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Cym. Artistic Impression ‘Snowdrop’ x Ruby Eyes ‘Red Baron’

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Cymbidium orchid hybrid Artistic Impression ‘Snowdrop’ x Ruby Eyes ‘Red Baron’ has small flowers and interesting colour combination.

Zygocactus 2016

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Zygocactus - Small Red

Zygocactus, Crab’s claw cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) dikenal dengan nama  Christmas cactus dibelahan bumi bagian utara. Di Australia, jenis kaktus epifit ini berbunga di akhir musim gugur dan musim dingin yang jatuh pada bulan Mei s/d Agustus. Karena tidak berbunga disekitar hari Natal di bulan Desember, kami di Australia tidak menyebutnya dengan nama Christmas cactus, tapi lebih umum dikenal dengan nama Zygocactus atau Crab’s claw cactus karena bentuk daunnya mirip dengan capit kepiting.

Asal mulanya tanaman Schlumbergera truncata banyak tumbuh liar di Brazilia disekitar hutan pegunungan tropis dan semi-tropis. Yang sekarang banyak dijual dengan warna warni cantik; merah, pink, ungu, salmon, putih dsb adalah hasil berbagai macam silangan.

Zygocactus yang merupakan salah satu jenis kaktus hutan ini ditempat asalnya tumbuh di dahan pepohonan atau celah-celah bebatuan di lereng gunung. Juga karena bunganya yang cenderung menggelantung, maka cocok sekali untuk ditanam di pot gantung. Supaya bisa berbunga, diperlukan waktu siang hari yang pendek dan malam hari panjang dan sejuk dimusim gugur.  Untuk daerah tropis yang panas, cocok untuk daerah pegunungan yang lebih dingin dimalam hari. Sebagian orang berpendapat bahwa Zygocactus enggan berbunga jika terkena terang sinar lampu dimalam hari, jadi dianjurkan untuk meletakkannya ditempat gelap dimalam hari.

Media tanam yang cocok adalah yang subur dan cepat menyerap air (air dengan mudah mengalir keluar melalui lubang pot). Campuran potting mix biasa dengan saedikit kompos cukup memadai. Pemakaian pupuknya sedikit saja, kami menggunakan pupuk cair setengah ukuran.

Kalau terkena terlalu banyak sinar matahari dimusim panas daun akan terbakar, jadi posisi harus yang terang agak ternaung. Kalau terlalu banyak air, daun akan terlihat layu dan membusuk. Jadi penyiraman hanya dilakukan kalau media tanam sudah mulai mengering atasnya.

Tanaman ini mudah dikembang biakkan dengan potongan daun. Karena bunga hanya tumbuh diujung daun, maka kebiasaan memetik daun disaat selesai berbunga akan mendorong tanaman untuk membentuk banyak cabang supaya lebih banyak bunganya.

Tahun ini, musim gugur yang cukup dingin  membuat tanaman Zygocactus kami berbunga lebat dan agak lebih awal dari biasanya.

Tanaman Nanas – Ananas comosus

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Pinapple Plant - Prickly Leaves

Tanaman nanas alias Ananas comosus memang masih sesaudaraan dengan tanaman Bormeliad. Kalau beli nanas dan masih ada mahkota daunnya, jangan dibuang karena mahkota daun itu bisa ditanam. Seperti tanaman Bromeliad (Bromeliacea), nanas cantik untuk ditanam didalam pot yang cukup besar. Karena tumbuhnya lambat, biasanya nanas didalam pot baru akan berbuah setelah 2 s/d 3 tahun umurnya. Setelah berbuah akan tumbuh anakannya yang bisa jadi tanaman baru.

Barusan memindahkan 3 tanaman nanas karena potnya kekecilan. Ketiganya ditanam kira-kira setahun yang lalu. Dua adalah jenis nanas berbuah besar yang rasanya asam manis (cocok untuk selai) dengan kulit hijau kekuningan dan daunnya halus tak berduri. Satu lagu jenis berkulit kuning oranye, manis dan daunnya berduri. Sudah tak ingat lagi apa nama jenis nanas ini, atau mungkin waktu dibeli dulu nama tak dicantumkan.

Ingin punya tanaman nanas? Ikuti langkah ini:

  • Beli buah nanas yang rasanya cocok dengan selera dan masih ada mahkota daunnya. Pilih yang daunnya masih kelihatan segar.
  • Potong mahkota daun (bisa dengan jalan memuntirnya), dan lepaskan beberapa daun dibagian bawah hingga kelihatan bonggolnya.
  • Bisa langsung ditanam di tanah di kebun atau didalam pot.
  • Bisa juga ditaroh diatas gelas yang diisi air dan bagian bawah mahkota (bonggolnya) terendam air. Letakkan ditempat yang hangat dan terang, setelah tumbuh akar, baru ditanam. Yang saya punya langsung ditanam, jadi tidak merendam dan menumbuhkan akar dulu.
  • Tanah yang diperlukan adalah yang subur dan mudah menyerap air. Bisa ditambahkan kompos atau pupuk kandang. Tidak cocok untuk tanah lempung yang berat dan liat.
  • Kalau ditanam di kebun tidak terlalu tergantung pada penyiraman apa lagi dimusim hujan. Dimusim kemarau bisa disiram secukupnya. Kalau didalam pot harus diperhatikan supaya tanaman tidak kekeringan.
  • Posisi tanaman harus ditempat yang terang banyak mendapatkan sinar matahari.

