Senin, 29 September 2008

Penghuni baru

Simple and compact companion :D

Really love the color of this thing. I think i'm gonna add burro's tail on this one...

Succulent and cactus together... i think i have to re-arrange them...different needs of water "P

Mini Succulent and Cactus garden. Gonna need more rocks to cover the sand.

Juz come to brighten your day :D

Rabu, 24 September 2008

Growing Information for Cactus n Succulent

Most succulents and cacti grow for only a few months out of every year and for the rest of the time they are resting and have very few needs. With some exceptions a potted cactus will try to order its life according to the changing seasons by growing mostly in the spring and fall and resting shortly in the hottest part of summer and a much longer sleep through the winter. It is important to provide plenty of water during periods of growth and even more important to with hold water while these plants are resting.

Four Seasons Care
In a more humid climate most of these plants need almost no water when they are resting, and this may be why some people believe that they thrive on neglect. Almost any cactus kept in a four seasons climate will have problems and likely die if it is treated with the same care that tropical broadleaf plants require. It is true, to some extent, that these spiny beauties need less care than most other plants, but timing can make the difference between a healthy plant and a tragic loss in most cases. What becomes important is understanding how to adjust plant care activities to provide the best possible life these prickly companions can have in a four seasons climate home.

Location is very important and it is often an erroneous belief that every succulent or cactus needs to be placed in the sunniest south window of our living spaces. Some varieties will do well in a south window but many species will do better in an east or west window. In a more northern climate an enormous amount of sun comes in through the south windows in the winter and this can lead to several problems if the plant is a partial shade lover. Too much bright winter sun can put some species into their spring growth period far too soon, or cause excessive dehydration or damage the plant with sunburns. If a cactus continues to dry out too rapidly in south window sun and then is watered to compensate for this condition the plant will likely rot a few months later because of being over stressed in a south window. It is important to bear in mind that some species grow out in open desolate looking landscapes with plenty of full sun while other species thrive in the partial shade of rocks, trees and grass. There are many exceptions, but if the light needs of a cactus are unknown spine quantity can be used as a basic guide. The fewer spines the more shade and if a plant is more densely covered with spines it should have a brighter sunny location available. The best way to determine the light requirements for a succulent or cactus is to know the species name and learn about its growing habits. A great deal of identification information is available in books and on the internet many resources also include some light requirement information.

Rain water is always better than tap water, but most species of succulents and cactus plants will tolerate chlorinated municipal water. Pouring a stream of water over these plants with a watering can, as if they were a spider plants, should be avoided, because this method produces conditions more favorable for growing fungus then succulents. When the plants are in a growth cycle they will be interested in plenty of water, and bottom watering is the best method. If the plant is not in a rapid growth cycle its better to avoid soaking the roots and a lit occasional misting can be a good way to regulate water. Wetting these plants from the top with very lit mistings will require avoiding two potential problems. The first is that ugly deposits from tap water can accumulate on the skin of succulents and using rain or distilled water can avoid this problem. The second thing that needs to be avoided is wetting the bodies of these plants while they are in sunlight. A wet cactus in the sun light can cause sun burning which can lead to scares or even fungal infections and death. Bottom watering is the easiest and best way to maintain these plants, but the soil almost always needs to remain dry when the plants are resting.
Watering needs to be done according to the growth cycles of succulents and cactus plants, and knowing when to expect this is only somewhat useful. Some succulents do most of their growing during the winter then rest during the summer months, and these need plenty of water. Other succulents and most cactus plants do most of their growing in the spring and if they're going to bloom they will do so at the end of this spring growth cycle. A few species of cacti will do most of their growing and blooming in the cool fall weather at the end of a hot dry summer. The best way to understand when the succulents are likely to go into a growth cycle is to know the species name and do some research, but what holds true in habitat will often fail in house plant conditions.

As a four seasons house plant it is difficult if not impossible to imitate the natural watering cycles succulents and cactus plants have and expect them to grow and rest exactly as they would in nature. The timing of when to water and when to keep the pot dry is best regulated according to signs of growth from the plants own sense of timing. The beginning of watering cycle in the spring can be determined by watching for signs of new growth such as the emergence of new spines or even a flower bud. When the plants have finished growing and or blooming then it is time to start drying them out. For most of these plants there should be two wet and two dry cycles and when they need water they can be incorporated into the same routine as other houseplants. The most important adjustments that will insure the long term survival of succulent and cactus house plants is to stop watering them when they are resting, and resume watering when they begin to grow.

Over watering can cause swelling or elongation of succulents and cactus plants, and it's important to avoid mistaking these conditions for growth. When plants are in their resting cycle they won't show the emergence any new spines or fresh skin, but they can look like they are growing if they are over watered. This is very bad and the plant is actually under stress and can die from too much water. In this situation it is important to stop watering the plant and keep it warm until it dries out again. If the soil is extremely wet removing the plant from soil completely and letting the roots dry out can often save the plants life. An unpoted plant can be dried out for several weeks under a plant light or by indirect sunlight. Later the water stressed plant can be potted in mostly dry soil and allowed to finish out its rest period in a dry condition. This has to be done before any fungus has started to set in for the procedure to be effective, because once fungus has started in an over watered plant it's time to start making funeral preparations.
Note: Lithops are an exception in that when they show the emergence of new leaves they need to remain dry even though they look like they are growing.

When plants are resting in their summer cycle an occasional small watering will be fine for most species as long as they can dry out between watering. Some succulents and cactus plants will actually delay their spring growth cycle until summer in more northern climates in which case they will need plenty of water. When this happens it's important to remember that these plants will be very happy to remain dryer when they are ready to rest in the fall.

In the late fall it is a good idea to bath the plants and wash off any dust and sticky residues that may have accumulated to prepare them for their long winter sleep. Some species produce small amounts of sticky secretions, which may hardly be noticeable to us, but can become an invitation to fungi if the plants are left unclean. Growth for most species of cactus will be hardly noticeable in the fall washing can be considered the last watering for the next 5 to 6 months.

During the winter for most species withholding water completely is the best method. Many plants will show signs of shrinkage during this dry period but this is normal and good as long as the roots do not disintegrate. Before deciding to water cactus plants because of shrinkage it is a good idea to examine the roots. The plant can be removed and replanted in their soil if the roots are kept dry before, during and after this procedure. If the roots are healthy and the body of the plant isn't producing any new spines it's better to continue to keep the shrunken plant dry. If the fine roots are becoming brittle and disappearing then very small amounts of water may be needed and this is best done by misting the plant after it is repotted. Even if the plant is shrunken and the roots are breaking off it is still better to avoid getting the roots wet. In all cases it's best to continue to avoid any kind of heavy watering until the plant shows signs of wanting to grow again in the spring.

In the Spring after plants have been in their winter rest, it is very important to withhold watering until the plants actually begin to show signs of growth. It is often the case that succulent and cactus plants are the most vulnerable to rot from over watering just before they begin to enter a new spring growth cycle. Some species accept watering before they are ready to grow, but it is very risky to attempt to push any plant into a growth cycle with water too soon. There will be some plants with indications of growth that are difficult to see and obviously watering can't be postponed indefinitely. If the plant has been kept completely dry through the winter and has rested for over 6 months it may be safe to resume watering without seeing signs of growth as long as the plant has daytime warmth and enough sun.
When the plants are ready to grow the best way to give them their first spring watering is to soak the roots by setting the pots briefly in bowls of water. In more northern climates most species of cactus plants will be interested in growing in late spring or early summer, and it's important to patiently keep these plants dry until the plants decide for themselves that spring has finally arrived.

