Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hoya Source Aloha Hoyas


This is a great catalog for purchasing hoyas. There are great photos and a wide variety of plants. This is my favorite source for these plants. If your interested in Hoyas, check out this site...

Growing Hoya cuttings

The best way to obtain more hoya plants is by cuttings. Growing cuttings is very easy. I plan on growing from seeds for the challenge. I will get plants that are different from the parent. This is how new species are created. I’m hoping the seeds were crossed pollinated to get an unusual hybrid. It has been said; you can grow a thousand seeds and only get one quality plant. Planting the cutting requires the bottom leaves removed. Do a cutting that will have 3 or 4 leaves left on the stem. You can use a rooting hormone from the store to increase the odds of it rooting. After planting the cutting in good potting soil water it well. Allow it to dry in between watering. I have a cutting that I have rooted in water. You can try this method also. I will keep you updated on the seeds I plant. The seeds look like dandelion seeds with the fluffy end.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wonderful Houseplant Hoya

The Hoya plant is a popular houseplant vine. It has several common names such as waxplant, waxvine or Hoya. This plant grows in Southern Asia, Australia or polynesia. It is a evergreen vine that will grow many feet. As a houseplant, it does grow slower. Normally it is grown from cuttings. I'm receiving seeds on Tuesday which will produce different types of Hoyas. Unfortunately, often it will produce inferior seedlings from seeds. I just love the challenge of growing from seeds.

Terrarium garden

I found this article on the internet that I found interesting..Enjoy

By : Glenn Bronner

There is a solution for you if you love the look of plants indoors but don’t have the time or a green thumb to take care of them. A terrarium is a self-contained plant habitat. Once you have set-up the terrarium and closed the lid (on the jar or other container you have chosen) the plants inside create their own eco-system – all you have to do is enjoy it. The choices for terrarium containers are only limited by your imagination. Traditionally a smaller aquarium is used with a lid but a glass jar or other container will work nicely too. Plastic will work as well, just make sure that it is a clear plastic or you won’t be able to admire your handiwork once it is completed. Whatever size or material you choose for your terrarium the most important factor is that it does not leak. You need the water and moisture to stay inside for it to work and you don’t want a mess inside your house. The plants that you choose should all thrive in similar conditions and grow well in a humid environment. Popular plants to put into a terrarium are carnivorous (Venus Fly Trap, sundew, or pitch plant) or rain forest plants (chamaedorea palms, small ferns or fittonia). Terrariums are a low-maintenance indoor garden. They need indirect sunlight (not too bright) and no water is needed after the initial water is added. The heat from inside the terrarium evaporates the water and then it condenses on the lid falling back down to the plants. This process will continue keeping your plants alive. If there is too much water present, you may need to vent the terrarium (with a vented lid or opening the top a small amount) just be sure to keep an eye on the soil’s moisture level (not too wet or dry).
Author Resource:- About The Author Glenn Bronner has been a professional grounds keeper for over 30 years. Glenn Has published hundreds of articles on the internet and owns several websites including Gardening Article Site.Com Garden Blog Directory.Com and Glenns Garden where he offers free resources and advice for gardeners around the world.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Garden Cartoon

Sunday is a day of rest. I found this funny cartoon on the web. I hope you enjoy it. I will be discussing the Hoya plant tomorrow. I'm receiving seeds on Tuesday. I'm very excited because the seeds are very hard to find. The viability of these seeds only last for several weeks.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Starfish plant

The Starfish or Stapelia plant is a succulent that is very easy to grow. I grow this plant in full sun in my southern exposure window. During the warmer months it can be grown outside. Make sure you bring in before the colder weather comes. This flower as you can see has a starfish shaped flower. It smells like rotting meat. It is not as strong as the Amorphophallus flower. I have a thing for smelly flowers. The plant itself is attractive. I bought this plant as a cutting. It rooted quickly and has been growing like crazy. It is taking over....The flower only last for about 5 days but it is beautiful but smelly. It tries to attract flies to pollinate. I would recommend this plant for an easy growing houseplant. Go out and buy one today, you won't be disappointed..I promise... See you Sunday...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Plumeria problems

