Friday, July 13, 2007

Tropical gardening - Lantana

I have bought many books on gardening. So far, all these books are great with many explanations and photos. The only problem is, they are all for 4 seasons gardening. Some local productions are too sad. They either lack the variety or praticality. So gardening became my experiments of trial and error. Quite fun if the plants don't die out on you. But I thought might as well share some tips with you guys, and please share yours with me.
Lantana is a perennial. Perennial means plants that can lasts for seasons/years. Lantana comes in more than 100 varieties. They come in many colours and changes colours so that the little flowers in the middle is different from the outer ring.
Where to get
You can find nurseries selling these plants as cheap as RM3 per plant. Or you can buy the seeds from supermarkets.
How to start
Sow seeds in a small pot and cover the seeds lightly with mixed soil. Place the pot in a shaded area and ensure that the soil is always damp. When the seedlings come through, place them in a lighted place but out of direct sunlight. When the seedlings are at least 10 cm tall with stronger leaves, they can be planted out under the sun.
How to maintain
This type of plant needs reasonably rich and free-draining soil. Meaning that it requires renewal of fertiliser from time to time. How to know if the soil is free-draining? When you water the plants, the liquid is easily absorbed and flow out at the bottom of the pot.
1. The plant is poisonous.
2. Avoid over watering or they won't blossom.

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