Gardening: Cool Kalanchoe

Prior to consulting Mr. G, I am confused with mother of thousands and mother of millions – two succulents from Kalanchoe genus. But I think this plant I’m featuring in the post is a mother of thousands. 
This plant has a story. It was given to me by my colleague, a fellow plant addict. The mother plant is from another colleagues hometown (Nueva Ecija). This baby was previously placed in my desk along with some other succulents.  However, it was not growing properly there due to insufficient sunlight. So, I decided to bring it home. Before, it has a very slim stem and unhealthy leaves. Now, it’s growing like a normal mother of thousands πŸ™‚
Based on my research, here’s how to spot the difference between the two:
Mother of Thousands has a broad, tear-shaped leaves.  They always grow in pairs, each leaf on opposite sides of the stem.  The next pair of leaves rotates 90 degrees, so that the new leaves do not block the sun from the old ones! Great! This leaf pattern is actually common in plants, and helps ensure all the leaves get enough sunlight. Each leaf has little ridges on the edge- this is where the baby plantlets form.

Mother of Millions, on the other hand, has very narrow leaves. It has four leaves that all grown from the same of the stem.  These don’t alternate like the Mother of Thousands. The plantets on these leaves only grow at the end of the leaf, near the tip. Mother of Millions is considered a toxid weed in Australia and Africa because it grows rapidly, even in the most adverse weather conditions. 
Image result for mother of millions


Now I know! 

Top 10 Succulents for your Home Garden

I am pretty satisfied with my window garden. While the idea of expanding urban green space at home is good because we still have a vacant spot at the rooftop, I am afraid that it might be difficult to maintain.  So, I opted for smaller and easy-to-care house plants to maximize the small space. 
photo not mine
Found this list online – Top 10 Stylish Succulents for Home Garden.  I got a score of 1 out of 10, I only have plant #3 – Aloe Vera. My jade plant withered last summer.
Let’s proceed to the list. Just Google the names if you want to see how the plants look like. 
  1. Golden Sedum
  2. Hens and Chicks (Echeveria elegans)
  3. Aloe Vera
  4. Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
  5. Zebra plant (Haworthia attenuata)
  6. Echeveria “Lady Aquarius”
  7. Jade Plant
  8. Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
  9. Queen Victoria Agave
  10. Black Rose
I’m keeping my fingers crossed in completing the list. Happy Gardening! 

Growing Succulents and Some Basic Supplies for Planting them in Containers

After receiving plants from my sister which included Aloe Vera and other succulents, I was inspired to collect more. Before I knew it I am running out of space in my window garden.
So here is the extension of my home garden – my office desk haha.
succulents in ceramic planters. the cute ceramic boots was a souvenir from a colleague who went to the Netherlands few years ago 

Planning to grow succulents? Here are some basic materials you need for planting this “cute babies” in containers. I got these tips from my favorite gardening blog,

  1. Succulents 
  2. Mesh tape or drainage screen
  3. A container (the ones with drainage hold are highly recommended to prevent your plant from rotting)
  4. Succulent soil (though there are readily available cactus and succulent potting mix in the market, you can always prepare your own soil mix)
  5. Shovel
  6. Top Dressing (you can use colorful gravels, pebbles, sphagnum moss, gems or beads)
That’s all for now, happy gardening! 

One Has Died and I Want More Replacement Plants

This cactus died probably because of over-watering, one of the pitfalls of using a planter or pot without drainage holes. With this experience, I might invest in a drill specifically designed for drilling holes in ceramic materials. 
I am quite depressed…. So, I researched a bit. I want more replacement plants, the ones that are hard-to-kill and can thrive indoors or shady areas. 
Below is my ‘plant wishlist’.
for lucky indoor plants:
  • Lucky Bamboo (from dracaena genus)
  • Hawaiian Ti Plant (I already one variety of this)
  • Money Tree (Pachira)
  • Jade Plant
  • Snake Plant
for outdoor plants, I want: 
  • White clover 
  • Basil
  • Jasmine
  • Rosemary
  • Hibiscus
  • Roses 
  • Agave succulents
  • African Violets 
  • Vietnam Rose
Other plants:
  • Song of Jamaica
  • Song of India 
  • Bromeliad
I chose not to show you photos of the plants I listed above. Just wait and see my future purchases. 
On the other news, I will be launching a gardening blog next month. I will be hosting a contest, too. Watch out for it, guys! 
Happy Gardening! 

Keep Rats and Cats Away from the Plants

As I am writing this, I am contemplating on trying to arrange my plants in our rooftop. I am running out of space, you know. I had a mini garden near our laundry area before. Actually, the rooftop I’m talking about is an unfinished area of the house, no concrete walls in some parts yet. That is why rodents and cats are free to move around my garden and they destroyed my precious plants. To save the remaining plants, I moved them back again to our second floor balcony. 
To find solution to my problem, I am conducting a mini-research on how to get rid of rodents and cats.  Here’s what I got: 
How to keep cats off the yard

To prevent cats from digging the garden soil and use it as their toilet, the fist thing to do is remove any feces along with some soil and try sprinkling cat repellent in the area. It is suggested to cut some lemons, oranges and similar citrus fruit and put them in the garden to stop cats from using this area as a toilet…. I will try this and hope it’ll work. 
In case cats eat your plants, it is recommended to include plants with strong scent such as lavender, rosemary and mint. (source:
How to get rid of rodents naturally

Recently, rodents have eaten my agave succulents and bonsai tea plant. 
According to wikihow, seal up holes and cracks in your home where rodents may be gaining access. (that being said, we have to extend the mesh fencing in our balcony…. but how about the open space… argghhh)
Planting mint around the garden will create a barrier that rodents won’t cross. 
Aside from that tips, I will also try spraying the following solution to my plants:

Put a teaspoon of red pepper flakes in a spray bottle of hot water, shake and spray generously on the plants. 

