Positive energy plants for indoors you can grow easily.

 Positive energy plants for indoors, you can grow easily. Especially in tropical places like Kerala and other South Indian states.

The concept of positive energy

It is really the boosting up of our general well being, both mentally and physically. Definitely the presence of certain things can make us feel good and relaxed. Preferably during the time of stress, strain and boredom.

Positive energy plants for indoors

Indoor plants for positive energy

Undoubtedly, everyone agrees that plants are the most wonderful creations of Mother nature. Truly, green colour from nature gives a soothing effect to our eyes, preferably in a tiresome mood.

It will be a wonderful experience to be in an atmosphere surrounded with plants, having fragrant blooms. Mostly like small trees, bushes, flowering vines or aquatic plants like water lilies, lotus etc.
Feng shui as well as Indian Vaastu sastra recommend keeping plants, that can bring positive energy.

Surprisingly there are a lot of such beautiful plants, that we can grow indoors and outdoors.

Plants for positive energy

If there is sufficient space in your garden, you can try plants with fragrant flowers. For example, different varieties of Jasmine, small trees like the Plumeria, Murraya etc. Likewise, different species of Basil, are best examples for positive energy plants.
Most of these plants need bright sunlight. Hence it will be difficult for those who reside in flats or apartments.

However you can try any of the given indoor plants, that need only minimum caring. Moreover you can keep it either indoors, balconies or even in window boxes. Sunlight, for at least a few hours a day, is the only requirement.
Above all, many of them are detoxifying plants according to NASA’s clean air studies.

1. Pothos or money plant

Positive energy plants for indoors
Neon Pothos – a beautiful species of Money plant

Money plant or Pothos, is really one of the most popular indoor plants, that people use all over the world. Usually money plants need only minimum caring, and we can keep it even in the darkest corner. In addition, a soil medium is not essential for most of the pothos species, since it can thrive in water.  Never forget to add a few drops of liquid fertiliser to the water.
Through stem cuttings collected from mother plants, we can propagate the pothos plants easily.
Read here the simple tips for growing money plants.
Also there are a lot of beautiful varieties of money plants, from which you can choose the best ones.

2. Positive energy plants for indoors – Money tree or Jade

Positive energy plants for indoors
Jade plant ( Crassula ovata )

Famous old saying ‘Jade by the door, poor no more’, justifies the importance of the plant.  Especially in bringing good luck, prosperity and general well being. Bright green shiny leaves resemble the precious stone Jade, from which the plant got the name. Another popular name of the plant is elephant bush. Because it is the favorite food of elephants in the African forests.
Usually the plant grows up to a height of about twenty feet. Certainly we can keep it short, or according to the required height, through timely pruning.
Though there are different species of Jade plants, the best garden varieties are the Portulacaria afra and Crassula ovata.
Moreover, it is one of the best plants for making bonsai, preferably in tropical places.
Using stem cuttings, we can propagate the Jade plant very easily.

3. Peace lily ( Spathyphyllum )

Peace lily plants are widely used for indoors in many parts of the world.
The white part of the plant is the spathe, that surrounds the flower stalk. However, it looks  really fantastic amidst the dark green foliage.
On exposure to direct sunlight, the shade loving plant starts scorching in a faster way.
In the genus spathyphullum, there are about 40 species of peace lily plants. Little angel, Patricia etc. are examples for dwarf varieties suitable for indoors.
Saplings of the plant, are available with most of the sellers and nurseries.

4. Aloe Vera – one of the most important positive energy plants for indoors

Usually this perennial succulent is used as effective home remedy for a number of ailments. Mainly like minor burns, skin irritation, stomach disorders etc.

Positive energy plants for indoors

Aloe vera plant with pups

We can grow this herb either directly in soil or in pots.
There are different varieties of the Aloe vera plant. Among these, Aloe vera barbadensis miller is one of the edible species.
Saplings commonly known as pups, are used for propagation of the aloe plant. Its most important growing requirement is a well drained sandy medium in a sunny location.

5. Snake plant ( Sansiveiria trifasciata )

Snake plant in a ceramic pot

Commonly, this low maintenance plant is known as the mother in law’s tongue. Generally, the plant can thrive indoors longer even without water. Snake plants can produce oxygen during night time, and hence it is widely accepted as a bedroom plant.
Tall varieties of snake plants in large terracotta pots, are ideal for places like patios and balconies. Whereas, dwarf species are fine for indoors, preferably as tabletop plants.

