Wet Season

Best Vegetables to Grow During the Wet Season

Best Vegetables to Grow During the Wet Season

Tropical countries typically have the wet and dry seasons. From where I live, the wet season starts from late May and carries on until November (sometimes it even goes on well over December). This season will be quite harsh for the vegetable grower since only those that have thicker stalks will remain at the end of the season. Also, there are plenty of flowers and vegetables that grow well during this season, but only when they are properly prepared and when they are placed against a wall to shield them from high winds.

A helpful tip (probably, because what works for me may not work for others) is to plant upright vegetables on containers and recycled tin cans so you can easily relocate them when a typhoon hits. Last February, I grew some tomatoes on the ground but were immediately damaged because I placed them in an open space. Moreover, they had bacterial spots on the leaf that looked like the one you see when you click the link at the bottom of the article. The reason for this probably was because I was too excited to sow tomato seeds in February that I didn’t bake the soil much. As a result, bad microorganisms that remained on the soil took over my food!

I just have to have those perfect tomatoes and that is why I am trying again. If anything, gardening has taught me how to be patient–and to grow stuff on containers so I can easily move them anywhere I please. Also, some species of plants are actually better off contained and separated from the rest. A good example of these is the pepper, which is actually very toxic to other plants. Another advantage of veggies planted on tin cans is that you can move them around to catch rare sunlight during the wet season.

Where I live, when there is a typhoon, the house becomes so cold, damp and misty inside. Flowers love this kind of weather but only if their roots are not soaked with water. It is the same with vegetables, I think. Here are the types of seeds that I plan to sow today on two separate 20x15x4 inches containers: aurugula and lettuce–that according to the packet, grow well when the temperature is cool. I have successfully grown each of them in February, although they had thin leaves and stalks, which was probably because I used a soil-less medium instead of, uhm, well… , soil. I don’t think there was any problem with having too much sunlight. On the contrary, my aurugulas must have loved sunlight since they came out well before the suggested period on the packet.

Another thing that I have learned from my February experience was to plant only one or two seeds (even if they’re very small) on one hole and to stop saving space and follow the recommended spacing in between the seeds. This will allow the seeds to grow properly. Aside from aurugula and lettuce, I am planning to say goodbye to my diseased tomatoes and try again. This time, I am buying “sterile” soil to grow my tomatoes in. Oh, and maybe I will plant three more peppers, too. I just love red vegetables! I will grow them on tin cans that I have collected since my baby was born. Six months worth of cans! Woot!

Best Vegetables to Grow During the Wet Season.

Source by Karen P Gabato

Vegetable Gardens

Advantages and Disadvantages of Vegetable Gardens

Not everybody is lucky to have a yard at the back or a big garden. But it is heartening to know that with the help of container vegetable gardens, garden enthusiasts have the option of growing vegetables at their own sweet will. The box vegetable garden is a gift for all who have a passion for gardens but do not have the required space.

The indoor garden for vegetables is not only a secondary option to the yard but it is a positive choice for a variety of reasons. Firstly these containers or urns are easily found in the kitchen making the whole show environment friendly and safer for the little ones in the family. Apart from being productive these box vegetable gardens serve two other purposes – they add to the décor of the home and also makes it look stylish The small garden pots can be arranged around the porch giving it a verdant look to the dull urban image.

Understandably there are some restrictions to the expectations from a pot vegetable garden – the first one being the size of the plant that will grow in it. The best choices are radish, carrots, lettuce and the like. Small crop plants can also be grown in an indoor garden. For instance tomato and pepper do not require much space. A plus point is that one container about 24″ to 30″ can grow at the same time plants like tomato, parsley and cucumber without requiring extra sunlight or moisture. The urn thus doubles up as a veritable fresh live salad bowl.

No extra arrangement is required for these urn vegetable gardens. The containers can be anything – a jug, pail, basket, wooden box or the typical flower pot. Discarded bushels, washing tubs, big food cans, window plants as well as nursery flats can also suffice to build up the indoor vegetable garden.

Following the same principles of a indoor gardens, water plants too can be grown. The prime purpose however of the indoor green patch is decorative. Depending on the size of the pot, sweet or yellow flag iris combined with a giant arrowhead of calla lily can be planted. Unlike the vegetable gardens there are no fixed specifications for water gardens. Both of these – water gardens and container vegetable gardens are fairly easy to grow and are definitely worth giving a try for those who have a passion for gardening.