It is possible to never fertilize succulents and cactus plants and this is far better than fertilizing them with the regularity and amounts that broadleaf tropicals need. The problem with using fertilizers is that they will often cause quick growth that unnecessarily elongates and distorts the natural shape of the plants. There are some commercial fertilizers available that are especially designed for succulent and cactus plants and they are inexpensive because you'll end up needing very small amounts of these products. Rather than fertilizing it is often better to simply replace worn out soils with fresh soil because this will promote new root growth and replenish needed nutrients.

Most commercially available products will fail to allow the roots to get enough air and worse yet compress and harden over time. It is a good idea to make your own cactus and succulent soils or at least modify any available ones that you use. What's needed is a very course rocky mix with only very small amounts of sand and organic matter for potted succulents and cactus plants.
There is usually plenty of sand in the natural environments where succulents and cactus plants grow but as the dominate feature in a potted cactus most sands will fail to perform well in the long term. The particles of sand are too small to allow the soil to dry fast enough when these plants are kept as house plants especially in more humid four seasons climates. Most sands are simply too fine to allow enough air to circulate through the soil and they get worse by compressing over time. Tightly compressed soil is a bad condition that will eventually kill almost any potted plant including cacti. Pea gravel and rocks will perform much better as the dominate feature of your soil mix with sand and organic matter in small amounts only.
Most of the soil's water retention abilities will depend on the amount of organic matter and it is important to keep in mind that succulents and cactus plants need fast drying soils. Organic matter is needed, but nitrogen rich decomposed potting soil that most broadleaf tropicals thrive on need to be avoided. Any organic matter like sphagnum moss, wood bark work well when included with only a very small amount of sterilized potting soil. Most succulents and cactus plants will not tolerate the kinds of soils that lawns and gardens are typically thrive on. It's better not to trust digging up any ordinary outdoor soil unless you live in the south west and know that you have cactus friendly soil. If you do decide to add anything that you dig up outdoors as a part of your mix it is a good idea to sanitize it by baking it in an oven at 225 degrees for a couple of hours. Obviously, allow the heat sterilized soil to cool before you use it for planting.
Succulent and cactus soils available from are designed for outstanding performance especially for more humid four seasons climates.

Flower pots
Most people who grow succulents and cactus plants in flower pots believe that the clay pot works better than plastic ones. This is more a matter of personal preference and what works best for each individuals plant care giving habits. Use plastic, plain clay or glazed clay pots, as long as there is a hole in the bottom for water drainage. Whether you decide to use clay or plastic it is important that the roots never soak for long periods of time in standing water, so avoid leaving standing water in a dish under the flower any pots.
Size matters to the root system of any potted plant, and it is important that roots have room to grow. In most cases it is more important to leave some space for the roots to grow than it is to try and keep the pot size small. It's true that a smaller pot will dry out more quickly, but if the roots are stressed by being too confined it will cause the plant to be at risk for a deadly fungal infection. There are a few species which need to be pot bound because they specialize in growing in the tight spaces of rock cracks in nature, but most varieties are better off without compressed root systems.

These Gymnocalycium plants are in different stages of progress between winter rest and going into their spring growth cycles. Many species of cacti noticeably shrink when they are in a state of dormancy and this is part of their ways of surviving through the coolest winter months. This winter dormancy is similar to that of deciduous trees losing their leaves for the winter, but with cacti they have shrinkage both above and below ground. This period lasts for about 4 months in nature and can even be as long as 6 months when cacti are kept as house plants. If the cacti in this photo are watered the one on the right will remain shrunken because it is still resting while the other two plants will benefit from and need water.
These cacti began to lose water in the fall, and it is normal for them to shrink and look smaller over the winter months. The squat appearance of the one on the right might remain the same even if it were given water, because it is still in a state of rest. The cactus on the upper left has entered its spring and summer growth cycle, and the plant just below it is only beginning to come out of its winter rest period. The two plants on the left need to be given plenty of water because they are in growth cycles, but the one on the right needs to have its soil kept mostly dry.
Watering can be a serious issue for these plants when they are in a shrunken condition, because their actual need for water depends on the specific season. In the summer months shrunken cactus plants may be suffering from dehydration, and actually need water to keep them healthy. However, in the winter months it is important to avoid assuming that a shrunken looking cactus needs water, because wet soil may do more harm than good. There are some varieties of cacti which will be at risk for rotting to death even if they are watered one time in their state of winter rest, like Copiapoa, Epithelantha, Eriosyce, Escobaria and Neoporteria species. In this situation a cactus may take one to two months before it finally dies, but the genesis of its demise will be from wet roots and fungus. Cactus plants can be at risk for fungal attack if their soil is wet when they are resting, and for most globular species it is best to keep them cool and on the dry side until spring.

With shrinkage it is important to understand whether cactus plants are in need of water or dryness, and basically spring and summer means water is needed and winter requires dryness. Cactus plants are much like deciduous trees in that they have a winter rest period where they need dry down time to get ready for their next growth cycle. In the spring cactus plants will start making new spines at the top of their stems and this marks the time when they are ready to be given plenty of water.

"Too Much Kindness"
The Cactus Primer, by Arthur C. Gibson and Park S. Nobel mentions the occurrence of skin breakage on cacti from absorbing water. Cactus plants are opportunistic water hoarding plants and many species have the ability to soak up so much water that they break their own skin.
According to Gibson and Nobel, "a cactus stem can tolerate up to 82% loss of its water without fatal consequences; and after rehydration, the same plant may show few outward signs that it was ever wizened and close to death....Of course, the skin can only be stretched so far and you can hurt a cactus with too much kindness. Many fine specimens of saguaro and barrel cactus have been watered so frequently in cultivation that they have developed high turgor pressure in the stem, which has caused the skin to split."
Hurting a cactus with "too much kindness" is a common mistake, and the best way to avoid this is to alternate between wet and dry soil. During the growing seasons, allowing the soil to dry between waterings and then soaking the plant is a kind method of cactus care.

Preventing Skin Damage
It is attractive to have some decorative stones around the top of the flower pot, but this can be functional too. Succulent and Cactus plants used as topiaries will gain several benefits when the flower pots are topped off with rocks. The top rocks will prevent rain from washing away the soil and help keep the cactus clean. Without top rocks the rain will splatter potting soil back up on the sides of plants and this not only looks bad but can be harmful too. The small spots of dirt can eventually cause scars or even cause a terminal case of rot by encouraging fungi to grow.
Another benefit with top rocks is they help prevent squirrels from digging in the soil. Imagine finding peanuts and walnuts buried in the potting soil when repotting plants which have been out doors for the growing season. Squirrels are very curious and they can damage cactus plants, in spite of the spines, when they are checking for food. The farther north you live the more likely you are to have squirrels digging in your flower pots. The best way to discourage these fluffy tailed diggers is to top off flower pots with rocks--the rougher the rocks the better.

