Bourganvilla

I can’t get enough of bourganvillas.  I love the bourganvillas growing everywhere in Singapore.  L feels I’m blase in my choice of plants.   Fuss free and rewarding the little care you extend with beautiful blossoms.  Paper-thin flowers bursting like fireworks under the blazing run. When the blooms die off, prune the plant and it returns with vengeneance, showing a more magnificient display.

 

IMG_0412 What better symbol of resilience in tough times?I was very touched with L’s colleagues gave him this pretty picture of bourganvillas for his farewell painted by the famous and humble Siak Loy – artist of the $5 note tree at the Botanic Gardens.  Serendipitous since no one knows this is my all-time favourite.

 

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Apparently there’re 18 hybrids of bourganvillas.  I’ve 5 hybrids in my balcony planter box. Initially we wanted to train it to creep up the entire trellis roof.  I later changed my mind, because it might get messy and then will be too difficult to remove off the roof.  A fishing string holds the top tip of the branch in place from the 2nd level.  Lots of hard work tying the stem to the grill and training it in place as the wind blows it off balance.  I’ve since pruned the top branches off, but it sure was pretty while it lasted.  This view is taken from the 2nd level of our apartment.

The sun is strongest, this side of the balcony, which is why we’ve let down the blinds. The plant grows its best, this side too, more leaves and more blossoms.  I’m glad I stood to my guns when the designer and L wanted to remove the bourganvillas because it looked messy. Thankly A (our neighbour across the swimming pool) came to my rescue and said it looked pretty from his balcony.

Although some birds-nest ferns have found their way as ground flower and growing nicely there. We’re trying to grow a bauhinia on the other side of the wall you see here. But the weather’s been wet, and the bauhinia which also loves the sun isnt doing too well.

Propagating BourganvillaIMG_0380

My mom in law gave me this starter kit of a recycled ice-cream container. Cut an X on the bottom, and put a tile on the location to prevent soil from seeping through but sufficient to allow drainage.  Put garden soil or potting soil.  Cut a 10cm green stem (woody part doesnt work for me), make a hole in the ground with a stick. Put the bourganvilla cutting in the hole and pat the soil firmly ensuring sufficient contact around the stem.  Its tempting for beginners to snap the bourganvilla stem off and just push it through the ground. IMG_0386   

This hurts the stem so go the extra mile by using a used chop-stick to make a hole in the ground. You’ll soon be rewarded with a young plant. Transplant it into burnt soil.  Water it every 2-3 days initially as it can take more water and keep it in the shade while roots are forming.  But take it out to the sun once its stable.  If your bourganvilla cutting dies off after 3 days, don’t lose heart, try again. I’ve had hits and misses in my initial attempts.

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Picture taken today, 2 mths after the earlier picture, and after pruning.  The wet weather caused the orange-red blossoms to drop off, and now the “Singapore White” blossoms are able to show off their elegance.  Picture doesnt do it justice because it blends into the lushness of the trees in the background rather than contrast brilliantly as the orange blooms.  The species with variegated leaves at bottom of the “Singapore white” has not bloomed so I can’t tell its species.  These are the species from my balcony.

1. Klong fire

2. Butiana golden glow

3. Singapore white

4. Rosenka? Orange-pink flowers

5. Variegated (?) unknown

6. Pink – Sanderiana (?)  or glabra “red”

 

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