Source by Karash Gila

Outer Hebrides

Growing Vegetables In The Outer Hebrides

Growing Vegetables In The Outer Hebrides

This is the second year I have been working on getting vegetables growing on my croft here on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. It’s a steep learning curve and not so straight forward as raising vegetables in England or places with more favourable climates.

First – there is the problem of constant high winds. The Outer Hebrides, or also known as the Western Isles, is one of the windiest places in Europe. Winds are regularly recorded at the Butt of Lewis in excess of 100mph during the winter. While temperatures don’t go to extremes here, it’s the wind that gets to plants. Anything over a few inches will get blown over or ‘wind-burnt’. So first and foremost, a kind of windbreak needs to be thought of.

Windbreaks can come in many forms: traditional stone dyking, sheep fencing with “50/50” mesh, hedging started with quick growing species such as willow or leyland cypress and polytunnels. Here on Lewis, one can see the old stone dykes all over the place, particularly in more remote parts of the island such as Great Bernera on the west coast. With the old black houses, the folk used to build ‘planticrues’, which is basically a walled garden next to their houses. We have a derelict black house on our croft in Great Bernera and it has one of these next to it – just the right size for a vegetable patch. While there are more than enough stones in the soil here to build walls, the problem is knowing how to build the things as it’s a ‘traditional craft’. On Lewis, there are the odd evening courses offered in ‘dry stone dyking’.

Barring the stone dyking, many people opt to go the sheep netting with the green “50/50” mesh sewn to it. This is the first course to take, but it by no means permanent. It will give just enough of a windbreak until you can get the leyland cypress or willows established. Ours ended up shredded eventually, such is the power of the wind here! But it held long enough…

So, as I mentioned before, Leyland cypress or willows (salix viminalis) are good, quick growing trees to start off a shelter belt. Once you’ve got them established, you can then plant more deciduous trees behind them (such as larch and rowan). While I would never recommend Leyland cypress down in places like England due to the fact that they grow so huge in a very short space of time as well as dry out the soil excessively, they seem to do better here for hedging for that very reason! We planted a hedge here over 7 years ago and it’s still barely more than 4 ft high! – whereas in England in that same amount of time, they would be over the top of a house!

Polytunnels are widely used here on Lewis and the other islands to help protect the plants more from wind than from frost. We’ve sited our next to a shelter belt of trees. Some people have constructed strong fences with 50/50. The polytunnel itself needs some protection. But they do stand up better to the gales than conventional glass greenhouses, which end up in shatters – the shards flying around dangerously onto other people’s places, not to mention your own. The greenhouses that seem to do better here are the geodesic dome types as the wind just goes up and over the round shape.

Secondly, the question of soil acidity. Due to the fact that the Western Isles is basically rock and peat bog, this makes the soil quite acidic. Some places are more fertile if they are what is known as ‘machair’ which is basically sand dunes. As the sand is made up of shells, it’s calcium-based or ‘lime’. This helps to neutralize the acidic peat to make quite fertile soil. But the majority of places don’t have this, so liming the soil is necessary. This is of course, adding sand. Also adding sea weed is a good additive – the local garden centres sell seaweed soil conditioner which is seaweed composted down. It’s quite expensive. Another alternative is to actually go to one of the beaches and collect up seaweed to put directly on the soil in the winter time. This makes a good mulch for overwintering plants such as rhubarb or cabbages, but it also adds in calcium and minerals, which are so depleted in the Hebridean soil. It’s a good idea to put it down in the polytunnel too! We are doing this in addition to adding organic compost and horse manure.

Thirdly, The Outer Hebrides, or also known as the Western Isles, is one of the windiest places in Europe. The wet and boggy conditions. It’s not so bad in the summer, but in winter it’s a real pain! We’ve got drains under the ground in quite a lot of places on our place. It helps so much, but the water always seems to find somewhere else to gather… As for the polytunnel – we had problems with dampness inside causing the tomotoes, peppers, aubergines and courgettes to wilt with mould and mildew as well as the ground being covered in green algae. Unlike in a greenhouse where you can put in roof ventilation which you can open and close at will, it’s more difficult with a polytunnel. Our doors have the mesh on them, which helps a bit, but the problem is more along the ground. On our next polytunnel, we are going to do what they’ve done at the Shrub Stall in Tolsta – put mesh about a foot or two high around the bottom to let in air flow.