Encouraging cactus plants to bloom is usually a matter sunlight, water and especially the age of any specific variety. Cactus plants reach flowering age according to their species with some becoming ready to bloom in a few years, and others taking decades before making their first flowers. There are many varieties which almost never bloom as house plants, but the majority of them may bloom with good conditions. It is important to avoid thinking of cactus and succulent plants as unusual sorts of vineless garden vegetables. The same considerations for garden plants like sunlight, water and soil nutrients are important, but increasing all of these things as though the cactus were a tomato plant will often fail to achieve the desired results. These things do encourage flowers to happen, but must be considered according to the specialized needs of succulent and cactus plants. Keeping all care in the order of seasonal changes when providing the plants with sunlight, water and soil nutrients will encourage cactus plants to bloom as long as they are old enough.
The most important flowering requirement is sunlight in the growing seasons, and the amount of sun light needed to produce blooms will very greatly for different species of cacti. For cactus plants which seem unwilling to bloom more sunlight is the first thing to try by finding brighter locations for these plants. To encourage flowers as well as the general health of these plants, light needs to be abundant primarily in the spring, summer and fall. Most species of cactus plants will flower better if light is lowered in the winter and then increased in the spring in order to stimulate buds. Winter is a time for keeping cacti cool, dry and out of excessive sunlight and for most species this is more beneficial than keeping them in the hottest southern window all winter. In this winter rest period too much sun becomes counterproductive and causes plants to use up their stored energy reserves just to survive instead of saving resources for making flowers. If cactus plants are old enough to bloom but haven't made flowers yet, the first and best thing to try is increasing sun exposure during their growing seasons.
Watering cacti must be done according to seasonal changes, and for the promotion of flowers water is a necessity. For most species; plenty of water is needed after the plants begin to show signs of their new spring growth, occasional small amounts of water in the summer and only slightly increased amounts from late summer to fall. The winter season requires a long period with very dry soil and it is ineffective for encouraging flowers to water cactus plants too much while they are resting. Wet soil in the winter causes numerous problems like distorted growth, scaring of the skin, and worst of all watering may cause them to die from fungal infection. To end the long dry winter resting period for most cactus varieties it is usually best to wait and see that they are showing signs of new spring growth, and then resume watering. Water must be given or withheld according to seasons, and after they have started to develop their flower buds or are growing new spines from the top of the plant they will need plenty of water to make flowers. Please note that some species of cacti like Epiphyllum, Hatiora and Schlumbergera need some water year round and an extended winter dry period will harm these varieties.
Fertilizer is often considered to be a way to produce flowers from many plant varieties, but with cactus plants it's difficult to tell whether adding nutrients to their soil actually makes them more willing to flower. If fertilizer is going to be used it is best to use a product designed specifically for cactus and succulents and follow the label directions. If there are no specific directions an application of fertilizer once in the spring may give the plants a slightly higher potential for producing flowers, but for the most part fertilizing only makes the plant caregiver feel like they've made their best efforts. Cactus and succulent plants grow slowly and store up the energy they need for flowers over long periods of time, and in most cases it's more a matter of waiting for the plant to reach a mature age than increasing the fertility of their soil.
It's important to avoid imagining that cactus plants are like vineless garden vegetables which will bloom with lots and lots of sun, water and fertilizer. Cactus and succulent plants are resourceful and conservative which allows them to live in harsh environments, and it is counterproductive to pamper them with abundance. Giving them sun, water and good soil will cause them to produce flowers if their needs are met according to seasonal changes.

Using Vinegar on Succulent and Cactus Plants
From our experience vinegar may be used on cactus and succulent plants on the condition that, in most cases, the product is rinsed off of these plants very very soon after it is applied. Vinegar left to dry on these plants can cause cosmetic damage to skin or worse cause enough damage to leaves, stems or the root systems to open the door to death by fungal infection.
The vinegar we've tried is intended for use in cooking which, in most cases, is a weaker acid than horticulture vinegar. For our tests vinegar was sprayed of several varieties in an amount that would completely cover the plants in 2 applications given 2 weeks apart in time. We have no interest in testing horticulture vinegar, because the vinegar for cooking proved to be strong enough to show results both harmful and with some benefits.

In some cases the damage caused by vinegar only left scares, but in others the applications created conditions for fungus to attack these plants. Some plants such as Aloe, Haworthia and Euphorbia suffered small amounts of cosmetic skin damage. Other plants sprayed in the same manner such as Hurenia, Echinocereus, Mammillaria and Rebutia suffered fatal results. The plants which died from the applications of vinegar were done in by fungal infections anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months after the second application of vinegar. It is important to keep in mind that cactus plants often appear healthy for several months after they have been fatally damaged. All of the plants we subjected to 2 spray applications of vinegar suffered some kind of damage if the vinegar was left to dry on the plants.

Beneficial Uses of Vinegar on Cacti and Succulents - 2 Different Kinds.

1. Removing hard water stains from cactus and succulent plants:
Two things have to be done for this to work with the minimum risk of harming the plants; first remove the plants from their soil and second rinse the vinegar off of the plants very very soon after the application. Spraying vinegar on a potted plant and letting the fluid run into the soil can, in some cases, lead to the death of the plant. Working with the plant removed from its soil will keep the vinegar from soaking into the roots and minimize the potential for root damage. The Ferocactus pictured above has the kind of hard water stains that typically build up on plants watered frequently with tap water.

This plant was unpotted, sprayed with vinegar for about a 30 second exposure and then all of the vinegar was rinsed off under running water. The vinegar dissolved the hard water stains and the cactus was repotted a few days later. In general it is a good idea to dry cactus plants out, in bare root form, for a few days before repotting them. A good location for this drying out period is in a northern window where they will receive indirect sun. Any time a cactus is being potted or repotted it is better to keep the roots dry and, as it was in this case the entire plant was left to dry for a few days before being repotted. This Ferocactus is now free of hard water deposits and is being watered with rain water to prevent the development of new hard water stains.

2. Vinegar as a solvent for removing insects:
It is almost impossible to make a recommendation for using vinegar for insect control, however horticultural vinegar may be a different matter, and we are ignoring this kind of product. We only tried vinegar for cooking as an insect removal solvent, and generally it is less effective than alcohol based products, or for that matter products designed to control insects like commercial insecticides.
Insects have water resistant surfaces which provide protection for them in nature. It appears to be the case that removing insects with vinegar is almost as effective as using plain water because of the animal's ability to repel water. In an attempt to remove some mealy bugs from a Hurenia the vinegar would be repelled and the insects had to be scrubbed off with more force than if a solution of soapy water had been used.
Perhaps enough exposure to vinegar would be toxic to insects and there may be some insects which can be easily destroyed by vinegar, but keep in mind that the cactus or succulent plants may also be harmed by the vinegar.

3. Vinegar as an agent for controlling surface fungus on plants:
Note: Vinegar applied to broad leaf plants with surface mold will often cause the plant to drop the leaf. This is also the case for succulents which produce thin leaf structures like Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns).
Usually if a cactus or succulent plants have fungal infections the plants are simply going to die, but with surface mold the plants will have some skin damage but survive. We applied vinegar (of a strength intended for use in cooking) to a Crassula argentea (Jade Plant) and an Euphorbia meloformis with good results. The application of vinegar arrested the spread of the mold with one very light spray application only to the locations where the mold was attacking the plants. These plants retained scars on their skin where the vinegar was applied, and they would certainly have scars from the mold no matter how this mold had been treated.

