Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dealing with Brown Edge Leave

by Richard Chew

Brown edge leaves is usually associated with potassium deficiencies. It is quite obvious to decide the most logical remedy that it is to treat the deficiencies by feeding the defient nutrients.

However not so, before we treat the deficiencies, need to take some extra effort to check the condition of the soil.

The following is some questions that you need to ask yourself.

1. Have you been fertilizing the soil regularly?

If its once a month, I would say it is regular enough to prevent any nutrient deficiencies.

2. Does your soil drains well?

If there is no water logging after heavy watering, your soil drains well.

3. Is your rose plant receiving sufficient sun light?

If the location where your rose sits receives about 6 to 8 hours of indirect sun light, it is fairly good enough to manufacture and store photosynthesis food in the plant.

If all the above is yes, the solution is quite simple. Just apply some mixture of compost, organic fertilizer (fish meal) and vermicompost on top soil layer.

The purpose of this is to correct your soil condition and to improve availability of nutrients for the roots.

It is not neccessarily that the soil is deficient of particular nutrient, very often it is because nutrients are 'locked' in the soil, thus become unavailable to the plant roots.

It is like offering someone a cup of coffee that is tightly glued on the table. Coffee is available but cannot lift cup to consume it.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Growing rose the first time?

by Richard Chew

Are you considering growing roses in your garden? Is this your first time? Or perhaps this is your second attempt?

It is not unusual to have failed attempts. I had failed many times but I took it as a learning process. However I must say that it was rewarding to see positive results.

If this is your first time growing roses, I like to share some useful tips that I think will give you a good start.

Tip #1 - First choose a rose plant that is easy to grow. I find that miniature that is sun tolerant is easiest to grow here.


I can understand that we always want to have the prettiest rose for our garden, but most often the prettiest may be more difficult to grow for beginners. Choose one that it is easy to grow, if you have no idea, then choose a miniature that is sun tolerant.

Tip #2 - When buying a rose plant, choose one with strongest stem formation. Rose plants with stronger stem have greater potential for stronger growth and higher chances of success. Also don't just buy 1 rose plant, buy at least 3, so that if one dies, you still have others. This is important to maintain the momentum, as well as continuity in your learning process.

Tip #3 - Place your rose plant at location where it receives about 1 to 3 hours of morning sun. Avoid hot noon and afternoon sun. Please read How much sun does your rose plant need?

Tip #4 - Prune for more growth. Please read Pruning for more growth?

Tip #5 - When doing transplanting, choose a wider container. A wider container provides larger soil surface area that promotes more soil organism activities at the surface. And use the right soil mix. Try my recommendations at Soil Mix - Transplanting Part 2

Tip #6 - Apply mainly fish meal as fertilizer and regularly apply liquid seaweed extract on the soil. Later you may try bone meal for better flowering. As you get better at it, you can try other mixture.

Tip #7 - Spray pine & seaweed mixture on the leaves regularly. This is the organic way to repel pest and diseases. It also acts as foliar feed.

Lastly when you are rewarded with many blooms, please email me your bloom pictures and share your joy with me.

Thanks in advanced.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 09 Bloom

by Richard Chew

Every month is an interesting affair, especially when looking through my photo album to see which bloom to post. I must admit this month is slow a month as many of my roses have gone through some hard pruning.

Anyway managed to pull out some photos for this month bloom.

Below is my Purple rose. I nickname it Purple Rain because I noticed each time it blooms it rains and the bloom will last me most 2 days.

Purple Rain Rose

The next is my pink miniature that I got from Ikea. The picture below was taken just before I pruned. This 'grown up' spider had been residing at this rose for couple of weeks. Now that I have pruned the rose, I wonder where it went.


The following is one of the easiest to grow miniature rose. It is easy because it grows fast, profuse and little attention needed. And it is hardy too. If a beginner asked me to recommend a rose plant to grow, I will definitely recommend this one.

This rose bloom was also featured in my posting on my Mom's Rose Collection.


Caught a picture of a butterfly. I learned that it is called Anthene emolus goberus, also known as Ciliate Blue.


Partially opened...


Fully opened...


Picture of pruning aftermath...


In the past month, I have added some new collection. Below are some of the blooms.

This is the Fairy Rose. It is tiny miniature because the flower is twice smaller that a typical miniature rose. It blooms in cluster. It is a very good ground cover rose. Now it is flowering, so I thought I better take some photos before I prune.




The following is my Deep Red Rose. My digital camera is very sensitive to red colour. Unfortunately it doesn't have a feature to reduce the red sensitivity unlike other newer models. Anyway hope you can imagine the deeper red tone of the blooms.

This picture was taken before the flower bud opened.


The following pictures were taken under the bright morning sun.