Wake Up, Please

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This Dahlia is a dwarf variety. The plant produces attractive fully double flowers that are orangy red and yellow in the centre. The flowers however tend to face downwards...

When the sun is bright, Begonia Fibrous succulent leaves glistens up! The surface looks like there is a layer of wax. Be gentle when watering the plant... the leaves are 'crispy'! As for its flowers, they are as magical... gorgeous and outstanding! The pics below were taken in the morning but you can still see the sheen on the leaves.

My friend from Slovenia, Beba told me she was given Begonia Tuberous as a gift when she purchased plants from a garden centre there (Btw Beba, thanks for alerting me to water these bulb plants sparingly!). Here, the price for one is pretty expensive.

As for the one in my garden, the flowers did not open as fully and the colour not as red. When I first got it from the nursery a month ago, the flowers were like a red rose. In my warm garden, unfortunately the outer petals tend to dry up quickly.

They are all bulb plants! I am finding them really interesting.

Last week, I brought out the three Amaryllis bulbs that I had 'put to sleep' in the fridge two months ago (see my earlier post). They are now potted in small containers after I left them sitting on water for a day. I hope to see flower scapes grow out from the bulbs soon... keeping my fingers crossed :-)

The book, Bulbs for All Seasons by Kathy Brown gave me further insights on bulbs. I must say that I am fortunate to have gotten hold of it in a local bookshop (it was the only one left!). I especially love all its detailed illustrations.

Although the content is more applicable for gardeners in temperate climate, I picked up a number of great tips that are useful for my tropical garden e.g. charcoal 'sweetens' water - charcoal keeps water fresh and untainted. This tip is really useful whenever I sit plant or root plant in water.

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  1. Lovely Dahlia and Begonia flowers. Did you say you put the bulbs in the fridge? They had winter for 2 months and now its time to wake up.

  2. Steph, i think bulbs in our countries dont need to be placed in the refrigerator to flower. I tried putting the dry bulbs in water this year during the height of the dry months, and they flower beautifully. Actually, i monitored the stages of flowering from start to finish, as if i am doing an experiment. I can actually write a scientific paper on it, though i am lazy in doing that, and it is too simple for presentation in an ornamental symposium, hehe.

  3. Those are great pictures. Good luck with your bulbs. Do let us know how they turn out.

  4. Lovely flowers! I have a pot of Begonia but it's not so lush as yours!
    I like your Begonia Tuberous!

  5. Lovely flowers. I love the dahlia. Can you tell me how to take care of my begonia?? And hope your amaryllis flowers beautifully. I'm going to take mine out too.

  6. Dwarf Dahlia's I find more beautiful then the larger plants and your colour is my favorite. Dahlia is for summer here and those other two for Christmas, funny really, you can keep all three at the same time. Begonias and I never were good freinds, must be the watering, I soak mine I guess, learned something great here today, charcoal, will remember that. Hope your bulbs will turn into great flowers, I never managed to save mine so I have to buy new each year. Have a nice week :)

  7. One, yes they did have their winter in the fridge ;-)

    Andrea, that's wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

    Bom, ok.

    Malar, I like the plant a lot as well.

    Aaron, GL with your bulbs. There is still no sign of growth from mine yet. As for the begonia, the fibrous begonia can take some amount of direct sunlight. Whereas the tuberous begonia, keep the plant away from the sun. I water both with long necked watering can as their foliage is 'fragile'. Water during sunny days and moderately (water when soil surface feels dry).

    Mia, depending on stock availability and due to our warm climate all year round, we could grow these plants whenever we like :-D

  8. Intresting to see how soon you have flowers from you bulbs. I think we can buy some from the gardenshop soon so we can see the flowers in christmas time.
    Have a nice day.

  9. Lovely Begonia and Dahlia, Best of luck with your bulbs.

    Have a great time

  10. Your bulbs look great from this far, Steph. I hope you will see both new growth and scapes within the next 3-4 weeks.
    I'm going to take my bulbs out next week 'cause I put them to sleep later than you did.
    Please keep your update photos coming.

  11. Hi Stephanie,

    Lovely begonias! You seem to know all the tricks for getting beautiful blooms.

    You asked me what program I used to edit my photos....I found that Picnik does an adequate job....no cost and you can save the photos to your camera or computer. I have contemplated purchasing the extra stuff but I haven't yet.


  12. I have the same begonia like yours, you are right, no direct sunlight for them, and water sparingly too esp the dahlia,not to water directly on the flower but on the soil or they will rot fast..Wish we can grow more bulbs here as they really have beautiful blooms!

  13. Steph, you have the prettiest flowers! The colours are delicious! last year I didn't take my amaryllis bulbs out. I'll see how they flower this year. Good luck with yours! The book sounds wonderful.

  14. Hi Steph, what a lot of Dahlia and Begonia blooms you have, and so pretty! Can't wait to see what your Amaryllis bulbs do. :)

  15. Lovely flowers! Now I'm dying know the progress of your amaryllis bulbs!

  16. Gudrun, hope there will be plenty of wonderful flowers available for you during the festive season.

    Zindagi, kitchen flavours, p3chandan, Diane, I can't wait as well!

    kanak, be patience and good luck yeah. I have some in the soil and I hope they will blossom naturally also.

    Rosey, thanks for that info! I used picnik before but my photos didn't turn out as creative as yours.

    Ha Xuan, I hope so! Will be looking forward to seeing yours from your blog as well ;-)

  17. Hi Steph. Love your Amaryllis bulbs! I just leave mine in the ground (no refrigeration) and they keep blooming every year.

  18. Since you live in such a warm climate "Bulb" by Anna Pavord may not be such a good book for you, but it has amazing pictures and information on bulbs.

  19. p3chandan, dahlia can take some sun. And yes, water at the soil only ;-)

    Prospero, how nice! One Hippeastrum hybrid with pale orange flowers blossoms naturally here and they are grown at public places as well. Others like mine, I have seen them flowering naturally but not as frequent.

    MrBrownThumb, I have read your review on that book. It's rewarding to read such book. Love to know more about bulbs ;-)

  20. Undergoing winter for two months and now feeling the warm of spring.... Now weatherwise, we can really imitate english weather! Good luck to your bulbs.

  21. Oh Steph! The flowers look gorgeous! My begonias too have flowered well. All the best with the bulbs.

    Asha Ram

  22. good soil grows healthy plants but nowadays soil sold in nursery are so fake-red earth mixed with black coloring !

  23. foodbin, thanks for informing!

    Asha Ram, Bangchik, thanks and all the best to you as well ;-)

  24. Those begonia blooms are gorgeous, Steph!

    I took out my Amaryllis bulbs to dry but I have not transferred them to the fridge. That was like 2 months ago. I wonder if the bulbs will survive. I am a great procrastinator...probably I have killed the bulbs...sob..sob.

    Speaking of charcoal, would it be ok if I place a piece in my pot of water lilly plant. I have some guppies in it, I don't want the charcoal to poison them. Will it?



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