Croton plants for tropical gardens

Croton plants for tropical gardens indoors and pot planting, that you can try easily. Especially like other tropical flowering as well as non-flowering plants.  

Croton plants for tropical gardens
Croton plant with green and yellow leaves

It is really fantastic to have a look at this fascinating group of plants.  

Truly these are beautiful plants with foliage that come in different shades, shapes and sizes. For example, leaves that are slender, curly, oak like etc. In a like manner, leaves in different colour combinations with red, purple, yellow etc. are really awesome. 

Also it is easy to grow these plants anywhere in our home gardens. Especially directly in soil, pot planting, balconies and indoors.  

Why we choose croton plants for tropical gardens  

Definitely the most attractive feature, is its wide variety of colours. Doubtlessly a few crotons can make our gardens look amazing.  

Truly there are croton plants with large as well as small leaves. Likewise those with long slender leaves are equally fantastic as the other ones with short or curly foliage.  

Many of them are having leaves with unique shapes. Apple leaf croton and banana croton are examples. 

In addition they are ideal for garden fencing and landscaping.  

Croton plants for tropical gardens
Crotons are best options for fencing and landscaping

Moreover crotons are the best examples of ornamental plants for compound walls. 

If allowed, crotons can grow up to a height of about eight to ten feet. Therefore, it is one of the best options to grow as ornamental tree for home gardens. Mostly like ficus benjamina, night jasmine, mango tree etc. 

Crotons are best examples of ornamental trees for gardens

Air purifying properties of croton plants  

Crotons are best examples of air purifying plants, preferably that can absorb lots of toxins. In addition, it is one of the important detoxifying plants according to NASA’s clean air studies. Especially like spider plant, snake plant, zz plant, peace lily, syngonium, money plant, jade etc. 

Different varieties of croton plants for tropical gardens 

There are more than 100 different varieties of croton plants. For example, petra croton, zanzibar croton, gold dust croton, banana croton, croton magnificent etc.  

Croton plants for tropical gardens
Gold dust croton

How to grow croton plants for tropical gardens 

Propagation 

Certainly we can propagate croton plants through stem cuttings. Really cuttings of about four to six inches are ideal. We can collect this from mature healthy mother plants.  

It is better to avoid cuttings that are too thick or thin. However, choose those with a thickness similar to that of a pencil.  

Likewise, always try to collect cuttings from branches that are having active growth. Stem cuttings with at least five to six nodes, is good. 

Propagation through air layering, from rooted leaves etc. are also fine. But the former one is the easiest and fastest. 

Also we can buy good quality saplings from sellers and nurseries. 

Rooting our croton plant cuttings  

For this we can use ordinary pots or polythene bags filled with river sand. Further apply some rooting hormone at the lower end of the cutting. 

Then tuck it about two inches deep in the sand. Keep it in shade for a few days and water regularly. 

Surely new buds begin to sprout within two or three weeks.  

Gradually move the sapling to bright sunlight.  

Finally we can transfer the plant to the growing medium, either directly in soil or in pots.  

Transfer the plant for ground planting  

For ground planting we can transfer the sapling from the rooting soil. Always remember to take care against damaging roots. 

Meanwhile prepare a pit with dimensions 1:1:1 foot and fill it with a mixture of compost, mulch and garden soil. 

After that dig a small pit in the middle, and plant your sapling.  

Never forget to maintain properly your croton for a healthy growth. For this, the first thing is to water your plant when the top soil becomes dry. Likewise, feed the plant with an organic manure at intervals of about six months. 

Preparation of potting medium 

For our crotons, we can prepare a homemade potting medium. Preferably with ingredients mixed together in the following ratio. 

River sand30%
Garden soil30%
Dried cow dung and compost20%
Coco peat10%
Mixture of bone meal and neem seed powder10%

Before filling the mixture in the pot, ensure proper drainage. For this, first put the bottom layer with broken bricks. Mostly about a thickness of about one inch. 

After that you can fill the pot with the above medium. 

Further, plant the sapling in the pot and keep it in shade for a few days.  

Gradually you can transfer your croton to bright sunlight.  

Usually, our pot planted crotons need more care than those grow directly in soil. Because there are chances for the plant to die due to lack of water, over watering, shortage of proper lighting etc.  

Potted crotons for indoors 

Potted croton plant

Definitely we can keep our potted croton plants indoors. The only requirement is availability of sunlight for at least six or seven hours a day.  

Balconies, window sides or patios are ideal places for this. Especially along with a few flowering and non-flowering plants, bonsai tees etc. 

Water requirements 

Generally, crotons prefer a moist, but well drained medium for better growth. Truly, we can check the top soil about one inch deep for moisture between consecutive watering.

Pinching and Pruning  

Really, pinching and pruning can make our crotons appear bushy, which is more attractive. We can remove unnecessary buds with our fingers, which is commonly known as pinching. 

In addition, we can do drastic pruning if the plant becomes leggy.  Certainly this is the process of cutting off one third of the main stem that helps sprouting new buds. Definitely this can make plant to retain its beauty. Usually, a sharp knife or pruning shears is used for this. Never forget to wear protective hand gloves against the toxic sap of the plant.  

Light requirements  

Commonly crotons always love full bright sunlight. Because, it is essential for the plant to attain brightest colours for the foliage. Also, the leaves gradually turn back to pale green, if kept away from light longer. 

Croton plant with bright yellow foliage

However, try to avoid direct midday light that may cause burning of leaves.

Diseases of croton plants for tropical gardens 

Usually, crotons are not affected by pests or diseases in tropical places. But, we should always take care against over watering. Because, this may lead to root rotting, wilting and browning of leaves. 

Toxicity

Undoubtedly the sap that oozes out through the cut end of leaves or stems, is toxic to humans and pets. Therefore, always remember to keep children and pets away from the plants.

With the above points in mind, try to grow a few beautiful crotons either directly in soil or in pots. Make your garden really fantastic. 

Jackfruit health benefits and recipes popular in Kerala.


Jackfruit, the state fruit of Kerala is having many health benefits and we can try simple recipes with it.
Really it is the largest fruit in the world, that we can consume either in tender stage or after ripening. A medium sized jackfruit weighs about 25 to 30 kilograms.
Surprisingly almost all parts of the fruit are edible, except rind which is hard and thorny.

Jackfruit health benefits recipes
Jack fruits

In India, this tropical fruit has got the title as super food, owing to its amazing health benefits.

Jackfruit health benefits and recipes

Jack trees


We can find jack trees abundantly in the western ghats of Kerala, because tropical climates are ideal its growth.
Definitely we can grow at least one jack tree in our backyards or kitchen gardens. Especially in Kerala and other South Indian states having tropical climates. Seedlings of dwarf hybrid varieties ideal for home gardens are available with almost all sellers. Mostly like ficus benjamina, bougainvillea, hibiscus. etc. that are beautiful ornamental trees for gardens.

Though we can grow dwarf jackfruit trees in large pots or grow bags, they are not suitable for bonsai.

Likewise different varieties of jack trees such as Ayur jack, Vietnam early etc. are with higher yields.
Among many cultivated varieties, those with latex free fruits are becoming popular.

Jackfruit health benefits and recipes

Jack tree uses

Jack tree with fruits and flower

In addition to fruits, many other parts of jack trees are useful to us. For example, we can use tender leaves for making dishes, that are also having some medicinal properties.
Likewise, regular intake of boiled water with jack tree leaves, may control sugar level in diabetic patients.
Above all the hard wood of aged jack trees, mostly about 30 to 40 years, is best for making furniture.


