22nd Issue Vol. 3 No.

07

ISSN 2094-1765

July 2010

FASCINATED WITH STONE-LIKE LITHOPS CACTI
Plants of the genus Lithops are known as living stones, mimicry plants, or stone faces because of their resemblance to the stones among which they grow in their desert-like habitat. Each plant has a short underground stem that rises from a relatively long taproot. This buried stem carries a pair of thick and fleshy semi-circular leaves (which are sometimes unequal in size) that are fused together for most of their length. At the top of the line of fusion there is a slit, or fissure, from which a single, daisy-like flower is produced in late summer or early fall. The fused leaves rarely exceed a total of 2 inches in diameter, but flowers can be larger. The upper surface of the leaves may be flat or domed, plain or attractively patterned. Leaf color maybe virtually any shade or combination of shades that blend with the arid, rocky background. After a Lithops has flowered, the old leaves gradually wither and dry up as a new pair emerges to replace them..

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Although many Lithops remain solitary, some, forms clumps. It may take years, however, for certain species to produce two or three pairs of low-lying leaves.

Proper Care. Light. In cultivation, give these plants at least diffused bright light exposure, mostly morning or afternoon sun but not direct noon light sun. Temperature. These plants would require normal room temperatures, however, they can tolerate temperatures down to freezing.. Watering Water the plants sparingly throughout the year. Give just enough to make the potting mixture barely moist and letting the top two thirds of the mixture dry out between watering. Too much watering would tend to cause rotting. There is a period in which new leaves replace the old ones. During this period, water in the old leaves supplies the needs of the new, thus no further watering is required until its flowering season. Fertilization. The plant does not require fertilization. Potting Mixture. The plants require a potting mixture composed of equal proportion of garden soil and course sand. For good drainage, put an inch-deep layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of the ot. Use a standard depth pot. A shallow pan may appear to be more suitable for the low top growth, but it will not be deep enough for the searching tap root. The plant is also slow growing, thus, the potting medium provides nourishment for along time. Plants need to be moved on only when they begin to crowd each other in the pot – usually about once every three to four years.

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Controlling Pest and Diseases. As much as possible, do not over-water the plants to prevent rotting. Lithops maybe occasionally attacked by sucking insects like mites, mealy bugs or aphids. They maybe controlled by spraying with dilute solution of insecticide. Propagation. – Divide overcrowded clumps in early summer. Keep a newly divided Lithops in bright filtered light, and water sparingly. Withhold water during the rest period. Plants in bright light tends to flower. Plants can also be grown from seeds, but seedlings take several years to reach flowering size.

The Attractive Red Jade Vine

The Red Jade Vine, or the Mucuna sp. Is one of the most fascinating and brightly colored vine in a garden. It is a evergreen climbing shrubs, with pinnately trifoliolate

leaves. It has bright red flowers. Pollinated floewers produce fruits usually clothed with stinging hairs, often filled between the seeds. The genus have about 160 species
distributed in the tropics. It blooms in December. It blooms and prefers in full sun.

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PHILIPPINES WON TOP AWARDS IN SINGAPORE ORCHID SHOW

Philippine Orchid Society Orchid Landscape Exhibit, represented by Ms. Vangie Go and Atty. Rudy Sanidad first place in the Orchid Landscape Exhibit (10 sq. m. category) at the International Orchid Show of the Orchid Society of South East Asia (OSSEA) in Singapore.

The Philippines Orchid Society’s persistent participation in international orchid shows has again paid off by winning three major awards at the just concluded International Orchid Show of the Orchid Society of South East Asia (OSSEA) in Singapore. This was recently announced by Mr. Kelvin Manubay, president of the POS, after the exhibiting team headed by Ms. Evangeline Go and Atty. Rudy Sanidad won first place in the Orchid Landscape Exhibit (10 sq. m. category), first place in the Best Orchid Species Category and the Reserved Champion Award for the Best Orchid in the Show.
According to Mr. Manubay “the Philippine Orchid Society (POS) has been participating in International Shows to promote the local Floriculture Industry in preparation for the staging of its 3rd Flora Filipina Expo to be held on February 2011.” So far the Philippines

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has won top honors in six international shows which include 1 in Malaysia, 4 in China and this recent win in Singapore. He added that “the Philippines has been lacking in the promotion of its floricultural industry which can be developed as a potential dollar earner for the country since the world wide floriculture industry is a 97.2 billion US dollar industry. If our ASEAN neighbors like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia are doing very well in this industry, I do not see any reason why we can’t. All we need is the government’s support and attention to make this a reality. At the moment we are doing our own initiative with the meager funds that we have.” The POS has likewise been slowly succeeding in bringing in foreign buyers since it started winning in foreign shows and marketing its pet project for the country which is the Flora Filipina Expo. Mr. Manubay adds that “We have not limited ourselves in promoting the floriculture industry but in fact have also promoted Philippine tourism. In our last Flora Expo we developed horticultural tours wherein 87 foreign participants came to see our country’s tourist attractions aside from the expo and the many orchid and ornamental farms in Luzon. I am sure that with the great success of last years Flora Expo we can expect more plant lovers from all over the world to come.”
An endemic orchid species from the Philippines won several awards at the Orchid Society of South East Asia (OSSEA) International Orchid Show in Singapore last July 14, 2011. The orchid species, which is scientifically called Grammatophylum multiflorum, was entered by Mrs. Evangeline Go who represented the Philippine Orchid Society in the event. The orchid species was a show stopper at the show because it had five graceful spikes from 1 to 1 ½ meters long that bore over 2.000 2 inch blooms of chartreuse green flowers overlaid with dark mahogany brown spots. Because of this It was voted unanimously by 70 international judges as the Best Orchid Species of the Show’ and then later granted the ‘Reserved Champion Award’ for the Best Orchid in the Show. Prior to that, the plant also won first place in the ‘Cymbidium Alliance’ category and first place in the ‘Sympodial Species’ category