6. ZZ Plant

Positive energy plants for indoors
ZZ Plant

ZZ Plant, commonly known as Eternity plant, is one of the most beautiful indoor plants. Bright green fleshy leaves are the main attraction of the plant.

Bulbous base of the stem can hold plenty of water, that helps the plant to thrive longer. Owing to this reason, it is the best option for those who have to stay away from home for long periods.
From rooted leaves or stem cuttings, we can propagate the plant.

7. Ornamental Palms

Red Latania palm

Palms are best air filtering plants, that can adapt easily to the low light conditions indoors. Different  varieties of ornamental palms suitable for indoors, are available with most of the sellers. 

Areca palm, majesty palm, Chinese fan palm etc. are a few of them.

8. Lucky bamboo

Positive energy plants for indoors
Lucky bamboo

Though the name of the plant is lucky bamboo, it really belongs to the dracaena family. According to Feng shui, the plant can attract wealth, health and good luck. Moreover, there are particular meanings  for the number of stalks, direction in which the plant to be placed etc.
 Soil medium is not essential for the plant, because it can thrive in water.

9. Aglaonema

Aglaonema red zircon ( Chinese evergreen ) plant

Aglaonema or the Chinese evergreen is one of the best plants , that we can keep indoors for positive energy. This air purifying plant can absorb a lot of toxins like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide etc.
Hundreds of Aglaonema varieties are available with sellers, from which you can choose the most beautiful ones. 

10. Bonsai trees are best positive energy plants for indoors

Bonsai trees, can make your indoors look fresh as well as lively. Those from the Ficus family are the most suitable ones. They can do well in places like window sides or balconies, with partial sunlight.

Positive energy plants for indoors

Ficus alii bonsai tree

Studies have proved, that Ficus trees produce the largest quantities of oxygen in nature. Adding a few of them to your collection, can improve the indoor air quality.

Ficus benjamina, Ficus microcarpa, Ficus alii and Ficus ginseng microcarpa are a few examples.
Given above are only a few examples of positive energy plants, that you can grow easily indoors.  Spider plant, Boston fern, Succulents etc. are a few of such plants you can try.

Let your garden be really awesome, with at least a few from the above plants. Furthermore, fill your home as well as surroundings with positive energy.

                                                                   ……..

Boston fern for balconies and indoors to grow easily

Boston fern ( Nephrolepis exaltata ) popularly known as the sword fern for balconies and indoors, that you can grow easily. This evergreen low maintenance plant can make your indoor garden really awesome. Moreover, it is one of the best plants for hanging baskets, that are ideal for porches and courtyards.

Boston fern for balconies and indoors
Boston fern ( Nephrolepis ) in a ceramic pot

In tropical places like Kerala, Boston fern is the best choice for those who reside in flats or apartments.

Because the plant can thrive in any part of the house, mostly like window sides or even in bathrooms. Generally, ferns are low light plants, that prefer either partial or filtered light.

In addition, Boston fern is one of the air purifying plants according to NASA’s clean air studies. The plant can filter certain air borne toxins like toluene, formaldehyde, xylene etc.

Above all, the plant has an important role in improving the air quality as well as maintaining humidity.

Boston fern a short description

It is a perennial with bright green feather like foliage. New leaf stalks sprout from the base of the plant, making it a beautiful cluster.

There are different varieties of Boston fern plants. For indoors, those with a maximum height of about two or three feet is ideal.

Small leaflets are arranged evenly on both sides of the middle rib that is slightly curved.

Boston fern for balconies and indoors
The bright green arched foliage of the Boston fern

The black spots seen at the edges of the underside of leaves are spores from which new plants grow.

Surely a few potted Boston fern plants are the best choice for making your indoors attractive and lively. Especially with other indoor plants like the Spider plant, ZZ plant, Sansiveiria, Aglaonema, Money plant etc.

In order to decorate your balconies, a few bonsai trees are the best combination with the Boston fern. Ficus ginseng microcarpa, Ficus benjamina, the Fukien tea tree, the Schefflera etc. are some examples.

Moreover you can try a few flowering plants, that will also go well with the Boston ferns. For example the Impatiens, Adenium and Ixora are those with colourful blooms. The bright pink red or white flowers of these plants can really make our balconies awesome.

