Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Miniature Plants

The "Painted Net Leaf" or Fittonia has other synonyms too. Also
known as the Nerve Plant or Mosaic Plant, it belongs to the
Acantaceae family. Originally from South American tropical
rain forests it is a moisture-loving plant. It comes in other
colours also but mine is white-veined. The stems are fuzzy.
Propagation is by the stems, broken off and planted.

I've never been good with fittonias although I've grown them,
or in this case, I have to say, tried to grow them for years.
But they would wilt and wither, and eventually die.

About two months ago, in frustration, I pulled it from the pot
and dumped it unceremoniously on a heap of rotting tea-leaves.
Then I forgot about it....One fine day I noticed a rejuvenated
green on the leaves. Even the white lines looked more prominent.
I knew I could no longer ignore or leave the plant like that. Now
it thrives in its new home, tea leaves and all. The pot sits in
partial shade and I water it everyday. And if it gets too hot,
I spray the leaves. They're happy and that shows!!

The Portulaca Grandiflora or Moss Rose. Here it is commonly known
as the 9o'clock flower.

This is a multi-branched sun-loving plant with thick fleshy leaves.
It grows to a height of 15 to 20 cms and spreads to 12 to 14 inches.
Its origin is the hot dry plains of Brazil, Uruguay and northern
Argentina. The best part about the portulaca is that it's very
easy to grow through seeds or by breaking off the stems. Although
a well-drained soil works wonders they're also not averse to the
idea of thriving in poor soil or gravelly and sandy areas. The
blooms open in the morning but by 3o'clock in the afternoon it's
time to call it a day!

Uh-oh! The sign reads---WE'RE CLOSED FOR THE DAY. WE OPEN


Linda Lunda said...

Nice nice!!! I recognize them!!!!! The The Portulaca Grandiflora ..... I have it in Thailand to! In many differnt colours! They are so beautiful!

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Kanak Hagjer said...

Linda, thanks! I forgot to mention the various colours in my post. I'm glad you did. Maybe it was because I have them in pink only!!

Khetesh, thanks for your message. Will find out more about the project from the link you provided.

tina said...

I recognize that plant in the first picture too. We grow it here as a houseplant. Yours looks great and of course you had to save it. Plants have that will to live and are so great for it.

Nicole said...

The Fittonia is quite cute. My mother always had that pink and white Portulaca Grandiflora, as a child I loved the delicate flowers.

racquel said...

I like the white veining on the Fittonia plant. The Portulaca with those double pink blossoms is quite pretty.

Karen said...

The fittonia's veined leaves are so amazing - like crackled glaze on a piece of pottery. I have grown Portulaca here in Seattle but not that variety - cute!

easygardener said...

I love Portulacas and try to keep them over winter in my greenhouse.I like the flowers, their colours and the fact that they are so tough and reliable outside during the summer.

Susie said...

I love moss rose. It reminds me of my grandmother. She always had it so I always try to have some. It's quite popular here in our area due to it's ability to cope with our heat.

Eden said...

Beautiful pics as usual. Wish I could have plants like that as well. I can have the moss rose but not the Fittonia. Have a nice day.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Tina, it's amazing how tiny plants can turn out to such survivors.

Nicole, thanks for sharing.

Racquel, a double layer makes such a difference in blooms. No wonder we love them!

Karen, thanks. Loved your description!

Easygardener, I hope the portulacas do well in your greenhouse this winter too!

Susie, I'm glad that the flowers reminded you of a loved one.

Thank you Eden. Love having you here!

Chandramouli S said...

Hey there! Fittonia looks awesome. Never seen before - looks like plastic leaves, natural yet. And Moss Rose is cute as ever. I've been looking for others colors with no luck :(

Kanak Hagjer said...

Chandramouli, thanks for dropping by. I think the white- veined fittonias are the most striking. Hope you do find the colours (moss rose) you're looking for.

Carla said...

I call all kinds of this Portulaca-rose moss. I can't say Portulaca to save my life (WELL maybe to SAVE my life:). I love the doubles and huge singles. The smaller, flat leaf comes back from seed and is very reliable at my mom's, I'm hoping to get some started, on their own, here at my new house. Your Fittonia is so pretty! Guess its a 'tea lover' too! Good rescue!

Titania said...

Hi Kanak, the lovely Fittonia has found the right home in this red glazed container. They complement each other and look superb together. I love to grow Portulacca, they are such easy growing, cheerful plants.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Carla, love the 'tea-lover' tag! Thanks for the kind comment. I'd love to see the smaller, flat-leafed variety that you mentioned, later. I'm sure they must be very pretty! Look, I didn't use the word...saved you the trouble, didn't I? Even though you didn't have to say it aloud!!!!

Trudi, that's right. Always glad to read your views. I'll be on the lookout for other colours from now on. Will make my plot more cheerful!

themanicgardener said...

So--what made the difference for the Fittonia? It likes tea leaves? It thrives on neglect? Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Anyway--it looks lovely, as does the portulaca.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Hi Kate,
The whole gardening relationship thing comes into it....if one ponders. Could it have been...?!Neglect? Yes, but in full sun or partial shade? Tea leaves or any other manure? Good that you commented on this. Thanks for the visit!

Viooltje said...

Those Fittonias are delightful, mine are a disgrace to all of my indoor plants but then again, knowing who their caretaker is, good job they're still recognizable ;-) And Portulacas I absolutely love, what a rewarding little wonders they are.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Viooltje, thanks! With all the compliments that the fittonia has been getting, it has even condescended to grow faster!! Maybe your fittonias want the same passionate attention that your euphorbias get!! LOL!
Thanks for stopping by.