What I’m collecting now: Tillandsias

While most of the green-thumbs here in Lanao del Norte are into Philodendrons, I’m into Tillandsias. I’ve given all of my Philodendrons to plant buddies to have room for new plants. This morning, I’ve finished my latest composition on driftwood featuring the air plants called Tillandsia.

I saw these exotic plants at a Garden Fair held here in my hometown during the Araw ng Tubod, 2000. The lady who was selling the Tillandsia cyanea and Tillandsia funckiana told me that these air plants came from Peru, Mexico and  South America. After I asked her the FYI’s of these plants, I bought cultivars of both species.

Truly, they are easy to cultivate; I simply put them on driftwood for they don’t need soil medium to survive. Also, these epiphytes have no fuss when they reproduce. Take for example my T. funckiana; the single plant produces numerous offsets called “pups”. When roots appear on the offsets, the “pups” just separate themselves from the mother plant. I’ve given some of the offsets of that species to my plant buddies as gifts.

Presently, I have five species of Tillandsia: T. funckiana, T. cyanea, T. bulbosa, T. ionantha and the hybrid T. leonamiana x T. aeranthos.  So far, I’m so intrigued with their pretty blooms that I want to collect more. Anyway, these are the details of my composition:


Sun-loving Gumamelas

bi-color gumamela

The Hibiscus plants are locally known throughout the Philippines as the Gumamela.

pink hawaiian hibiscus

Though this plant has short-lived but continuing blooms, the scent-less Gumamela is one of the most widely cultivated of flowers here in my hometown.

white hibiscus with double petals

Presently, I have eleven shrubs of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis along my fence.

soft orange hibiscus flower; this plant was given by Mrs. Jabinez (Jabinez Garden, Ozamiz City)

Eight of my Gumamela shrubs are potted while three of them are planted on the ground. Moreover, nine of these flowering shrubs are hosts to some of my Dendrobium orchids.

Gumamela with red single petals and dark red center

These plants bloom throughout the year for I placed them in the area of my garden where they get a few hours of direct sun every day. I’ve noticed that the bloom life of these flowers are about 2-3 days, with a succession of blooms that last for months.

pink Gumamela with red center

More often, my Hibiscus plants produce gorgeous flowers in vibrant color in red, white, pink, yellow, peach, orange and purple. So for years, I’ve enjoyed their ruffled and trumpet-shaped blooms.

Gumamela, orange single petals with yellow outline

To get more blooms, the rule of the thumb is pinch and prune. Since I don’t want a huge shrub in my garden, I prune my Gumamelas when necessary.  Pinching their growing tips also helps them to branch out. I’ve planted the cuttings in black bags filled with sandy-loam soil.

peach Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flowers

Moreover, these plant are not only ornamental but medicinal as well. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is one of the plants listed on Philippine herbs. http://www.stuartxchange.org/Gumamela.html


Rose Series: Peach

“If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears.” -Isaac Hayes


Not-so grounded

I’ve planted this orchid ( Spathoglottis plicata) on the ground outside my fence in the hope that passersby would admire its lovely flowers. And admire they did. Unfortunately, I’ve enjoyed the blossoms for just three days. An old lady was unable to contain herself and picked the flowers of this ground orchid without asking permission. Ahh…well…at least I was able to capture a photo of its flowers…