Boston fern for balconies and indoors
Boston fern – one of the best hanging plants

Propagation of Boston fern for balconies and indoors

We can propagate the Boston fern plants through different methods. However the most common one, is through saplings that we can collect from the mother plants. During the time of replanting, it is easy to divide the plant using a sharp knife or shears.

Boston fern for balconies and indoors
Sapling of Boston fern collected from the mother plant

Surely we can grow lots of new plants through this method which is the easiest.

The second method of propagation is through the germination of the spores. But it is not common, because it takes more time compared to the other methods.

We can also use cuttings collected from root runners of the fern. These are really aerial roots that grow from the base of the plants. When they come in contact with soil, new baby plants develop.

Growing medium for Boston fern for balconies and indoors

Generally ferns prefer a well drained medium fortified with nutrients. In a water logged medium the roots have the tendency to rot faster. At the same time, there should be enough moisture for the plant to thrive.

Therefore we have to prepare a medium suitable for our Boston fern. Preferably by mixing ingredients in the following ratio

Mulch 40%

Dried cow dung or compost 20%

River sand 15%

Garden soil 15 %

Coco peat 10%

In natural habitats, ferns grow in abundance under large trees or other plants, mainly found in forest areas. It is the presence of mulch in plenty, makes them to thrive in such places. We can prepare mulch for our ferns by mixing shredded plant litter with other ingredients.

For growing your Boston fern, you can definitely use ceramic or terracotta pots. It is always better to choose shallow pots, for growing the plant in hanging baskets.

Keep the potted saplings in shade for a few days and water the plant on a daily basis.

After a few days, or when the roots are fixed, new buds begin to sprout from the base.

Gradually you can move the pot to a place where the plant gets the required light.

Caring your Boston fern for balconies and indoors

Proper caring is essential to keep your Boston fern beautiful and healthy. Always remember to avoid warm places, especially near the stove or such appliances.

Feed the plant with a liquid organic fertilizer at intervals of six to eight weeks.

Deposit of dust particles on the plant may cause losing luster, that finally leaves the plant appear faded. To fix this problem, you can either wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or wash the plant in slow running water.

Keeping the plant in direct sunlight may make the fronds scorched, that finally leads the plant to die. Hence always ensure proper lighting for the plant.

Repotting your Boston fern for balconies and indoors

Remove the old potting medium and extra roots before repotting

Commonly ferns grow faster in favourable conditions, and the roots become thickly packed in the pot. At this stage the growth of the plant starts to recede. Therefore timely repotting is essential, to retain its health and beauty.

For this first take the whole plant out of the pot along with the soil. Then remove the extra roots using a sharp knife or pruning scissors. You can also collect a few saplings if needed.

Finally, repot the plant in a much larger container after filling new growing medium.

Diseases and common problems

In tropical places, the Boston ferns are resistant to common diseases and pests. However, overwatering or shortage of water two major problems that affect the plant. Usually the symptoms are marked by drooping, yellowing or browning of leaves. This can lead the plant to die faster.

By observing the plant regularly, you can prevent these problems. Never let the medium to dry completely between consecutive watering. In a like manner, it is essential to ensure proper drainage for the pot.

With the above simple tips try top grow Boston fern plants. Make your balconies and indoors really fantastic.

Tamarind tree health benefits and simple growing tips

Tamarind, is a tropical tree with lots of health benefits, and other uses as well. Definitely it is one of the most useful trees, that we can grow easily. Especially in Kerala and other South Indian states, there are many factors that make the plant to thrive.

Tamarind tree health benefits

Tamarind tree bonsai

Loamy or Sandy soil, bright sunlight, humid climate etc. are the conditions that favour the plant in the tropics. Generally, the drought resistant plant cannot survive in frosty climates.

Originally from the South African tropical forests, tamarind is now popular in many parts of the world. In addition to its culinary uses, different parts of the plant are beneficial to us in many ways.

Tamarind tree health benefits – a short description

Tamarind tree health benefits
Tamarind leaves flowers and fruits

The botanical name of the plant is Tamarindus indica. Usually, this perennial grows up to a height of about sixty to eighty feet. This evergreen tree looks really attractive with a stout trunk and crown of drooping branches.

