Monday, July 30, 2012

The Tall and Short Ruellias

The Ruellias are one my favourite perennials. The 'elegans' are the leggy ones while the 'brittoniana' are shorties. Both bloom almost daily and add so much gaiety to any garden.

Ruellia elegans 
This is the taller version. They tend to be floppy and need some staking while some of the branches can be allowed to drape elegantly over a tall pot for a striking visual impact. 
Close-up of Ruellia elegans 

and bud.

They bloom in clusters.

 They can be planted in the ground or in containers. Here they are planted next to a row of Baphia nitida hedge.

These undemanding plants thrive without much care.

They flourish despite neglect. In fact this clump was unceremoniously extruded from its pot and dumped with its naked rootball on to the ground, yet it is thriving. 

What they cannot do without in our hot tropical clime is water. Copious amount is needed to slake their thirst otherwise they would easily wilt. However, as soon as they get a through drenching, recovery is rapid in no time and they look none the worse for wear.  

Propagation is by stem cuttings or root clump division.

Ruellia brittoniana
These are the dwarf species. I have them in three hues; pink, lavender and white. Propagation is by root clump division and from seeds. In fact they self-sow freely and in no time, baby plants are seen everywhere.
delicate pink


bridal white

This plant share the same container with Philondendron xanadu and ivy.

A pot of Ruellias of different hues with the white ones on the other side.

Snails are very fond of their leaves and make lovely meals out of them. After their chow down, the plants are reduced to mere stalks, being completely denuded of foliage. In frustration, I potted them thinking that heights might deterred those pesky molluscs but alas no heights are too lofty for them. I've seen them scaled up to the second level of the house.

With such voracious apetites, the snails are on a ...

continuous chow down.

Floating dwarf Ruellias with teeny-weeny ivy leaves.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Allamanda - violacea and cathartica

I've planted the violacea and cathartica versions of Allamanda from cuttings. Both types root easily. The former has thicker petals than the latter. All parts of the plant when removed before its time will bleed a sticky and milky-white sap.
The A. violacea is a real climber with more sturdy, woody stems and is now about 10 feet high.
It grows vigorously and looks set to scale even greater heights. However its height is limited to the 12-foot bamboo stake used.
The bright canary yellow A. cathartica is
a real attention grabber.
This insect moved into the inner recesses of the bloom and has trouble making an exit. 
Masses of bright cheery trumpet-like flowers are produced year long. Growing in between are Nerium Oleander and Heliconium rostrata.
Flower buds are waiting impatiently to burst into blooms.
 The leaves of the A. violacea are of paler green and covered with fine hairs while those of A.cathartica (smaller piece, in front) are smooth with a sheen.

I can't determine whether these tiny pellets on this Allamanda cathartica leaf blade are eggs or seeds. 
A solitary A. violacea among a bunch of A. cathartica in a clam shell.


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