Jack fruit varieties

Inner flesh of ripe Jackfruit


Mainly there are two types of jack fruits. The one with firm inner flesh known as varikka in Malayalam language. Other than those with yellow flesh, there are cultivated varieties with flesh having different shades of red.
Not only the fascinating colours, but these varieties are delicious and nutritious.
Second type of fruit is with inner soggy flesh, that we use mainly for making dishes and sweets. Most delicious sweet among these is kumbilappam, a popular sweet in Kerala. Also it is the main delicacy during Vishu, one of the important festivals of Kerala.
Usually we make this sweet with rice flour, jaggery, grated coconut and crushed ripe jackfruit. Besides, powdered cardamom seeds and cumin seeds are the spices that give the special flavour to the sweet.
Moreover cinnamon leaves in which we wrap dough before steam cooking, gives it the unique aroma.

Jackfruit health benefits recipes
Kumbilappam


Surely there are lots of other different tasty dishes that we can make with jack fruits.
Tender jackfruit is a wonderful substitute for non veg dishes. Preferably fries, cutlet etc. that are delicious and can be the favourites of kids as well as grown ups.
Additionally crispy jackfruit chips made in pure coconut oil is another good tea time snack.

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Jackfruit chips


With mature unripe inner flesh, we can make different kinds of tasty side dishes. Preferably that go well with boiled rice and Kerala fish curry.
Furthermore we can use jackfruit seeds for making delicious dishes.
Fried jackfruit seeds is one of the important items, that we can prepare easily.
Likewise jackfruit seeds and red spinach is a fantastic combination for making Kerala dishes like thoran. Truly thoran is a stir fry that we make with the vegetables, coconut and spices.


Jackfruit health benefits and recipes


Surprisingly the largest fruit in the world has got many health benefits too. Mostly from the flowering stage till the fruits ripen, that occurs from December to July


Let us see a few examples

Health benefits


Vitamins


Surely jackfruit is a wonderful source of vitamins and antioxidants. Especially vitamin B6 that helps to produce energy and vitamin C for healthy immune system.
Also the fruit contains vitamins A K E and minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron in moderate quantities. In one way or the other, all these are essential for our health.


Jackfruit health benefits and recipes

Heart health and sugar level control

Inner flesh of raw jackfruit


High fiber in jackfruit helps to manage our blood sugar level and keep the heart healthy.
Further the potassium present in the fruit can control blood pressure to a certain extent. Powdered raw jackfruit powder is now available with almost all shops and supermarkets, at moderate prices. Certainly we can use it as a substitute for rice or wheat flour, that are having higher levels of glucose.


Jackfruit health benefits and recipes

Clear eye sight


Vitamin A present in jackfruit may protect our eye sight, preferably from premature deterioration.


For a healthy stomach


The presence of high fiber in jackfruit keeps the stomach healthy, whereas natural chemicals heal minor wounds and ulcers.


Skin health


Vitamin C and antioxidants present in jackfruit helps to maintain a healthy skin. Because they can prevent aging of the skin due to exposure to sunlight.

Weight loss

Surely it is one of the best options for those who are in a diet control for weight loss.

Disadvantages for consuming jackfruit


Definitely there are many disadvantages for consuming jack fruit.

Though jackfruit is referred to as the super food, there are also certain disadvantages for consuming it. Especially by people who suffer from certain diseases. For example, it may cause drowsiness and sedation if taken with some other medication.

Likewise the presence of potassium in the fruit may worsen the condition in kidney patients.

Certain people are allergic to the latex present in the fruit, and may also cause stomach disorder due to indigestion. Therefore stop immediately consumption, if you feel any discomfort.

Jackfruit with latex

Besides, never use it as an alternative for medication. Because the effect of the fruit in one person may not be the same for another. Also never forget to seek medical advice if necessary.

However it is one of the favourite fruits of most of the people of Kerala. Definitely you can try it either in the raw form or making delicious dishes.

Best potted flowering plants for home gardens try it

Best potted flowering plants for home gardens that you can grow easily. Mostly for balconies and patios, where the plants get enough sunlight, for about five or six hours a day.
Really we can grow lots of beautiful flowering plants ideal for tropical climates. Especially for places like Kerala and other South Indian states.
Truly there are many advantages for keeping potted flowering plants. Most important among these, is lack of sufficient space.
Definitely there is no way for outdoor gardens, if we live in flats or apartments. Likewise it is more easy to care plants that we keep indoors or in balconies. Preferably in this busy world with a hectic schedule.
Flowering plants always need bright direct sunlight, at least for about five or six hours a day.
Additionally we should make the right proportions of ingredients for making potting medium. Mainly depending on the nature of the plant.
For example, succulents always need well drained sandy medium. Whereas adding garden soil to the potting mixture, is necessary for certain other plants.
Similarly you should always remember to remove the stalks after each blooming. Because it is essential to keep the health and beauty of the plant.

Let us see a few examples of beautiful potted flowering plants. Particularly that are ideal for tropical places.

Adenium – one of the best potted flowering plants

Because of the succulent nature as well as bright blooms, these are known as desert rose plants.
Certainly it is one of the best plants for growing in pots, especially in tropical climates.
Either through the germination of seeds or from stem cuttings, we can propagate adenium plants.
Caudex, the bulbuous base of the stem as well as bright blooms are really the main attractions.
Always remember to keep the plant in a well drained sandy medium to prevent rotting.

Adenium with red flower

Vinca rosea

It is known in many other names such as bright eyes, cape periwinkle etc. Truly there are different species of the plant, that are ideal for pot planting.
In addition, they are having lots of medicinal properties. For this reason it is used for the preparation of medicines including anti cancer drugs.
Certainly we can propagate the plant through the germination of seeds.

Best potted flowering plants
Vinca rosea plants with flowers in different colours


Portulaca

Portulaca with pink flower


Commonly portulaca grandiflora is known in other names such as table rose, moss rose, ten o’clock plant etc.
These succulents having large number of species, are very common in most of the tropical places.
Not only the variety of species, but the beautiful flowers in different shades and shapes are the attraction of the plants.

Euphorbia milii

Euphorbia milii plant with flowers


Crown of thorns, Christ thorn or Christ plant is another one suitable for pot planting in tropical places.
Significantly there are more than 7500 species of plants in the family euphorbiaceae.
Among these, many varieties with beautiful blooms are ideal to grow as ornamental plants.
Generally euphorbia milii with flowers in red, pink, orange, white and yellow colours are used for pot planting.

Chrysanthemum

Best potted flowering plants
Chrysanthemum with flowers


One of the best flowering plants for tropical home gardens. Also this plant is the symbol of grief in certain western countries.
There are lots of different varieties of plants in the family asteraceae. Aromatic oil extracted from the plant is one of the main ingredients for making certain medicines.
In Indian temples, chrysanthemum flowers are widely used for pooja purposes.
We can buy saplings of chrysanthemum plants from nurseries.
Always remember to fill the pot with a well drained sandy medium for better drainage.

Bleeding heart

Bleeding heart flowers


Ordinarily bleeding heart is a creeping vine, but we can cut it back as a bush, ideal for pots.
In bright sunlight, the plant blooms well with crimson red flowers from heart shaped white bracts.
We can propagate bleeding heart plants from stem cuttings.