The thickly packed small leaflets fold during the night time. Preferably such as the mimosa, acacia, gulmohar etc.

Owing to its beautiful appearance, the tamarind trees are widely used in parks and public gardens. Moreover, it is one of the best examples of shade trees. We can find lots of tamarind trees on both sides of the highways in south India.

Mainly there are two varieties of tamarind. The one with fruits having a sweet taste, and that of the other is sour.

Tamarind tree health benefits

Almost all parts of the tamarind tree, are useful to us in one way or the other.

Tamarind fruits

Tamarind fruits

People cultivate the tamarind trees mainly for the fruits. It is one of the richest sources of a lot of vitamins and minerals.

Tamarind tree health benefits and for flavouring dishes

We can use the pulp extracted from the pod like fruits for flavoring dishes. It is very common in Kerala and other South Indian states to add tamarind for making dishes. For example the delicious as well as nutritious South Indian sambar, rasam etc. are very popular.

In a like manner, the coconut-tamarind chutney is one of the main sides dishes for packing food. The taste of boiled rice along with this chutney, wrapped in a cut banana leaf, is really tempting.

Imli candy, the simple sweet made with tamarind pulp and sugar, is a nostalgia for many of us. Because it was the only thing we could afford during our school days.

Also we can use the tender leaves of the plant for cooking. Sardine cooked with tamarind leaves makes a fine combination with tapioca. It is really one of the important delicacies in Kerala.

For the preparation of medicines

The anti inflammatory as well as anti oxidant properties make it useful for the preparation of medicines. Mostly for the treatment of lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, stomach disorders etc.

Moreover, it is one of the main ingredients for making ayurvedic medicines.

Tamarind as home remedy

Tamarind tree health benefits

Tamarind pulp dried and deseeded

In Kerala, we use different parts of the plant as home remedies. For example, applying a paste of tamarind pulp on minor burns can reduce its severity. Besides, a paste made with the leaves can give relief for swelling and joint pain due to arthritis.

You can also try a mixture of tamarind pulp and turmeric powder for fairness and removal of skin tanning.

In addition to the above, the wood, powdered seeds etc. are used for many other purposes.

However, we can grow the tamarind trees very easily in tropical places.

Propagation

Tamarind tree health benefits

Tamarind seeds

We can use either seeds or grafted stem cuttings for the propagation of the tamarind trees. The most common method is through the germination of seeds.

You can read here the simple tips for growing tamarind trees from seeds.

Generally the tamarind trees have a very slow growth rate.

People who require a faster result always opt the vegetative method. For this we can use grafted cuttings, as well as saplings produced through budding.

You can also buy different hybrid varieties of the plant from nurseries.

In addition to its height as stated above, the branches spread around, covering wide areas. Hence you always need larger space for growing your tamarind tree.

However you can maintain the required height and shape, through proper pruning.

Usually, the tamarind trees grown from seeds start blooming within a period of five or six years.

Tamarind tree health benefits

Beautiful flowers of Tamarind

Likewise it takes about nine months for the fruits to mature.

Tamarind bonsai

Though it is a tropical tree, tamarind is the favourite of bonsai lovers all over the world.

Conspicuous trunk, small leaves, branches in plenty, beautiful flowers and fruits make the plant ideal for the purpose.

Surely we can train the tamarind tree to any of the required bonsai styles. Especially like the formal upright, informal upright, cascade, semi cascade forest etc. that are basic styles.

Tamarind bonsai
Tamarind bonsai with fruits
Tamarind bonsai forest style

If there is no sufficient space in your garden, you can definitely keep a bonsai in your balcony. Especially along with other bonsai plants such as Ficus benjamina, Ficus microcarpa, the Fukien tea tree etc.  The only requirement is a location where the plant gets sunlight for at least five to six hours a day.

Keeping the above points in mind, try to grow tamarind trees. Either as an ornamental tree or as a bonsai.

Holy basil or ocimum sanctum for home gardens-grow it

Holy basil or ocimum sanctum, is one of the plants that you must have in your home garden.

Holy basil or ocimum sanctum plant
Holy basil or ocimum sanctum plant

Holy basil, with scientific name Ocimum sanctum, is a shrub in the family laminaceae. We can find different species of basil plants, that grow in different parts of the world. Holy basil is very common in tropical places, especially in Kerala and other South Indian states.

