(Blooming) Vitex trifolia | General updates

My vitex trifolia’s flowers have finally bloomed. For a plant which is reputed to be a superb mozzie repellent, its flowers are delicately-plumed and a graceful purple. And they’re pretty tiny!

I pruned the plant the other day and gave three cuttings to a fellow GCSer. Methinks they’d root pretty well.

Articles to a village in Samoa using the plant to combat dengue:
Making mosquitoes buzz off, the natural, traditional way

Warding off mosquitoes

I’ve cleared A LOT of plants which were either dying, dead, or too sickly from the RSM attacks to be of use. So far, I have cleared:

1. Totem cherry tomato – I suspect it’s my small planter box, with a lack of certain fertilizers, and then an overdose of fertilizers that killed it;

2. Old pots of chocolate mints – too scarred by RSMs; still have some rebel forces of RSMs hiding beneath some leaves;

3. Two pak choy plants – the ones in the water reservoir started lagging and not doing well, even after so long. So off they went;

4. Suspected black peppermint – took cuttings to root; threw away mother pot;

5. Original pot of lemon balm – this was from ONE single stem cutting I took from my first pot of lemon balm, which my dad killed. Got too attacked by RSMs;

6. Lemon basil | Sweet basil | Italian Genovese basil – I’ve let all of them bolt. Since I don’t use basil at all, might as well collect the seeds for future planting, and clear out the parent plants;

7. Piper sarmentosum – so battered by the rain.

I think that’s about all for the moment. I’m currently doing a lot of stem cuttings to root new plants, so that I can throw away the parent plants which are/have been attacked and scarred badly by red spider mites.

Lemon myrtle is growing like…I dunno. O_o It’s huge, and definitely top-heavy.



Sometimes, left alone to grow on their own, plants seem to grow a lot more happily and a lot lusher than if we were to fuss over them every tiny bit. That’s the lesson I’ve learnt.

Of course, I still do the almost-daily checks for pests and stuff, but generally, my regieme is to water once a day unless it storms/is the stormy season; feed with dilute fish emulsion on Wednesdays and Sundays; and spray with dilute seaweed extract everyday. No big job. Can be done in less than 20 minutes.

When I went to check them out this late afternoon, my plants seem to have taken some sort of steroids (okay, in the form of fish emulsion and seaweed extract) without my knowledge (yeah, right) and my growing area has become so lush (read: almost messy) that I’m tempted to do hard pruning or stuff.

Basil pot

These few stalks of basils (Italian Genovese Basil and something else, I think) were given to me by Jolantru. They’ve also gone through a fair share of attacks and stuff.

Totem cherry tomatoes

Now I understand why those heirloom tomato growers say they are granny toms. So slow!

Heirloom lemon basil

This heirloom lemon basil plant is the sole survivor from about three seeds sowed; the two other seedlings died off for some reason. This one has survived an attack of red spider mites, getting severe leaf burn from my home-made white oil, hard pruning, and has bounced back to show me its lush, green leaves.

Butterhead lettuce

The second butterhead lettuce that was only recently transferred to pure hydroponics solution and given the afternoon sun has sprouted many lush green leaves.

I’ve learnt my lesson – eat hydroponics veggies with sauce to take away the blandness.

Local lettuce

Growing a whole lot bigger too. I wonder how different they taste from the butterhead.

Lemon eucalyptus

This plant is showing off an early potential to become the tree that it really is. The tips have already bent over slightly from touching the ceiling. Now where the hell do I put it?