Saturday, February 28, 2009

How to Grow Ginger

About one-third of a two-inch ginger root must be suspended in water-filled container. In a few weeks, shoots and roots will appear.
The rhizome is ready to be planted directly in the soil when the roots reach an inch or two in length. Plant just below the surface of the soil with the shoots sticking out in a sunny location. Water but don't let the soil get too saturated.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ginkgo Biloba

I have collected enough ginkgo seeds from the park where I walk my dogs. Most of the ginkgos there are females - the ones that produce the seeds. The male trees do not seed but they produce small pollen cones.

Right at this time of the year, you wont see any of their fan-shaped leaves as they lose it. This is also the right time to collect the seeds that have fallen on the ground (esp. after those hard rains we had last week) but be careful - its fleshy yellow-brown soft outer layer contains butanoic acid which smells like rancid butter or feces. Ewwww! Never pick them with your bare hands.

I've looked at most blogs and they've been talking about ginkgo bonsai. So I might try growing these seeds this summer. After I fleshed the seeds (again, use gloves) and washed them in water and dried under the sun, they are now in paper bags in the refrigerator. The seeds need sometime in there a process called stratification for 60 days.

Stratification improves germination, but is not required.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hiking at Fish Canyon Trail in Azusa, CA

These succulents growing on rocks just captured my attention - although I was particularly looking for a specific succulent called dudleya densiflora (you can see a picture of this succulent at the very top picture). It is an endangered plant. More information about this succulent can be seen on this website. And for more information on Fish Canyon Trail, visit Dan's Hiking Experiences by visiting his website here.

By the way, does anybody know the name of these succulents?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Huge Seed Pod of a Pink Flame Tree

I was so amazed the first time I've seen a pink flame tree. It just captured my attention with it's nice showy pink flowers and stout, tapering trunk. This is a deciduous tree which makes it even look more interesting when you only see its beautiful flowers on it's bare branches. I was able to take this huge pod with the seeds. It was on the ground split open like that. I was lucky to have it before the squirrels take it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kalanchoe Beharensis "Fang"

Kalanchoe beharensis 'Fang' is a cultivar of the "Felt Plant" from Madagascar.
This form differs as it has large, fuzzy serrated leaves with dentate protuberances on the undersides of the leaves that resemble "fangs".
Great patio plant. Prefers bright light to full sun for best color.
Kalanchoe Beharensis "Fang"

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Echeveria: Elegans

Echeveria elegans, native to Mexico, is a clustering rosette with spoon-shaped leaves of pruinose aqua with a silvery patina. This succulent is drought tolerant, but does best with occasional deep watering in a well drained soil.
Echeveria Elegans is also known as Hens-and-Chicks, Mexican Ghost Plant or Mexican Snowball.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Peas are about 2 weeks old since I've sown them a month ago. The snow pea seeds that I have saved from last year's crop were not sown this year as I'm trying this one called "melting sugar". I have about 20 seedlings here and I just added a netting for the peas to climb on. I would love to grow more but with limited space I'm stuck to just growing a few. When they get to about a foot long, I will pinch off the terminal ends to encourage it to grow more branches.