Impatiens


Chinese balsam is the common name for the plant. These plants are having fleshy leaves as well as stems, mostly like succulents.
Surprisingly there are lots of different varieties of the plant, having flowers in bright colours.
We can propagate impatiens plants through stem cuttings.

Melastoma

purple Melastoma flowers


There are more than 350 species of plants in the family melastomataceae. Truly many of them are having blooms in bright purple, pink or white colours.
Generally it is known in different names such as the princess flower plant, tibouchina, etc.
We can propagate melastoma plant easily through stem cuttings.
Bright filtered sunlight and well drained medium are essential for the plant for better blooming.
Tibouchina plants with purple flowers are very common, and those with white flowers are also fine.

Pinwheel flower plant – one of the best potted flowering plant


Crepe Jasmine popularly known as the pinwheel flower plant is ideal for growing in pots.
Furthermore, we can make beautiful bonsai with this plant having small leaves and white star like flowers.


Begonias – are best potted flowering plants

Best potted flowering plants
Begonia with flowers


These are succulents with beautiful flowers and leaves. There are more than 2000 different species of begonias.
Also it is one of the best plants for gardening beginners.
Bright indirect sunlight and well drained sandy medium are the important requirements for the plant.

Anthurium


Truly there are more than 1000 species of anthurium plants, with amazing flowers. Low maintenance and long lasting flowers are the main attractions of the plant.
Miniature anthurium plants with white, red, orange and pink flowers are really awesome. Further these plants are ideal for gardening beginners.
We can propagate the plant through the germination of mature seeds, that we can collect from the spathes.
Also good quality saplings are available in almost all nurseries.

Orchids – are best potted flowering plants

Orchid plant with purple flowers


Orchids are the best positive energy plants for home gardens that need only minimum caring. The most important advantage is that, there is no need for a soil medium for the plant.
Similarly, orchids can do well in filtered sunlight, and hence ideal for keeping in balconies, window sides or courtyards.

Positive energy plants


In addition, there are many positive energy plants that produce beautiful flowers.
It is really amazing to keep a few such plants in our gardens or balconies.
For example, plants such as different species of basil, butterfly plants (oxalis ), jasmine etc. Though most of the jasmine varieties are trailing vines, we can keep them bushy through proper pruning.

Detoxifying plants


Also we can try certain potted flowering plants that are detoxifying. Mostly from poisonous gases like formaldehyde, benzene, toluene etc.

Though the flowers are not much prominent, snake plant is also a good example for this.

Peace lily is one of the best examples of detoxifying potted plants.

peace lily with flower

Best potted flowering plants among Herbs and spices


In a like manner, there are many herbs or spices that we can grow easily in pots. For example, different varieties of basil, turmeric, ginger etc.
Always remember that bonsai is an unavoidable item amongst potted flowering plants. Bougainville, Fukien tea tree, ixora etc. are examples. Really all these plants look amazing in original bonsai pots.

Given above are only a few examples of best potted flowering plants. Definitely you can find more that are common in your locality, try to grow it, and make your garden really amazing.

Mussaenda plants for home gardens grow your own easily

Mussaenda plants for home gardens, that you can grow easily and make your garden really awesome. Definitely we can try this plant for a colourful landscaping, especially for tropical places like Kerala.

Mussaenda with red bracts and yellow flower


Generally these are evergreen perennials that need only minimum caring.
There are about 6000 species of plants that are mostly shrubs or small trees. Certain varieties with weaker stems need support to climb.
Usually the plant grows up to a height of about three meters. However we can keep it short or according to the required height through proper pruning. Mostly for pot planting or for keeping in balconies or indoors where the plant gets proper lighting.

Surprisingly most of the plants bear attractive bunches of flower like structures. These are really modified sepals or bracts that surround flowers. Flowers are commonly yellow, orange or red in colour.

Mussaenda frondosa ( Mussaenda glabrata )

Mussaenda plants for home gardens
Mussaenda frondosa


Generally this species of mussaenda is known as dhobi tree. Truly it is the wild species of the plant, which is very common in Kerala. Especially in the western ghats, where tropical flora and fauna are found in abundance.
Known as vellila in Malayalam language, mussaenda frondosa is having many medicinal properties. For example, it is used along with other ingredients for making ayurvedic preparations. Preferably for the treatment of eye problems, skin diseases etc.
Also we can use the extract taken from the leaves and stem as a herbal substitute for shampoo.
Moreover it is one one of the best garden plants, mostly for tropical places like India and other south Asian countries.
Most important difference of the plant from other mussaenda species, is the arrangement of sepals.
Usually there is only one white sepal beneath each flower for mussaenda frondosa.
Commonly other mussaenda varieties are having more sepals, that make them noticeable in a faster way.


Mussaenda plants for home gardens


Different varieties of the plant

Mussaenda with pink bracts


For tropical or sub tropical climates there are many varieties that are easy to grow. For example, mussaenda erythrophylla, mussaenda philippica etc. Most of these are having bracts with deep red, pink or white and flowers in orange or yellow colours.
Mussaenda Philippica aurorae, with white bracts is my favourite among that. Truly the plant has got its name after Dona Aurora, the wife of one of the former presidents of Philippines.

Mussaenda plants for home gardens
Mussaenda with white bracts and yellow flower

Definitely mussaenda is one of the best options for plants that produce blooms year around. Lantana, ixora, hibiscus etc. are a few examples of tropical flowering plants, that produce flowers throughout the year.
Though mussaenda is not suitable for bonsai, we can definitely grow them in pots. Surely it is easy to keep them short thorough proper pruning.
Therefore, it is one of the best plants for balconies or other such places. But you should always ensure availability of sunlight for about six hours a day.

Mussaenda one of the best ornamental trees


Likewise we can grow mussaenda along with ornamental trees in our gardens. Preferably like ornamental palms, ficus benjamina, different fruit bearing trees etc.
For this, allow the plant to reach a height of about five to six meters without pruning. After that you can trim the unnecessary branches to make the plant really attractive. Repeat the above process as and when required, so as to retain the beauty of your mussaenda tree.
In addition, mussaenda is one of the best options for growing as ornamental plants for compound walls. Mainly like, trailing vines, different ficus varieties, bougainvillea etc.

Mussaenda with red flowers ( it is one of the best options to grow as ornamental plants for compound walls )


Propagation of mussaenda plants for home gardens

Mussaenda plants for home gardens
Mussaenda saplings grown from stem cuttings


Surely we can use stem cuttings for the propagation of mussaenda plants. For this, collect cuttings of about six to eight inches from mature mother plants.
Applying a rooting hormone at the cut end is fine for faster growth.
Furthermore, you can use pots or small polythene bags filled with a mixture of river sand and garden soil for rooting.
In a like manner, rooted good quality saplings are available in almost all nurseries.


Replanting


Once the cuttings are rooted properly, you can transfer them to their final growing places. Always remember to find sunny places if you grow them directly in the garden.
Likewise make pits about 1:1:1 foot. Then fill it with a mixture of sand, garden soil and any organic manure in equal quantities.


Pot planting


For pot planting, first prepare a well drained medium. It is really good to make a home made potting mixture by combining ingredients in the following ratio.

River sand30%
Garden soil30%
Cow dung or compost30%
Neem seed powder and bone meal10%

Further fill the pot with the above mixture, take the sapling out of the rooting bag or pot and plant carefully.
Then keep it in shade for a few days, and gradually move to bright indirect sunlight.

