3/31/09

Our Angel Trumpets are so Beautiful

I think these plants are just one of the most beautiful plants that South Florida has to offer. It just doesn't stop blooming. The scent smells just like hand soap and fills the backyard each night.

Angel’s Trumpets are in the Solanaceae family, therefore it’s in the same family that petunias, tomatoes and potatoes. But it's deadly if ingested, so don't try it.


All these new leaves will be maturing to 1-2 feet in length.
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More Cuttings in the Garden

Here are some brugmansia (angel trumpet) that I planted from cuttings. When they started out, they were just little twigs that broke off the main plant.

Here is some orlange mint that I broke off the main mint plant and stuck in this hanging pot. Mint is one of the easiest things to grow because it travels underground and pops up new growth along it's underground roots. It can be invasive, so that's why I always keep it in pots.
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The Wind has Taken My Peaches

I had no idea that young peaches can drop from the tree because it gets too windy. Apparently this is common. I let it go unwatched for a few days and I was down to one peach. Today, I went to the nursery to ask what happened and I was told that it was probably too windy.

The tree is doing really, really good. No bugs, no deficiencies, no watering/sun problems. For some reason, this one little peach has hung on for a few weeks while all the others dropped.
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How to Propagate from Cuttings

I got out into the garden today for the first time in weeks. I was super excited because I just received three cuttings in the mail. You probably thought that you need seeds to grow plants...not so.

Above: the top cutting is from a sharp blueberry. The lower cutting with the orange berry is an ohelo (Vaccinium reticulatum Sm. ERICACEAE) from the Big Island, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. It was originally from the Kilauea Caldera. Here's what the plant will look like if I can get it to grow here in South Florida....
http://www.hear.org/starr/images/600/starr-060929-0623.jpg This is so cool that I got this!!!

Bougainvillea Cutting
(Below)

I took this cutting off the top of the plant. It's new growth and the stem is green and bendy as opposed to hard and brown like the older stems on the plant. It has 2 thorns and several nodes. The bottom 1/2 inch of the cutting was wounded then dipped in rooting hormone and planted. I also took a few lower leaves off.



The bottom two photos are of my blueberry bushes. I took cuttings of the sharp and misty, dipped in rooting hormone, and planted right next to the main plant.


I am very excited to see how these cuttings do. Our day temps are in the 80s and evenings are in the mid 70s still.
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3/5/09

How to Propagate Song of India

I shouldn't claim to be an expert on Song of India plants, but I am doing something right that I'd like to share. This is one of the plants that you just stick in the ground and it forms new roots.

The Song of India is the small yellow and green variegated plant in front of the rubber plant shown below. In my zone 9b garden, it receives a short, light sprinkle of water twice weekly. It is mulched once per year and it has black weed block fabric between the sandy soil and the mulch.

It is on the north side of the house, so it gets filtered sun during mid-day.

After the first 6 months, it had 4-5 windey shoots, no main stem. I trimmed off 5 inches of 3 of the stalks. After another 6 months, it had 10 windey stalks. So, each time you trim one branch, two new branches grow back...this is very common in many plants. Check out how my dracaena does the same thing. And check out how my avocado puts out new shoots wherever you pinch it back.


Last year, I had pruned the plant back. Instead of throwing away the pruned branches, I stuck of them in the ground and watered it daily for a few months. After a few months, I dig it up and dusted off the dirt so I could see how the roots formed. They look great!

So, I have planted this new baby plant in a sunny spot in the front yard and I'm happy with it. The price was sure right...free!

3/2/09

Baby Fruit from the Garden

I am really excited about today's garden finds! Peaches, miracle fruit, and pineapple.

Above: I planted the peach tree in April 2008. Our winter began 4-5 months ago. The leaves had all dropped before Christmas. Now, nearly all of the branches have hundreds of tiny leaves emerging and dozens of little fruits.

Above: I ordered miracle fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum) from an online company last February. It's a very slow growing plant. In August 08, when everyone else's miracle fruit was producing, mine was not. So, I moved it to a full sun spot and changed the irrigation system to drip twice daily for 2 minutes. I just noticed these tiny buds forming and I am bursting with excitement. These berries will make for an awesome party trick.

Above: Here's the pineapple I planted back in 2007. We bought the pineapple from the grocery store and planted the top after eating the fruit. In the very center of the plant, you can see the tiny pineapple top forming what looks like a red sea urchin. I'd guess the plant is now 3 ft wide.

The aloe vera just recently shot up a flower that will bloom in the next month. Here is the aloe plant last March.

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