Surprisingly this positive energy plant has got an important place in vastu sastra. Especially like the Jade plant, snake plant, bamboo plant, etc.

Surely we must have this in our garden, mainly as a herb or like any other ornamental plant.

Holy basil or ocimum sanctum-a short description

 

It is a perennial shrub, that grows up to a maximum height of about two or three feet. The main attraction of the plant, is its  purplish green leaves and stems. Moreover, the leaves are having a very soothing fragrance and pungent flavour.

In Malayalam language, the plant is known as Krishna Tulasi. Tulsi or Tulasi is the common name for basil plants. Rama Tulasi, Vana tulasi etc. are different species of plants in the  family.

Holy basil or ocimum sanctum- an important herb.

 

The holy basil plant is considered as the queen of herbs, and there are many reasons for this. It is one of the most important ingredients for the preparation of a lot of ayurvedic medicines. Especially for the treatment of respiratory disorders, skin problems, cardiac diseases etc.

In addition, we can use different combinations of the plant as home remedies for a number of ailments.

Given below are a few examples:

1. For fever and cough:
Boil a handful of holy basil leaves with one teaspoon each of crushed black pepper and dried ginger powder. Add enough honey and consume twice daily for better effect.

Tulasi tea, an effective remedy for fever and cough

2. Insect bites: You will definitely feel a soothing sensation by applying a paste, made with leaves of holy basil and raw turmeric.

3. For a clear facial skin: Applying a mixture of tulasi leaf extract and milk, can remove acne and pimple scars.

4. Stress relief: Consuming a glass of water boiled with a few fresh tulasi leaves daily, can reduce anxiety and stress.

5. Also it is an effective remedy for insomnia or sleep disorders.

However, seek medical advice before using the plant for the preparation of home remedies. Because, studies have proved its adverse reactions in people with certain health conditions.

Holy basil or ocimum sanctum-cultural importance

Holy basil plant has got an important place in Buddhism as well as Hinduism. Especially in Hindu temples, where people worship Mahavishnu or Krishna as the main deity.

Surely it is the resemblance of colour, that made the plant to be known as Krishna tulasi. According to Indian scriptures, Krishna is depicted as karvarna, the one who has the complexion similar to that of rain clouds.

Due to the similarity of colours, the plant is also known as Krishna Tulasi
Krishna – a mural painting

Similarly, Tulasi plant is the earthly manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Mahavishnu.

Likewise, devotees use a string of tulasi beads, for chanting.

Tulasi thara – a special platform for the auspicious plant

In the front yard of most of the traditional Kerala houses, we can see the tulasi thara. It is really a special platform made according to vaastu concepts, for worshipping the plant.
Also it is a custom to light the holy lamp near the plant daily, for prosperity and well being.

Culinary purposes

In many parts of the world, people use different species of basil plants for flavoring dishes. The sweet basil, Thai basil, Cinnamon basil, Lemon basil etc. are a few examples.
However, in Kerala, it is not common to use the holy basil plant for culinary purposes.

Holy basil or ocimum sanctum as a garden plant

Holy basil, one of the best garden plants

The plant with unique purplish green leaves and stems, is really attractive. You can grow it either directly in the soil or in pots.

A few basil plants with other flowering plants, can make our gardens look fantastic.

Crepe Jasmine, LantanaBougainville etc. are examples of such plants with beautiful blooms.

In a like manner, we can make a herb garden with plants that are essential for us in our daily life. Preferably as home remedies, for ailments like attacks from fever, cough, insect bites etc.

In addition to the holy basil plant, we can also grow other herbs like Turmeric, Aloe vera and Black pepper.

How to grow the holy basil plant

Surely we can propagate the holy basil plant through the germination of seeds. For this, always remember to collect mature ripe seeds from healthy mother plants.

Dried seeds of tulsi
Dried seeds of tulsi

You can sow the seeds in a pot filled with river sand. After that, water moderately on a regular basis. Generally, it doesn’t take more than ten days, for the seeds to start sprouting.

When it reaches a height of about two inches, we can re plant the saplings.
A potting medium prepared in the following ratio, is ideal for the plant.

River sand 30%

Dried cow dung or compost 30%

Garden soil 30%
Coco peat 10%

Provide the plant shade for a few days, so that it can adapt to the new environment easily.

