Friday, January 27, 2012

Foliage Plants in January

Even if rains seldom fall here these days we are still officially in the rainy season, the last few weeks before the dry season begins. But many trees and plants show that they are ready for the dry months. Our national tree, the deciduous hardwood narra or Pterocarpus indicus, already starts to shed its leaves. In the first two months of dry season they are bald and dormant, as if they are in the fall season of temperate countries. 

Grasses and weeds are already in their fruiting stages and many already shed their seeds. Annuals are also in the last vestiges of their life cycle, ready to spread their genes to preserve their species.

Since our garden plants are still watered either by rain or by my mother, they are still at their prime, but some symptoms of maturity are already obvious. They are just finishing their last steps of development.

Alternanthera of Family Amaranthaceae



Although Aglaonema does not have bulbs, their rhizomes or old stems remain alive during the the dry months. Only 2 or 3 leaves remain alive to make its food. They come alive again after the first heavy rains.

 Proiphys amboinensis (?Euricles amboinensis)

This is a bulb plant, and it dries and shed its leaves during the dry season, become dormant and be alive again at the start of the rainy season in May-June.

 Chlorophytum or spider plant

Although Chlorophytum doesn't have bulbs, they have fleshy root structures which remain alive with stored energies during summer months. They serve as the first energy source when it rains when it is still trying to produce leaves to manufacture its new food.

 Another Alternanthera (ficoidea ?) of Amaranthus Family

Alternanthera (species ?) too of Amaranthus family

Ti plant or Cordylline terminalis

All these plants are not seen during the dry season, they either die or their parts become dormant, to emerge again coming rainy season. The bulbs become dormant during the dry months, but their bulbs just stay alive in the soil. We don't need to uproot them just like in winter climates. 

The Caladium:
 Caladium bicolor

 The Ferns:

The ferns die fully in our area, but they already scattered their  spores to germinate and grow when the rains come.

Asparagus plumosus, misleadingly called asparagus fern

 native ferns



  1. I love these kinds of plants, Andrea... Some of them are used as 'house' plants in our country--and some of them can live in the southern part of the country.

    We tried to plant caladium one spring --but they don't do well here. I do have some gorgeous hosta ---IF I can keep the deer away from them!!!!

    Great post... Love seeing so much beauty in your area.

  2. We have such similiar plants. I love caladiums. I have them here but they are sleeping right now. Beautiful colors.

  3. Fabulous collection of foliage plants. I just love the Caladiums and Ferns! I'd love to have more of both.

  4. Betsy - yes Texas and Florida have the same plants as ours, although they have colder climates more suited to these plants.

    Rohrerbot - Kreesh, our caladiums and other bulbs are now getting to sleep too, haha! Our dry season is already around the corner.

    Bernie H - those caladiums are scattered in the property and just come about if they want to, they are not tended, just like those ferns which are like weeds here. But i love them both.

  5. Fabulous foliage plants. Love the Ferns...some of the oldest plants on our planet.

  6. The Sanchezia leaves are really pretty to look at...

  7. Gorgeous foliage...I can only dream of trying to keep any of these alive in summer or in the house...I love how your plants behave with the change of weather and different but maybe not...

  8. Mmm, gorgeous photos - I love those ferns. I also love all the reflections and the Zen-ness of the photos and the mood in your previous post :)

  9. Thanks for sharing this beautiful foliage with us. Ferns don't do well in our neighborhood, although we often see them when we are hiking. Plants from the bulbs we plant start showing signs of light when the soil warms in Spring.

  10. Each one is beautiful and lush...what a wonderful way to surround oneself! Just love them, especially the ones who have some red, and also the ferns.

  11. i love the ferns, esp the native ferns.

  12. I see a lot of my houseplants in your post. Some in our greenhouse too. I love Caladium and do plant them outside, but lift them in late Fall. Pretty images!

  13. Lovely foliage plants Andrea! they remind me of a beautiful paradise...especially the ferns!!

  14. thanks for this little trip through your garden :)

  15. Wow i miss to see this kind of flowers. We have all of that in my mama's garden in the Pinas. Mine is up as well.

  16. lots of nice plants. Thanks for the tour. :)

  17. Beautiful photos of these wonderful plants, Andrea. We have some of these growing in our garden or in our shadehouse.
    Many thanks for participating in Floral Friday Fotos!

  18. Those are all very beautiful plants. Most of them are house plants in our area. I plant caladiums in my outside planters in the summer but as soon as the weather cools they die. I do have a large fern in my backyard that stays green all winter.

    The little Bee Fly on my blog today is not the one that lays eggs on bees. The Bee Fly is about the same size as a honey bee. I see them often in the summer when they come to my flowers for the nectar.

    There is a very small parasitic fly that is believed to lay eggs in bees, I can't remember the exact name.

  19. Wonderful plants, Andrea.
    Do answer your question on my blog:
    D.R. is short for Dominican Republic. We just returned from our winter vacation from this beautiful island.
    Thank you for your visit,

  20. andami niyan dito sa garden kaso di ko alam anu name.. at least now alam ko na... great post Andrea! lovely photos too :)

    hope to see you too, thanks!

  21. Beautiful photos of these wonderful plants...great colors...
    Greetings Karin

  22. Beautiful foliage plants.
    I have a lot of then on my garden.

  23. Gorgeous! The ferns makes me miss home.

    Crab Apple, please come and see it's beauty.

  24. the caladiums and ferns are just exquisite Andrea. a feast for the eyes. beautiful colours and appealing shots.

  25. Hi Andrea thanks for visiting my blog I do appreciate it. I had planted several of these plants in our yard and it multiply and grow fast. These year I will transplant some. I like plants like this especially inside the house too. ^_^

  26. I shall be missing these beautiful tropical plants. Your blog would keep them available at any time/place.

  27. Andrea, even if you never had a flower your garden would still be colorful and full of variety, thanks to all of your gorgeous foliage plants!

  28. Wonderful and colourful foliage Andrea! If I am there I will be really excited for plants reacts differently in different seasons of the year. Happy gardening!

  29. Andrea, these are amazing! I have not seen such beautiful ombre combination of the caladium, let alone bearing flowers! Love the different variety of ferns.

  30. Hi there - what a great range of colours. See the seasons in different parts of the world is one of the simple pleasures of blogging.

    We have had hot, sticky weather for the last few days. Thankfully is now cooling down a bit.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

  31. Very interesting for me! Beautiful photos!

  32. Proiphys amboinensis is a wonderful thing isn't it. It never fails to delight me with those strong flowering stalks that rise up with umbells of snow white flowers just before the leaves at the start of the wet season. The new unfurling deeply venated eaves are also absolutely splendid, each one bigger than the last and in a stunning Spring green that lasts and lasts. Eventually mid to late season they harden off a darker glossy green like yours pictured. The light passing through a clump of new leaves and flowers is a magical sight. The tropical hosta most definitely. Stunning in large shiny glazed blue Burmese or terracotta pots. Feed with high nitrogen to get the biggest leaves and strongest flowering stalks during the growing phase, when the flower stalks and leaves emerge and until they are full grown. Just before the dry season feed once or twice with very high potassium to grow big fat healthy ripe bulbs. Keep dry in the dry season for good flowering. Also for good flowering plant in as bright light short of full sun as they will take. If your humidity and rainfall is very high they will happily take full morning sun and even more. The more light the brighter the green.

    Im very surprised this isn't grown more often, it makes a terrific very sophisticated ground cover under bright dappled shade.

    That Alternathera is the brightest, reddest I've ever seen, very nice.


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