The plumeria has very few disease problems. The plumeria rust is fairly common in Hawaii. During prolong wet period the orange powder rust can form under the leaves. If the rust is severe enough the leaves may drop. Personally, I don’t have this problem. Of course, I live in New York so the rust shouldn’t really be around. Fungicides are rarely used as the rust is rarely severe enough to damage plant. A black mold can form on stems and leaves from the presence of scale insects, white flies or mealy bug. The mold flourishes on the dew released by the insects. This fungus rarely harms the tree. The insects will affect the tree. The biggest problem for the plumeria is the long-horned beetle. This beetle burrows into the stem so insecticides are ineffective. The best remedy is the removal of the affected branch. Now that we know everything about this plant, let go buy one..What are you waiting for, buy one TODAY!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Multiple plumeria stems

You can see from the photo that there are several stems growing. This was the result of the end being accidentally damaged. Plumerias are actually pruned in a similar fashion. Pollarding is a pruning practice of pruning back each point on the stem. The end point is called the pollard head. Using this method increases the branches. If pruning is done in the dormant season the resulting stem could all develop flowers. Pruning done during the growing season will not produce flowering branches. When pruning, be aware that milky sap will flow. This sap may irritate the eyes and skin. Wear protective coverings on your hands. I like to garden without gloves to get the feel of the plant and dirt. With plumerias, I do wear gloves…I’m not stupid…

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Buying more plumeria

I have several plumeria plants...I know I don't need anymore. I can't resist buying another one. The problem is which one... There are hundreds of varieties from cross breeding. I would love to breed plumerias. The first step is to have them bloom. I've been neglecting fertilizing them. I will fertilize next year once a week and hope for the best...I'll keep you updated...

Growing your plumeria

Growing plumeria from seed is simple. The seed has a small wing on the end which reminds me of a maple seed. Plant the seed in moist potting soil with a small plastic bag on top to retain moisture. Plant the seed upright with the wing out of the soil. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks to germinate. The most important part about growing seeds is viability. The seed starts to decrease viability after about 2 months. Get seeds from a reliable source. I buy seeds from EBAY with checking the rating of the seller. If you want instant satisfaction, buy a cutting. The cutting can cost from $4.95 to the sky is the limit. It all depends on how popular the item is on EBAY. I bought a variegated plumeria cutting. I can’t reveal how much I paid. You would think I was crazy to pay that amount. I planted the cutting in a pot and put it outside. First, a squirrel dug it up and left it for dead on the ground. It must have been there for days. I replanted it with a little blood meal spread around the pot. Blood meal will keep away most animals, if not all of them. I have had great success with this. Blood meal is high in nitrogen. Please use sparingly likes other fertilizers. Guess what happened next to my cutting? The end died on the cutting. It looked completely dead. The cutting was still firm so it should grow. It did grow with multiple branches. It is growing slowly like most variegated plants. The leaves with absence of the green produce less food hence slower growth. I will post a picture of the variegated plumeria tomorrow. Happy Wednesday…

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Please note..I have just added a feature of language translator on the top page. I recently received a post from Sweden..Keep the comments coming.

Different names for Plumeria

I've been reminded on a post about another name for plumeria. Common names: plumeria, frangipani, temple tree, melia (hawaiian) and other named cultivars...Thanks everyone for posting...

Plumeria is small growing tree of about 30 feet. The size depends on the tree variety. The leaves can be several inches long to over a foot. Some plumerias are deciduous, losing their leaves at one point in the year. I’ve been told that plumerias can bloom the first year from a cutting of a good size. After 2 years, I have no flowers yet. The problem could be that the pot is small. I need to transplant in a larger pot for more active growth. The size of the pot will dictate the size of the plant. For example, bonsai plants can be 20 years old and be only 10 inches high. They are grown in small pots with root trimming to maintain size. I find growing the plumeria seeds the most satisfying and rewarding. Growing from seeds takes about 3 years to bloom under ideal conditions. The flower seeds grown plants generally look like the parent plants. For example, red flower plumeria seeds will usually produce red flowers similar to the parent. Mixed flowers seeds can produce a wide range of flowers. There are countless hybrids of these plants. I will be posting various flowers over the next few days. These flowers are one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. One cluster of flowers can have as many as 200 of them. The flowers are often 2 to 3 inches wide. I have had great success growing from seed and cuttings. Hopefully, one day flowers will appear. More information on my growing of the seeds and cuttings tomorrow…Enjoy your day..