Finally, the midges. There’s no getting away from them in the summer – they are worse in the polytunnel! The only way to make gardening half-way pleasurable is just to wear a midge net, long sleeves and plenty of insect repellant.

Growing Vegetables In The Outer Hebrides.

Source by Holley Mccoy-petrie


Basic Gardening Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Before you start your home garden activities, it’s a must to provide yourself with the needed tools and equipment in your nursery. These tools and equipment must be available all the time to make your gardening works easy and convenient.

You can work peacefully and efficiently if you have a complete tools and equipment in your nursery. You would not be worrying where to borrow because you have a complete sets of them always at hand when eventualities so arises.

You don’t need big amount to start collecting your tools and equipment. You can visit some agriculture stores for garden tools and buy at bargain those that are not so costly, especially during yard sales. As a gardener, you’ve to follow this slogan ” Use the Right Tool to the Right Job” to make your gardening work successful.

Some Basic Tools and Equipment

• Shovels – A round-ended shovel should be preferred for digging especially for planting trees and smaller shrubs.

• Garden Hoes – A garden hoe is useful for weeding and cultivating soil surfaces to allow for deeper plant root penetration of nutrients and water.

• Bow Rake -Provide a good heavy duty bow rake, which has short tines on one side attached to a metal frame or ‘bow.’ This tool is vital for leveling the soil to make it ready for planting, or for removing large clods of earth or rocks from the soil.

• Spading Forks – The spading fork is needed to open and improve the soil. It looks like a pitchfork but has a shorter handle and wider tines. It is used to dig down into hard soil and break up the ground.

• Dull Bolo – This tool is common in the Philippines, its uses is similar with a garden used for weeding and cultivation.

• Sharp Bolo – A sharp bolo is used to cut some grasses and small branches or generally for clearing operations prior to soil cultivation.

• Garden shears – Select a pair of garden shears that fits comfortably in your hand. Shears, sometimes called clippers, are used for pruning, shaping and removing foliage or branches.

• Garden Hose – Hose is necessary to water your garden. Depending on how much there is to water a sprinkler is also a good addition to the watering garden equipment list.

• Sprinkler Can – This is essential for watering your plants. Long nozzles allow the water to come out at a very gentle flow rate and are useful for reaching across long distances. Select a watering can that has a detachable spray head – this type of watering can is perfect for watering young seedlings.

• Hand Sprayer – Hand sprayer is useful for spraying some minor insect pests that are easily managed for minor insect attack in the garden.

• Spade – Similar to shovel, but it has a square end point used for digging and making a straight plots and beds.

• Carts and wheelbarrows – are necessary to transfer some gardening tools and equipment used in your garden works. Some other uses for carts and wheelbarrows are to collect and remove your full grown vegetables from your garden and carry dirt’s and grass clippings away from the garden. • Garden Pruner – When you want to shape and cut back longer plants you will use the pruner garden tool. Pruners come in two styles. One is the bypass style and the other is the anvil. Pick up a couple of varieties to see which style is best for you. Pruners that have changeable blades and parts that are possible to sharpen will assist in extending the life of this piece of gardening equipment.

• Garden Trowel – A garden trowel is also used for weeding and cultivation. Select the one with a steel blade to make it last longer in use. There are different types of handles to choose from. You can either select the one with rubber handles that make them easier to grip while using them and there are some that are designed to relieve stress from your wrist during use.

There are still some equipment to be purchased in your gardening operations, but these tools and equipment mentioned are the basics you should purchase. If you have already your bigger capital, Roto-tiller or Tractor is also important in your garden. For the meantime, be satisfied with the basic garden tools and equipment identified, you can already start you garden operations. Happy gardening!

Source by Crisologo Ramasasa

Vertical Gardening

The Pros and Cons of Vertical Gardening for Beginners

The Pros and Cons of Vertical Gardening for Beginners

There are many different types of gardening one can take on as a challenge. Today, the most common types include raised garden beds, lasagna gardening, container gardening, and hydroponic gardening. In this article, we examine the pros and cons of using a vertical gardening system.

In general, you don’t really see this type of gardens at home. You will see most of them in public places such as airports or in private hotels. The reason for this is because vertical gardening is pretty expensive. Compared to other types of gardening methods, plants that are grown vertically usually incur larger expenses. It also requires a lot of time and effort. For example, you need to make sure the soil is kept a specific condition. Otherwise, the soil will fall off easily from the structure.