Pinapple - Ananas comosusPineapples - Smooth LeavesTanaman Nanas - Ananas comosusPineapples

Garden Mid Autumn 2016

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Autumn Colour Washington Hawthorn - Crataegus phaenopyrum April 2016

It was a very nice warm day today around 25 deg. C. Many of the Cymbidium orchids have grown flower spikes. Jade plants (Crassula) also started to develop flower buds, the second flowering time of the year. Our deciduous bonsai trees are displaying bright autumn leaves. Few plants that are worth noting right now:

Our small Feijoa tree failed to bear fruits in the last few years due to extreme high summer temperatures, and the tiny fruits got aborted. This year’s summer was quite mild here around Melbourne, and the young tree has managed to have quite a few fruits. They will be ripe by the end of winter when they have fallen off the tree.

Lately the sweet smell of Murraya paniculata flowers once again greets us every time we open the front door. This plant flowers twice a year, in spring and autumn. Respond well to clipping and shaping, also very good for hedging.

How a flowering plant that is grown in a hanging pot can brighten up a place around the house. This trailing Pelargonium with single red blooms looks so pretty against the weather board wall near our front door. With a little bit of complete fertilizer, it will flower for a long period of time.

While our pear trees still have green foliage, the maple bonsai trees and the Chinese pistachio have started to have autumn colours. Meanwhile, the Washington hawthorn that grows on the nature strip has also had reddish foliage. There are not many places here around Melbourne that have many deciduous trees. Only patches of autumn colours can be seen among too many evergreens.

The best autumn blaze that I had ever seen was during my stay in Rockford, Illinois back in 1979.  In the autumn months of October and November the whole valleys were blanketed with riots of autumn colours. Orange, crimson, red, yellow and auburn leaves that dominated the scenery really took my breath away. The memory of blazing colours, the burnt autumn smell, the crisp and coolness of the air were so sweet and invigorating……. a reminder of a good time past.

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Transplanting Naked Ladies

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Pink Belladona Lily - Amaryllis sp.

December last year, the Naked Lady Belladonna Lilies ( Amaryllis ) flowered after many years went unnoticed and neglected, infested by snails. We have had these plants in our garden since we bought the house more than 30 years ago. The previous owner of the house planted them very close to the fence line. later on they are hidden behind other plants that grow in front of them.

This morning I dug some of the bulbs. The plants have finished flowering and have no leaves. The large rounded bulbs were easy to dig up without damaging the roots. After many years, each bulb has a long neck and I am not very sure whether I should cut them shorter or to leave them alone. I decided not to cut them but I cleaned all the dry materials. I have transplanted them in more open and sunny places around the garden. They may take few years to develop clumps, but they will definitely have better chance to flourish and for the flowers to be more visible. Once the bulbs have developed into clumps, they will be happy to be undisturbed and grow permanently on the same spot.

 

Greek legend about Amaryllis:

A young and beautiful maiden Amaryllis fell in love with a cold-hearted gardener named Alteo. To have her love noticed, she walked to his cottage every day, but it was not enough to steal his heart. The handsome young man only cared for his plants and flowers. One day before walking to his place, she pierced her heart with the tip of an arrow. Where her blood dripped along the way grew beautiful flowers that were never been known before. She picked the pretty flowers and presented them to him. Only then that he noticed her and she had her love returned. They lived happily ever after.

About the nickname ‘Naked Lady’:

Long stem of Amaryllis flowers that grow straight from the ground without leaves can be compared to a naked lady🙂

Orchids – Surprise Keikis

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Psychopsis orchid:

When I bought this orchid the seller told me that it had just been re-potted and she made sure that I should not disturb it. Also it had 3 long flower stems, one with a flower. I was told that I should not cut the flower stems as they could re-flower again and again (sequential).

It was potted in ordinary soil and I was not really happy with it, so disregarding the advice of the seller, I changed the potting media with proper orchid mix. Later on I read somewhere online that Psychopsis orchid will sulk if reported too often. Not long after, the new flower spike on one of the long stem was dry. Some of the foliage are getting yellow and dry as well. For months, the plant which only had two leaves left did not show any changes. It was only very recently I noticed a spike and I am sure it is a new growth. Two of the flower stems started to get dry and I cut them off. One remaining green flower stem looks good, but I’ve decided to peel off the ugly dry sheaths that cover each stem nodes. Not long after, tiny bumps started to grow on the exposed nodes. I am almost sure they are keikis. I did not even apply any keiki growing paste.

 

Phalaenopsis orchid:

Recently, one of our Phalaenopsis orchids, the one that has beautiful white flower edges with pink, suffered from rotting roots and only had one leaf left. I took it out of the pot and cut all the rotten roots and only some aerial roots remained. After I sprinkled the cutting wound with cinnamon powder, I replanted it with the aerial roots buried in the growing media. Now to my surprise, it has grown a new leaf and a keiki is growing from the base. The keiki has two leaves and a root has also started to grow.

 

A lot of times, good things in life come very unexpectedly…………….

 

Billbergia Bromeliad

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Our friend Viv, her sister and I went to the Caribbean market yesterday. I spotted this Bromeliad plant for sale which has unusual flowers. The Billbergia Bromeliad has the most unusual flowers. The large dangling pink bracts look so strange compared to the small purplish flowers.

The seller, the same gentleman who sold me the ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’ plant few years ago had given me a very good bargain price. Now I am so glad to have this plant and hopefully it will soon multiply by growing pups.

 

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