Archive for the ‘Recent purchases’ Category

20141115_110821sRed, yellow, pink, peach or cream, plain or mottled, Euphorbia Milii blooms are quite outstanding.

But something else stands out as well … the Milii’s tenacious and wicked, inch-long spiny thorns. They didn’t call this euphorbia ‘Crown of Thorns’ for nothing.

I once considered divesting a Milii of its thorns but thought better of it. I had hoped that might trigger its evolvement into a thorn-free plant, but since a thornless variety already exists, I should just keep a lookout for that instead.

Then last week I saw IT.


Euphorbia Geroldii at the garden centre

It was my aunt’s latest euphorbia purchase. What caught my eye was not presence of its bright red blooms but the significant absence of thorns!

I quizzed my aunt about it and made a beeline for the source.

And now I have it – the thornless Euphorbia Geroldii. For the same price that my aunt paid for her plant, I acquired three much smaller ones.


The small 4-inch plants are already blooming; glowing red petal-like bracts with bright yellow centres.

Known as the thornless crown of thorns, the Euphorbia Geroldii is considered rare by some circles. It is also deemed to be almost indestructible.

20141102_161819Just as I mentally strike the Euphorbia Geroldii off my gardening wish list, I remember another; the Euphorbia Fulgens. With its arching thornless stems and attractive flowering habit, this is another gem worth acquiring – except that there isn’t the faintest trace of one over here.

Since it may a while before it makes an appearance, I’ll just enjoy the beauty I have and wait for it to fulfil its great potential.


Care and propagation: Full to partial sun; well-drained soil; water moderately; propagate using cuttings.




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Squeeze bottle for CPs

I was using a syringe to squirt water into my sarracenias. The syringe was as big as clinical syringes go, but it sure wasn’t big enough for me. I gave up that painstaking exercise when the novelty wore off.

There had to be more than one way to skin a cat. I just had to figure it out.

For a while the sarracenias placed on the rack under the eaves had to bear with parched throats unless I had a housefly for them. That’s because a snack always comes with a drink. That’s the standard CP set meal.

And then I saw the squeeze bottle in the gardening section of a budget store. At RM5, it was a steal.  

I put it to the test eagerly. The squeeze bottle worked like a dream. I was happy, but I bet my sarracenias are probably happier since they get a good drink at least once a week now.

I just fill the bottle, position the spout at the mouths of the pitchers and squeeze. It’s child’s play.



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Retail therapy

My idea of retail therapy is to head for a whole lot of garden centers and fill the car with plants and soil. Few things in life are more satisfying …

I can never understand how anyone can spend a few hours gazing at plants in garden centers and leave empty handed. I have neither the willpower nor the inclination to do so. For me, it seems perfectly logical to get something after spending all that time, petrol and toll just to get to there. With me, the main problem is to restrain myself from buying too much.

Lately I have been exercising a bit more self-control. Here are a few of my more recent purchases :IMG_7579_torenia

First up is the torenia. Its lovely pastel colours remind me of apricots, peaches and cream – like some fruity dessert. Needless to say, I promptly chose a couple. I just hope these set seeds as easily as those I have at home. 

IMG_7685_wrightiaThen we checked out the rose garden behind one of the garden centers. After searching for 7-sisters and china doll and coming up with zilch, I turned my attention to other plants. There were huge bags of healthy chili and egg plants but these were not on my wish list.

Then I saw a group of diminutive wrightia religiosa standing between 4 to 5 inches tall. I had to kneel to take a closer look. It was the small leaved variety. But what held my attention was the fact that they were blooming and the flowers were double petalled.IMG_7686

I asked the worker how much the plants cost. “Not selling,” came the clipped reply. It must have been that injured look on my face that made him reconsider. I finally bought two after taking a good ten minutes to make my choice. These would look good in tiny bonsai pots.

Bonsais are not really my cup of tea, but they remind me of my gran. She loved them and would have bought more than a couple if she could.

IMG_7640I also picked up a thymus and a rosemarinus officinalis prostatus. The thyme had finer leaves than those in my collection and the creeping rosemary was just too good to let slip through my fingers.




IMG_7418To say that I was thrilled to see it is almost an understatement. “Don’t water in the evenings,” the man at the market cautioned. He probably thought I was likely to water it to death.

And I saw a plant that reminded me of the ornithogalum. I’d never seen the plant before so I asked for help with the ID.  My good friend Al found the answer for me – it’s Bulbine frutescens.

New plants always fascinate me and this was no exception. I figured it would look nice next to the lilac flowers of the thulbaghia violacea (society garlic). Let’s hope it turns out to be as tough as its new neighbour.

IMG_7698_Bulbine frutescens

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