One should also note that a vertical garden is not suitable for every plant out there. This type of gardening is generally done for decorative purposes. Therefore, if you were planning on growing plants such as vegetables and fruits then you are better off using other methods such as container gardening. So what exactly do people grow on a vertical base? In general, people stick to small things such as flowers and herbs. As you can probably tell, one can create a beautiful board of flowers by mixing flowers of different colors and sizes.

Although it may seem really difficult to grow this specific type of garden, there are certain benefits that comes with it as well. For example, you can save on a lot of space since you are growing the plants vertically. This works well for people who live in small spaces. If you have one of these gardens in place then you will also improve the overall environment of the surrounding area. The plants will clean the air and improve the aesthetics of the environment.

If you do want to try out this gardening method then make sure you invest in the right tools and equipment. The most important tool you will need is a solid vertical base. The material does not really matter. If the structure can withstand the weight of the garden then you are good to go. For beginners, it is highly recommended that you start off with something small. Once you have mastered the techniques for this particular type of gardening, you can move onto something bigger. When you build the garden structure, don’t forget to have a drainage tray at the bottom. There will be a lot of excess water so you don’t want to ruin the floor by not having a proper drainage system in place.

The Pros and Cons of Vertical Gardening for Beginners

Source by Benita Vickers

How to Grow and Care For a Heather Plant

Heather plants are hardy, colorful, low-growing perennial shrubs native to the heaths, moors, and woodlands or Europe and Asia Minor. Well suited to marginal pastures, heathers are low-maintenance plants that can thrive in acidic soil with little fertilizer in and near-drought conditions.

The evergreen plants provide year-round displays of color from flowers and leaves. Depending on the type of heather plant, the flowers bloom between July and November and come in pink, lavender, white, magenta, amethyst, purple and red. If a gardener plans it right, a field full of different types of heather will remain colorful for a longtime, with new plants blooming just when others begin to fade.

Just as important as flower color is the foliage color, which can be found in pink, red, copper, bronze, gold, silvery gray, and every shade of green imaginable. They keep their color though the winter, breaking up the dreary tans and browns of winter landscapes.

CLIMATE: The colder, damper climates of the New England and the Pacific Northwest are well suited to growing heather, however, and gardeners in the northern Midwest, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain areas should have fair success.

SOIL: The heather plant will do just fine in rocky soil, making them good candidates for coastal hillsides where few plants grow. Slightly acidic soil with a pH of 4.5 – 5.5 will work well for this plant.

SUN: As a general guideline, heather plants should get four to six hours of sunlight daily. So it is best to plant it in a place with enough sunlight throughout the year. The more sunshine this plant receives, the brighter are its leaves and flowers. Not enough sun will cause the plant to look leggy and dull.

SPACING: When you are ready to start growing a heather plant, consider the space a mature plant needs to fully develop. On average, these plants grow up to twenty inches tall and three feet wide.

PLANTING: The best time to plant the heather is in the spring or beginning of fall. Seed, division and cuttings can start new heather plants. If starting by cuttings, the best time to take them is in summer when the wood is half-ripe.

WATERING: After getting the plants into the ground, water them until the ground is moist. Follow this watering ritual twice a week for a few months. As with most plants, do not over water them. If the soil remains too wet the plant will suffer and possibly die.

The heather plant is hardy and resistant to insects, common diseases, and small burrowing rodents.

Source by Steve Charles Habib

Flower Meanings & History of Flowers

The charming and delicate beauty of flowers has fascinated people of all nations and backgrounds for centuries. Flowers have been bred and cultivated for their decorative beauty as well as their ability to heal diseases. Flowers are the subject of poems and myths, and religious symbols are associated with flowers as well. Many girls are named after flowers. The main reason for the popularity of flowers though is their ability to bring good cheer.

For all fellow lovers and admirers of flowers here is some background information about flowers. This will help give your flower gift giving and buying a greater context.


There are over 600 species of asters, the most popular being the Monte Casino. Ancient societies believed that the odor of its leaves, when burnt, drove away serpents. While this might not be as applicable today, perhaps its connotation is still relevant: Giving asters means, “I am not sure whether you have been faithful to me”. Be careful who you send asters to!

Meanings: charming, patience

Bells of Ireland

Although the name suggests these flowers come from Ireland, they originated in western Asia. Bells of Ireland have a spicy/peppery scent and are part of the mint family. They stand for good luck.

