(Articles) Common Plants Can Eliminate Indoor Air Pollutants

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Adapted from Science Daily

Of the 28 species tested, Hemigraphis alternata (purple waffle plant), Hedera helix (English ivy), Hoya carnosa (variegated wax plant), and Asparagus densiflorus (Asparagus fern) had the highest removal rates for all of the VOCs introduced. Tradescantia pallida (Purple heart plant) was rated superior for its ability to remove four of the VOCs.

Full article here

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Adapted from NASA

Interior landscape plants for indoor air pollution abatement:
Bamboo palm
Chinese evergreen
English ivy
Ficus
Gerbera daisy
Janet Craig
Marginata
Mass cane/Corn cane
Mother-in-law’s tongue
Peace lily
Pot mum
Warneckei

Full article here

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(Article) Diet of Contaminated Insects Harms Endangered Carnivorous Plants

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Adapted from Science Daily

Scientists in the UK are reporting evidence that consumption of insects contaminated with a toxic metal may be a factor in the mysterious global decline of carnivorous plants. Their study describes how meals of contaminated insects have adverse effects on the plants.

Full article here

(Article) Fermented milk fertilizer

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Adapted from PetuniaLee’s blog post with permission

“With so many people wanting to know the hows, whys and wherefores, I thought it would be good to do up a post on how to make fermented milk fertiliser.”

Full article here

(Article) Monsoon periods in Singapore

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Adapted from The Curious Gardener’s blog post with permission

“So, the weather has broken and the northeast monsoons are finally done. It’s funny how we tend to forget that “monsoon” refers to the winds, and not rainy weather.”

Full article here

(This post is a good guide to when the wet and dry monsoon seasons are in Singapore. Thank you, The Curious Gardener!)

(Article) The Training of the Shrew: Pitcher Plant Evolves Into Toilet

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Adapted from Treehugger.com

Pitcher plants are carnivorous and usually eat insects for nutrients and nitrogen. But in the highlands of Borneo there are not enough for it to survive on insects alone, so the pitcher plant evolved into a toilet plant, complete with standing lid that serves an unusual purpose.

Full article here

(I, and the person who found the link, couldn’t believe the news at first. So off he went to Google it more intensively, and found an article written to and published by the Royal Society Publishing.)

Adapted from Royal Society Publishing

Nepenthes pitcher plants are typically carnivorous, producing pitchers with varying combinations of epicuticular wax crystals, viscoelastic fluids and slippery peristomes to trap arthropod prey, especially ants. However, ant densities are low in tropical montane habitats, thereby limiting the potential benefits of the carnivorous syndrome. Nepenthes lowii, a montane species from Borneo, produces two types of pitchers that differ greatly in form and function. Pitchers produced by immature plants conform to the ‘typical’ Nepenthes pattern, catching arthropod prey. However, pitchers produced by mature N. lowii plants lack the features associated with carnivory and are instead visited by tree shrews, which defaecate into them after feeding on exudates that accumulate on the pitcher lid.

Full article/letter here (PDF format)

(Article) Human Pee With Ash Is a Natural Fertilizer, Study Says

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Adapted from a National Geographic article.

When it comes to cultivating a green thumb, gardeners perhaps need only look to their urinals and fireplaces.

That’s because human urine mixed with wood ash can help produce bumper crops of tomatoes, new research shows.

Full article here

(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.

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