Usually, the plant needs bright indirect sunlight for five to six hours a day. The fast growing plant starts branching out fairly, attaining a much prettier look.

Never forget to water the plant on a daily basis, for maintaining its health and beauty. In a like manner, feed the plant with an organic fertilizer at intervals of four to six weeks.

Pinching off the blooms can keep the plant bushy
Holy basil plant just started blooming

 

Pruning

Normally there is no need to use any particular tools for pruning. Because you can pinch off the flower buds and stems, to make it appear bushy. Besides, we can keep the plant according to the required height, preferably not more than two or three feet.

Holy basil or ocimum sanctum plant for indoors

Balconies or indoors with sunlight for a few hours, is ideal for the plant. You can also keep potted tulasi plants along with your indoor plants like the Spider plant, ZZ plant, Aglaonema and the Snake plant.

Above all, a few bonsai plants can make your garden really amazing with potted holy basil plants. The Ficus ginseng microcarpa, Ficus Benjamina, the Fukien tea tree, Schefflera etc. are a few of them.

Definitely, growing a few holy basil plants in your garden, are beneficial to you in one way or the other.

Therefore keeping the above points in mind, try to grow holy basil plants for an environment full of positive energy.

Edible leaves of Kerala for nutritious delicious dishes

Edible leaves of Kerala that are nutritious too. In addition to the cultivated varieties, we can find a lot of them, that grow naturally.

Red Spinach plant

In Kerala, a state in India with a lot of biodiversity, leafy greens grow in abundance. Especially during the monsoon season that begins from mid June.

A lot of plants found in our backyards are really useful to us in many ways. We can use it either for making delicious healthy dishes, or as effective remedy for ailments. Leafy vegetables are unavoidable in the menu of people all over the world.

Benefits of including leaves in our diet.

Spinach-jack fruit seeds thoran
  1. It is easily available anywhere at a low price.
  2. Anybody can grow these short term crops without much effort. Also we can harvest these plants within a period of two or three weeks. 
  3. Adding moderate quantity of leaves in our daily diet, can reduce the risk of cardiac diseases, obesity, etc.
  4. Leafy greens are packed with lots of essential vitamins and minerals. Also they are low in calories, and the high fiber content can keep the body healthy.
  5. The antioxidants present in leafy vegetables can make a strong immune system.
  6. They are natural sources of dietary fiber, that can lower the rate of absorbing sugar.
  7. A regular intake of leafy greens can protect our skin from tanning, and keep the body hydrated longer.
  8. They are good sources of folate, that can increase the production of serotonin. For this reason, leafy greens play an important role in improving our mental health.

Edible leaves of Kerala for nutritious dishes

1. Spinach (Amaranthus)

No introduction is needed for spinach, the nutritious leafy vegetable familiar to people worldwide. We can find these plants commonly known as spinach ( Cheera in Malayalam ), in almost all places. But there may be slight variations in the species of plants, according to regions. 

In Kerala, there are a lot of cultivated as well as wild varieties, that are nutritious. Also many of them are having medicinal properties. Surely we can use these plants, as effective remedy for common ailments

Red Spinach-edible leaves of Kerala for nutritious dishes

Saplings of Red spinach from seeds

It is the most common variety, popular in Kerala and other South Indian states. Usually we cultivate red spinach on a large scale in paddy fields, after harvesting.

Certainly we can grow it in our kitchen garden, either directly in the soil or in pots.

You can read here the simple tips for growing red spinach from seeds.

Green spinach- one of the edible leaves of Kerala for nutritious dishes

Amaranthus pink beauty ( Sundari cheera )

Green spinach is equally nutritious, and we can make a lot of delicious dishes with it. Besides, we can grow many of them along with ornamental plants in our garden.

In sunny locations, these plants make ideal combination with a few bonsai trees.

For example, Amaranthus pink beauty, a variety with bright pink stems and green leaves, is really attractive.

2. Madhura cheera or Chekur manis (Sauropus androgynus)

Madhura cheera plant
Madhura cheera plant

This plant is also known as veli cheera ( veli means fencing). Because the fast growing shrub is used for making fences in rural areas. However the dishes made with the tender leaves of the plant, are really delicious.

Excess intake of the plant, may cause problems like respiratory discomfort, stomach upset etc.