Watering


First few days after replanting, your mussaenda needs watering on a daily basis. Usually the mature plant needs water only on alternate days or twice in a week.
However, always make it sure that there is proper drainage for your potted mussaenda.


Feeding


Never forget to feed your plant with any organic manure, preferably at intervals of two or three months. Ordinarily well dried and powdered cow dung and compost are best options.
If you use any granular manure, keep a distance of at least two to three inches from the main stem. Also remember to water the plant soon after feeding.


Pruning mussaenda plants for home gardens


It is really very essential to prune your mussaenda, retain its it health and beauty. After each blooming remove old flower stalks, leggy stems, curly leaves etc. using a sharp scissors or pruning shears.

Pests and diseases of mussaenda plants for home gardens


Usually mussaenda plants are rarely affected by pests or diseases in tropical climates. Sometimes we can see wrinkled leaves and flowers, that may make the plants look dull and unhealthy.
Certainly we can spray some diluted neem seed oil in such situations, which is very effective.
Moreover you can try any other organic pesticides that are also fine.

Given above the basic description about mussaenda, one of the most beautiful tropical flowering plants. You can definitely try to grow a few of them in your garden, to make it really awesome.

Ideal places for indoor plants to bring good luck

Ideal places for indoor plants, that you can grow easily for good luck and prosperity, preferably in Kerala and other South Indian states. Really there are many beautiful plants that are believed to bring wellness to the inhabitants. Especially if they are in the right places in our homes, whether indoors or outdoors.
Likewise, there is a belief that they can adversely affect the health as well as wealth, if kept in the wrong places.

lucky bamboo plant


Most of these are air purifying plants as well, that can absorb toxins like toluene, formaldehyde, benzene etc.
In addition, NAASA have enlisted many of them after their clean air studies.
Let us see a few examples of such plants, preferably that are suitable for tropical places.

Ideal places for indoor plants-

Snake plant (Mother in law’s tongue )

Ideal places for indoor plants
Snake plant


Sansiveiria, commonly known as snake plant is a flowering succulent that can survive even in the darkest corners. Also it is one of the few plants that can produce oxygen even during the night time. For this reason snake plant is ideal for keeping in our bed rooms.
Truly there are a lot of benefits for growing this beautiful plant in our home gardens. Among that low maintenance is the most important one. Frequent watering is not necessary, since it can store plenty of water in the fleshy leaves.
According to Feng shui, the best places for the snake plants are east, north-east and north directions.

Spider plant ( Chlorophytum comosum )

Spider plant


Surely this perennial plant needs only minimum caring and we can grow it either directly in soil or in pots.
Owing to the long and slender leaves, it is popularly known as the ribbon plant.
We can propagate the spider plants through baby plants commonly known as plantlets.
Indian vastu sastra as well as Feng shui recommends keeping the plant in homes and offices for positive energy.
Vastu sastra suggests north-west, north, east and north-east directions to place spider plants for maximum benefits.

Ideal places for indoor plants-
Money plant ( pothos or devil’s ivy )

Money plant


Definitely different varieties of money plants or pothos, are accepted as positive energy plants worldwide. We can keep the plant with shining heart shaped leaves bushy as well as trailing vines.
Ideal place for money plant in our homes, is the south east corner of the living room. Always remember to avoid keeping the plant in outdoor gardens. Because it may make financial hardships according to the principles of vastu sastra.

Jade plant ( Money tree )

Jade plant


Crassula ovata, portulacaria afra etc. are different species of money tree. Importance of the plant is quite clear from the old saying “ Jade by the door poor no more “.
It is really a succulent with small leaves that resemble the precious stone jade. This low maintenance plant is the favourite of garden lovers in different parts of the world.

Besided it is one of the best plants for making bonsai. Mostly like ficus benjamina, ficus benghalensis, ficus alii, ficus microcarpa, fukien tea tree, etc.
We can propagate jade plant through stem cuttings collected from mature mother plants.
As per the above saying , the best place for the jade plant is close to the main entrance of the house. South-east corner in the living room is also fine.
Likewise, gifting a potted jade plant to your loved ones can make the relationship stronger.

Peace lily ( Spathyphyllum )

ideal places for indoor plants
peace lily plant with flower


There are about 40 species of peace lily plants. These evergreen foliage plants can thrive in bright indirect sunlight.
White flowerlike structures are bracts ( spathe ) that surround the spikes that hold tiny flowers.
Amongst the bright green leaves these spathes appear really awesome.
We can definitely place the peace lily plants anywhere in our homes. However north or west facing directions are best. Because these are ideal places for the plant to get proper lighting.
Additionally you can keep it in the window sides of your bedroom for maximum benefits. Always remember to keep a distance of about 5 or 6 feet to avoid direct light. Exposure of the plant to direct light may make scorching of leaves.

Syngonium ( the arrow head plant )

Syngonium or arrow head plant


These are also low maintenance plants that we can grow easily indoors as well as outdoors with indirect sunlight. Really Syngonium also known as arrow head plants or butterfly plants are natives of tropical rain forests.
Mostly Syngonium plants are trailing vines that need support. However we can use moss poles or other supporting aides to grow them indoors.
Also we can keep the plant bushy by proper pruning and maintaining carefully.

Ideal places for indoor plants-

ZZ Plant

Ideal places for indoor plants
ZZ Plant


Zamioculcus zamiifoli, popularly known as ZZ plant or eternity plant is another beautiful plant for indoors.
Fleshy dark green shiny leaves evenly distributed on both sides of the stem makes the plant really attractive.
These drought resistant plants can thrive longer without water, preferably three to four months. Hence it is the best choice for those who want to stay away from home for long periods. Owing to the low maintenance, it is one of the best plants for gardening beginners.
Truly ZZ plants are ideal for bed rooms, but we should keep it in indirect bright sunlight.
Most suitable places for the plant in our homes are north, north-east or east directions.


Holy basil ( Tulsi or Thulasi in Malayalam language )

Holy basil plant


In Kerala and other South Indian states people consider it auspicious to grow holy basil plants. Moreover, leaves of the plant are the main offerings in temples.
According to holy texts tulsi plant is truly the earthly manifestation of goddess Lakshmi. She is the wife of Vishnu, who is one of the important deities in hinduism.
Likewise, it is one of the best medicinal plants that we can use as home remedies. Preferably for minor ailments like cough and cold, fever, insect bites etc.
In Kerala and other South Indian states, almost all houses have specially made platforms ( Thulasi thara ) for the plant.
Usually the place of Thulasi thara is in the east or north-east direction.
Certainly we can make it either outdoors or within the courtyards where the plant gets bright sunlight.

Ideal places for indoor plants

Aloe vera

Aloe vera plant

Really there are a lot of health benefits for this wonderful succulent. We can use it either in the raw form or along with other ingredients for ailments. Especially the inner gel that gives faster relief to minor burns.
In addition, aloe vera is one of the main ingredients for many ayurvedic medicines and cosmetics.
It is very easy to grow the plant either directly in soil or in pots. However always remember to use a well drained growing medium for the plant.
To bring positive energy, vastu sastra recommends north or east directions for the plant.

Given above are a few examples of plants that can give good luck and prosperity and their best positions in homes. Definitely you can try a few of them, feel the positive vibes and goodness that they can make in your lives.

