Sunday, July 8, 2007


Adenium is a genus coming from eastern Africa and southern Arabia. Depending on the authors, there is either one species, Adenium obesum, with several subspecies, or up to eight separate species. Adenium as they age develop a attractive gnarled caudex, and many cultivars and hybrid exists with spectacular blossoms. The flowers are funnel shaped, and are produced in most of the growing season.

Adenium like full sun in summer, and they generally do better then, and bloom much more, with regular water and fertilizer. In winter they should stay above 45°F (7°C) at night with higher day temperature. They are then dormant and should be watered sparingly (although not kept bone dry). Depending on the variety and on the conditions they are kept in, they can be partially or totally deciduous in winter. Adenium generally rot from the bottom of the stem. When buying an adenium, it is often a good idea to check the firmness of the stem.

Eventually, most cultivar, in the ground, can reach 6 feet tall (1.8 m). They stay much smaller when raised in container, and make excellent patio plants when the climate is appropriate.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Buddha Belly aka Jatropha podagrica

Jatropha is one of the coolest plants that we carry and it is so easy to grow, even a caveman can do it. It gets its common name from its swollen, belly-like trunk. It bears above it's crown of large, waxy, lobed leaves, a cluster of vivid orange flowers. These flowers are a delicacy for butterflies and will eventually bear olive-shaped green, non-edible seed pods that, when mature, will literally explode, launching their seeds several feet away. It loses its leaves over winter, but may flower year round.

Jatropha is a member of the Euphorbia family and comes to us from Guatamala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It grows to between 2 and 3 feet tall.

LIGHT: This plant prefers full sun to partial shade. A bright east, west or south window would be fine as long as it provides a few hours of direct sunlight per day.

WATER: Treat this plant like a succulent. Let the plant become dry before watering. Moisten the soil lightly and let it dry again before the next watering.

TEMPERATURE: Like most euphorbias, Jatropha likes tropical temperatures in the 70's and 80's with a minimum winter temperature of 50°.


Bonsai trees are not naturally dwarf varieties. They are ordinary plants which have been cultivated and trained to produce the dwarf look that you see in the stores. This takes time and skill, which explains the high price of the specimens you see. Many specimens can live to be over 100 years old.

WATER: Bonsai are fascinating to grow but they are a lot of trouble. Moist air is essential. Stand pot in a pebble tray or mist leaves occasionally. The soil must be kept moist (but not wet) at all times. This may call for daily watering. The best method of watering is immersion but overhead watering is generally satisfactory.

TEMPERATURE: Average temperature is OK but keep them away from drafts and heaters.

LIGHT: Most types require bright light but keep them away from direct sunlight as they may get sunburn.

Tips to growing a bonsai

Feed every 6 weeks. Repot in spring every 2 years. In the case of a mature, trained plant, some of the old soil is removed and no more than 1/3 of the root growth is cut away. It is repotted into the some container with fresh well-drained soil.

These specialty plants are available in oblong resin trays, however, by special order they can be obtained in ceramic containers in larger sizes. A note of caution: these get very expensive as they get larger.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Technorati Profile