3. Sambar cheera (Water leaf)

The succulent with fleshy stems and leaves, is commonly known as sambar cheera. Sambar is a delicious South Indian side dish for boiled rice or idli.

Sambar cheera
Sambar cheera

We can use the plant as such, or along with other vegetables for making dishes.

Kuppa cheera (Amaranthus viridis), mullan cheera (Amaranthus spinosus) etc. are also edible varieties.

Surprisingly, we can collect these nutritious leafy greens even from our backyards. Because they sprout abundantly during the monsoon season.

Jack fruit seeds, lentil seeds etc. make wonderful combinations for dishes with these plants.

4. Agathi cheera ( Sesbania grandiflora )

Normally, most of the spinach varieties are having soft stems and leaves. Whereas, chekur manis or madhura cheera is a shrub, that grows up to a maximum height of about two meters .

Flowers and leaves of Agathi cheera plant

Agathi cheera, a tree that belongs to the spinach family, is very common in tropical places like Kerala.

The leaves as well as the flowers, are having incredible health benefits.

From ripe mature seeds, we can propagate the Agathi cheera plant.

5. Thazhuthama ( Boerhavia diffusa )

Thazhuthama plan
Thazhuthama plant

In Sanskrit, the name of the plant is punarnava, that means to rebuild. Definitely these plants can repair our damaged cells.

During the rainy season the plant sprouts in abundance, that we can collect afresh. Preferably during the Malayalam month karkidakom, which is the time for rejuvenation.

Also the water strained out after boiling the plant, is a best remedy for urinary tract infection.

Thazhuthama thoran, a delicious dish with the tender shoots of the plant is very popular.

6. Moringa ( Drumstick tree ) leaves

Moringa or drumstick tree leaves
Moringa or drumstick tree leaves

By consuming a handful of moringa leaves regularly, can keep away a lot of lifestyle diseases. Owing to the health benefits, it is popularly known as the miracle tree.

Besides leaves, almost all parts of the plant are used for the preparation of medicines. Mostly for ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, anemia, stomach disorders etc.

The plant can thrive in tropical climates, preferably without much caring. It is easy to propagate the plant from stem cuttings.

7. Cabbage- Edible leaves of Kerala for nutritious dishes

Cabbage plant

Certainly this leafy vegetable is familiar with people all over the world. The compactly packed foliage, and the unique shape of the plant is really awesome.

This winter crop is cultivated widely in Wayanad and Idukki districts of Kerala.

During the cooler months, we can grow this plant in our gardens. The saplings are available with most of the nurseries.

8. Micro greens-edible leaves of Kerala for nutritious dishes

Micro greens, fenugreek sprouts

We can definitely grow micro greens from common ingredients in our kitchens. For example, green gram, mustard seeds, fenugreek, etc. that grow well in tropical climates.

Sunny window sides, balconies etc. are ideal places to keep it.

Given above, are a few examples of leafy greens that are common in Kerala. Surely we can find a lot more,  like the tender leaves of pumpkin, fleshy leaf stalk of the yam etc.

Certain types of leaves if taken in excess quantity may, cause minor stomach problems. Hence always try in smaller quantities, if you are new to a particular species.

Keeping the above in mind, try to include leafy greens in your diet whenever possible. 

Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants for gardens

Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants you can grow easily in gardens balconies or indoors. Definitely the plant can make our gardens colourful with beautiful bright blooms. In tropical places, we can use these perennials for pot planting, window boxes or even landscaping.

Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants ( Impatiens walleriana )

A short description

Chinese balsam plants with blooms in different colours

Impatiens walleriana, also known as busy lizzie, sultana, jewel weed etc. belongs to the family balsaminaceae. There are about 1000 species of impatiens plants, with flowers in a wide variety of colours. In tropical climates, the plant produces blooms throughout the year. Usually the flowers are seen with five petals, in small clusters or as single.

Certain hybrid varieties of the plants, are having flowers that are multi coloured.

The ripe fruits have the tendency to burst out, that helps the plant for the dispersal of seeds. Likewise the plants are available in different sizes, that suits fine for our requirements. For example the dwarf species with a maximum height of about five inches, is ideal for making boarders. Preferably in landscaping as well as for bedding in flower gardens.

Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants in home gardens

Impatiens plant with white flowers

Surely the impatiens can do well in places with indirect sunlight. Therefore, we can grow these plants underneath the ornamental trees in our gardens.