Golden shower tree for gardens pot planting and bonsai


Golden shower tree that you can grow easily for gardens, pot planting and bonsai. Cassia fistula, known in many other names, is a native of south East Asian countries.
Truly the plant grows well in Kerala and other tropical places. Golden shower is the state flower of Kerala, preferably like jack fruit, which is the state fruit.

Golden shower tree for gardens
Golden shower flower

Golden shower tree-a short description

Really cassia fistula is a flowering tree, that grows up to a maximum height of about 15 metres.
This drought resistant plant can thrive in dry climates with full sun, but is frost intolerant.
Owing to the low growth rate, it takes about ten years for the plant to produce flowers. However blooming starts within five or six years under favourable conditions.
Bright yellow flowers seen as drooping bunches is really awesome. During the months of April and May, the tree blooms to the fullest, mostly without any leaves.
Long cylindrical pods develop from flowers that gradually turns black on ripening.

Golden shower tree for gardens

Golden shower tree with flowers and fruirs

Generally we can find golden shower trees in parks or other such public places. Definitely as an ornamental tree, along with other flowering trees like gulmohar, pride of India, asoka etc.
Spacious gardens are really ideal for such large trees, so that we can enjoy its beauty to a maximum. However, we can grow them in home gardens as dwarf, through proper pruning.
In a like manner, golden shower tree is ideal for pot planting as well as for making bonsai.

Favourable factors for the plant tree in Kerala

Loamy or sandy soil, availability of rain etc. are the favourable factors that make the plant to thrive. Surprisingly the western ghats of Kerala, is having all these in abundance.
Likewise we can find the trees in the plains as well as coastal areas.

Ritual importance of golden shower flower

Golden shower tree for gardenns
Traditional vishu kani

Onam and vishu are the most important festivals of Kerala associated with harvesting. Vishu is celebrated during the first day of the Malayalam month Medam that falls during the mid April.
Also it is the time when the cassia fistula trees are in full bloom.
Preparation of kani is one of the most important parts of vishu celebration. Truly it is the first thing to be seen in the wee hours of the day.
Traditionally people believe that good luck and prosperity for the coming year is based on the vishu kani.
Among other auspicious things, cassia fistula flower is one of the the most important items for the kani. Other things are holy lamp, gold, money, cereals, new clothes, etc.
Surely there are slight variations in this, according to different regions.
Moreover ,there is an interesting story behind the importance of golden shower flower for vishu celebration. Main character in the story is Indian deity lord Krishna, in the form of a kid.

Medicinal properties

Though the pulp taken from the fruits, is used as a laxative, it is not advisable to consume it without proper guidance.

Golden shower tree for gardens-how to grow

Propagation

We can propagate the plant through the germination of seeds, that are collected from mature ripe pods. Normally it takes about20 to 30 days for the seeds to sprout.
Likewise we can buy seedlings of the plant from nurseries.
Rarely we can find saplings underneath large trees, that are also ideal for replanting. But take care against breaking the roots while collecting the saplings.

Planting golden shower tree directly in soil

First make pits of dimensions about one foot for your golden shower plant. Then fill it with a mixture of compost and garden soil. After that we can plant our sapling in it.
When the plant reaches a height of about five feet, we can start pruning. Certainly a sharp knife or pruning shears is fine for this.
Regular pruning on an yearly basis helps to keep the plant to the required height.

Pot planting golden shower tree

Golden shower tree for gardens
Golden shower tree with flowers in a pot

Similarly we can grow our golden shower tree in pots. Large ceramic or terracotta pots are good for this.
Filling the pot with a medium, preferably a home made potting mixture prepared in the following ratio is fine.
Never forget to water the plant plant moderately on a regular basis after planting. Keep the pot in shade for a few days and gradually move to direct sunlight.
Definitely you can prune your plant as stated above, for retaining its beauty and health.

River sand25%
Garden soil25%
Compost or dried cow dung25%
Neem seed powder and bone meal25%

Golden shower tree bonsai

Golden shower tree bonsai

Surely it is one of the most beautiful flowering tropical bonsai, that we can make easily. Especially like ixora, adenium, tamarind, etc. that are other tropical flowering bonsai trees.
To start training, we can follow the steps as stated above for pot planting. After that we can decide which branches are to be retained for transforming it to a bonsai.
Using a pruning shears we can remove all the extra branches.
Further, we can start wiring our bonsai by bending the branches gently to the required directions. Soft copper or aluminium wires are good for this.
Then repot your golden shower tree bonsai every two or three years. For this, take out the whole plant out of the pot and remove 2/3 of the roots using a pruning shears.
After that, fill the pot with fresh medium and repot your bonsai.
A few years of careful training can change your golden shower sapling to a beautiful bonsai.
Finally, you can transfer your bonsai to an original bonsai pot.

Doubtlessly it can make your garden as well as balcony amazing. Especially along with other bonsai trees like ficus benjamina, ficus microcarpa, fukien tea tree, etc.
Never forget that the health and beauty of your bonsai always depend on the way you care it.

Jasmine plant varieties of Kerala to grow for gardens


Jasmine plant varieties of Kerala that you can grow easily for home gardens. Truly there are different species of jasmine in Kerala, especially with beautiful as well as fragrant flowers.
Most of the varieties are with flowers in white colour, either in large or small clusters. Petals in single or multi layers are common.


Definitely it is one of the most beautiful ornamental plants that we can grow easily. Either directly in soil or in pots, these plants can thrive in tropical climates.
Moreover we can find different types of jasmine plants such as trailing vines, shrubs or small trees.
It is really awesome to have an arch or trellis with fragrant jasmine flowers in our garden.

Jasmine plant varieties in Kerala-spiritual importance.

In almost all South Indian states, it is one of the must have plants for home gardens. Preferably like holy basil, ixora etc. that are having religious importance. Likewise large scale cultivation is common for the production of perfumes and essential oils.
Also for many people in the southern states of India, it is a profitable cash crop. Because jasmine flowers are highly in demand for festivals and functions.
On special occasions, it is a tradition of women to adorn hair with strings of jasmine flowers. Mostly for weddings, house warming, birthdays etc.

Besides, we use it for decorating mandapa ( auspicious stage ), where the ceremony is conducted. Additionally it is an important offering to temples, where goddess is worshipped as the deity.
Many parts of the world consider jasmine flowers as the symbol of love, purity, and sacredness.

Jasmine plant varieties of Kerla – Medicinal properties


Owing to its medicinal properties, people use these plants as home remedies for minor ailments. Mild and soft fragrance of jasmine flowers really relieves stress related problems.
Additionally essential oil extracted from the flowers, has got the honour as the king of oils.
Jasmine tea is one of the best alternatives for green tea, that may help to maintain a healthy heart.
Similarly there are a lot of herbs that we can grow easily for home gardens.
For example, aloe vera, turmeric, ginger etc. that we can grow either directly in soil or in pots.

Jasmine the most fragrant flower


One of the main attraction of jasmine flowers, is its soothing fragrance. For this reason, jasmine plants are cultivated on a large scale for the production of perfumes.
Many other plants with fragrant flowers are also ideal for our gardens. Rose, plumeria, tube rose etc. are a few examples.

Importance of jasmine flowers


Fragrance of the flowers can create a calm and peaceful atmosphere in the surroundings. Hence it is always good to grow jasmine plants, either in our balcony or closer to the house.
With proper caring, we can make it bloom throughout the year, especially in tropical places.

Importance of jasmine flowers


There are different varieties of jasmine plants in Kerala, that can adapt well to the tropical climate.

