seed pods that are green at first and when exposed to direct sunlight become dry and brown in colour. When I collected the dried seed pods and removed the seeds the pulses were just the same that we bring from t he grocers, except they were fresh from our garden. I am not usually in favor of growing vegetables and pulses in small quantities , they are not worth the effort, but this was  bonus for us and we accepted this gift from nature.
This is not a creeper or climber but a plant growing upright that has given seeds pods.
Yellow Flowers on Pulses Plant

Dried Seed Pods and the Pulses

Growing of Mat, Moong Pulses  in Containers
This led to the discovery that maybe after few years I may focus on growing vegetables and pulses for our home, but we need many plants growing at a time to give us good amount of each. This would be with the effort with all the adulteration of food in news!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gomphrena Globe Amaranth Dark Pink Ball Shaped Flowers

Globe amaranth Ball shaped Pink Flowering Plant
 The Gomphrena globe Amaranth has bright pink or magenta coloured flowers. This plant grows in full sunlight but can also grow in partial shade. The Amaranth plant likes to have regular watering but can tolerate dry soil and direct sunlight for few hours of the day.
Gomphrena Bright Pink Flowers on Plant
The globe amaranth looks very attractive with its ball or button like lovely bright blooms. Especially during hot summers the plant blooms profusely with the whole plant covered with attractive pink blooms.
Direct sunlight may harm the blooms as the edges turn yellow due to strong rays of sunlight and if you need to preserve the blooms for long it is best to keep this plant in a place where it receives sunlight for some part of the day and not under the scorching sun for full day.
The Amaranth has been growing since ages and in India the flowers are used in gajra or veni, hair decorations for women. The traditional ladies still prefer the veni made of marigold and amaranth flowers as hair decorations. The flowers along with fragrant marigold in yellow and added as high lights of pink looked very attractive as hair decorations and malas.
The amaranth plant will multiply from sides as new growths will appear along with the mother plant. The new plant will get a good growth spurt during rainy season. Flowering season is during summers when the plant is laden with bright vibrant magenta coloured blooms, a good show.
Tips for  flowering in Gomphrena globe amaranth- The plant can be grown in pot a single plant or as borders in garden which receives sunlight for at least some part of the day. Sunlight is very essential for the flowering of any plant. The plant does not need dead heading or trimming of dried flowers but for plants grown in containers or pots it would be good to trim the plant before flowering season to make the plant full grown and in rounded shape. This will encourage flowering from all sides and give a pleasing and vibrant view.
Soil must be well draining and firm for the plant to take root avoid over watering as the root will become mushy and cloggy soil will kill your plant.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Significance of Sighting of Elephant , New Growth on Indoor Plant Seed Pod

 Close up of Elephant God of Hindus

Majestic Elephant
Easy growing Show Plant

Having a glimpse of the elephant in Thane city has become a welcoming sight as the majestic animal is huge and walks gracefully. the gait of the elephant with its heavy weight is worth taking a look at. The elephant is very graceful and sways while it walks. The elephant is considered very auspicious especially in India among the Hindu religion as it is considered an incarnation of God Ganpati., the elephant headed God. Ganesh is considered the God for good luck, wealth and prosperity according to the Hindu religion and is followed universally in the whole country by many religions. People while walking past an elephant do pray and take its blessings and I see people walking or travelling by cars or bikes slow down and touch the elephant foot and pray for its blessings. He looks old and the skin is so very thick and fragelled and I do hope people transfer their feelings of prayers into taking care of elephants as they may be requiring quite a lot of food to eat. most of the elephants, I have read are not treated well by their carers and may be starving.Recently read in news about an injured elephant, God knows how they must be suffering and hungry and we respect them and ask for their blessings, hungry stomachs do not bless you..some one would come up with how to preserve and care for these elephants, would be great.
Our show plant that grows from tubers and has been the toughest plant that has survived all my tantrums has developed a new growth. A seed pod just like  the peace lily has come up from the base of this plant. The plant grows profusely and multiplies very fast.
Beautiful Colourful Dotted Plant
 The seed pod is big and looks like a swollen pod with seed. The plant multiplies along sideways and spreads from the original tuber . This colourful dotted show plant can tolerate direct sunlight and can also grow in partial sunlight. Good for people having green thumb for gardening as this plant does not require much care.
This plant has been growing in most of the pots as this was transferred by the soil mixing from time to time and my efforts to minimize its growth to one container has still not been successful as I do see few new growths in other plant containers also. Very tough and the tuber remains embedded in soil and produces fresh growth every time even from a small piece of the rhizome tuber.
Seed Pod on Our Dotted Plant