Meanings: good luck, whimsy


Turn of the century dandies would not leave the house without a white or red carnation in the buttonhole of their suit. With the end of this tradition and the fact that carnations are so easily cultivated and grown, the flower has lost some of its popularity. However, carnations are not only beautiful and long lasting flowers, they also send a message: When you receive a red carnation bouquet, it means, “My heart aches for you” and when you receive white carnations the sender is saying: “I am still available.”

Meanings: fascination, devoted Love


Imagine, chrysanthemums have been cultivated in Chinese gardens for almost 3000 years! The name chrysanthemum comes from the Greek chrysos (gold) and anthos (flower). Today some of the meanings associated with this flower are: innocence, cheerfulness and loyal love.

Meanings: cheerfulness, innocence


The dahlia is the national flower of Mexico and this is also its birthplace. An old Aztec document states that the Aztecs used dahlias as a treatment for epilepsy. Only in the 19th century did the flower come to Europe where it was bred and cultivated into today’s varieties.

Meanings: dignity, elegance


Did you know that there are so many different varieties of iris that they can be grown wild year round, in water and on land? Iris was most significant in history as the emblem of France — Fleur-de-Lis — established in the 11th century by the king of France. Today, it is the state flower of Tennessee and its meanings are faith, hope and wisdom.

Meanings: faith, hope, wisdom


Lilies have been associated with many ancient myths. They are mentioned in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament, and symbolize chastity and virtue. Even today, lilies are associated with purity and faith.

Meanings: purity, faith

Peruvian lilies or alstroemeria are named after the Swedish botanist Baron Klas von Alstroemer. He brought the flower seeds back from a trip to South America in the 18th century.

Meanings: friendship, devotion

Calla lilies were first imported from South Africa to America in the mid-nineteenth century. The waxy white blooms and spearheaded leaves of the calla lily stand for radiant beauty and sophistication.

Meanings: sophistication, beauty


Lisianthus may sound like a Latin name, but it is one of several common names associated with this plant. It is also referred to as Prairie Gentian, Prairie Rose or Texas Bluebell. The flowers existing today are derived from an American wildflower that is native to prairies ranging from Colorado to Nebraska and down to Texas.

Meanings: outgoing, thoughts


During the 19th Century, orchids were widely collected. With nearly 25,000 varieties, some orchids are among the most exquisite and expensive flowers available. In antiquity, orchids were correlated with love and fertility. It was common knowledge that they would protect against diseases. Given as a gift they stand for preciousness and seduction.

Meanings: seduction, preciousness


Snapdragons are an old decorative flower, widely used by the Romans. From its origin in southern Spain the cultivated form was spread throughout the whole Roman Empire. Nowadays remnants of this original population which all belong to the species Antirrhinum majus are found among Roman remains like temples in southern France, Malta, and Italy. The flower, also called “gracious lady” stands for deception.

Meanings: desire, strength


With their far-reaching popularity, roses are the queens of flowers. After buttercup, the roses are the second oldest variety of flowers on the planet. Biologists can trace roses back some 200 million years! Although there is a huge number of meanings and symbols associated with roses, the most common of course is love, which originated in Greek mythology. When Aphrodite cried about the death of her lover Adonis, she had red “Adonis Roses” grown with his blood, – thus red roses are the symbol of never-ending love. Important to mention are the roses’ thorns, of which we all probably have some painful memory. Symbolically, love can be painful and full of suffering when not treated carefully.

Red roses: I love you, unconscious beauty

White roses: spiritual love, purity

Yellow roses: joy, gladness

Orange roses: fascinated, enthusiastic

Pink roses: grace, gentility


Originally from Persia, tulips were introduced to Western Europe and the Netherlands in the 17th century. When growers started to hybridize the flower, they found ways of making it even more decorative. Hybrids of the flower were a scarcity at the time and a symbol of high status. Soon tulips became very popular as a trading product and bulbs were traded at the highest prices. The months of late 1636 to early 1637 would make history in the Netherlands as “Tulipmania”. A bed of tulips was worth up to $5,000, the value of a small house in Amsterdam. The bulbs became currency, and their value was quoted at the stock market.

Meanings: perfect lover, fame


Sunflowers turn their heads toward the sun and this how they got their common name. They originated in Central and South America. Sunflowers are not only pretty to look at but sunflower seeds are power-packed with healthy fats, protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamin E – all important to the nutritional quality of your diet. Wait! That doesn’t mean you’re supposed to eat the seeds out of your sunflower bouquet.