Monday, September 22, 2008


Plumeria is a beautiful tree. Try growing this plant for a Hawaii touch. This tree is often associated with Hawaii. It is widely grown as an ornamental. Interestingly, it is not found growing in the wild. It is native to the Tropical Americas. I have been growing this plant for 2 years with no flowers. I have read it will flower when big enough. Right now, it is in a gallon pot. I plan on transplanting it into a larger pot soon. The flower is commonly used in a lei, a necklace made out of flowers. Sometimes, people will have a Hawaii themed party with real lei’s. There are companies that will ship them out. Unfortunately, it is over night mail and is quite expensive to ship. I love growing plumeria from seeds. The seeds when grown will produce plants similar to the parent but not exactly. This is the reason so many varieties exist. The most common way of growing a plumeria is from cuttings. If you order a cutting, do it in the warmer months. I ordered a cutting from an exotic place far away in the winter. I waited for weeks for it. It came partially frozen and dead. I have to learn to be more patient and wait for the correct time of the year to order. This tropical plant loves full sun and warm temperatures. If you provide these conditions it should thrive…more on growing of the seeds and cuttings on Tuesday. Enjoy the picture of the flowers…Happy Monday..

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Starting Monday, I will be focusing on the Plumeria plant. Growing a touch of Hawaii in zone 7..I just love tropical plants....Happy Sunday....

My girlfriends dogs with plant reference

My girlfriend has 2 black labs. The one dog is a a runt named Simon. This dog is super intelligent..Probably smarted then me. The other dog is Lenny. He is a loving dog with an adorable personality. He is not as bright. He is smart in his own way but is more concerned about eating everything. This dog has an appetite that would rival a full grown elephant. There is almost nothing Lenny won't eat. Here is the plant reference, he always smell my radish plants being tempted to take a bit. When Kamil was over for my birthday, Lenny really wanted to eat one of my wrapped gifts. His mouth was open ready to bite.. What does Lenny eat? Almost everything, like pickles, lettuce, burritos, bread sticks and loves gummy bears. I f we are eating gummy bears, he sits there growling until he get one. Before, you comment that we feed him the wrong food, he eats these foods only occasionally. The rest of the time he get normal dog food...This dog is nuts!!! Would probably eat peanuts if given them..

Grow an Amorphophallus today

As you can see in the photos, this plant is beautiful. It's very easy to grow. I grow my plants in part shade and they do just fine. Allow the plant to die back in the fall. Don't leave them out in the frost. The larger tubers I just store dry in a box in the basement. The smaller tubers leave in the small pot. Simply start watering them in early April or if your lucky to live in a warmer climate a little earlier. It may take a month or more before you start to notice growth. These plants are very drought tolerant. I've never seen one wilt. This summer I only water the smaller plants a couple of times. They did just fine. Enjoy growing this plant!!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


So far, I've received 3 comments to this blog. I welcome more people to leave comments and questions for me. I would like everyone to mention in the comments there location. Hopefully, I will get someone from a far away place like Japan. Now wouldn't that be cool. There was a comment about why I grow the Amorphophallus plants. There are many reasons I grow it. You may be surprised to hear that the stinky smell is not the reason. Actually, I think the plant is beautiful. It has a tropical look that I just love. I really never thought it would bloom...I was shocked by it's flower. I think my mother was little disappointed by the flowering. It really smelled horrible. The other reason was I was planning to eat some of my tubers. Just kidding, seriously some of these tubers are edible. I guess if your hungry enough you'll eat anything. I don't know which species are edible, so please do not buy and eat the tubers. I don't want any lawsuits. Anyway, a 1 pound tuber could cost $40.00, a little expensive to eat. What do you think? I plan on writing more tonight after my exploration of the city. I'll let you wonder what city. It is in the United States....See you later..