In a like manner, we can keep the impatiens in our balconies or window boxes. Preferably along with other indoor plants like spider plants, sansiveieria, aglaonema, ZZ plant, etc.

In addition, impatiens plants in full bloom, can make our gardens really awesome along with a few bonsai trees. Mainly such as the Ficus ginseng microcarpa, Ficus benjamina, the Fukien tea tree etc.

Above all, a landscape having boarder made with dwarf impatiens plants will look really fantastic. Especially those with blooms in mixed shades around the garden ponds or lush green lawns.

Fascinating facts behind different names of Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants.

Bright red flower of Impatiens plant

The Chinese balsam plants are known in different names, and the reasons for this are really interesting. For example:

Impatiens:

The mature ripe fruits of the plant are waiting impatiently to open. Even a gentle touch, can make it burst abruptly. Hence in many parts of the world, people call them by the name impatiens.

Owing to the same reason as stated above, it is also known as the touch-me-not plant.

Busy lizzy plant:

Once the plant starts blooming, it remains absolutely busy producing flowers in abundance.

Medicinal properties

In certain places, people use the plant parts for the treatment of common ailments. For example, topical application of a paste made with the plant gives relief to itching and burning sensation. Preferably for insect bites, allergic irritation caused due to the contact with plants like the stinging nestle etc.

Propagation of Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants

Saplings of Impatiens from stem cuttings

Definitely we can use stem cuttings for the propagation of the impatiens. Seeds collected from mature fruits are equally good.

For a faster growth, it is always better to use the former method.

How to grow Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants

Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants
Impatiens plant with brown leaves

First collect stem cuttings with a length of about 4-6 inches. Remove leaves in the lower end, retaining at least two nodes. Then fill an ordinary pot or polythene grow bag with river sand.

After that, insert the lower tip of the cutting in it, about two inches deep.

Keep it in shade for a few days, and water on a regular basis. Always remember to ensure proper drainage for the pot.

Rooting starts within a period of two weeks and new buds begin to sprout. You can transplant your saplings, once it started growing well.

Growing medium for the plant

You can surely use a medium similar to that of succulents, with proper drainage. The tender stems as well as leaves of the plant have the tendency to rot faster.

A potting mixture with ingredients mixed in the given ratio is ideal.

  • River sand 25%
  • Dried cow dung or compost 25%
  • Garden soil 20%
  • Crushed bricks 15%
  • Coco peat 15%

Always remember to take necessary steps to prevent blockage of the drainage holes.

Watering

Definitely it is essential to water the plant regularly, for maintaining its beauty and health. A moist, but well drained medium is the most important requirement for your plant.

Never forget, that over watering can make the succulent like stems to rot in a faster way.

Besides, find suitable places for the plants during the rainy season. Especially if you keep it in an open space.

Fertiliser for Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants

For a proper growth and better blooming, feed the plant at intervals of two weeks. Preferably with a water soluble diluted fertiliser.

Light requirements

Usually the plant can do well either in full or partial shade. Besides, you can provide a filtered light up to a maximum of 60%, which is ideal for the impatiens.

Never keep the plants in direct sunlight, because it can cause scorching that may lead the plants to die.

Pruning

The timely removal of flower heads, can make a faster growth of new flower buds. In addition, pruning helps the plants to retain its bushy nature.

For this, there is no need to use any particular tools. Because you can pinch off the fleshy plant parts easily.

Repotting Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants

Impatiens or Chinese balsam plants
Impatiens plants with bright pink flowers

Repotting is essential when your impatiens plants outgrow the container. Likewise the plant becomes leggy, if there is lack of sufficient nutrients in the growing medium.

For repotting, you can take the whole plant out of the pot along with the soil. Then carefully remove the extra roots using a sharp knife or scissors.

Finally repot the plant in a much larger container, filled with fresh potting mixture.

Keep the pot in shade, till the plant starts growing in the new medium.

Common problems

Wilting is the most commonly found problems that affect the impatiens. Over watering or lack of sufficient water are the possible reasons.

Also certain types of fungal or bacterial diseases may be found, preferably during the rainy seasons.

Undoubtedly it is one of most beautiful plants that can make your garden really awesome. Above all, you don’t need to take any extra effort for growing a few of them.