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Aside from the Flora Filipina Expo to be held on February 2012, the POS would like to announce that it will be holding its Mid-Year Orchid and Garden show this August 13 -23 at the Manila Seedling Bank in Quezon City with the theme ‘Protecting our Orchid Species from Climate Change’. The show will feature orchid landscape exhibits, an orchid competition for the best blooms of the season, free daily lectures and a plant trade fair for plants and horticultural supplies.

A PLANT PERFECT FOR YOUR WATER GARDEN

Victoria cruziama, a native of Africa, has magnificent large rounded floating leaves. It can now be cultivated in artificial freshwater ponds, and can be decorated in wide stagnant ponds as one of the focal points in landscaping. It is usually exposed in full sun, and propagated thru seeds.

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Interesting Tips

Plants for Pest Repellent That Actually Work!
By: Mandy Maxwell URL: http://www.flowersh opnetwork.com/blog/plant-pest-repellent/ It's summer and the bugs are out! Sure, we've all heard of using cedar for moths and citronella for mosquitoes, but what other natural remedies out there actually WORK? Here is a list of common pests and there all-natural, plant-based repellents. Natural plant-based repellents are safe to use around kids and pets, and can be a handy addition in a flower shop where pesticides can damage flowers. NATURAL FLEA REPEALLENT It can be impossible to get rid of fleas. If your inside animal gets into them, they're pretty much everywhere, but here are some natural repellents to get fleas under control. Citrus - a natural flea deterrent. Slice a lemon into 4 peices. Score the skin to release more essential oil. Pour a cup of boiling water over your lemon and allow to sit overnight. Sponge onto your dog and spritz around your house. Sponge yourself before leaving the house to prevent bites. Cedar - Cedar and cedar oil are natural flea deterrents. Create sachets or use oil to keep fleas away. Commercially made cedar dog beds are also available. Fleabane - One of my favorite wildflowers, fleabane is a weed you may want to keep around for flea control. (Pictured right) Eucalyptus - Use the scent of eucalyptus leaves to repel fleas. Tansy - a colorful flower to grow in your garden, the tansy also works for flea control. Lemon Grass or Citronella - also good for mosquitoes, growing this plant will keep your fleas away. NATURAL MOSQUITO REPELLENT Rosemary - burning rosemary is a great way to combat mosquitoes. Throw a few springs onto your BBQ grill and enjoy the delicious flavor and a bug free environment!Sage - works the same as rosemary. (see above) Marigolds - planting these in your flowerbeds and around your entrances to keep mosquitoes at bay. They don't like the smell. Thai Citronella - considered more potent against mosquitoes than true citronella. Other Plant Oils to Consider - Cinnamon Oil, Lemon Eucalyptus Oil, Cinnamon Oil, Rosemary Oil, Garlic Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Cedar Oil, Peppermint Oil, Clove Oil and Geranium Oil. NATURAL ANT REPELLENT Ants can be a tough pest to get rid of, they seem to be everywhere!! Try these safe, all-natural repellents and worry no more! Mint - Ants don't like mint. Place a few springs at their points of entry. Bitter Cucumber - Ants have a natural aversion to cucumber, bitter works best.

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Citrus - spray across their points of entry. You can also soak string in citrus oil and 'rope' off your ants. Garlic - slip a few pieces of crushed garlic into their crooks and crannies. They will not be going there anymore! Pepper - black or cayenne will work. Sprinkle near their gathering places to send ants packing! Cinnamon - works same as pepper. (see above) NATURAL COCKROACH REPELLENT Catnip - A natural repellent to cockroaches, catnip can be a lifesaver. Make a sachet of dried catnip and place in the roaches favorite gathering places. You can also boil fresh catnip in hot water to make a tea to spray. Use with caution if you have cats who are highly affected by catnip. Hedgeapple - The fruit of the Osage orange tree is an amazing repellent to cockroaches. The tree is native to American and grows naturally in Texas and Oklahoma. I have not tried this one, but they say simply setting a hedgeapple in your room is enough to deter roaches for 2 months. Bay leaves - Bay leaves can easily be tucked into cracks and other tiny hiding places to keep roaches OUT! Garlic - works the same as bay leaves. (see above) Cucumbers - works same as bay leaves. (see above) NATURAL FLY REPELLENT Mint - the smell of mint is enough to keep flies away. Make small sachets of mint and hide all over your house, for great smell and a fly-free home. Eucalyptus - works same as mint (see above) Basil - Not only does it smell amazing and taste great, it naturally keeps flies away. This is a great herb to plant near entrances and in your yard. Sweet basil may work best. As you can see, there are many plants and natural repellents that can help with the summer bugs and pests. Before you start spraying chemicals around your home, kids and pets, try out some a few of these organic methods. You probably already have most of these plants around your home!