Friday, September 19, 2008

I hope you enjoy this collection of photos of Amorphophallus species. You will be the talk of the neighborhood with a plant this size. Usually when you buy a plant it will be a small one. I enjoy growing plants from seeds or buying small plants. I like the challenge of actually growing the plant to maturity. It is fun watching the developing growth. Of course, if you have unlimited supply of money, you can buy a large tuber for instant gratification. I have several plants but I still bought 2 more seeds. I will receive them next week. I will post a picture of the seeds…and keep you updated when or if they grow…See you Saturday…..Thanks for everyone that left comments..Keep them coming in. Bye for now..

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Amorphophallus Titanum seeds

This is a picture of Amorphophallus seeds. As you can see, the seeds can number in the hundreds. Seeds sell on eBay for as much as $15.00 or more. Hey, you can grow this plant for the seeds and make a small fortune. Now the bad news, there is only one case of this flower self pollinating. On January 26, 2000, the only self pollination known was at Huntington Botanical Gardens. In the United States only about 10 flowers have bloomed. You will need two flowers to pollinate for seeds. The flower is very unusual in that the small female flowers inside bloom first. By the time the male flowers open, the pollen is gone insuring cross pollination only. Depending on the plant, there are different types of flowers. Some plants only have female or male flowers like holly. Holly plants require a male and female plant. Flies are attracted to the Amorphophallus flowers. In the case of the Titanum, it is thought to be the dung beetle. The seed is the size of pecan nut…Try growing this seed. If I can do it, I’m sure you can!!!! Just get fresh seeds from a reliable source…Happy Thursday…

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Amorphophallus Titanum over 5 feet tall

THIS PHOTO IS ALLOWED FOR POSTING AND DISTRIBUTION....Check out this link for more photos.... http://flickr.com/photos/jef/

Growing Amorphophallus Titanum seeds

The Amorphopallus Titanum seed was very easy to grow. I was actually very surprised with my success of the 3 seeds. I had tried growing from seed other Amorphophallus from seed with limited results. It can take months to germinate… The titanum seed took about a month. The most important aspect of growing these seeds is the freshness. The germination rate goes way down as the seed gets older. Unfortunately, its hard to control this aspect… you have to find a good source with a little luck.. I bought the seeds from a a guy in Germany. I was so excited when they arrived. What did I do to grow them? I just planted them a half inch down in moist potting soil in a 4 inch pot. I covered the pot with a small plastic bag to keep in the moisture. Never let the soil go dry or…you will have a problem in germination. A secret in germinating is having a heat mat under the pot. This mat should keep the soil at 75-80 degrees. The mat retail for about $25.00. Its well worth the investment. I had great success with this heat mat. I never had luck with palm seeds until I got this mat. Remember, seeds have different requirements for germinating. I will go in more details on Thursday of the various methods…Happy Wednesday…..

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stinky plant information

Amorphophallus is a large genus of over 200 plants from the Arum family. Everyday, or year, new species are being discovered. What is a genus? A genus is a group of species closely related in structure and evolutionary origin. These are lowland plants from tropical regions with none found in the Americas. They can be found from Africa to the Pacific islands. These can be massive plants with the one leaf that lasts for one season. Often these tubers go into a dormant period in these regions depending on the wet or dry season. During the dry season they go dormant until the next rainy season. This is a great characteristic for this plant since it allows me to grow it. I’m able to store it in the winter. Anyone can grow this tuber in a container outside. I would recommend a container to make it easier to plant and then bring in for the winter. Also sometimes the tuber can get infected with organisms in the soil. Hopefully the potting is sterile and organism free. The size of the tuber, will dictate the size of the pot. Plant a smaller tuber in a smallish pot. The current philosophy is not too plant a small plant in an enormous pot…its better to plant in an appropriate size. I contacted a nursery for a follow up on this pot question. I was told a larger pot stay wet longer and could be over watered. Also there is an exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the soil for the roots. The larger the pot there is a reduced oxygen exchange. The tubers come in all shapes and sizes. It can be very small, size of a pea or very large, even 25 lbs or more for the Amorphophallus Titanum. I will post pictures soon of my Titanum. I will go in more detail of my technique for growing the seeds. You will need great patience in waiting for the seeds to germinate. Where can you get seeds? More information in upcoming days….Happy Tuesday…

Monday, September 15, 2008

Amorphophallus Konjac leaf

The plant on top is considered one leaf. The second picture is a closeup of a very small plant....see you Tuesday...

