How to revive an ailing Variegated Crinum Lily?

Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum' (Variegated Grand Crinum Lily,Striped Bengal Lily, Asiatic Poison Bulb) - 21 July 2013We were overwhelmed with joy when an eye-catching Variegated Crinum Lily joined our garden party at the beginning of July 2013.

However, it didn’t cross our mind at all that our joy at seeing its beautiful presence at our courtyard would be short-lived! Just three months down the road and it had lost its lushness.

What a sorry state the plant was in, when we scrutinized it about 10 days ago!

Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum', infested by red spider mites - 10 October 2013One moment our Variegated Grand Crinum Lily (Crinum asiaticum ‘Variegatum’) looked so healthy and sparkling, the very next moment, so to speak, fully riddled with unsightly patches.

So heartbreaking to see the extent of foliage damage by the invading pest and its troop.

Many times we have failed to look at the underside of leaves for signs of pest disease until it’s too late. Read More >>

Yay… our Alocasia sanderiana (Kris Plant) has resurrected!

Alocasia sanderiana with other companion plants at our courtyard, July 22 2013Alocasia sanderiana, commonly known as Kris Plant, are beautiful variegated plants that we enjoy having at our courtyard. It blends well with other companion plants and shines outstandingly with its deep green foliage that are distinctly accentuated with whitish or pale green veins in wonderful contrast.

Unfortunately, about two months ago, our pot of healthy plants suddenly took a turn for the worst. We hadn’t noticed that their attractive and shiny leaves were badly infested with some kind of disease until it was too late to salvage them or so we thought. Anyway, rather than trash them, I decided to try to save these treasured plants.

The whole foliage of the Kris Plant was a sure goner – every single leaf was mottled with silvery, yellowish or brownish patches and spots. Totally irreversible due to the severe extent of damage. Read More >>

Crescentia cujete (Calabash Tree) has multiple uses!

Crescentia cujete (Calabash Tree, Gourd Tree, ‘Mo Fa Kor’ in Chinese)

Large roundish fruits of Crescentia cujete (Calabash Tree) at Restaurant Siu Siu, KL - 24 Oct, 2011The Common Calabash Tree will look impressive in any landscape.

Typically, a cultivated tree will soar to between 3-4.5 m (10-15 ft) tall and spread as wide as its height in measurement, providing much shade with its dense canopy.

Nevertheless, it is the uniquely beautiful flowers and showy fruits that steal the show!

Exotic bell-shaped flowers of Crescentia cujete (Calabash Tree), 3 Oct 2013We chanced upon the attractive Crescentia cujete about 2 years ago at Restaurant Siu Siu Sungai Besi in Kuala Lumpur and were captivated by the large fruits that hung on its multiple trunks and branches.

That sighting convinced us that our neighbour had a similar tree planted at the sidewalk outside his home, yet we were oblivious of its existence until then. Hehee… unbelievably absurd, walking around like blind bats, have eyes but don’t see!

Aphelandra squarrosa is too gorgeous to resist!

Aphelandra squarrosa (Zebra Plant)

Aphelandra squarrosa 'Louisae' (Zebra Plant), newly purchased in March 12 2013Indeed, Zebra Plant is one of the most spectacular of tropical plants, too gorgeous to resist! Can be grown outdoors or as a houseplant.

The bright ivory veining really sparkles in beautiful contrast against the dark green leaves, making it so desirable as an ornamental plant. Not to be side-lined are the vibrant yellow-coloured flowering spikes that will be showing off for several months.

We weren’t surprised at all when a lovely pot of three plants hopped into our car when we went plant-shopping last March. Its remarkable beauty must have clouded our memory because we’ve forgotten that our love affair with Aphelandra squarrosa about a decade ago had ended up a total flop.

Our garden joy from July to August 2013 – Part 2

Continuing from Part 1

Many of our plants flowered and shouted for attention during the last two months as the fine weather was in tune with their demands. Even the non-flowering ones delighted us so with their luscious growth. Without fail, our tropical garden has a constant supply to provide us with our daily dose of joy!

Torenia fournieri (Wishbone Flower, Bluewings) – sprouted with a vengeance and filled up every nook and corner with their cheerful, smiling faces. Torenias are beautiful and reliable filler plants for borders and containers, even the bricks and cracks in walls are not spared their presence. The best part is they self-seed readily and endlessly.

Torenia fournieri and Dwarf Tabernaemontana divaricata, at our outer border, Aug 24 2013

Going through my archived articles, I’ve observed that they were rarely mentioned in spite of giving us much pleasure all these years. They definitely have a special place in our hearts. I plead negligence and has now ranked them top priority here!