Saturday, October 17, 2009

Health Benefits of Bitter Melon

I was surprised about the health benefits of eating this ugly and extremely bitter melon when I saw it on The Dr. Oz Show. I said, "Wait a minute, I have that in my garden!" There are many reasons now to have this plant in your garden - this fruit has tons of anti-oxidant. It can also lower your cholesterol, it has anti-cancer components, and is good for diabetis. Read the article about this amazing fruit by clicking here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How to Propagate Succulents

Here are some of succulents that need some pruning. I might as well just propagate them.
It's very easy to take stem cuttings from succulents with your garden pruner.
Stem cuttings have to be at least an inch to an inch and a half in length.
Make a hole to your planting medium and plant about a fourth of the stem cutting.
Place it in a bright but shady location for a few days until it roots. Succulents don't need a lot of water so water sparingly.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

How to Propagate Sago Palms from Seeds

Here is a sago palm seed. Only the female sago palms produce seeds.
Soak the seeds in water for several days. Then remove the fleshy orange shell covering the actual seed. Make sure you use gloves to avoid getting your fingers stained.
Here is the actual sago palm seed without the shell.
Plant the seed sideways. Water and watch it grow.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

How to Propagate String of Bananas

It is best to take stem cuttings with growing roots. You will see your string of bananas grow some roots even though they're not in the soil. These cuttings are about a foot long.
I suggest you use cactus mix to plant them in. I'm using regular potting soil for my string of bananas.
Stick them in the pot (hanging pots) about half an inch deep.
Water well and place in partial shade. In a few weeks it will start to root and show signs of new growth.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Side Shoots on Papaya

Look at this single side shoot on the lower trunk of my papaya.
It even has bossoms.
The shoot is about a pencil thick.
A closer look at the side shoot.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Free Seeds at City of Hope's Health Fair

The pink ribbon used to express support for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Aside from free seeds, I took home a couple of pens, notepads, and pins.
There were therapy dogs too! I didn't see George though-
After the health fair, I stopped by the Japanese Garden to look at the plants and the koi pond - one of the themed gardens at City of Hope in Duarte, California.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

How to Propagate Bunny Ears Cactus

These are cuttings from my bunny ear cactus (also known as Polka Dot Cactus, Angel's Wings, Cegador). When you take cuttings, make sure you use gloves to avoid being pricked by it's spines. Let the "wounds" on the cuttings dry for days before planting them.

I push the cutting about 1/4th to a half deep in a cactus mix. Make sure your cutting is the right way up. Place in partial shade. Lightly water it.
In a few weeks it will root and show new growth.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Flowering Mint Plant

So what does it mean when your mint plant starts to flower? Well, it's going to produce seeds! Then the seeds get thrown on the ground and you get more mint plants! It is wise to plant mints in containers or contain them by sinking barriers about a foot in the ground because they are quite invasive. The top picture is a mint plant that I purchased in the garden store and it's sending some runners which will grow into another plant. The bottom picture is a mint that I started from seeds and it's about a couple of month's old. I just transferred them in pots . I'm not sure what kind of mints these are as there are a lot of kind of mints.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata)

Ponytail palm is not a palm at all - it is considered part of the lily family. It is called by other names like "elephant's foot" because of it's distinct bulbous base, some call it bottle palm because of it's thin trunk and bulbous base. The head of the ponytail palm has leaves that are grass-like - weeping, pendulous, and smooth-edged.

A sandy-mix soil generally minimize the probability of root rot, especially compared to the peaty mixes normally used in most tropicals. Specifically, allow the soil to dry well between waterings, and if you have any doubt on whether or not to water the plant, skip it until the next week.

Light requirements for ponytails are pretty easy to remember if you think of where it is native to - the Mexico deserts. Provide bright indirect light to full sun.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Old World Succulent Garden

Here are some of the succulents and cacti that you will see when you visit the "Old World Succulent Garden" in San Diego's Wild Animal Park. The setting was desert-like and it's summer so it was so hot going to the garden. Make sure you bring a water bottle, wear a hat, and don't forget to bring your camera. Some of the plants there I haven't seen yet and they look like they've been there for years as it is so big like this cactus at the very bottom.