The Urban Gardener is an official electronic publication (in PDF Format) of the Plant Biotechnology Project, Research & Development Center, Rizal Technological University, Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. It is published monthly. For more information, please inquire thru email: rdc_rtu@yahoo.com or plantbiotech_rtu@yahoo.com and landline (+632) 534-8267 Local 135 or Fax (+632) 534-9710.
Edited by N.R. Bautista © July 2010 The Plant Biotechnology Project Committee is composed of: Alexander B. Quilang, Norberto R. Bautista, & Jovita A. Anit.

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Bonsai and Suiseki Show at Quezon City Circle

An event geared in promoting the art and culture of miniature trees and also the appreciation of decorative rocks was held last June 26 – July 11, 2010 at the Quezon Memorial Circle. Organized by The Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines (BSAPI), in cooperation with the Quezon Memorial Circle Administration, the Legend Hotel Palawan and the Lacelli International Corporation, the bonsai and suiseki show attracted a lot of visitors composed of garden enthusiasts, professionals and students. This year’s theme was “Nature’s Best at the Comfort of Your Home,” the show also featured lectures-demonstrations on various aspects of plant arts and environmental concerns, a bonsai challenge, on-the-spot painting contest of the bonsai on exhibit, a bonsai workshop, and a flower and garden bazaar. The event aims to promote the art of bonsai and stone appreciation which was actively participated by a small but growing number of Filipino Bonsai and Suiseki enthusiasts. Most of the trees used for Bonsai in the Philippines were local trees like Ficus, Kalyos (Streblus asper),Orange Jasmin, (Muraya paniculata), Philippine tea, Bantigue (Pemphis

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acidula), Lantana, Tamarind, Kamagong (Philippine Ebony), Camachile (Pithicolodium dulce), Bignay, Yangya, Pyracantha, Bouganvilla, and Lemoncito. Aside from bonsai, there were also a growing group of Suiseki enthusiasts, who appreciated decorative stones. Both bonsai and suiseki are art forms which tend to appreciate the beauty of nature in the home. With bonsai, it is the art and technique of culturing miniature trees, while suiseki is the appreciation of artistic stones or rocks which are often obtained from nature. Both art forms were internationally recognized in Japan , China , Korea , United States and in Europe . Suiseki are naturally formed stones that suggest mountains, lakes, waterfalls and other natural scenes or that are aesthetically pleasing in shape and texture. They represent nature in the palm of your hand, are admired for their beauty and for their power to suggest a scene from nature or an object closely associated with nature. For bonsai, it is the “living” component of this art form, as it shows dynamism and life. Both aims to create the perfect miniature landscape in the home..

RTU’S R&D CENTER (PLANT BIOTECH & MUSHROOM BIOTECH AGAIN JOINED PIFGEX 3 AT WORLD TRADE

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The RTU Research & Development Center once again exhibited during the 3rd Philippine International Flora and Fauna Green Living Expo at the World Trade Center, Pasay City last July 22-25, 2010. The group exhibited their plant tissue cultured bananas, orchids and banana seedlings in flask, mushroom fruiting bags and packed Pleurotus, dried Ganoderma, mushroom burgers, and also tarpaulins for information dissemination on Urban Agriculture, Orchid Seed Culture and Mushroom Cultivation. Prof. Angelita Medalla was also invited to give a talk on mushroom cultivation. The Research and Development Center, with its Mushroom Technology and Plant Biotechnology Projects, has been very active for years in disseminating information on mushroom cultivation, orchid and banana cultivation, plant tissue culture, and urban vegetable gardening. Technologies are given not only to RTU students but also to interested individuals. Through participation in Expositions, RTU is promoting its projects and research outputs to Filipinos. Currently, RTU is promoting the health-some benefits of edible mushrooms at the same time medicinal / anti-cancer potential of ganoderma mushrooms. In the plant side, the plant biotech project is promoting its lakatan, saba and cavendish banana, as well as its orchid seed culture services to farmers and plant hobbyists. Aside from expositions, the group has been very active in extension services, ever reaching out to people in the city as well as those in the country side. The R&D Center also help in mentoring both College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and College of Education (CED) students in their undergraduate thesis and research. Mushroom and Plant Biotechnology is actually hard wired into the RTU biology curriculum. With this, both projects create lots of linkages both in the private and public sector, collaborating with nongovernment organizations, the academe, and agricultural sector for integration of technologies into the industry. Both projects are very instrumental in biodiversity conservation and utilization, especially in utilization of the Philippines’ biological resources for the improvement of lives and eliminating hunger from society. *****

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