Show Indoor Plant New Growth

Close up of seed pod

The Graceful Elephant God
Good luck to all.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Flowering of Rare Wild Orchid Plant

Wild Orchid Plants hanging from tree
The wild orchid plants have flowered and the blooms are very unique and different. The plants have been brought from the wild and have a history of one of my adventures in search of new plants. The flower has a single petal that is different and the rest of the flower is of different colour. The orchid plants are rare and very expensive plants and the wild orchid plants are seen hanging from old trunks of huge trees in the wild.
Our plant has sprouted from different sides and each stem has flowering stalks on them. The flowers of orchid have grown in bunches having at least minimum three to five in bunches. The orchid plant growing under partial sunlight has bloomed and does not require much care though regular watering is required for plants grown in containers and planters. These are epiphytic orchids that send out aerial roots for breathing and grow on tree trunks of other trees.
Wild Orchid Plant

Wild Orchid Plant Aerial Roots
            Wild Orchid Sets Buds

The flower of orchid is something mentioning for as the blooms are very attractive. All orchid flowers are attractive and different and many resemble the shape of female organs hence orchids are considered symbols of fertility.
Orchid flowers are available in many varieties and there are at least 30,000 varieties of orchids known. Each orchid is different and with these orchids growing from hilly regions to plateaus and rain forests there is a wide variety in their growing conditions. As we had the lilac flowering orchid that would die after blooming once, and I did not know that the plant would root in water, must remember the next time I get another one. These wild orchids are planted in many pots to keep the species alive and to observe their growth patterns carefully.
Wild Orchid plant care- since the orchid plant has been brought from the jungle it is better to think carefully bout the environment it has come from. Now that we have grown the plant in container I have placed the pot near a big tree so that it gets the support as well as shade required. The plant needs to be watered regularly to maintain the moisture levels. If you have dry air you need to keep water nearby to keep the moisture levels high near the orchid plant. The orchid plant also need some space for the aerial roots to breathe. Regular feedings will also be required as plants growing in containers have limited resources available for making food.
The blooms are different and you need to be an orchid lover to appreciate the blooms! the flowers are asymmetrical and have different coloured petals as well as one single petal is very attractive with design on it.

Wild Orchid Flowers Blooming

Close up of Wild Orchid Flowers in Container

Buds of Wild Orchid Plant

Rare Wild Orchids Growing in Container

The Balsam Plant Flowering

The balsam plant is a native of the Himalayas and has colourful flowers. The flowers are sweet scented and the plant propagates through spreading of seeds by wind. The blooms are very colourful and pink in colour. It looks just like an orchid plant growing in the wild. The balsam plant grows in hilly regions and does not require much watering. 
The balsam plant has a unique way of propagation. The plants develop seed pods that burst spreading the seeds far away. The plant grows in large numbers and sometimes the whole mountainous regions where the plant is seen is covered with pink! The flap of a petal looks like an helmet and this plant is also called the policeman’s helmet.
The fragrant Colourful Balsam flowers on Plant
The scientific name is Impatiens Balsamina and actually the balsam plant is a herb producing colourful flowers. There are many colour seen in balsam plants and many grow tall according tot eh conditions provided. The plant grown in small containers grows for two to three feet and flowers profusely. The leaves of balsam are bright green in colour growing in central arrangement and have wavy edges. The blooms are almost similar to rose flowers and from far they look like roses , just for the fact that they do not have thorns!.
Bright Balsam Flowers growing in Container