How to grow jasmine plant varieties of Kerala


Since the climate as well as other conditions are favourable, we can definitely grow these plants easily.

Propagation of jasmine plant varieties of Kerala


Almost all jasmine varieties are propagated through stem cuttings. Certainly we can collect cuttings of about six to eight inches, having at least four nodes.
Moreover, we can buy good quality saplings from nurseries.

Medium for growing jasmine plant varieties of Kerala


Well drained moist medium is essential for the plant for proper growth. You can definitely prepare a home made medium, by mixing ingredients the following ratio.

Garden soil30%
River sand30%
Dried cow dung or compost30%
Coco peat10%


After filling the pit having dimensions 1:1:1 ft with the above medium, you can plant the cutting in it.

Light requirements for jasmine varieties of Kerala


They always prefer full or partial sunlight for proper blooming.

Watering jasmine plant varieties of Kerala


Daily watering is essential for the healthy growth of your jasmine plant. However ensure proper drainage for potted plants, between two consecutive watering.

Feeding your jasmine plant


Intervals of about two months, is really the minimum requirement for feeding your jasmine plants. Potassium rich manure is fine for the plant for better blooming.

Pruning your jasmine plant

Pruning helps the development of larger number of flower buds. Therefore, timely removal of old flower stalks leads to faster development of new buds.
Of course, you can use a sharp knife or pruning shears for this.

Potted jasmine plants


Furthermore it is awesome to have a few potted jasmine plants, that you can keep in balconies.
Any other well lit places, preferably window sides, patios etc. are also ideal for keeping the pots.
Through proper pruning, you can definitely keep most of the jasmine varieties as shrubs, that are suitable for pot planting.

Diseases and pests


Normally jasmine plants are not affected by pests or diseases in tropical climates. However we should take care against the attack of certain kinds of worms that may destroy flowers.
Let us see a few examples:

Arabian jasmine

Arabian jasmine flowers

Though the name is Arabian jasmine, it is the most commonly found variety in Kerala. We can grow this evergreen plant as a shrub or vine.
Among these, there are plants with flowers having single or multi layered petals.
Surprisingly this is the most wanted jasmine varieties in Kerala. Flowers are highly in demand during the festival seasons, especially onam, vishu etc.
A lot of people from rural areas are engaged with cultivation of Kuttimulla, the dwarf variety of Arabian jasmine.

Royal jasmine also known as Spanish jasmine

( Bot.name: Jasminum grandiflorum )
Malayalam name for the plant is pichi.
It is one of the most common varieties of jasmine plant found in south South India. Really the Royal jasmine is a semi evergreen climbing shrub with fragrant white flowers.
Fragrance of the flowers is sweeter and light when compared to that of Arabian jasmine.
Usually the plant produces bloom soon after the monsoon season in Kerala.
Definitely we can propagate the plant through stem cuttings, and the plant always needs a support for climbing.

Azores jasmine ( Jasminum azoricum )

Azores jasmine, an evergreen climbing plant with lemon scented star like flowers, is also ideal for pots.

Crepe Jasmine ( Pinwheel flower plant )


Another tropical jasmine variety very common in Kerala, which is a shrub. Name of the plant is due to the resemblance of the flowers to that of pinwheels.
Further, it is one of the best examples of beautiful flowering bonsai trees. Fukien tea tree, tamarind, adenium obesum, ixora etc. are other such bonsai trees.

False jasmine plants


These are plants and flowers that closely resemble jasmine, but not belong to the same family. Cape jasmine ( Gardenia ), Night blooming jasmine ( centrum nocturnam ) etc. are examples.
Given above are a few jasmine plants varieties of Kerala that we can grow in home gardens.
Undoubtedly you can find more and try in your garden, that surely make it awesome.

Idli simple Kerala breakfast tasty and healthy make it

Idli simple Kerala breakfast tasty and healthy that you can make easily. Really idli and sambar is a very popular South Indian combination, that makes a wholesome meal.

Idli simple Kerala breakfast
Idli simple Kerala breakfast

South Indian people always prefer this for at least once in a day. Not only the taste, but it is really easy to digest and provide the required nutrients.

Additionally the recipe is so simple, that we can save much time and effort for cooking.

Kerala, the little state in the southern most part of India, has its own uniqueness of tastes. If you get a chance, never forget to try veg as well as non-veg dishes, that are equally fantastic.

 For example, karimeen pollichathu, the tasty dish that we prepare with green chromide, the state fish of Kerala. This wonderful combination of coconut milk and fish cooked in banana leaf is really delicious.

Hot and spicy Kottayam fish curry, is another popular dish in the central parts of Kerala. Tapioca and fish curry, is one of the most preferred delicacies of the people of Kerala.

Vegetarian dishes

Sadya is Kerala’s vegetarian feast that we serve on a cut banana leaf. Usually we prepare sadya on special occasions like festivals and functions. For this, there are a lot of side dishes with boiled rice, that are having a variety of tastes.

Surprisingly there are more than 64 side dishes for Vallasadya. It is really the special offering to lord Krishna, the deity worshipped at the temple of Aranmula.

Situated in the district of pathanamthitta, this place is also famous for Aranmula Kannadi. Truly it is a mirror made with the special combination of metals, preferably by a special group of artisans.

However, let us come back to our simple recipe for idli, the most popular breakfast of Kerala.

Dosa and chutney, appam and stew, puttu and kadala curry ( chic pea ) etc. are other popular breakfast items of Kerala.

Recipe for idli simple Kerala breakfast

What is idli:

Idli simple Kerala breakfast
Idli and sambar, the most popular breakfast of Kerala

Idli is surely a South Indian breakfast, made with a mixture of rice and lentil batter. Of course, there are many health benefits for this steam cooked food.

Really we use the fermented batter, and hence it provides a lot of gut friendly bacteria.

Owing to its soft and fluffy nature, people of any age group, even kids can consume this.

Likewise, it is one of the best food for people who suffer from any kind of diseases.

Ingredients needed:

First we have to make the batter for making idli. Rice and lentil ( de skinned black gram ) are the ingredients required.

Usually I use rice and lentil in the following ratio:

Raw rice2 cups
Ponni rice2 cups
Lentil1 cup
SaltTo taste

Ponni is a South Indian rice variety, that is having a lot of health benefits. Any other par boiled rice is also good, if Ponni rice is not available.

Undoubtedly you can use ponni rice for making meals, and other rice recipes.

Ratio given above is for making the batter in a grinder. On the other hand, you have to use rice and dal in the ratio 3:1, if you use a blender.

How to make the batter :

Idli simple Kerala breakfast
Fluffy lentil batter in grinder

Wash rice well till the water becomes clear, and soak for three to four hours.

Then grind the dal to a fluffy batter, by gradually adding small quantities of water.

Further grind rice, leaving a little coarse particles. Mix well and keep aside overnight or a minimum of eight hours, for fermentation. Always choose a warm place to keep the batter. Because it is essential for the formation of a fluffy batter, and the idli to become softer.

Let it remain for a minimum of eight hours, and after that you can use the batter for making idlis.

How to prepare idli simple kerala breakfast

Add salt to the batter, and mix well about one hour before making idlis. Meanwhile, boil water in the idli cooker and keep on a high flame.

Next apply a little oil in the idli moulds, and fill each one with the batter. Close the cooker with the lid, steam for about five minutes and lower the flame.

About ten to twelve minutes your idli will be ready.

Take the mould out of the cooker and let it cool.