Environmental Concerns

We are committed to doing our share in helping to preserve species of cactus and succulent plants, and our hope is that everyone would have an interest and be concerned about the long term survival of all cactus and succulent plants. Our commitment at for succulent and cactus plants is to continuously propagate some varieties, and with these species we will always keep enough plants for reproducing them. The following is a list of plants we are currently successfully propagating, and will continue to propagate indefinitely:

Disocactus ackermanniiEchinocactus texensisEchinocereus berlandieriEchinocereus subinermisEchinocereus viereckii ssp morricaliiEchinocereus viridiflorusEchinopsis ancistrophoraMammillaria thornberiOpuntia phaeacanthaPediocactus simpsonii v. minor

Keeping cactea as houseplants requires us to adjust our expectations, because they will grow much differently than they may look different than they do in their natural settings. If you have seen succulents and cactus plants growing in their natural habitat it is important to understand that it will look different as a houseplant. Growth as a houseplant will be much slower, spines will be shorter and it is often difficult to get many species to bloom. It is impossible for succulents including any cactus kept as a house plant to have the good life that it would live in it's own natural habitat, but they are still beautiful houseplants if we keep reasonable expectations.
This plant, grown from seed, is a house plant over 10 years old and spends its summers outdoors in Wisconsin. Compared to a Pachycereus pringlei growing in its natural habitat this specimen is about the size of a 3 year old plant. Thanks to information from Steven Brack of Mesa Garden, a Pachy growing in its natural habitat for 10 years would be about 3 to 4 feet tall, and a 3 year old plant would be 4 to 6 inches high. This house plant, in a four season climate, is a 10 year old that has only grown as much as a 3 year old Pachycereus would in habitat. It is possible to keep succulent and cactus plants as four seasons houseplants, but it is unreasonable to expect them to perform as they would in nature. The monopoly dogs (shown on the surface of the cactus potting soil) are shown as a size scale reference.

Apology: For years I thought this cactus was a Carnegiea gigantea, but after reading an article in The Amateurs' Digest I was inspired to recheck my work.

Selasa, 23 September 2008

Care For Christmas Cactus

Since Grandma's day, the Christmas cactus has been a favorite houseplant. It's not unusual for a single plant to be passed down from generation to generation because they're long-lived, rather easy plants to grow. But if you want to get them in bloom for the upcoming holiday season, they will need a little special care during the coming weeks.

Hybridization over the past century has resulted in the introduction of many new varieties of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter cactus. These plants are members of the Zygo-cactus family. Most of which are native to Central and South America. Although these plants are called cacti, they are truly different in all aspects from the common desert cactus with which we are all familiar. These plants, called epiphytes are found in the same environments as orchids. They are most often found in the forks of tree limbs where they grow in decayed leaves and other natural debris that accumulates there. Since they are tropical cacti, their cultural requirements are totally different from true cacti. So here are a few ideas on how to care for them and the steps to follow to get them into bloom for the upcoming holiday season.

In September and October, Christmas cactus plants should be kept in a cool room where temperatures will remain around 50 degrees, give or take a few degrees. Be sure not to expose them to freezing temperatures. It's also very important they be kept in a room where no artificial light will be turned on at night.

Actually the key to getting Christmas cactus to flower during the holiday season, is the proper light exposure, correct temperatures and limited watering. So during the fall months, the Christmas cactus should be placed in a spot where it receives indoor indirect bright light during the daylight hours but total darkness at night. (Much the same exposure you would give a poinsettia except a Christmas poinsettia requires warm temperatures whereas the Christmas cactus needs a spot where the temperatures are cool during the fall months.)

Since the Christmas cactus is a tropical plant it will require watering on much the same basis as any other type of tropical plant. A good procedure to follow is to water the plants thoroughly and then allow about the top inch of soil to dry before watering again. However, during the fall and winter months, the plants should be watered less frequently in order to get them to bloom.
Christmas cactus require about 50 to 60 percent humidity. So it's a good practice to place a glass, vase or tray of water near the plant. As the water evaporates it will provide the humidity the cactus needs. A humidity tray is another method of providing the humidity the Christmas cactus requires. This is done by filling a waterproof saucer with gravel, then adding water halfway up the gravel. Place the pot on the gravel surface.

The Christmas cactus should never be placed near a door that opens and closes to the outside. Likewise, keep it away from heating ducts or near the fireplace or drafty areas.
In late October or early November, make an application of a 0-10-10 type liquid fertilizer. A second application of this fertilizer can be made in February. During the growing season from April through September, fertilize the plants with an all purpose liquid houseplant type fertilizer. The fertilizer you use should have a nitrogen ratio of no higher than 10 percent. Of the three numbers on a fertilizer container, the first number is nitrogen.

How do the professionals get Christmas cactus into bloom for the holiday season? They keep them in cool greenhouses where the temperatures average approximately 50 degrees and where the plants receive between 12 and 14 hours of total darkness each day and watering is done sparingly.
One of the most frustrating things that can happen to Christmas cactus is after the flower buds have developed they drop off the plant. Bud drop can be caused by anyone of several different conditions. Usually it's because of over-watering, lack of humidity or insufficient light.
After The Christmas holiday season, the Christmas cactus should be given about a 30 day rest. Again place it in a cool room and provide limited water. Don't worry if it loses a few leaves or joints and appears weak during this rest period.

This is not the time to pinch, prune or shape a Christmas cactus. The best time is when the new growth begins in March or early April.
Likewise, the best time for repotting a cactus is in February, March or April. However, keep in mind the plant will flower best if it's kept in a container where it's pot-bound. If your Christmas cactus is given proper care and is placed in the right location, it's not unusual for it to flower several times throughout the year.

Kaktus,Menebar Pesona Lewat Durinya

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Teks & Foto: Budi Sutomo.

Lekuk dan areole batangnya yang berduri membuat tanaman asal dataran tandus Amerika ini tampak unik dan indah. Sesekali kaktus berbunga cantik diantara rimbunnya duri. Anda berminat menanam kaktus?

Konon, kaktus berasal dari bahasa Yunani "kaktos" yang berarti tanaman berduri. Dari literature diketahui kaktus berasal dari Amerika, namun ada beberapa jenis yang berasal dari padang tandus Afrika. Di Indonesia kaktus mulai dikenal awal tahun 1900-an. Mulanya pemerintah Belanda mendatangkan kaktus jenis duri entong (Cereus Peruvianus) dan kaktus duri gambas (Opuntia Monocantha) sebagai makanan ternak.Majunya teknologi pertanian membuka lembaran baru dunia tanaman, termasuk kaktus. Teknologi mutakhir seperti kultur jaringan menghasilkan bibit baru dengan mutu prima dan seragam. Silangan antar jenis, menghasilkan varietas kaktus yang kian beragam. Teknik grafting atau sambung kaktus lebih mempercantik penampilan. Singkatnya, bagi Anda yang ingin menanam kaktus kini banyak pilihan jenis dan cara menanam.Jenis KaktusLebih dari 2000 jenis kaktus ada di belahan bumi.

Dari 100 an marga, kaktus dikelompokan menjadi 3 suku: Preskioidea, Opuntodeae dan Cereoidea. Jenis Preskioidea biasanya mempunyai daun dan berduri. Bentuknya bisa berupa pohon semak hingga tinggi 10 meter. Karakteristik opuntodeae lain lagi, kelompok ini memiliki batang beruas. Bentuknya bulat telur, pipih, memanjang atau berupa semak. Adakalanya berdaun namun mudah gugur. Opuntodeae juga memiliki areole yang berduri. Jenis terakhir, Cereoidea paling banyak dijumpai. Bentuk batangnya beragam dan sekulen (banyak mengandung air). Sebagian jenis ada yang menyerupai silinder, beruas, bulat, bahkan memanjang. Jenis ini tidak memiliki daun dan areolenya ditumbuhi aneka bentuk duri.