Meanings: adoration, sunshine

Source by Josh Grossman

Let Your Flowering Peach Tree Bloom With These Planting Tips

The flowering peach tree is a very familiar tree for most people. This tree is recognized for its vase shape that can grow up to 25 feet in height and bears lots of fruits. People also love the pink flowers that bloom from the peach tree.

The peach tree is part of the Rosaceae family and genus Prunus. It goes with the almond tree in the subgenus of Amygdalus. They are distinguished by their seed shells that are corrugated.

The leaves of the peach tree are categorized as lanceolate that grows from seven to fifteen centimeters long. The peach fruit has a very delicate scent and almost velvet-like skin.

The flowers of the peach tree bloom every early spring even earlier than the leaves get to grow.

The petals can either be solitary or paired depending on the variety. They generally consist of five petals that can come in different colors of pink, white or red.

The peach tree took its scientific name Persica from the belief in early Europe that this origin from Iran which was known back then as Persia.

Today, it is established that the tree is actually a native of China which was only introduced later on to Persia.

There are several varieties of the peach tree that have been already propagated. This gives lovers of the peach tree flowers a good selection to choose from.

Here are some of the more commonly known types.

Double White – This kind is emphasized by the name. It has a profuse shape and paired white petals.

Helen Borchers – The flowers of Helen Borchers have extra large pets in pink. They are in sandy pets.

Peppermint Stick – The peppermint stick variety is distinguishable with its paired white petals and pink stripes.

Late Double Red – This variety consist of red petals in pairs. They remain a perfect sight even when winter time comes as they are able to avoid well the frost.

Weeping Double – The weeding double varieties have pendulous branches. They can come in colors of pink and red.

Royal Redleaf – The Royal Redleaf consists of good foliage in bright-red at the early part of their blooming. They later turn into bronze-green which remains a delightful view.

Tips for Growing the Flowering Peach Tree

1. Correct Climate

Flowering peach trees are also very choosy in the climates that they thrive in.

Most of the varieties require a chilling requirement, making it rather difficult for them to grow in the extremely cold areas. They can not tolerate the cold in later winter.

Typically, the peach trees varieties may be able to tolerate temperatures of negative 26 to negative 30 degrees Celsius, but such a condition tends to kill the buds of the flowers so growing fruits is impossible.

The flowering peach trees actually seeks a lot of the heat of the summer time to be able to let its fruits mature. Temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius would be most favurable.

2. Proper Soil Characteristic

Peach trees require the right soil characteristic in order to grow fully and bear colorful flowers. Avoid as much as possible too much moisture in the soil. They do not like heavy quality of soil too.

Just make sure the soil has the right amount of fertilizer and aeration. With the right kind of soil, the peach tree will surely grow fast and healthy.

Fight the Pests

It is very important to protect the peach tree against pests that may invade their environment. This could impede the growth of the tree and the blooming of the flowers.

The main enemy to be cautious of is the peach tree borer. There are also some insects and fungus that can threaten the tree. This may require occasional or regular application of pesticides or spraying.


Bring nature closer to your home. Plant a flower peach tree and enjoy the delights of its view, flowers and fruits

Source by Lee Dobbins

Rainforest Plants – Hibiscus

Family: Malvaceae

Genus: Hibiscus

Species: rose-sinensis, cameronii, fuscus, and others

Common names: rosemallow

General Description: Hibiscus is a highly diverse genus with about 220 species of annuals, herbaceous perennials, shrubs and trees. The shrub is the one most commonly known. Hibiscus shrub is a tropical plant that needs both light and warmth (more important) to do well. The shrubs grow to twelve feet in height. They need a lot of sunlight to bloom.

The shrub is an evergreen whose leaves resemble those of a maple tree. It is well-known for its showy flowers and is primarily used as a landscape shrub or planted in a patio pot. Hibiscus is aptly seen as the Queen of the Tropics and is also a recognized symbol of Hawaii.

Uses: Hibiscus is renowned for its beauty as well as its medicinal uses, and gardeners around the world plant this species for its showy flowers. It is used in teas, wines and tonics in tribal communities as well as the modern world. Hibiscus tea is caffeine free, with an usual and appealing taste. It is grown for worldwide distribution in Southeastern Asia, Mexico, the Caribbean, China and many African nations.