Finally you can take out your favourite idlis with a spoon.

Side dishes for Idli simple Kerala breakfast

Extremely soft and fluffy idlis are ready, and definitely you can have it with sambar, or chutney.

Idli simple Kerala breakfast
Sambar, most popular side dish for idli

Sambar is truly a vegetable soup in which we add lentil, onion, vegetables and spices. Its unique taste and aroma, is due to the particular combination of ingredients and spices. Mainly tamarind paste with a perfect blend of mild sweet and sour flavour.

Chutney is another best side dish for idli, that we can make with different ingredients. Commonly we use coconut, because it is really healthy and delicious.  

Besides, coconut is abundantly available in Kerala, the land of coconuts.

 Coconut mint chutney, coconut coriander leaves chutney, coconut chilli onion chutney etc. are good.

Additionally we can have fried black gram pepper chutney, that also goes fine with idli and sambar.

Tips to remember:

Always remember the following tips, for your idli to be perfect.

Certainly the taste as well as texture of your idli always depends on the selection of ingredients. Therefore, never forget to buy fresh and good quality rice and lentil.

Keep the batter to ferment according to the surrounding temperature. For example, in colder climates keep it warm using the oven or other such devices.

Temperature for fermentation – idli simple kerala breakfast

Generally the favourable temperature for fermenting the batter is about 25-30*c.

There are many health benefits for cooking or wrapping food in banana leaves. For this reason, you can use small pieces in the moulds for making idlis.

Once the batter is prepared, you can surely keep it in the refrigerator for about four or five days.

Instead of rice you can try semolina, that is also fine for making idlis. Ratio that mentioned above is my favourite, although I tried many different ingredients.

My mother used to add small quantities of finely chopped ginger, curry leaves and green chillies to the batter. Though the flavour and aroma is fine, it may not be tolerable for kids.

With the simple recipe, try to make soft, tasty and healthy idlis, that you will love.

 

Fruits of Kerala nutritious delicious to grow your own

Fruits of Kerala nutritious delicious, that you can grow easily in home gardens. It is quite common in Kerala to grow many of them in our backyards. We can grow native as well as exotic fruits, that adapt easily with the tropical climate of Kerala.

They can make our gardens really attractive, especially along with other ornamental plants. Preferably like flowering and non-flowering plants, those with fragrant flowers, trailing vines, low light plants etc.

Because of the fruit coconut, Kerala has got its name. Kera is the Malayalam word for coconut and alam is land. Further, there are a lot of tropical fruit bearing plants that we can grow easily in Kerala.

Fruits of Kerala nutritious delicious
Coconut tree with fruits

Benefits of growing our own fruit bearing plants

Of course, there are a lot of benefits for growing our own fruit bearing plants.

Gardening truly helps us maintaining a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Very often fruits make a major part of our diet. Therefore by growing our own, we can avoid spending extra money to buy this.

Most of the fruits available in markets contain pesticides and preservatives.

Chemicals like calcium carbide, ethylene gas etc. used for artificial ripening causes lots of health hazards. Consuming such fruits can definitely cause serious health issues, at least in the long run.

Fresh fruits from our garden can definitely prevent this to a certain extent.

Likewise, we can use most of the fruits of Kerala in the raw form for making dishes, mainly as side dishes for boiled rice, chapatis etc.

Medicinal uses

Also many of them are having medicinal properties, for which we can use it as home remedies.

Moreover, many fruits of Kerala are used as important ingredients for preparing ayurvedic medicines.

For a continuous supply of fruits throughout the year, we can try different varieties of plants. Because, there are seasonal variations of flowering for them.

Fruits of Kerala nutritious delicious that we can grow easily

A few examples:

Jackfruit

Fruits of Kerala nutritious delicious
Raw Jack fruit cut into half

Jack fruit is highly delicious and nutritious fruit found in abundance, which is also the official fruit of Kerala. Almost all houses in Kerala are having at least one jack tree in backyards.

In addition to fruits, the wood and even leaves are useful to us in one way or the other.

Definitely we can use the fruits in raw as well as ripe forms. Tender jack fruit is doubtlessly a wonderful substitute for meat.

Not only the dishes with tender jack fruit, but the sweets made of ripe fleshy parts are delicious. Seeds of the fruit are also good for making variety dishes.

Truly this fruit is having a lot of medicinal properties. Hence, we can use different parts of the plant for making traditional medicines.

People with diabetes, hypertension etc. can consume raw jackfruit which is more safer.

How to grow

Usually we use saplings that are produced through the germination of seeds, for propagation.

Different hybrid varieties are available with most of the nurseries. Ayur jack, muttam varikka, Srilankan jack, sindoor etc. are a few of them.

Producing fruits within a period of one or two years, is the main advantage of growing these.

Mango-one of the nutritious delicious fruits of Kerala

Fruits of Kerala nutritious delicious
Mango fruits

Kerala’s tropical climate is most suitable for growing mango trees. There is no wonder for considering mango as the king of fruits. Undoubtedly almost all mango varieties are extremely sweet and delicious.

Besides ripe fruits, raw mangoes are equally good for making tasty dishes. Pickle made with raw mango is really a mouth watering side dish. Particularly for sadya, which is the feast served on a cut banana leaf. Generally we prepare sadya on special occasions, like festivals and functions .

Having a chilled mango juice or smoothie during the hot summer days, is really refreshing.

Certainly we can use saplings for propagation of mango trees. Moovandan, Kerala’s own mango variety produces fruits on the third year of planting.

Besides, saplings of different types of mango trees are available with sellers or nurseries.

As an ornamental tree

Beautiful ornamental mango tree for gardens

 Many of them are beautiful dwarf species, that we can grow as ornamental trees. Preferably like flowering as well as non flowering trees in our garden.

Mostly like, ficus benjamina, bougainvillea, hibiscus, palms, bamboo etc.

Above all, mango trees are suitable for making bonsai. Fukien tea tree, tamarind, ficus microcarpa, etc. are a few examples of fruit bearing bonsai.

Banana- nutritious delicious fruits of Kerala

Like other tropical places, there are a wide variety of banana plants in Kerala. Without much caring we can grow a lot of them in our backyards.

Fruits of Kerala nutritious delicious
Banana tree with fruits

Nendran, njali poovan, kannan, kadali etc. are a few good varieties.

Besides fruits, we can use flower, inner stem etc. for making dishes. These are not only delicious, but nutritious and rich sources of fibre.

Crispy banana chips fried in pure coconut oil, is really a wonderful tea time snack.

Generally we use baby plants collected from mother plants after harvesting. Further, we can buy saplings directly from nurseries.

Papaya

Vitamin rich papaya fruits are ideal for consuming as such in the ripe form. Also, we make different types of tasty dishes with the raw fruits.

Golden papaya with fruits

Ripe papaya pulp made in to a pack with other ingredients, is one of the best home remedies for many beauty problems. Furthermore, it is one of the main ingredients for making cosmetics.

Jelly like sap collected from the plant, is used for making a lot of medicines.

Cooked raw papaya is an effective home remedy for kids who suffer from the attack of worms.

Propagation

Papaya trees are propagated through the germination of mature seeds.

Saplings of trees with good yield, are available with sellers, that we can buy directly. Red lady, mahabindu, solo etc. are ideal for the tropical climate of Kerala.

Not only in our backyards, but we can grow papaya trees along with other plants in our garden. Golden papaya with yellow fruits, is really an attractive ornamental tree.

