Tuesday, 8 Mar 2011

Green fingers – or not

Posted in Home at 8:51 am by betherino

Hubba bought me two new plants the other day :) such a lovely surprise!

Our wedding flowers

And my basil flowered – though I was then told that basil shouldn’t be permitted to flower, so I pinched those suckers off.

Basil flowers

My parents are plant-crazy. When people came to our house we’d tell them to walk all the way down the corridor and they’d recognize the flat by its extreme foliage. “Like a jungle”, it’s been said. I don’t quite have enough space for plants in my place because our four-room flat doesn’t have a balcony, but I have a teensy bit of a corridor out my door and a window grille. Initially I’d teetered my plants on the ledge, but because of the HDB grille (I suppose to stop people from climbing into my house from the corridor) the pots can’t all rest fully on the ledge, making for a precarious situation when there’s a strong wind. AND, that corner is always a veritable wind tunnel during rainstorms, so hubba and I have spent too many afternoons on our knees wiping up spilled soil from our wooden slats in the doorway. Not fun.

Plant doorway

So after the recent spate of rainstorms I decided enough was enough and moved all the plants to the floor. I figured they get enough sunlight – sun comes in that way directly on the plants at about 4-5pm – and they hang nicely over the parapet, yet with the railing they won’t ever fall over and be a hazard to others. Win-win, right? But for some reason lately all my plants have been slowly and quietly dying off. My chilli plant was the first to give up and slowly shriveled and shed all its leaves. Now my super hardy periwinkle is curling up and breaking up, my brand new gerbera is wrinkly and limp, and I’m beginning to seriously panic. I’ve never had really green fingers but thus far my plants have always survived quite easily. What’s happening?? :(

I’m moving my gerbera back to the ledge to see if it’s due to lack of sunlight. I don’t think its water – I haven’t changed my watering habits, so I don’t know what on earth is eating my plants :(

Our other solution is to get those plant troughs we can fix to the ledge and display the plants there. Though I do prefer a row on the ground as well – it’s really pretty there. Sigh. Maybe I should get hardier plants that don’t need direct sunlight to border that area.

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3 Comments »

  1. jane said,

    Do your plants have fluffy white spots on the stems and under the leaves? My husband bought me some plants about a year ago that were unfortunately inflected with mealy bugs, and all my plants shrivelled up too.

  2. jane said,

    oops, *infected*, not inflected.

  3. Shyam said,

    a. All plants need sun, esp the flowering and coloured ones. Exception = money plants. If you elevate some of these plants (use higher-standin pots or holders?) will they get more sun? are you overwatering? do you allow your tap water to stand for a day before using to water (for fragile plants)?

    b. Do you fertilise and de-pestify your little garden? I alternate treatments at 2-week intervals, so that both are carried out each month.
    – Fertilise = go buy from any garden store, and use sparingly. Chicken poo is really good but a bit smelly.
    – Pests = prophylax with once-weekly spray of dilute coffee or other organic pest repellant. If plant is infested, quarantine it and then use white oil spray.

    Yes, i am quite serious about my own little corridor jungle. Flighting my own anti-mealybug war right now on the beloved capsicum plant :(


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