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House plants

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Tanuki
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House plants

Postby Tanuki » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:05 am

Now that we have our place in pretty decent order, it's time to find some greenery to the mix. So far we have not seen any shops around the area (Tiong Bahru). Where are some places to buy potted plants? We'd like to hang some out on the balcony (herbs would be nice) and also have some larger plants or small trees for indoors. But where to find them?

Cheers

Tanuki

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the lynx
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Postby the lynx » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:29 am

You can start from Far East Flora and other nurseries at end of Thomson Road, near Caldecott MRT station. Plenty of options. You can even get the seeds for your herbs if you want your own herb garden (but I don't think you can find the temperate ones - usually the regular (tropical) pandan leaves, curry tree, aloe vera, etc. Let me know if you're able to grow rosemary etc.

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Postby Tanuki » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:34 am

the lynx wrote:You can start from Far East Flora and other nurseries at end of Thomson Road, near Caldecott MRT station. Plenty of options. You can even get the seeds for your herbs if you want your own herb garden (but I don't think you can find the temperate ones - usually the regular (tropical) pandan leaves, curry tree, aloe vera, etc. Let me know if you're able to grow rosemary etc.

Cool. Thanks much lynx!

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 12:15 pm

Yes, I 2nd Lynx's suggestion of FEF on Upper Thompson. But there are about four large nurseries there, all in a row. So go one to the other and browse.

If heading up there you can also tie it in with a visit to McRitchie too.

On our last stint here, I bought quite a lot of plants from up there. Taxi drivers will let you bring them in their car, to take you home.

SG is quite a challenging environment for them though.
- It's so hot that if they're in small pots they dry out very quickly (off on a holiday? Well, you better have someone to water them every other day!)
- Some plants like bougainvillea need all-day direct sunshine or they become etiolated (leaves drop off, and branches grow long and bare).
- Soft herbs can rapidly become infested with aphids and other parasites. Be prepared to have to spray them (not great if you wish to eat them shortly after).

It seems to be a constant battle against determined pests.
We had Ixora shrubs (like in the road-divider near Changi), that huge beautiful butterflies came and lay eggs on, and the subsequent caterpillars chomped them up.
We had a yellow palm that was magnificent, but it got mealy bugs and needed spraying
Basil - grew like a veritable rocket! Amazing! Took cuttings, repotted, off it went again, over and over (enough to make home made pesto, and that needs a LOT of basil!). But that was a moody plant, needed close attention (pinching off flowers etc) and watering every day.
Thai basil - that seemed pretty indestructible and also grew like a rocket :)

- considerations
- Look/size/use required
- The plants requirements (just google on, say, 'bougainvillea how to grow' to read summaries and experiences.
- position of plant, re: hours of sunlight
- ability to water as required
- willingness to maintain/spray.

We haven't bought any plants since we returned back to SG but it's something I'm considering again :) It's a lot of fun cooking up a dish with home-grown lemongrass or basil, or, growing something new like Thai basil, and then figuring out how to use it!

p.s. The starting point to all of our potting-out last time, was simply buying a piece of root-ginger from an uncle-store. On the piece of root was a sprouting nodule .... like this .... http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bHIHzUXKcG0/U ... er-bud.jpg
... and the uncle laughed and said 'can take home and grow!'. So I saved that bit, read up on the web, and did grow it. And again it went off like a rocket (I don't recall the ginger getting bugs, it might be too pungent). When we came to leave, we decided to give the root to my parents in law, and it had gone from a 1" piece to over a pound in weight. Was very nicely cooked up into a chicken rendang (mmm sedap!).

Good luck! It's fun. Stuff here tends to be 'death or glory'. Everything happens 10* more quickly than in cooler places. But be very observant for stuff that will swarm in and eat the heck out of your plants within a day or two flat.

p.s. We tried growing from seeds also, but they never seemed to 'take'. It seemed much more fruitful getting small plants from Thompson, letting them grow then taking cuttings and repotting.

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Postby Steve1960 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 12:25 pm

Yes the Thomson Road nurseries are very good, excellent choice. Its close to where I live and is fun just looking around.

I would just like to find an indoor plant that can cope with the low light and air con in our living room.

Lost a rubber plant and a peace lily already :-(

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 1:03 pm

Steve1960 wrote:Yes the Thomson Road nurseries are very good, excellent choice. Its close to where I live and is fun just looking around.

I would just like to find an indoor plant that can cope with the low light and air con in our living room.

Lost a rubber plant and a peace lily already :-(



A Christmas tree? :wink:

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Postby the lynx » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 1:05 pm

Through personal experience (in other south east Asian tropical country, not Singapore), I never had problems growing my own tropical herb garden (I had pandan, aloe vera, lime and curry tree). The ones I mentioned are very easy to grow both in (medium) pots and plots. As long as they have decent sunlight in the balcony and you water them at least once a day (preferable in late afternoon when the sun isn't that hot). Heck, I never even looked into fertilisers and pesticides (I would just chuck bits of leftovers into the soil).