My Amorphophallus plant----it stinks

The Amorphophallus plant is a fascinating plant. There are many different species that grow in tropical areas of the world mainly the Indonesia region. I have a love of growing the unusual and the common plant. The amazing thing about this plant is it has only one leaf. The leaf can be many feet wide depending on the size of the bulb. The flower usually smells like rotting meat to attract flies. All plants have developed different ways of pollinating. Often trees are pollinated by the wind. This method produces a great amount of pollen to ensure pollination hence allergies. The pollen can often be found on your car changing the color to a yellowish color. This usually happens after you wash the car. In my case, since I almost never bother to wash my car so it does not affect me. Other flowers pollinate from bees, wasps, flies, moths, birds and even bats. The list goes on and on. I purchased the Amorphophallus bulbs over the winter. These bulbs for most of these plants go dormant in the winter. I live in Zone 7 so I have to keep these bulbs inside. Being tropical plants they can’t take the cold, will die in a frost. They prefer temperature at least 40 degree F. I had the bulbs placed in the basement. The species I bought was the Amorphophallus Konjac. The bulb weighed about 5 pounds…Yes I paid a great deal of money for it. I placed it in the basement and completely forgot about it. In early spring, my mother commented there is something growing out of the box where I keep it dry. It looked like a monster. It had a huge stem like thing growing. I let it grow in the basement for a few more weeks. The plant was developing a flower…I was ecstatic..and also worried since it was in Mid March and way to cold to plant outside in my large pot. I decided to keep it in the back room by some filtered light. As the days went by, it grew taller by the day….By mid April, I was able to watch the weather forecasts and was able to place it outside. It was at least 5 feet tall, it was having the flower. Did you know the biggest flower in the world is from a Amorphophallus plant, the Amorphophallus Titanum. The flower can be over 5 feet tall and wow does it smell horrible. I’ve never seen one in person but I’m sure once you smelled it, you would never forget it. My girlfriends mom, wanted to know why I grew it…It’s simple because it has a beautiful leaf and hey who do you know that grows this plant…Be the first person in your neighborhood to grow this. You may have no visitors for several weeks when it flowers..but we can all use some down time to think about life and relax. I will post a picture tomorrow of the leaf..its absolutely beautiful…see you tomorrow…

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Check out this link...free website ads..etc...

North America Clivia Society

Hopefully, reading my blog your interest in Clivias has increased. There is much information on this topic. I will continue posting updates on my clivias... Check out this link and learn all about clivias from the experts....http://www.americancliviasociety.org/ This blog will discuss all my gardening experiences..from growing, to care and interesting facts.

Monday The Wonderful world of Amorphophallus plants...

These plants stink, ok there nice place but the flowers smell like rotting meat to attract flies to pollinate. Why do I grow these plants..your guess is as good as mine..maybe to annoy my mother or neighbors. Seriously, they are fascinating plants...more to come...

Happy Sunday.. see you tomorrow...

Wide Painted Face clivia

This is my Painted face wide leaf clivia...You can notice the small tags identifying the crosses...These flowers are starting to fade and hopefully form seed pods...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

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Coupon for Circuit City

Gardening with kids

Get your kids involved in gardening..Keep your kids away from TV and video games...Learn the love of nature and get kids involved in Botany. Plants are a good way of encouraging children to be involved in science. Its a stepping stone to bigger and greater endeavours. Gardening is an excellent way of spending quality time together and learning also. Have fun planting a variety of seeds, like vegetables. This is a way of learning responsibilities of caring and nurturing the plants. They will have a greater respect for nature...Learn the concept of where food comes from and how. It doesn't magically appear in the stores...Plant a window box with seeds purchased by the child...The activities are countless....