With that tips on hand, I will try gardening again in our rooftop. I will put potted herbs there and arrange my growing collection of succulents and cacti. Good luck to me!

Happy Gardening!

Succulents in Sansevieria Genus

I’ve learned that succulents in sansevieria  are “hard-to-kill” plants and have air purifying properties. This answer my question about appropriate plants that thrive indoor, with low light conditions. With that new discovery, I will be collecting more sansevieria.  I have 3 types at present, a Sansevieria  Trifasciata popularly known as snake plant or mother-in-laws tongue and bird’s nest, Sanseviera Cylindrica,  and a Sansevieria Hahnii or bird’s nest.  
I really enjoy researching  the name of every plant I bought.  By the way, here are my new “babies” enjoying Mr. Sun. I brought them outside a while ago.  

Here’s a short trivia for you, guys:

Sansevieria (pronounced as san-se-vi-ee-ri-ah) belongs to the Lily Family which leads the list as being the most tolerant decorative plants.  The genus was named after the Prince Sanseviero who was born in Naples in 1710. (source:

Happy Gardening! 

Miniature Plant Arrangements


Warning: Propagating succulents, cacti and other bonsai plants can be really addicting. πŸ™‚

I made another indoor plant display. I just can’t find the name of this particular succulent. Is this a Kalanchoe or a Crassula? I’m confused! Fellow succulents and cacti enthusiasts, can you please help me identify this plant?… According to the owner of the shop where I bought the plant, she calls it Rice Cactus. 
We were talking about plants while having breakfast in the office earlier.  One of my officemates blurted out that she also want a miniature plant.  So, I gave her this “baby” which I planted last Friday. She really loved it! 
commonly called rice cactus,  belongs to sedum genus. 


(L) Crassula Ovata ‘Blue Hale’ Jade (R) Button cactus (according to the plant seller)

 I love my upcycled planter 

Happy Gardening! 

Tea Cup Succulents

Succulents and cacti are becoming popular these days. Who would not fall in love with these cute and attractive plants?  This morning, I made my first batch of succulent tea cup garden.
Tea cup succulents are excellent but inexpensive gifts or party favors. I just spent Php180.00 (3.78 USD)  for these three plants.  Preparation is very easy, as easy as making a terrarium.  Instructions can be found in my How to Make a Terrarium article. I also patterned my instructions from a tutorial at Instructables .
Here is my completed project:
I will give this one to my office mate, Bhang who bought two of the containers I used in this project. 

They’re on top of my desk now. πŸ™‚

New Plants: Euphorbia milii

Found these two new babies yesterday.  Based on my research, these are called Euphorbia milii, otherwise known as Crown of Thorns. 
Plant Facts:  
Euphorbia milii is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family.  It originally came from Madagascar. It can grow up to 2 feet in height.  For limited garden spaces like mine, pruning off the growing tips may control plants height. 

transferred into green pots 

For light requirements, crown of thorns plant needs bright light to full sun.  It is easy to grow and drought-tolerant, and loves slightly dry, sandy soil.  This succulent stores water in its stems just like cactus, so no need to water it everyday.  

How to propagate?  Take 3 inches stem cuttings in spring or summer.  Dip the cut ends in warm water for a few minutes to stop the flow of sap then allow to dry for 24 hours before inserting into barely moist potting mix.  Cuttings will root in about 6 weeks. 
Caution:  Wear thick gloves when handling this plant because thorns are sharp and toxic. Its milky sap can irritate you skin, eyes, and mouth. 

New Plants in my Mini Garden

My aunt gave me plants when we visited their house last week.  She gave me ornamental plants and ginger shoots. I purchased new planters and garden soil immediately. My husband saw me working on my balcony garden at 6pm last Tuesday, and he said “you should do that on weekends”.  The plant will wither if I waited for Saturday to come. 
The first ornamental plant is a succulent. Judging from the leaves, I researched its name and the nearest result told me that the plant belongs to Agavaceae (Agave) Family of succulent. 
Here’s the photo from the website
The one in the small pot beside the blooming euphorbia is my Agave succulent.  
The other plant is a Brazilian Butterfly plant.  I’m hoping and praying that it will not die since the leaves wilted after few days.  I’m positive enough that it will grow because it has roots similar to that of ginger.  I love its purple leaves.  To give you an idea of how the plant looks like, here is a photo I borrowed from a website.
I planted the ginger shoots in a tin container…I’m looking forward harvesting ginger few months from now. Aside from the plants that my aunt gave me, I also planted mint, from the second time. If you’ve read my previous gardening post, all my herbs died few months ago.