Growing Hydrangea

I have lived in a place where Hydrangeas just grow without any maintenance, as in literally even when I forget watering them for a day, they have no effect! Growing flowering plants here, every time I looked at an Ixora, I was reminded of Hydrangea. After pondering over it a gazillion times, I bought myself a beautiful pink big leaf Hydrangea.

Oh, the stress of keeping it alive!! I watered it twice a day in the beginning. Now the plant seems to hold a bit, so I am watering it once a day. In the excitement of buying new plants for the community, I missed my timing. And you should see the state of the plant now! FYI, I am still to find a suitable place for the plant, so for now it stays in the shady balcony area.IMG_20170401_080911

Growing Curry Leaf Plant

For years together, I have tried growing curry tree (the plant which produces aromatic leaves that are used in Indian curry) in containers. I have always ended up with dying plant and there was no way I could revive it.  Since the day I planted my first flower plant, I have tried curry tree. I even tried uprooting almost fully grown curry tree from my mom’s to my terrace. Sadly, I ended up killing it.

I assumed there was a specific curry tree variety that grows in Chennai’s hot, humid climate and no plant from my native would survive the heat if moved. This time when my mom brought me two plants, I sceptically placed them between my Ixora and Pomegranate plants. They didn’t die, which gave me hope. I kept moving places, to finally understand one thing! The curry tree loves sun, but not the amount that it receives when placed in full sun. When I finally moved it under the guava plant, it began giving out new shoots! Now, every other day I see a new shoot emerging. To finally realise that curry tree only likes dappled sunlight, gives me new profound knowledge that I constantly share this with anyone that listens to my constant chatter!

Then, I found this – Only plants that we use for their fruits and roots need full sunlight. Those that we use for leaves mostly like partial sunlight! Something that I had to experience to actually learn it!!

It will bloom; it will not!

Just yesterday I had been to a friend’s house..just like me, she has some love for plants. We were just looking at the plants that her terrace garden has, and I noticed two rose plants with just long stems and no flowers. She mentioned that those two are the plants that only have male shoots and they will not flower ever and the female stems were destroyed in Vardah cyclone!

I have heard of this “only male shoots phenomenon” before, but I had to find a solution to this, or she will take down the plants. So this is what I have found out from my research.

The “only male shoots” are called the “Blind Shoots”. The causes are not fully understood, although the experts point to the environmental problems that could have occurred. (Maybe, Vardah was a reason here?)

The possible solutions to the problem are:

  1. Cut / trim down the shoot in half. Wait for secondary growth from the plant. Do not hard prune it, you might end up damaging the plant.
  2. Fertilize the plant

So, I am going to be trying this on my friend’s plants now. Happy gardening!

Alone we can do so little; together…

Our apartment kids can be so determined to get something done.. so as this week ends, we got our recyclable items cleared and even made money out of selling them..

Just one more step away in beautifying our apartment, which excites me, because that’s when we actually buy plants!!

A crazy new adventure..

Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden?

Robert Brault.

And this is exactly what we are attempting to do in our apartment. Giving the kids some work tends to get stressful sometimes. But not when we give them the freedom to go crazy with painting, something they would love to do anytime!

We, as a community have decided to make our apartment more green. In pursuit of more greenery, we acquired a few stray pots lying around in our apartments and the kids are putting them to good use (beautifying them with red-oxide). We even got the soil. All that we need are some plants 🙂

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Kids painting the pots

I believe in reusing / recycling so much that even my maid knows to not throw away anything that she assumes that I may have use for. In the same context, we are planning on collecting all the recyclable material from all the houses around and sell them to the recycle man and buy plants out of the money.

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More to paint

So far, all is well.

Home therapy

Imagine, you suddenly contract a cold! What do you do? Do you rely on the OTC medications or to a home therapy? Lucky us, we have our Karpooravalli, (Mexican mint / Indian Borage) and Basil growing right up in the balcony. We also have our awesome neighbourhood that has Betel in abundance.

Pick some of the karpooravalli, basil leaves and a betel leaf and add them in a hot pot with a quarter cup of water and bring it to a boil, until the water is reduced to half. Switch off the flame and transfer the contents to a smaller cup and crush the ingredients and filter and drink up!

Do this for the next 3 -5 days and it will work wonders for you!

Expanding my horizons..

I have been wanting to move some plants indoors, but too scared that it would “stand” in the way of my ever busy, active son. He is a bit a older now, giving me some hopes to begin my indoor adventure. I had placed pothos plant (Money plant/Devil’s ivy) in a bottle, and it has been a month since, and the plant is surviving my son’s love. I cut a long stem off my pothos plant that is in my balcony pot and used a day old tap water to put my plant it. So far, it is surviving.

In pursuit of more adventure, I have acquired three more houseplants (zanzibar gem plant, arrowhead plant and another one I have no idea what it is 🙂 ). For now, they stay out in the balcony. I will be moving them in when I identify a perfect place so both the plants and my son wouldn’t be disturbed.