will find many unusual ferns available here and much more
other specialties. Ferns are known for their myriad shapes-like
a footed fern, which can range from a small delicate rabbit
foot to a giant bear foot. They may have unusually shaped
leaves (like a heart fern whose leaves enter the world in
the shape of a heart_. Another is a "crocodile fern"
because their leaves look like crocodile skin. Even the
entire fern plant can resemble something, such as a "Bird's
Nest" fern from Japan. There is very fine
foliage in a "Ming Fern" which
is from New Zealand. The biggest problem with ferns is the
need for moisture, moisture, moisture!
We also carry Staghorn Ferns which are
usually mounted, rather than planted, like the ferns above.
Eventually, as the fern matures it will "over-take"
the container in which it is planted. That makes it hard
to water, but notice the top of the cedar box with the angular
board at the shop or in these pictures. As the plant grows
aim the hose at the top of the box. It will catch the water
and the water will drip exactly to where it is needed in
the back! Should be protected from frost.
HOYS, GESNERIADS AND OTHER CREEPERS
These are very interesting climbing plants, and they grow
in trees (epiphytic). They are companions in the trees with
bromeliads, orchids, ferns and gesneriads. Until recently,
Dischidias and Hoyas were left in the trees while the orchids
and bromeliads were taken. Now it has become "in vogue"
to grow Dischidias and Hoyas, as well as others. They will
grow down, like a hanging basket, or up, like a vine which
clings to a tree.
Some are Dischidia Pectamoides (our favorite
from Thailand) make little red flowers along the stems,
climbs beautifully, has intermittent inflated leaves, or
pods! These pods, in nature, usually provide a home for
ants, which attack monkeys, who come to eat the fruit of
the plant. This is an interesting symbiotic relationship
in nature. The plants here come to you ant free! Dischidia
Rafflesiana from Borneo, is rare, unique and looks
like pickles on a string. They grow both up and down. Dischidia
Bengalensis is commonly called the "propeller
the leaves are alternate and swollen and look like a propeller.
Dischida Rusifolia where every leaf is
a beautiful bright green heart.
Hoyas generally are marked by the differences in their
leaves and leaf shape. Generally, Hoya grow down rather
than up. They also make good crawling plants. Dischidas
and Hoys thrive indoors in bright or filtered light. Mild
with the fertilizer. They love to be misted and will grow
their little hearts out for you if you mist them regularly!
Most people claim they cannot keep a bonsai alive. That
is because most people think the only kind of bonsai to
buy is an evergreen tree. It's bought, taken inside, put
atop the TV, and "garbaged". The bonsai plants
sold here have been raised for the Houston climate. Actually,
many are miniatures of some of our most common garden varieties.
These plants have adapted to living indoors.
For example, Serissa Foetida (a Chinese
Snow Rose) blooms in both white and pink, single and double.
Fukien Teas (from Mainland China) have
a small white flower, followed by green berries, which then
turn to red. Beautiful waxy shiny leaves. Natal
Plum have fragrant white flowers that become beautiful
little plums. Miniature Ficus (Too Little
Ficus and Green Island Ficus) are two of the heartiest of
the indoor bonsai and good for beginners. Miniature
Bougainvilleas (Such as Pink Pixie) look just like
a large bougainvillea and have lavender flowers.
There are many other companion plants here, which may be
used to compliment your bonsai, such as Variegated
Mondo Grass-White Dragon, Miniature
Green Mondo Grass (both from Japan), Dwarf
Equestrium (miniature reed which must be kept wet).
Bonsai and their companions do best in bright light or filtered
light, slightly dry between waterings. Great plants for
a bright windowsill. They appreciate a light feeding as
new growth occurs. Do not feed it too much; remember, it
is supposed to remain small.