Sunday, May 20, 2012

Our Little 'Flora' Family

Just about every day I tend to my plants. I play reggae for them, and I swear they dance. It might be that the window is open.. But lets pretend for a second that they like island music. I talk to them, and tell them "everything is going to be alright". They nod their leaves at me. They create an ambiance- An island style. They also clean our air. We have a mutual understanding. I need them- They need me. I call that family : ) The majority of our plants are Hawaiian. Wayne had a few of them sent as gifts from the Hawaiian airport.

Let me introduce you to our little 'flora' family.
In the first photo is our 'Mirabilis Jalapa' it is said to have been exported from the Peruvian Andes in 1540. It enjoys full sun, and lots of water. At full height she will be almost 3 feet tall. Next to her is our Hawaiian family members. The Hawaiian tree fern also known as 'Hapu'u pulu' or 'blond tree fern' was one of Hawaii's first exports in the 1800's. The soft hair on the fern was sent as mattress and pillow stuffing for gold miners in California. It enjoys lots of sunshine, and LOTS of water all over, even the leaves need water. The Hawaiian pineapple was a pineapple we ate. Yes that's right.. You cut the crown off and plant it! Learn how to do that here. The 'Plumeria' loves LOTS of sunshine, and likes to be watered all over. I use a spray bottle to keep the girls smiling. Plumerias originated in the Caribbean, and the yellow plumeria in specific is the most common flower used in Hawaiian leis.

This herb is my newest trial and error project. I have been over watering my basil. I am so used to all of our Hawaiian plants drinking lots of water. The Hawaiian plants make basil a breeze. So much of a breeze that I am slowly killing it.. You know you are over watering when the leaves start to turn white. You are under watering when the leaves are shriveling up. Basil loves full sun too. It is recommended that basil is watered once a week, and only to the soil. Wet leaves can lead to rot or disease. See more Basil care tips here.
If you follow my blog you know about my growing sweet potato starts. See that post here.
This is our survival water source. Also known as the cheap cactus from Ikea. : )

You should also be familiar with my green onions, and celery. Those posts here, and here.

Our Ti Leaf plant enjoys shade. We learned this the hard way.. Poor thing turned brown and lost all of its leaves a while back. We have slowly pushed it further, and further away from the window. It seems to be pretty happy now. It doesn't drink as much water as our other Hawaiian plants. I water it every few days. Its soil stays wet for a while. There are lots of healing practices, and alternative medicine uses. Read the Ti Leaf plants historical background here to learn more. As for our 'Easy Girl' Tomatoes, Wayne's mom just picked them up for us (Thanks Mah!). So they are new to me as far as care goes. One thing I do know is to water directly into the soil, not on the leaves, and lots of sunshine. You are also not supposed to rush the watering, a drip system works best for tomatoes. Last is our Red Bromeliads. Bromeliads do not like direct light, Their leaves are also designed to catch water in the center- This is called a 'cup'. The plant drinks as it needs it. Bromeliads rot easy, so its best to let it dry out. Watering once a week is what is suggested. A fun fact is that Bromeliads are part of the Bromeliaceae family, which means it is a distant relative to the pineapple. Also Bromeliads only bloom once in their life. A new plant must grow before a new bloom can be generated. Once blooming is complete, the mother plant will produce small “pup” plants on the outer perimeter of its base. A bromeliad is a very slow growing plant. The pups will take about six months to grow to approximately one-third the size of the mother plant. When the pups reach that size, separate them from the mother plant. Allow the young plants to grow for at least 6 more months, after which time they could be mature enough to bloom. Interesting huh? Read more on Bromeliads here.

So that is our little 'flora' family. I hope you enjoyed meeting the gang. I also hope you learned something new. Maybe I inspired you to get your own little 'flora' family going : )

Not pictured- Avocado plant growing in water, & Green pepper.

No comments :

Post a Comment