The leaves of this plant are high in vitamin C and other health properties are also attributed to its use. Hibiscus is used widely in Cuba as a tea; it is easily available there and the climate contributes to respiratory ailments that the tea seems to alleviate. In addition, white hibiscus is said to have medicinal properties according to Indian ayurvedic medicine. Hibiscus is also the source of hydroxycitric acid (HCA, or hydroxycut) an element of some weight-loss formulas. Hibiscus powder has more of a laxative effect than other forms of this herb.

A red beverage known as Karkade is made from Hibiscus. It contains citric acid and salts and acts as a diuretic. Hibiscus is also used in making soap and tea bags for bathing.

The image of this flower is ancient, appearing on Chinese silk tapestries that are centuries old.

Disclaimer: The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any reference to medicinal use is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.

Source by Tony Mandarich

Capiz, Philippines, Asia Cut Foliages and Cut Flowers


Following the collapse of the prawn industry in the mid-80’s, an interesting industry slowly emerged in the early 90’s as dynamic and aggressive women entrepreneurs turned their expensive hobby into a multi-million profitable and enjoyable “sunshine” industry. This paved the way to the birth of the Floriculture Industry in the Province of Capiz. From an obscure industry, it grew to become one of the rapidly expanding agri-business sectors in the province today involving more than 5,000 stakeholders, florists, landscape artists, contractors, technologists, input providers, farm technicians and gardeners.

Capiz is a major producer of potted orchids and orchid cutflowers, landscape materials, fresh foliages and potted ornamental plants in the whole of the Visayas. It is also recognized as one of the sources of the best and rarest ferns in the country today. Presently, it is slowly building a name as the premier source of exportable cutfoliages in the country.

Roxas City leads in the number of producers in the province with ten (10) commercial farms located here. It is also considered as the marketing center with the presence of 4 trading outlets such as the Paseo de Catedral, Balay Kapisnon, Teodoro Arcenas Trade Center, and Talon Garden Center. It is followed by the municipalities of Sigma, Dao, Panay and Ivisan. As of December 2005, total land area devoted to floriculture is estimated to be more than a hundred hectares.

Underlying the strength of the industry is the Capiz Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CMPC) which serves as the primary coordinating body of the cutflower and ornamental plant growers province-wide. It works closely with relevant national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs) and industry associations to provide an enabling business climate for the industry to develop and grow. All of the big producers in the province are members of the Capiz MPC. It is a duly registered organization with the Cooperative Development Authority and Department of Trade and Industry.

The local ornamental industry cluster is composed of the core industries, the supplier industries, and other industries that provide related and other services. The cluster is made of interlinked and interdependent key and supporting industries and institutions.


A unified, self-reliant, environment-friendly and globally competitive Floriculture Industry towards the improvement of the quality of life of its members and the community and be known as the “Cutfoliage Capital of the Philippines”

Service & Input Providers – this category include the following:

Landscape Artists – those who provide landscaping services to households, public and commercial buildings, subdivisions, memorial parks, others. There are about 9 known professional landscape artists in the province at present.

Floral Artists -those who provide floral arrangement services for such occasions as weddings, funerals, debut, graduation, product launching, grand openings, etc. Most of the floral artists are concentrated at the Paseo de Catedral located near the Roxas City Metropolitan Cathedral since they are also cutflower traders.

Cutflower/Ornamental Plant Traders – are those who are engaged solely in selling cutflowers and ornamental plants. They either sell in a permanent stall/place (such as Balay Kapisnon, Paseo de Catedral) or are ambulatory (as most of the traders during municipal/city market days).

Input providers – include those who are engaged in selling of garden inputs and accessories such as organic fertilizers (Hacienda Olive), terra cotta/plastic pots, and soil-less plant medium.

Industry Status and Performance



The province produces only few varieties of cutflowers in commercial-scale. These are orchids (white dendrobiums), roses, and asters (white & lilac). Other low-grade varieties produced in limited scale include dahlias, azucena, African daisies, assorted heleconias, and gladiolus (orange). Orchid cutflower and heleconias were at their production peak from1995 to 2000 with 4 commercial farms producing an aggregate yield of 1,500 dozens per week. Production volume slowly dropped over the past 5 years as more and more flowers coming from outside of the province flooded the local market. Presently, only 1 farm is growing orchids.

