From easy to hard:
Take cuttings from new growth. The part of the stem that forms new roots and shoots is called a node. These growing points produce leaves, flowers or shoots when the plant is growing normally but, if a bit with two or more nodes is cut away and planted, the nodes can be encouraged to grow roots or shoots. Take cutting using a clean sharp knife and cut at a sharp angle to increase exposed surface area. Some plants can simply be put in water and will grown new roots. For most plants; dip in hormone rooting powder (needs to be fresh; check expiration date) or simply dip in honey. Remove most leaves and only leave some near the tip. Stick in moist well draining soil. Place a sandwich/freezer bag over the top and place in half sun (indoors in window sill). The plastic bag act as a greenhouse. Remove occasionally and water the soil if it feels dry to the touch.
Dig up the roots or use a spade and divide a large plant in half. Put back. You now have two smaller plants.
Growing from seed requires patience and attention to detail. Collect seeds in Autumn (Mar-Apr-May) or whenever you spot them. Store in a dry and dark place for months. Some seeds can sit on top of soil, others need a specific depth in soil. Some seed pods need to be boiled, heated or split open first. Plant in Spring (Sep-Oct-Nov) in moist well draining potting mix soil. Some seeds will even germinate when covered in wet tissue paper kept in a sealed sandwich/freezer (‘zip-lock’) bag in half sun (indoors in window sill). Most seeds can be placed in moist potting mix soil. Use plastic (drinking) cups half filled with potting mix covered in clear clingfilm. The sealed bag or clingfilm traps heat and acts as a greenhouse. Only once seeds have germinated and plant is growing leaves it will need fresh air occasionally. Make a small hole in the bag or remove completely and start watering to keep soil moist.
It is like surgery for plants. Just go to the nursery.
Where we live the soil is very fertile red soil. It is poor draining red clay soil with a thin layer or well draining topsoil.
Tip: Stick a 30cm long piece of 15mm diameter polypipe vertically in the hole alongside the plant roots when planting. You can then use this as a funnel to get water directly to the roots. Much better than watering the mulch on top of the soil in the hot sun, where the water evaporates rather sooner than being absorbed and where only a small amount of water actually reaches the roots. You can pull out the pipe and re-use it when the plant is established if need be.
Get a water tap close to the garden bed and use a garden hose.
Drip irrigation systems are most efficient and don’t need a timer. They do however need a water pressure reducer and filter and clog easily. Cannot be unclogged, which is a pain. Not a fan.
The most simple sprinkler Irrigation system consists of one single very long feed line that snakes through the garden from garden bed to garden bed.
For manual watering, turn the tap on/off manually each and every day *sigh*.
For semi-automatic watering, use one of those spring-loaded egg timer adapters connected to the tap to stop watering after 30 minutes.
For fully automatic watering:
– Poisenous to pets when they eat the leaves.
– Let roots dry in between waterings.
– Shade plant
– Shade plant
African Lily (Agapanthus)
– White, Pink or Orange flower varieties.
Yellow shrimp plant
– Ever blooming
– Easy to propagate.
– Tall and spiky.
– Big trunk.
– Don’t like them much.
Elephant Ear (Colocasia)
– Huge leaves
– Needs frequent watering
– Highly venemous to cats and dogs.
– Suckers. Grandfather, Father, Son.
– In FNQ you are discouraged from growing due to Panama disease.
(quarantine zone, plants are not to be moved).
Warning: Some ginger plants can grow very tall.
Ginger plants can be cut to the ground and will re-grow from the root clump.
Will spread in the garden by growing new roots underground, but not as extreme as some bamboo plants do.
Bird of Paradise
– Beautiful flower
– Thick wrinkly weeping leaves
Grevillea, also known as Spider flower.
Grevillea Victoriae, also known as Royal Grevillea
‘Murray Valley Queen’
– Has orange/yellow flowers and nice broad leaves.
– Often has thorns
Warning: Some palms can grow very tall.
European Fan Palm
Chinese Windmill Palm
Cyrtostachys Renda also known as ‘Red Wax Palm’ or ‘Lipstick Palm’
Cocos Palm Tree
Golden Cane Palm
– Prolific grower. Will grow from a piece of stem you leave in the garden.
– Considered a pest in FNQ
Moses In The Cradle
– Prolific grower.
– Considered a pest in FNQ
– There are dwarf varieties available that are a good choice.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
– Named because of distinct lilac, violet and white flowers.
– Flowers have strong smell
– Major trigger of my allergies / hayfever when flowering here in town.
(Extremely itchy skin, inflamed mucus membrane eyes / nose, irritable due to lack of sleep)
– This plant should not exist.
Uses shade cloth (70%)
Protects from full sun, strong wind and heavy rain and offers shade.
Great for potting plants and propagating.
Great for growing shade plants
Great for growing vegetables
Uses thick clear thermal agricultural film.
Does not protect from full sun(!)
Diffuses sunlight but does not provide shade.
Traps heat. Needs ventilation.
Traps moisture from watering.
Great for growing crops of plants / vegetables.
Miss one watering and all your plants die.
Plastic tears easily, flaps in wind and makes noise.
For propagating plants you don’t need a hothouse; just put the plastic pot in a clear plastic bag or cover in clingfilm to trap heat/moisture. For propagating and growing shade plants we don’t want full sun anyway. Shade plants can be planted as undergrowth for larger established full sun plants to add density and variety to a garden (and keep weeds out and reduce the need for mulching soil or mowing grass).
But what about cold windy rainy days, don’t we want to use clear film and turn it into a hothouse then? Where we live the harsh sun is the main problem. A shadehouse is what you need. It protects against rain, wind and offers shade and ventilation. Outside temperatures do not drop below 10 degrees much. Most people need a shadehouse first.
You could consider covering the shadehouse in clear plastic on cold days, but I would simply build one half as greenhouse and one half as hothouse. Enter the shadehouse from the outside and then continue into the hothouse. If the hothouse gets too hot simply leave this internal hothouse door open.
Tip: Put two hoops close together in the middle of the greenhouse. Build one half as shadehouse and one half as hothouse. Then ziptie or bolt them together if need be.