(Updates | Pest Control) Vitex trifolia; mulberry cuttings; red spider mites

Vitex trifolia

I got these as cuttings from a local nursery. The mother stock was a large tree over two meters tall. Since I’d been a regular customer at the nursery and one of the bosses knows me, he gave me some cuttings.

It’s supposed to be a pretty effective mosquito repellent. The leaves can be burnt for that purpose too.

I treated the cuttings I got (some time back in March or so) the same as mulberry cuttings – I stripped off the outer bark about one inch in length from the bottom of each cutting, applied rooting hormone, and firmed the soil around the cuttings; after which they were left in a bright but shaded area. They root surprisingly easily.

The plant now.

Healthy leaves.

Another set of leaves.

Mulberry cuttings

Got these mulberry cuttings from Chawanmushi of GCS (very kind lady!) The ones in the pictures are their second time sending out shoots. I think it should be safe by now to let the shoots form instead of snipping them off to direct energy to root development. But if not, well, give them a few more days, and I’ll snip them off for my dad’s tortoises.

Red spider mites

Still around, but getting them firmly under control. I saw that my vitex trifolia’s lower set of leaves were infected, so I snipped them off, sprayed white oil on the mites, then did a photo-shoot of their tiny carcasses.

Insignificant-looking red dots – killers of plants.

Leaves scarred by the mites.

Compared with the healthy leaves.


(Harvesting) Mulberries, local lettuce | (Composting) Garbage Enzyme

Pretty purple flower on the Italian Genovese basil, which I snipped off after two days of admiring it. I’m too lazy to propagate by seeds. Stem cuttings work so much better and faster.

The absolutely ripe mulberries. =)

After reading about garbage enzyme on a thread at Green Culture Singapore, I finally collected enough green scraps from the kitchen and to start.

I added in shredded mulberry leaves and local lettuce leaves (leftovers after feeding the tortoises), apple peels, onion peels and orange peels. Added brown/raw/unprocessed sugar. Water. Sealed the lid.

Let’s see how it turns out three months later.

It can be used either as a foliar spray or direct into the soil.

Garbage enzyme.

Wednesday update

I never realized how prolific mints can become. Take, for example, the pineapple, orange, and chocolate mints. I’d brutally trimmed them back quite a bit for propagation purposes only last week, and today, I saw that they’ve grown even taller than they were before, sprawling all over the sides of the pots. Roots have also grown out of the pots, even with brutal cuttings away when repotting. I suspect I’d have to transfer all of them to much larger pots soon.

For mints, it seems like as long as they get enough sun and water, the more you trim, the more they love to bounce back and become wild.

Grapefruit mint cuttings doing well and healthy. This mint surprisingly doesn’t sprawl, preferring to be as upright as possible.

Chocolate and orange mint cuttings having rooted in water and planted in a pot.

Pineapple mint cuttings growing well also.

Basil pot – Italian Genovese Basil on the left; lemon basil on the right.

The eau de cologne mint cuttings I’m propagating for someone.

Mulberry fruits ripening quickly.

Capsicum seedling having grown about 11 leaves; its stem is thick and sturdy for its size.

My herb box – chocolate mint (another version? from a GCSer); apple mint; eau de cologne mint.

The chocolate mint from a GCSer.

Apple mint cuttings from Isetan.

Eau de cologne mint.

The chocolate mint I ordered.

Suspected peppermint/water mint/black peppermint.

Thursday update

Have kinda pruned a few plants and acquired a few new plants.

Limp tarragon cutting that I stuck into the soil yesterday.

As compared with the parent plant.

My sweet marojam is proliferating.

Top view.

Redening mulberry fruits.

Some weird whitish stuff on the stalk of my roselle plant.

The supposed dill which grew after I cut a few stalks off to cook potato salad with.

Dill and…wormwood?

Closeups of dill leaves.

Wormwood? leaves.

Slightly tuberous? roots of dill.

Clean stalks of wormwood?

Surviving English lavender.

Young munstead lavender plant.

All on one water tray.

Rosemary. The extra plant is still dying.

Mature pygmy sundew (D. roseana) that I bought from Elgin.

Another shot of it.

Smaller roseana growing. XD

Pygmies too. The D. nitidula.

Flowering D. intermedia.

Flowering D. tokaiensis.

New traps growing from my red snap dragon VFT.


Lemon basil | Mulberry | True Dill | Coleus | Cat’s whiskers

Seeds on my cat’s whiskers plant.

Flowers of the lemon basil, which I snipped off and stuck in the soil again – I didn’t want the plant to flower and then die off so quickly.

My lemon basil – notice the flower stalk now at the bottom right?

Trimmed eau de cologne mint still looking wild.

My mulberry which has 99% ripened.

Red ruffles coleus I believe.

Will take the true dill pictures tomorrow.