Memperbanyak Kaktus
Kaktus bisa dikembang-biakkan dengan berbagai cara. Sebagian orang meperbanyak dengan biji. Walaupun sedikit rumit, cara ini masih tetap dilakukan. Pertama biji kaktus harus dikeringkan, direndam dalam air hangat baru disebar dalam media semai yang biasanya berupa pasir halus, batu bata tumbuk dan tanah kompos. Setelah kaktus berumur setahun dan mempunyai panjang 4-5 cm, kaktus sudah bisa dipindahkan ke media tanam. Cara yang paling mudah memperbanyak kaktus dengan setek batang. Jika dilakukan dengan cara yang benar, steak paling rendah risiko kegagalannya. Pilih batang kaktus yang tidak terlalu tua atau muda. Potong dengan pisau tajam sepanjang 6 cm. Biarkan 7 - 10 hari di tempat yang sejuk agar luka mengering. Proses berikutnya tinggal menanam di media tanam. Perlu diperhatikan, untuk jenis kaktus bulat atau beruas, pemotongan sebaiknya dilakukan tepat pada bagian ruasnya. Bekas potongan pada tanaman induk biasanya akan tumbuh tunas baru yang siap menjadi bibit setek baru.Menyambung kaktus/grafting semakin diminati. Teknik ini mempunyai kelebihan, selain diperoleh bibit tanaman baru, grifting juga menciptakan dua jenis tanaman dari due kaktus yang berbeda sehingga mempercantik penampilan. Pertama, siapkan batang induk/batang bawah, jenis cereus spachianus atau opuntia ficus indica bisa digunakan karena kuat perakarannya. Proses sambung kaktus harus cepat dilakukan sebelum bekas potongan mengering agar menempel sempurna. Ada banyak cara sambung kaktus, namun metode sambung rata dan sambung serong paling banyak dilakukan. Prosesnya hampir sama, potong rata atau serong batang induk dan batang atas dari jenis yang berbeda. Cara cepat tempelkan dan perkuat dengan tali rafia atau benang. Sambung kaktus terlihat berhasil jika terjadi pertumbuhan pada batang atas dan tali pengikat bisa dilepas.

Menanam & Perawatan
Tanaman dari keluarga Cactaceae ini memang unik. Biasa tumbuh subur di lahan tandus dan kekurangan air. Usianya juga bisa mencapai puluhan tahun, namun bisa mati dalam sekejap jika salah perawatan.Singkatnya, menanam dan merawat kaktus perlu ketelatenan karena tanaman ini sangat rentan terhadap penyakit. Umumnya kaktus menyukai media yang porus (tidak mengikat air). Gunakan pasir halus, pupuk kandang, tepung tulang dan sekam dengan perbandingan 20:40:10:30. Setelah diaduk rata, media ini dikukus atau di sangrai agar mikroorganisme pembusuk mati. Batang kaktus dilapisi jaringan lilin yang dapat mengurangi penguapan, kondisi ini menjadikan kaktus mampu menyimpan air dan tahan kekeringan. Meski begitu, kaktus tetap perlu air untuk bertahan hidup. Penyiraman sebaiknya dilakukan 3 minggu sekali atau 1 bulan sekali, raba media tanam, jika sudah kering berarti kaktus harus disiram. Perlu diingat, air harus ber-pH normal, tidak mengandung garam atau asam yang dapat menyebabkan kebusukan. Kaktus sangat suka bermandi cahaya matahari langsung, jika Anda menaruh kaktus di dalam rumah, keluarkan setiap 1 minggu sekali dan letakkan di tempat yang terkena matahari langsung selama 2-3 minggu. Kaktus juga pantang kena air hujan berlebihan.Agar kaktus tampil prima perlu dilakukan pemupukan 4 bulan sekali. Beri pupuk tulang atau pupuk ikan dengan P dan Ca tinggi. Jangan memberi pupuk urea yang dapat mengakibatkan kebusukan. Bila kaktus sudah terlalu besar atau sebaliknya lambat pertumbuhannya lakukan pemangkasan akar atau ganti medianya.Hama kaktus umumnya cendawan jenis phytophthora infestans, kutu wol (dactylopius tomentosus), kutu lilin (Pseudococcus Longispinus), tungau dan keong tanah. Lakukan pencegahan dengan penyemprotan fungisida, bakterisida secara berkala.

Buah Kaktus yang Menyehatkan
Tak hanya indah dipandang, jenis kaktus tertentu seperti Hylocereus undatus ternyata dapat berbuah dan bisa dimakan. Salah satunya buah naga yang bercitarasa manis, asam dan segar. Dibalik aroma segarnya buah naga kaya manfaat. Banyak orang percaya buah ini dapat menurunkan kolesterol dan penyeimbang gula darah. Buah naga mengandung vitamin C, beta karoten, kalsium, karbohidrat dan tinggi serat yang dapat memperlancar proses pencernaan dan mampu pengikat zat karsinogen penyebab kanker.
posted by Budi Sutomo, S.Pd @ 10:03 PM

Jumat, 19 September 2008

How to Grow Hydrangea Bushes

Perennial Shrub
Hydrangea are beautiful, perennial bushes with huge flower heads. These deciduous bushes profusely produce huge, round flower heads in mid-summer. Hydrangea are native to North and South America, Himalayas, and central and eastern Asia.
Colors include white, pink, blue lilac, purple, varying shades of these colors, and a variety of two tones.

Flower heads have two kinds of florets Sterile, or ray florets, are male and form the large, colorful sepals on the outside of the flower head. The fertile florets bear the male and female parts and are usually found in the center of the cluster.
During the spring through fall, these bushes have attractive foliage. Most varieties of Hydrangea grow from 3 to over 10 ft. tall. Some varieties grow up to 25 feet. Most varieties prefer full sun to partial shade.

Perhaps the only downside to these lush plants with their colorful blooms, is that they shed their leaves the fall. The leafless bush becomes a less than attractive clump of stalks and stems until the following spring.

Did you know? There are over 1200 species of Hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas are grown from cuttings. Start new cuttings from April through August. Select new growth and cut about 6" to 8" from the the end of non-flowering stems. The cutting should have two to three pairs of leaves. Remove the bottom pair of leaves. Plant them in sandy soil in a shady location.Cover the cutting with a glass jar or other clear cover until the roots form. Keep the soil moist.
Once roots have formed, the new plants can be transplanted to their new location in your garden or in containers.
Hydrangeas can also be propagated by harvesting the seeds.

How to Grow Hydrangea:
Hydrangea bushes are easy to grow. They prefer full sun to partial shade. In warmer climates, put them in a more shaded area, to reduce wilting in the midday sun. They prefer moist, rich, loam soil that drains well.
When planting, add generous amounts of rich compost. Add mulch yearly to help retain soil moisture, and to replenish nutrients for the plants. Keep the soil moist the entire season to promote lush growth and big blooms. Add a general purpose fertilizer monthly.
Flowers will begin to bloom in mid summer. Remove spent blooms. This will promote more blooms. To grow bigger blooms, thin some of the stems.
Prune bushes back in winter to early spring. If the bushes become too big or winter damaged, they can be cut back close to the ground.

Color Me Hydrangea:
They say a leopard can't change his spots. But, a Hydrangea can change it's colors. Some varieties will change flower colors, depending upon the soil condition.
The amount of the micro-nutrient aluminum available for uptake by the plant results in the color changes. The pH level influences the ability of the plant to intake and use this micro-nutrient. In acidic soils high in aluminum, the flowers are blue. The higher the acidity(and aluminum), the bluer the flower. Neutral soils with less aluminum are white. Alkaline soils result in pink blooms.