A great site for children on the many mysteries of plants..Have fun learning..
The Great Plant Escape...http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/gpe/gpe.html

Pollination of flowers (Clivia)

I pollinated my 2 flowers again with Mirabilis pollen...I really hope it pollinates..It will be so awesome. I found this great website that tells in more detail then I can about pollination and terms...http://mbgnet.net/bioplants/pollination.html The clivia pollen can be stored for 3 to 5 years depending on your conditions. The pollen needs to be keep in the freezer in a nice sealed tight container. Before using pollen, it should be allowed to adjust to room temperature. I wait about a half hour. To ensure the flower doesn't self pollinate, I remove the anthers, contain the pollen before it ripens. The anthers are ripe when you see the fluffy yellow pollen. You want to remove the anthers before this occurs. I open the flower very gently just before it completely opens and pull off the anthers with a tweezer. The flower is most likely to pollinate in the morning. If you have an old flower, there is a special technique to try. Take a little sugar water place a little on the stigma with a small brush or just experiment. The pollen then can be placed on the stigma. I use a pin to put the pollen on. Importantly, you definitely need a small tag to label the cross. I have small jewelry tags I bought on Ebay. The mother plant is written first then the pollen parent..like Painted Face x Warmheart. Warmheart is the pollen parent. I received the Warmheart pollen from a well known clivia breeder in South Africa. Warmheart is a famous interspecific clivia. The clivia has different species that will cross breed. I will go into more detail in the future. The clivia flower lasts for about 10 days depending on room temperature etc...After the flower falls off, one hopes that the small seed pod starts increasing in size..If it stays one size for a number of days, it will probably fall off unpollinated. It take around 9 months to ripen. The seed pod will change colors. You can have several seeds in the pod. I will explain about growing seeds in the near future. In the upcoming days I will post a picture of my clivia plant..until then happy Saturday

Oh yeah, I finally got my passport application in for my exciting trip in December. I wonder what kind of tropical plants I will encounter. Look for that post in December..

Have a great weekend...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Posting Comments

I welcome everyone to post their comments on this blog. Feel free to post a question about my clivias or other plant related questions. I would be more than happy to post an answer to your question...so send in your comments.

I want to first thank my beautiful girlfriend Kamil for encouraging me to start a blog. I feel that I have alot to offer regarding plants. I'm an avid gardener of numerous different plants that will be discussed on this blog. Learn about the Worsleya plant, Amorphophallus and other fascinating plants that I grow. In the near future, I will start posting photos...I will do this blog one step at a time...Hopefully, I will improve as I go..I hope you enjoy this blog!!! Many more interesting posts in the near future. Hey, come back again and read about the fantastic world of plants. I encourage you to join one of the many yahoo groups on plants like Clivia Enthusiasts.


Yeah, today is Friday...I decided to pollinate my 2 flowers again with Mirabilis pollen. The chances of the flowers pollinating are actually very low. For some reason, this pollen rarely produces many seeds. The flowers I'm pollinating are orange with a whitish center. I've learned from a clivia expert in South Africa that this pollen is good for yellow flowers. I can't wait to see the results with my cross. Obtaining this pollen was very difficult. It took me a month to find a source. I was lucky enough to find some in South Africa. He only had enough for a few flowers. The pollen was mailed on August 26 and I received it on September 9, 2008. Unfortunately, the pollen tube was smashed but luckily it was wrapped in foil to keep in somewhat intact. Thankfully there was still some pollen inside for my use. I had to use a light to shine inside the tube while I scrapped some pollen on an end of a large pin. It's best to pollinate in the morning. I decided to pollinate that night just because I couldn't wait. Also the flowers were getting older and the chance of success decreases with age. I only had about 4 or 5 good days left to pollinate. I will continue to pollinate everyday in hopes of better success. I will go in more detail of my complete pollination techniques on Saturday...until then, happy Friday...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Plant desires: CLIVIA

Plant desires: CLIVIA


I'm addicted to plants. I have way too many clivia plants..I must have about 75 small seedlings and several mature clivia plants. Currently, I have a wide Painted Face clivia from China blooming. I've pollinated the flowers with a variety of pollen from numerous sources. Trying Mirabilis pollen from South Africa, pollen from Australia and China. The Mirabilis is notorious for not setting seeds. I will keep everyone updated on the status of this potential pollination....