Fresh foliages and Live Plants

The foliage plants comprise 80% of the ornamental plants industry in Capiz and has become an important source of livelihood for many families. Most foliage plants are grown in commercial farms and backyard gardens of Sigma, Dao, Panay, Ivisan and Roxas City.

The foliage plants are sold either as cut, potted or live plants. Potted plants serve as indoor and landscaping plants, while cutfoliages are for floral arrangements.

The demand for foliage plants is increasing. For the last 10 years, foliage plants whether as cut or live, have the biggest share in the export market. At present, Capiz is the only province exporting cutfoliages to Japan in the whole of Luzon and the Visayas.

Major Products Sold

The products and services of the industry include cutflowers, potted flowering plants and greens, cuttings, cutfoliage, landscaping materials, non-soil rooting media, floral arrangement services, landscaping services.

A. Cutflowers – are so called because they are detached from parent plants and are formed into bouquets, leis, arrangements, centerpieces and the like. They are grown and traded for their aesthetic value. They are given away in appreciation and as an expression of love, joy, and encouragement on such occasions as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and special events like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and All Saints’/Souls’ Day. Major cutflowers produced by the province are orchids such as dendrobiums, and vanda terrete; roses, puto-puto, heleconias and gladiola.

B. Filler Flowers – includes white and lilac asters, and baby’s breath.

C. Cut and Containerized Foliage Plants – refers to fresh leaves, twigs and branches cut fresh and utilized in floral arrangement, evergreen, and foliage plants grown in container for interior and exterior decorations. Major cut foliage produced by the province are dracaenas, polycias, palmeras, song of India, song of Korea, kamuning, cordylines, bottlebrush, rhappis and ferns.

D. Pot Plants – flowering annuals, shrubs, herbaceous perennials grown in containers used for exterior and interior decorations. Most popular flowering pot plants grown here include orchids, euphorbia, hibiscus, and bromeliads.

Landscaping Materials – plants consisting of evergreen and flowering trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, grass covers and furglass used for landscaping purposes. The following are some of the high-value palms grown in the province: Champagne, Bismarck, Hawaiian Fox Tail, Red & Blue Palm, and Sugar Palm. Meanwhile, some of the widely grown ground covers include mundo grass, golden peanuts, carabao grass, Bermuda grass, and chichi Rica.

Non-Soil Rooting Media- coco coir/dust, organic fertilizer, drift woods, fern wood and chips.

Organic Fertilizer – locally produced and manufactured soil enhancers. One of the brands commonly used is RANCAP which is made by Hacienda Olive in Pontevedra.

Services – landscaping, flower arrangement, plant cliniquing/ consultancy

Existing Trade Houses

1. Paseo de Catedral

Arsobizpo St., Roxas City

2. Balay Kapisnon

McKinley St., Roxas City

Tel. No. (036) 621-3445

3. Talon Garden Center

Primer de Mayo Street, Roxas City

VII. Industry Potentials

The industry has vast potential for development because of the following factors:

Available Technology and Support

§ Availability of suitable production technologies from external sources.

§ Government and research institutions such as DTI, DA/BPI, DOST, PCARRD could very well provide the needed technical and logistical support for the development of the industry.

§ Production technologies are available for essential oil extraction which has big demands in the domestic and export markets.

Strong labor force and growers’ association

§ Affiliation to industry associations at the national level

§ Existence of the Capiz Multi-purpose Cooperative, which serves as the umbrella organization of all cutflower and ornamental plant growers in the province.

§ The province has a supply of trainable labor force.

Favorable Environment

The province has no pronounced dry or wet season which is well suited to grow ornamental plants. The province is likewise seldom visited by strong typhoons.

Vast tracts of land are still available for development.

Growing Demand

Growing international and domestic demand due to the growing appreciation of the aesthetic value and environmental importance of ornamental crops.

Proximity to other Asian market which places Capiz in a good position to serve emerging markets.

Opening of the Iloilo international airport enhances capability for international trading.

VIII. Projections

Imports (intra-national & international)

Fresh cutflowers will dominate the province’s imports of ornamental plant products. These imported flowers are those which are not locally produced due to climatic conditions such as chrysanthemums, lilies, roses, anthuriums, stattice, gerberas, carnation and some varieties of gladiolas. Coming in close, will be other live plants, cuttings and slips which will also be used as planting materials or mother plants. Far in third rank are orchid seedlings. Flowers have seasonal demands

Source by Duane Cartujano