To change flower colors:
Add lime of the soil to reduce acidity
Add Aluminum sulfate to increase acidity.
No Blooms? The most common cause is winter damage. A frost will kill the buds. Too much shade and poor soil conditions can also result in no blooms.

Kamis, 18 September 2008

Manfaat Tanaman Rempah

TANAMAN rempah (herba) yang biasanya digunakan untuk menambah cita rasa pada masakan ternyata memiliki banyak khasiat penting untuk kesehatan. Menanam tanaman herba tidaklah terlalu sulit. Jadi, bila Anda memiliki halaman atau pekarangan rumah yang cukup luas dan kurang termanfaatkan, mengapa tidak mencoba untuk menanaminya dengan tanaman herba? Manfaat herba bagi kesehatan sudah banyak diketahui orang.

Sakit perut, insomnia, dan rasa sakit saat menstruasi merupakan beberapa masalah kesehatan yang dapat diatasi dengan herba.
Bila Anda menanam herba di pekarangan rumah, Anda tidak perlu repot dalam mengurusnya. Tanaman herba relatif tahan terhadap berbagai jenis penyakit dan hama tumbuhan karena minyak-minyak volatil (mudah menguap) pada beberapa jenis tanaman herba berperan sebagai insektisida alami. Bahkan, tanaman herba dapat mencegah serangan hama pada jenis tanaman lain yang ditanam di lahan yang sama.

Bagaimana bila Anda tidak memiliki pekarangan yang cukup luas untuk menanam herba? Itu bukan masalah karena herba sangat adaptif sekalipun ditanam di dalam pot. Yang perlu diperhatikan adalah penyinaran. Cahaya matahari sangat penting untuk tanaman herba dalam membantu produksi minyak-minyak esensial yang berkhasiat dan dapat menambah cita rasa masakan. Pastikan areal tanam atau pot memiliki drainase yang baik. Berikut ini beberapa jenis herba yang dapat dijadikan koleksi untuk apotek hidup Anda, beserta beberapa manfaat/khasiatnya:

Bawang putih, tumbuh dari hasil popagasi umbi yang merupakan cadangan makanannya. Bila ditambahkan ke dalam masakan, bawang putih dapat mencegah infeksi, memperlancar sirkulasi darah, dan dipercaya juga membantu mengatasi penyakit jantung.

Camomile, tumbuh dari benih berupa biji. Bila dibuat teh, dapat membantu pencernaan makanan dan mengatasi insomnia.

Rosemary, tanaman tahan penyakit dan hama, yang dapat ditumbuhkan melalui pengcangkokan. Teh rosemary dapat membantu mengatasi masalah reumatik dan gejala flu.

Nasturtium, tanaman ini tumbuh dari biji dan memiliki bunga berwarna cerah. Daunnya yang pedas kaya akan Vitamin C.

Sage, tumbuh dari biji atau dengan pencangkokan. Berbau harum dan bila dibuat teh, dapat membantu sirkulasi darah serta masalah menopause.

Parsley, terkenal sebagai pencegah bau mulut. Kunyah parsley setelah makan bawang merah atau bawang putih untuk menyegarkan kembali napas Anda.

Fennel, tehnya baik untuk pencernaan.

Basil, tananam tahunan yang harum. Dapat mengurangi rasa sakit bila daunnya ditumbuk dan dioleskan pada luka gigitan serangga.

Thyme, tanaman yang memiliki khasiat universal. Bila dibuat teh, akan membantu pencernaan dan mengatasi gejala deman.

Lavender merupakan tanaman bunga klasik yang dapat membantu pencernaan serta mengurangi depresi dan rasa lelah. Bunga yang dikemas dalam sachet dan diselipkan pada tempat tidur bayi akan mempermudah bayi tertidur.

Hyssop, tehnya dapat membantu mengatasi gejala flu, demam, dan sakit perut.

Marigold, tanaman tahunan yang bernama latin Calendula officianalis ini dapat membantu mengurangi rasa sakit.

Fenugreek, bila bijinya direndam dalam air hangat dan diminum, dapat membantu wanita menyusui untuk meningkatkan volume air susunya.

Angelica, tehnya dapat memperlancar penceranaan.

Juniper, teh encernya dapat mengurangi rasa sakit dan masalah sakit perut.

Feverview, tanaman yang mirip bunga daisy ini tumbuh dari biji. Kunyah daun segarnya untuk membantu mengurangi migrain.

Penggunaan khasiat herba harus dilakukan secara hati-hati. Wanita hamil dan orang yang daya tahan tubuhnya rendah harus mendapat petunjuk dokter dalam mengonsumsi herba.

Cara membuat teh herba (herbal tea), sangat mudah. Hancurkan beberapa lembar daun dan masukkan tiga sendok teh hancuran daun tersebut ke dalam cangkir, lalu seduh dengan air mendidih. Biarkan selama tiga sampai lima menit, saring, dan tambahkan madu sebagai pemanis sesuai selera. (Handri sumber: New Idea)

***PR-Minggu, 18 Mei 2003

TIPS Menanam

Berkebun tidak harus mempunyai lahan yang luas, pekarangan yang sempit sekalipun dapat kita manfaatkan untuk berkebun.Misalnya dengan menempatkan tanaman di dalam pot -pot.Berikut ini adalah cara menanam tanaman hias /bunga di dalam pot :

Persiapan Media Tanam
1. Letakan beberapa pecahan batu merah (sebagai pengikat air) di dasar pot
2. Isi pot dengan campuran tanah yang ideal untuk tiap-tiap jenisa. Campuran umum;pasir 1/3 bagian, tanah 1/3 bagian, 1/3 bagian pupuk kandangb. Campuran untuk jenis suka kering;pasir ½ bagian, 1/2 bagian pupuk kandangc. Campuran untuk jenis suka lembabtanah ½ bagian, 1/2 bagian pupuk kandang
3. Media siap untuk ditanami.Cara Pengepotan yang BaikPilihlah pot tanaman dan media tumbuh yang sesuai dengan tanaman yang akan kita potkan. Pot juga harus disesuaikan dengan tempat dimana dan bagaimana pot tersebut diletakkan.Bila pot dan media yg telah disiapkan tersedia, pastikan pot memiliki lubang drainase yang cukup. Isikan media kurang lebih 1/3 bagian pot. masukkan tanaman, usahakan media asal yang menempel pada tanaman masih ada, agar tanaman tidak mengalami stres saat beradaptasi dengan media yang baru.Tambahkan lagi media tanam, sambil tanaman dipegang terus dengan sebelah tangan. Setelah hampir penuh, tekan media perlahan-lahan dengan ibu jari agar tanaman dapat berdiri kokoh. Pot jangan diisi sampai penuh, sisakan sekitar 2 cm dari bibir pot agar mudah waktu melakukan penyiraman.Setelah pengepotan selesai, siramlah tanaman secukupnya. Dinding luar dan dasar pot dibersihkan dari kotoran dan media tanam yang masih menempel sebelum diletakkan pada tempat yang diinginkan.