Dwarf varieties are also available, that are fine for pot planting. They always prefer places with direct bright sunlight.

Pine apple-nutritious delicious fruits of Kerala

Pineapple plant with fruit

Pine apple plants with fruits that are sweet and fragrant, are widely cultivated in Kerala. Especially in the districts of Kottayam and Ernakulam of central Kerala.

Delicious ripe pineapple fruits are used for making juice, jam, jellies etc.

Raw fruits are good for making dishes, preferably pachadi, pulissery etc. served as side dishes for sadya.

Certainly we can grow a few plants in our garden, either directly in soil or in pots. Always remember to provide a well drained medium and sunny place for the plant.

Normally we can use saplings known as suckers or pups collected from the mother plants for propagation. Queen, Mauritian, Kannara etc. are popular Kerala pineapple varieties.

Passion fruit

Being rich sources of vitamins, fibre, minerals etc. it is always good to grow this vine in our garden. Mainly along with other flowering vines like sky vine, cypress vine, trumpet vine, ornamental passion vine etc.

Passion fruit

Dragon fruit-delicious nutritious fruits of Kerala

Fruits of Kerala nutritious delicious
Dragon fruit

Dragon fruit was really a stranger to South Indian markets, till the last few years. However, now it is largely cultivated in Kerala and other Southern parts of India. Ordinarily stem cuttings are used for propagation, which you can buy from nurseries.

Any well drained cactus medium is good, and you can grow the plant either directly in soil or in pots.

Given in the pic below, is my dragon fruit plant with its first fruit. I got the fruit in the second year of planting, and definitely you can try one.

Tropical fruit bearing trees, vines, small plants etc. with a few examples are given above.

Sapota, guava, custard apple, rose apple etc. are also examples of fruits that are fine for home gardens.

Definitely you can find even more, to grow easily in your garden.

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai and fencing grow it.

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai fencing and landscaping, that you can try, especially for tropical home gardens. Truly it is one of the most important low maintenance plants, that can thrive in almost all places. Preferably tropical and sub tropical climates.

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai
Potted bougainville about 20 years old

Definitely the blooms in clusters with a wide variety of colours, make the plant favourite of garden lovers. Bright parts around white flowers are really bracts. Poinsettia, mussaenda etc. are a few examples of such plants that are having bright bracts.

Surprisingly there are more than different 300 varieties of bougainville plants. Among these, bougainville glabra with bright bracts are the most common one.

Popularly it is known as the paper flower plant, due of the resemblance of bracts yo that of paper.

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai – general features of the plant

Most of the varieties of bougainville are having thorny stems with dark green leaves.

Likewise many of them are ideal for growing in our gardens as ornamental trees. In a like manner, we can keep it as shrub through proper pruning.

Trailing bougainvillea with creepy stems, are suitable for arches and trellises.

Above all, it is one of the favourites of bonsai lovers all over the world.

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai-favourable conditions for the plant

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai
Pot planted bougainville with purple flowers

Doubtlessly the frost intolerant plant can thrive in tropical, mainly warm climates. Temperature that ranges between 20-30 degree celsius is ideal.

Also bright direct sunlight is needed for bougainvillea plant to bloom well. Similarly sunlight for at least six hours a day is preferable.

Well drained medium is one of the most essential requirements for the plant. Newly planted bougainvilles need frequent watering, whereas it is not much essential for grown ups.

Feeding occasionally, especially during the flowering period, with compost or any other organic manure is fine.

Pruning or pinching new buds leads to better blooming.

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai and fencing – colourful addition to home gardens.

Of course, these evergreen plants can make our gardens look gorgeous. Generally the flowers are seen in clusters, with red, pink, purple, orange, white, colours.

Pot planted bougainville with yellow flowers

Like other ornamental trees, we can grow bougainvilles for our home gardens directly in soil. We should always find a sunny place for the plant, since it has to remain there permanently.

Furthermore, these are best ornamental plants for compound walls. Preferably like other flowering and non flowering plants. Examples are lantana, jasmin, ficus trees, palms etc.

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai and fencing -how to grow the plant in pots

Potted bougainvilles can make our indoors and outdoors equally fantastic. Likewise, we can keep bougainville in balconies, along with other plants.  Only requirement is availability of sunlight for at least five to six hours a day.

Propagation

Usually stem cuttings are used for the propagation of bougainvillea plants. Cuttings of about six to eight inches collected from healthy mother plants are fine. Select those with a few leaves at the tips, but avoid tender stems, as there are chances for rotting.

Dwarf and hybrid varieties of plants are available with most of the sellers.

Potting medium

Home made potting medium by combining ingredients in the following ratio is suitable for the plant.

Garden soil 25%
River sand  25%
Coco peat  25%
Mixture of bone meal and neem seed powder  25%

Always remember to cover the drainage hole with a piece of wire mesh. Filling about one inch at the bottom layer with crushed bricks helps better drainage.

Then fill ¾ of the pot with the above medium, and tuck the cutting or sapling. Avoid thickly filling the pot, since it can lead to blockage of water and stunted growth of the plant.

Furthermore, dipping the cut end of the stem in a rooting hormone powder is preferable for better results.

Never forget to water the plant regularly. With proper caring, your bougainville roots within a period of six to eight weeks.

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai
Potted bougainville with trailing stems

Keep the pot in shade till the plant gets adapted to the medium.

Gradually move the pot to partial, and finally to full bright sunlight.

Replanting the sapling is not necessary, if you use the same pot right from the beginning.

Otherwise you can take the sapling out of the pot carefully, without making damage to the stem and roots. Meanwhile, fill the pot for growing your bougainville, with the potting medium prepared as stated above. Further, plant this to the medium and repeat the same process as done in case of stem cuttings.

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai and fencing-

Watering

Though frequent watering is not needed for ground planted bougainvilles, it is essential for potted plants. Wait for the draining out completely before the next watering, or when the top soil becomes dry.

Feeding your bougainville

Once the blooming starts, feed your bougainville at intervals of three to four weeks. Any water soluble organic low nitrogen fertiliser is good.

Ideal pot for the plant

Choosing pot with a dimension of at least 12” is essential for the plant to establish properly.

Anyhow you can use pots that are even larger, depending on the growth of the plant.

Frequent repotting is not necessary for this perennial.

Blooming bougainville

Under favourable conditions, it never takes more than one year for your potted bougainville to start blooming.

Once the plant starts blooming, it continues for about eight to ten months. Mostly in tropical places like Kerala, blooming starts in November and lasts till May or June.

Removing flower stalks after each blooming is preferable for speedy sprouting of new buds.

Bougainville for pot planting bonsai-one of the most beautiful flowering bonsai

Doubtlessly, bougainville is one of the most beautiful tropical flowering bonsai .

Bougainville for pot planting and bonsai
Bougainville bonsai with pink flowers

Fukien tea tree, adenium obesum, ixora, tamarind etc. are a few other plants that you can grow easily in tropical places.

Making a bougainville bonsai is also that much easy, since the steps are somewhat similar.

Training of the bonsai starts when you replant the sapling from the pot for rooting. During different stages such as pinching, pruning, wiring etc. we should take extreme care.

Equally it is important, that we should apply some aesthetic sense for making the bonsai.

Above all, specially designed pots are necessary for bonsai. Whereas, any types are enough for ordinary pot planting.

Considering the above you can try bougainville for pot planting and bonsai, that are equally interesting.