Close up of Balsam Flower

Close up of leaves of balsam plant

The best part of the plant is the process of scattering seeds from their seed pods. The plants burst and scatter their seeds far away and thus propagation.
Care of Balsam plant in container-  Plant grows and blooms during summers and beginnings of rains. The balsam plant does not tolerate more water and grows best in hard and firm soil. The roots spread fast and cover the ground and are not very deep. The plant grows best on slopes and borders of any landscape. The balsam plants are selected for the colourful show they give.
The seed pods when matured will burst open anytime and hence you have to collect the seeds when the pod looks mature and on touch they burst open scattering seeds. The seeds can be grown like any other plant grown from seed using small containers and having damp soil at first producing a high moisture environment.
Avoid over watering and have a well draining soil. The plant also will benefit when grown in conditions where it receives sunlight for few hours of the day.
The balsam plants flower in many colours and the pink, magenta and red being the most sought after colours by gardeners.

Bird of Paradise Colourful Flowering Plants

Bird of paradise
 Bird of paradise, or as these colourful flowers are called are true to their name. The flowers are very attractive and look like a bird. The shape of the flowers and their bright colours give us the feeling of a beautiful bird sitting on the green foliage of this plant.
Red and Yellow Bright flowers
 The plant is grown in form of bulb and does not require much care. The main advantage of growing bulbous and rhizome or tuber plants is that they can tolerate full sunlight. Do not require much water and flower for most of the time even after summers. We have canna plants that are red and yellow flowers and these plants look almost similar to them except for their blooms. The leaves of bird of paradise plants are big and dark green in colour and the showy stalk of the flower comes from the centre of the spiral arrangement of leaves.
Colourful Flowers of Bird of Paradise
 Tips for flowering in Bird of Paradise Plants- Since the plant can tolerate direct sunlight they are best grown under the sun where they can enjoy sunlight for most parts of the day. These plants flower best when grown in pot bound containers. The rhizome or tubers spread from side ways and you get many baby plants from a single rhizome. The plant spreads very fast and if you need frequent flowering then keep the plant  pot bound. Do not over water the plant and another important tip for encouraging flowering, do not cut off the foliage after flowering. It is best to let the leaves of the spent stalk dry of itself , this will let the plant take its own time to complete each cycle of flowering.
Single flower of Bird of Paradise
 The flowers of bird of paradise are evry colourful and you can see red and orange with yellow. Blue and green with yello and many colourful combinations , even purple blue with yellow , and they look just like a colourful bird on the plant . Bird of paradise are often selected in landscapes for dividers and borders and also for centre colourful display.

Colourful flowers

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Colourful Fragrant Lantana Flower Plants

Lantana plants are not a native of India and have migrated here. The lantana plants have survived less water and direct sunlight and we can see many places like Bangalore, Ooty and many other hill stations where these fragrant lantana plants are growing like crazy. The survival of these plants have made them a good choice by many gardeners and also their beautiful fragrant blooms are another attraction.
Lantana plants have colourful flowers and the colours range from clear yellow, white to reds and oranges. We also see many shaded variety growing where the plant flowers into two colours. The centre of the bunch is different colour and the outer layer of flowers are different.
Pink Lantana Flowers on Plant
 The flowers though look very attractive on closer inspection we can see that the whole flower is made up of tiny small flowers. When we touch them the tiny flowers fall and can be closely observed . The blooms are very delicate though they remain on the plant for long. The small flowers are very fragrant and the fragrance is woody and strong. When planted in groups the lantana fragarnce can be felt from far away. Fragrance also feels like the Eucalyptus trees, and often the fragrance is confused with eucalyptus or nilgiri plants. The leaves are sharp and have a rough surface. Maybe there are tiny spikes on the surface of the leaves. So sharp are the leaves edges that we can accidently cut our skin by rubbing with them to feel them.
Close up of lantana flowers

Yellow and Orange shading Lantana flowers

 Care of Lantana Plants- Care of lantana plants is very easy and the plants grow very fast. They need to be trimmed regularly to maintain their shape and also to encourage more flowering. Watering care is requried as the lantana plants do not require much water and with over watering may die.
Close up of Beautiful Yellow Lantana flowers
 Another most important care is that the lantana plants are prone to white aphids and fungus attacks. I have lost many plants due to this pest. As the plants can grow in full sunlight the best place would be to grow it under direct sunlight, this will some what also help to control the plant disease. Giving the plant a  thorough wash and shower also helps temporarliy to treat the plant disease.
Colourful Red and Yellow Shaded Lantana flowers