Cara Pengairan yang Tepat
Beberapa cara untuk mengairi tanaman pot dalam ruangan yaitu :
1.Air diberikan melalui alas pot. Dengan cara ini air akan meresap ke atas ke media tanam dengan melalui sistem kapiler. Keuntungan media tidak terlalu basah, tetapi ketersediaan air cukup terjamin. Untuk membantu peresapan air ke media tanam sebaiknya dipasang tali dari media ke alas pot melewati lubang drainase.
2.Air diberikan langsung pada media tanam. Pada cara ini air dapat disiramkan langsung pada permukaan media tanam atau juga dapat melalui pipa yang ditancapkan ke media tanam. Usahakan air siraman tidak mengenai tanaman secara langsung.Waktu terbaik untuk melakukan penyiraman tanaman adalah di pagi hari kira-kira jam 7 -10 (sore juga ok ).

Salah satu tanaman bunga, hias dan hortikultura/buah yang cocok di tanam di halaman rumah adalah :
1.Tanaman Bunga
Bougenville.Tanaman ini selain punya bentuk yg indah, gampang hidup, bisa di modifikasi warna dan bunganya juga berfungsi sebagai filter debu untuk rumah kita.Selain itu tanaman ini tidak terlalu besar dan akarnya pun tidak merusak pagar atau tembok rumah karena akarnya yg lembut tapi kuat.Kalau halamannya lumayan besar, menurut saya pohon palem sangat bagus dan dapat membuat kesan indah/asri.
Untuk tanaman kecil lainnya, banyak sekali yang bisa ditanam contoh : anggrek, mawar, melati, alamanda, kembang sepatu, dll
2.Tanaman Peneduh
Pohon mangga gampang merawatnya, cocok untuk peneduh, dan tentunya bisa dinikmati buahnya.Pohon peneduh menciptakan “iklim” mikro, sehingga angin yg masuk ke pekarangan dan ke dalam rumah akan lebih sejuk karena telah mendapat bulir2 uap air, mangga adalah salah satu yg tajuk pohonnya tepat sbg peneduh.
3.Tanaman Penyerap Racun
Tanaman hias dan bunga yang memiliki fungsi sebagai penyerap racun antara lain: lidah mertua, krisan, lidah buaya, sansiviera, andong, aglonema, beringin. Bahkan lidah mertua mampu menyerap logam berat seperti timbal yang paling berbahaya yang ada di udara.Jenis aglonema sangat cocok ditanam di sekitar rumah bagi perokok karena segala jenis aglonema, selain mampu menyerap CO2 juga bisa menyerap nikotin dengan baik.
4.Tanaman Penolak Nyamuk (udah ogud bahas di forum kesehatan)
Tanaman yang berfungsi sebagai hiasan sekaligus penolak nyamuk, antara lain, selasih, tahi kotok, suren, zodia, geranium, rosemary dan tembelekan. Yang bisa dijadikan anti nyamuk oles alami misalnya, kenanga, lavender dan catnip.Nyamuk tidak menyukai beberapa jenis tanaman tersebut karena mengeluarkan senyawa yang tidak disukai bahkan bisa mematikan nyamuk.
”Makin banyak menanam tanaman hias penangkal nyamuk di halaman dan taman rumah, makin kecil ketergantungan kita terhadap obat nyamuk berbahan kimia”.

tips pembasmi hama organik

Penggunaan pestisida buatan yang memakai bahan kimia
memang berbahaya bagi manusia. Kita sering merasa
waswas bila anak kita akan bisa menjangkaunya. Nah,
semoga artikel tentang pembuatan pestisida alami ini
dapat membantu memecahkan persoalan Anda (petani)
dalam melindungi kebun (lahan pertanian) sekaligus

Mimba (Azadiracta indica)
Cara pembuatannya dapat dilakukan dengan mengambil 2
genggam bijinya, kemudian ditumbuk. Campur dengan 1
liter air, kemudian diaduk sampai rata. Biarkan
selama 12 jam, kemudian disaring. Bahan saringan
tersebut merupakan bahan aktif yang penggunaannya
harus ditambah dengan air sebagai pengencer.
Cara lainnya adalah dengan menggunakan daunnya
sebanyak 1 kg yang direbus dengan 5 liter air.
Rebusan ini diamkan selama 12 jam, kemudian saring.
Air saringannya merupakan bahan pestisida alami yang
dapat digunakan sebagai pengendali berbagai hama

Tembakau (Nicotium tabacum)
Tembakau diambil batang atau daunnya untuk digunakan
sebagai bahan pestisida alami. Caranya rendam batang
atau daun tembakau selama 3 - 4 hari, atau bisa juga
dengan direbus selama 15 menit. Kemudian biarkan
dingin lalu saring. Air hasil saringan ini bisa
digunakan untuk mengusir berbagai jenis hama tanaman.

Tuba, Jenu (Derriseleptica)
Bahan yang digunakan bisa dari akar dan kulit kayu.
Caranya dengan menumbuk bahan tersebut sampai
betul-betul hancur. Kemudian campur dengan air untuk
dibuat ekstrak. Campur setiap 6 (enam) sendok makan
ekstrak tersebut dengan 3 liter air. Campuran ini
bisa digunakan untuk mengendalikan berbagai jenis hama

Temu-temuan (Temu Hitam, Kencur, Kunyit)
Bahan diambil dari rimpangnya, yang kemudian ditumbuk
halus dengan dicampur urine (air kencing) sapi.
Campuran ini diencerkan dengan air dengan perbandingan
1 : 2 - 6 liter. Gunakan untuk mengendalikan berbagai
jenis serangga penyerang tanaman.

Kucai (Allium schonaoresum)
Kalau menggunakan kucai, cara meramunya adalah dengan
menyeduhnya, yang kemudian didinginkan. Kemudian
saring. Air saringannya ini mampu untuk memberantas
hama yang biasanya menyerang tanaman mentimun.

Bunga Camomil (Chamaemelum spp)
Bunga yang sudah kering diseduh, kemudian dinginkan
dan saring. Gunakan air saringan tersebut untuk
mencegah damping off atau penyakit rebah.

Bawang Putih (Allium sativum)
Bawang putih, begitu juga dengan bawang bombai dan
cabai, digiling, tambahkan air sedikit, dan kemudian
diamkan sekitar 1 jam. Lalu berikan 1 sendok makan
deterjen, aduk sampai rata, dan kemudian ditutup.
Simpan di tempat yang dingin selama 7 - 10 hari. Bila
ingin menggunakannya, campur ekstrak tersebut dengan
air. Campuran ini berguna untuk membasmi berbagai
hama tanaman, khususnya hortikultura.

Abu Kayu
Abu sisa bakaran kayu ditaburkan di sekeliling
perakaran tanaman bawang bombay, kol atau lobak denga
tujuan untuk mengendalikan root maggot. Abu kayu ini
bisa juga untuk mengendalikan serangan siput dan ulat
grayak. Caranya, taburkan di sekeliling parit

Mint (Menta spp)
Daun mint dicampur dengan cabai, bawang daun dan
tembakau. Kemudian giling sampai halus untuk diambil
ekstraknya. Ekstrak ini dicampur dengan air
secukupnya. Dari ekstrak tersebut bisa digunakan
untuk memberantas berbagai hama yang menyerang

Kembang Kenikir (Tagetes spp)
Ambil daunnya 2 genggam, kemudian campur dengan 3
siung bawang putih, 2 cabai kecil dan 3 bawang
bombay. Dari ketiga bahan tersebut dimasak dengan air
lalu didinginkan. Kemudian tambahkan 4 - 5 bagian
air, aduk kemudian saring. Air saringan tersebut
dapat digunakan untuk membasmi berbagai hama tanaman.

