(Photography) Nepenthes albomarginata var. ‘rubra’

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Lid has opened. =)

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(Photography) Nepenthes albomarginata var. ‘rubra’

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Some simple pictures of the Nepenthes albomarginata var. ‘rubra’ I have now, one of which is forming this adorable baby pitcher.

(Propagation) Venus flytrap

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I recently bought a typical venus flytrap again after my old one died a long time ago. I’ve learnt from various experts (and have successfully propagated the flytrap once [which was the only time I tried propagating; so I suppose it’s a 100% success rate for me]) , and would like to share how to do it. It’s very simple.

You will have to perform leaf pullings on your VFT, by gripping each leaf as close to the stalk as possible and then pulling outwards and downwards. It is best to get as much of the white portion of the main stalk as possible, as that portion will increase the chances of a successful propagation. It is a lot easier if you’re able to dig up the whole parent plant and pull the leaves.

After that, cut off the traps from the stalks. This ensures that no energy is lost and all the energy of the bare stalks can be channelled to producing new roots and plantlets.

Fill a transparent plastic container with a thick layer of peat moss, and wet it enough so that the peat becomes a little bit boggish. Press the VFT stalks with the bottom portion (the one where it was connected to the parent plant’s main stem) into the peat. Cover the container partly, and leave it in a bright area.

New plantlets should start growing in about a month or two, I believe.

(Article) Enlivening Soil using Organic Fertilizers

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With thanks to PetuniaLee from GCS who posted this link on the forum.

Adapted from a post from Woodleaf Farm.

Fertile soil is a mixture of well-balanced minerals, high organic matter, good aeration and bountiful soil life.  The biology or life in the soil is at its healthiest when the nutrients are plentiful and balanced, and there is sufficient oxygen.  The top few inches of soil is the most vital, holding about 70% of the life and 70% of the organic matter.  Below 6 inches the roots are feeding on mostly soluble nutrients since the micro-organisms are not able to thrive without sufficient oxygen.

Full article here.

(Planting media) Volcanic sand

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Ever since Green Culture Singapore member sixhunter introduced me to this particular type of gravel-like planting media, I haven’t touched anything like perlite, vermiculite, or even the higher quality Indonesian burnt earth (IBE) at all. The volcanic sand from World Farm looks like coarse gravel, and is slightly dusty.

Before using the volcanic sand, it is preferable if you do one level of sifting, to separate the finer gravels from the much coarser ones. You may use it unwashed on ornamental or edible plants without any problems. However, I soak and wash the fine gravels over two days if I want to use them on my carnivorous plants, because CPs are a lot more finnicky in terms of their growing conditions and demands.

I have found it best to line the bottom of the pot with a layer of coarse gravel to improve drainage, and then mix up the subsequent layers with whatever organic planting media along with the fine gravels. This ensures that your media retains moisture but dries out easily so waterlogging doesn’t become a problem.

So far, my edible plants love this particular mix of volcanic sand from World Farm along with Tref potting soil/mix from Far East Flora. My mints are thriving on the moist but not too wet mix; and my carnivorous plants are much easier to handle because I’m able to control the amount of water that remains in the media with a mix of volcanic gravel and Horti moss (peat moss).

They contain no minerals so for edibles or ornamental plants, you’d need to add in fifty percent of organic media; for CPs, the lack of minerals is just fine.

(Photography) Wild passionfruit etc.

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A weaving of branches from the ghosts of trees.


Close-up shot of wild passionfruit flower.


Looking like a tempting cake or Christmas tree decoration piece.


Dried mimosa seedpods and seeds.

(Recycling) Plastic bottles

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I’ve always been one for conservation when I could, and recycling non-biodegradable things is one of the ways in which I try to do on a frequent basis.

I’m not entirely sure which particular website I got the idea from; however, it was a link that was posted by a Green Culture Singapore member about a year back. I was hooked to the idea of converting unused pop bottles into pots of sorts, and also creating a water reservoir for them.

The method is simple: just cut off the top of the bottle about two inches away from the mouth, invert the top portion and place it into the bottom. It should look somewhat like this.

You can also place a wicking thread through the mouth of the bottle before topping it up with soil, LECA bits, or coarse vermiculite. The wick will draw the water up and ensure a fairly constant supply of moisture to your seedlings or plants.

The end product should look somewhat like this. Now you can get more ‘free’ pots and save the earth at the same time.

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