Close up of red lantana flowers
The fragrance of lantana flowers is great and will enliven the whole atmosphere. The lantana plants are mostly selected because of the great colourful show they give when laden with blooms. The lantana flowers are a unique pattern of small flowers growing in a bunch together. They look almost like a big shaded flower but only on closer look we can see the tiny bunch of small flowers. The flowers are available in many colours and shades. White with cream, pink with yellow, red with orange or yellow, and sometimes even three colours together.
Lantana plants grown as central point in any landscape are great colourful displayers. And these plants are also  selected for borders and dividers in any garden.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Free new growth in container orange flowering plant

Beautiful Orange Flower on plant

Bright Orange flower on plant

Unexpected new growth, beautiful orange blooms and yellow flowers. What happens when you grow a garden and plant in numbers and the process goes on and on.. you get unexpected gifts. Yes by purchasing new plants from the nursery I have had many new , unknown plants growing in our containers and I do not even know what variety they are or their name but I do love blooming plants and fragrant ones!
Like all our bulbous plants this plant is also growing happily aside the other plants.
The plant has rooted well and can tolerate direct sunlight and they came along with some new plant or maybe I have planted the seeds I do not remember. After so many years of  terrace gardening I do not remember how many plants we have purchased over the years and how many have left us. Maybe some seeds have remained in the quiet and just when the time is right they have bloomed, or maybe some seeds have come along with new baby plants from the nursery.
This is a beautiful orange flowered plant and along with this is growing the yellow coloured one, I think these are day lillies as they tolerate direct sunlight. The turning over  of soil, loosening   and fertilizing bring up new seeds that may not have rooted immediately after planting at that time, any way it seems so good to have up something  new and  colourful  unexpectedly!


Ever Green Plant/ The Flowering Sada Phuli/ Periwinkle Plant not Flowering?

The Pink Flowers of Periwinkle Plant

Periwinkle plants are seen from ages and they are available in many colours with white to pink and shaded variety. These periwinkle or sada phuli plants have been since ages and were seen growing without much care. The pink variety is the most common and toughest of all the vinca rose plants.

We had grown pink, red, maroon, white shaded with magenta and of course the one in the photograph is the deep magenta colour that looks very attractive from far away also and is the focal point in the garden. The sada phuli plants do not require any special care and the best part is they can grow in full sunlight ad dbloom profusely. The whole vinca rose plant is always laden with flowers hence people often term it as sada bahar or sada phuli, which means in hindi to be every green and always flowering.
Sada Phuli care and tips for flowering- Though the plant looks an easy grower and we often see the plants growing even in nooks and corners of walls and on the ground where the seeds may have been transferred by wind, the plant when grown in containers does need some care to always be in bloom. I had a friend who had this plant that would not bloom ever! Few tips for flowering of the sada phuli if your plant is stubborn and does not give any blooms!!!, sunlight, full direct sunlight for at least some part of the day. Water carefully when the plant is grown in plastic container as the roots will rot if the water is not drained properly.
Trim the flowering ends when the blooms have fallen to encourage more blooms and healthy growth. It would be best to keep trimming after few months when the plant grows into any direction to give it proper shape and encourage healthy growth. You can also add few balls of fertilizer available at your local nursery if your plant is not giving any blooms, though this a  rare case!
Do not over water your plant as the mud will become soggy and the plant will not take root. Touch your plant and see whether the plant has rooted well, in most cases the plant comes out loose and hence the dull looking growth and no blooms. The plant will take care of itself by multiplying by its own seeds and you will see many small sada phuli plants coming out from all directions and all neighbouring pots..
In case all efforts for making the plant bloom seem futile maybe the plant is non fertile, just get another one! surely update!
All th Beest from Rizwana!
If you have chanced upon my page from Google search, Please do share ,You may not need it but this plant advice and gardening tips can help some one on verge of giving up gardening!Save a lot of plant lives and loads of money!
All Photographs and Content are My Original Copyright Reserved © Rizwana A.Mundewadi
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