Cabai Merah (Capsium annum)
Cara pembuatannya dengan mengeringkan cabai yang basah
dulu. Kemudian giling sampai menjadi tepung. Tepung
cabai tersebut kalau dicampur dengan air dapat
digunakan untuk membasmi hama tanaman.

Sedudu (sejenis tanaman patah tulang) diambil
getahnya. Getah ini bisa dimanfaatkan untuk
mengendalikan berbagai hama tanaman.

Kemanggi (Ocimum sanetu)
Cara pembuatannya: kumpulkan daun kemangi segar,
kemudian keringkan. Setelah kering, baru direbus
sampai mendidih, lalu didinginkan dan disaring. Hasil
saringan ini bisa digunakan sebagai pestisida alami.

Dringgo (Acarus calamus)
Akar dringgo dihancurkan sampai halus (menjadi
tepung), kemudian dicampur dengan air secukupnya.
Campuran antara tepung dan air tersebut dapat
digunakan sebagai bahan pembasmi serangga.

Tembelekan (Lantara camara)
daun dan cabang tembelekan dikeringkan lalu dibakar.
Abunya dicampur air dan dipercikkan ke tanaman yang
terserang hama, baik yang berupa kumbang maupun
pengerek daun.

Rumput Mala (Artimista vulgaris)
Caranya bakar tangkai yang kering dari rumput
tersebut. Kemudian manfaatkan asap ini untuk
mengendalikan hama yang menyerang suatu tanaman.

Tomat (Lycopersicum eskulentum)
Gunakan batang dan daun tomat, dan dididihkan.
Kemudian biarkan dingin lalu saring. Air dari
saringan ini bisa digunakan untuk mengendalikan
berbagai hama tanaman.

Gamal (Gliricidia sepium)
Daun dan batang gamal ditumbuk, beri sedikit air lalu
ambil ekstraknya. Ekstrak daun segar ini dan batang
gamal ini dapat digunakan untuk mengendalikan berbagai
jenis hama tanaman, khususnya jenis serangga.

Bunga Mentega (Nerium indicum)
Gunakan daun dan kulit kayu mentega dan rendamlah
dalam air biasa selama kurang lebih 1 jam, kemudian
disaring. Dari hasil saringan tadi dapat digunakan
untuk mengusir semut.

Senin, 15 September 2008

macaroni schotel


1 pak Makaroni

2 butir bawang bombay dirajang

1 kaleng kecil corned beef dalam kaleng atau yang pak-pakan

100 gr daging asap siap pakai2 kotak kaldu ayam/sapi bubuk ( jika suka )

500 ml susu cair

Garam secukupnya

Merica bubuk secukupnya

Pala bubuk secukupnya (lebih terasa apabila dari biji pala yang diparut)

6 butir telur

100 gr keju edam,

diparutKeju permessan untuk taburan diatas

Cara pengolahan-

Rebus makaroni dalam air yang mendekati mendidih sampai matang,-

Campur dalam satu tempat Makaroni, bawang bombay, corned beef dan daging asap,- Masukkan kaldu bubuk, garam, merica, pala, telur, keju edam parut dan susu. Diaduk sampai rata, (Sisakan telur untuk dituang diatas adonan)-

Tuang ke dalam pinggan tahan panas yang sudah diolesi margarin dan ditaburi tepung trigu tipis-tipis ssaja,

- Masukkan telur sisa diatas adonan,

- Taburkan keju permessan diatasnya,-

Dan siap di panggang dalam oven selama 1 jam dengan suhu 180 derajat Celcius.


Hydrangea alias Hortensia alias kembang bokor. Gerombolan bunganya besar, denger2 bisa merubah warnanya dengan menambahkan asam atau basa di PH tanah...hmmm, perlu dicoba nih :P
Senangnya, dahlia yang kemarin sempat agak busuk karena kena hujan, sekarang sudah bisa berbunga lagi (pfiuuh). Kayaknya nyari bunga ini susah juga, ya :(

Kembang sepaatu biru, penghuni baru di mini garden. Bunganya hanya tahan sehari, udah gitu, sekarang lagi pengen nyari buat ngusir semut yang sering main ke kuntum bakal bunga >(

Ugly Duckling n Me

Meskipun kurang menggigit seperti buatan animasi disney, tapi ide cerita yang didasarkan dari dongeng Hans Christian Andersen ini cukup menghibur.

Jumat, 12 September 2008


Ini salah satu dari verbena yang ditanam di atas, ada 2 warna : shocking pink dan ungu.

Kamis, 11 September 2008


Tanamannya kecil, tapi bisa harum meskipun syukurnya ga sekuat melati, ya. Sekarang lagi menunggu bunga berikutnya untuk mekar, semoga bisa banyak nii...

kembang kertas

Ini dia, tanaman tahan banting yang mulai tumbuh bunga baru...lucunya,warna kembang kertas yang berikutnya lebih menyala dibandingakan bunga pertamanya yang pink muda. Selain tahan banting, lebah sama kupu2 juga seneng banget nemplok di bunganya...mungkin karena petal bunganya yang besar jadi mereka punya landasan besar buat mendarat,hehehe:D
Yang pasti liat tanaman ini, jadi inget masa kecil dulu, nyokap pernah nanam ini bersampingan dengan bunga sedap malam ( makanya next project pengen nyari sedap malam...susah banget nyarinya). Kalau yang besar di belakang berwarna pink itu, tumbuh dari kelopak bunga yang udah kering yang dibawa pas kegiatan teruna di cisarua.Dia tumbuh berbarengan sama dengan kenikir.Masalahnya kenikirnya yang sekarang banyak banget dirumah, bingung mau diapain :P

lily ?

Seneng banget, Setelah dipindah dari pot dengan jumlah anakan yang bejibun, pas di halaman, seminggu kemudian sudah mulai berbunga! Ini namanya apa, ya, sepertinya si lily, yang pasti dia berumbi. Tadi malam sehabis pulang kantor, sempet ngeliat ada ulat bulu gede banget tau2 udah ada di daunnya...muncul darimana ya ? kasian si, soalnya dia kan calon kupu2. Ya itu deh, kebetulan tanaman bunga yang ada di balkon ini semuanya yang digemari kupu2 dan lebah...pengen bikin butterfly garden,tapi ga mau daunnya pada abis dimakanin...:(


Tanamannya sih agak g enak dihirup, cuma sering banget berbunga. Ini lantana peninggalan dulu yang sempet terabaikan kurang lebih setahun. Setelah dikasih pupuk organic , dalam waktu sebentar kuntum bunganya keluar terus! mesti inget untuk dipotong si, biar cabangnya makin banyak...Semoga bisa cari yang warna ungu pink next time,hehehehe...

Pesona pentas

Semburat warna pink muda dengan bunga yang menggerombol (sekilas mirip bunga soka), paling disukai oleh lebah :D Moga2 si lebah pekerja langganan berekor biru itu bisa tertangkap kamera ya...Beberapa hari lalu koleksi tanaman di balkon kecil yang sekarang menjadi "my Mini Garden" ini jadi bertambah dengan bunga pentas berwarna merah muda, magenta dan shocking pink.


Akhirnya, setelah 2 minggu kurang ditanam, angelonia atau yang sering dibilang lavender di tukang tanaman mulai berbunga juga :D bunganya mulai bergerombol di setiap ketiak daun....pfiiuh, padahal sempet worry juga setelah ujan kemarin