And because of these 4, I had the luxury of:
1. Making home-made lime juice
2. Having some ingredients ready for my favourite curry and nasi lemak
3. Having aloe vera paste (refrigerated) for cuts, wounds, and also for excellent cooling eye and face mask

I haven't tried lemongrass but I know the endless benefits having planted one at home. Think of repellent, aromatherapy, tom yum and lemongrass juice.

Would love to do it again when I have my own place.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 1:13 pm

Oh nice! (had never thought of aloe vera)

You remind me that we had a lime bush too (the one with the 1-1.5cm wide fruit). It was 'oh so fun' to welcome guests to stay, invite them to have a lime juice, and then harvest the fruit there and then.

That plant grew well, but IIRC it used to get some form of white leaf-mold. In any case, we ended up having to spray most things. Perhaps ginger was the most indestructible of the lot...

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Postby Steve1960 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 1:14 pm

JR8 wrote:
Steve1960 wrote:Yes the Thomson Road nurseries are very good, excellent choice. Its close to where I live and is fun just looking around.

I would just like to find an indoor plant that can cope with the low light and air con in our living room.

Lost a rubber plant and a peace lily already :-(



A Christmas tree? :wink:


Funny. I didn't even chance that we have a plastic one.

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Postby PrimroseHill » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 1:20 pm

I recently bought some orchids for indoors. I used to have some big herb pots. I am now investigating this.
I also bought some hanging balcony pots recently and planted some peace lilies- it is outdoor plant here.
I have a balcony off my kitchen, it is where my outdoor ulitity area, with dryer, washing machine, cleaning craps and some outdoor cupboards containing cleaning crap. I would love to grow some herbs on this balcony but it is shady. Any suggestion?
I also have 1 planter box on this level with once again not much sunlight. What greenery potted plant do you think I should grow there?
I am interested in buying a bay leaf tree, where can I buy one? I used to have a huge on my patio, and I am missing that, spag bog doesn't taste the same with dried one :shock:

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 3:20 pm

I love to have plants around but my major challenge is to water them (I tend to forget about watering). In this climate both too much and not enough often kills. If somebody have similar problem then I can recommend one specie that I have really troubles to kill. I think it is called some sort of "money tree":

Image

Guarantee it can take a lot of insult and does not need a sunny place.

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Postby beppi » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 4:22 pm

Laksa leaf, curry leaf, lemon grass, various kinds of basil (Italian one grew especially well and we made lots of Pesto!), Chilli, lime, Kaffir lime leaf grew well in my graden and pots. Parsley, dill, chives and mint died quickly or didn't even germinate. Ginger, Turmeric and Pandan grew but did not do well - I don't know why.

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 4:55 pm

Steve1960 wrote:
JR8 wrote:
Steve1960 wrote:Yes the Thomson Road nurseries are very good, excellent choice. Its close to where I live and is fun just looking around.

I would just like to find an indoor plant that can cope with the low light and air con in our living room.

Lost a rubber plant and a peace lily already :-(



A Christmas tree? :wink:


Funny. I didn't even chance that we have a plastic one.


I got a real Christmas Tree since it is the session. Mine is the small one (5 feet tall), and including delivery, it cost about $100. I only need to water it once a week (so far) and leave the air con running day and night. Works for me and nothing beats waking up to Christmas smell in tropical Singapore!

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Postby the lynx » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 4:59 pm

Girl_Next_Door wrote:
Steve1960 wrote:
JR8 wrote:
Steve1960 wrote:Yes the Thomson Road nurseries are very good, excellent choice. Its close to where I live and is fun just looking around.

I would just like to find an indoor plant that can cope with the low light and air con in our living room.

Lost a rubber plant and a peace lily already :-(



A Christmas tree? :wink:


Funny. I didn't even chance that we have a plastic one.


I got a real Christmas Tree since it is the session. Mine is the small one (5 feet tall), and including delivery, it cost about $100. I only need to water it once a week (so far) and leave the air con running day and night. Works for me and nothing beats waking up to Christmas smell in tropical Singapore!


Ouch, wouldn't that jack up with electricity bill? Or did you use a low setting?

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 5:41 pm

the lynx wrote:
Girl_Next_Door wrote:
I got a real Christmas Tree since it is the session. Mine is the small one (5 feet tall), and including delivery, it cost about $100. I only need to water it once a week (so far) and leave the air con running day and night. Works for me and nothing beats waking up to Christmas smell in tropical Singapore!


Ouch, wouldn't that jack up with electricity bill? Or did you use a low setting?


My air-con is never lower than 25 degrees. It is usually 25-26 degrees when we are at home. I have only go the tree for 3 weeks and haven't got my electricity bill, so can't tell for now. The tree still looks very full so it should be able to last for quite a while.


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