Technique for More Flowers from the Sandpaper Vine - Deadheading

There is a less-known technique for encouraging a wave of flowering for plants. If it is well-known, then I suppose it isn't practiced widely. That technique is called Deadheading. I wrote an article on Deadheading for More Flowers many years ago.

Over the years, I've done deadheading on the Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit), the Rose Cactus (Pereskia bleo), Maiden's Jealousy Vine (Tristellateia australasiae), and the Garlic Vine (Mansoa alliacea), among others. All of these yielded postive results.

This time, I'm writing on my experience with deadheading on the Sandpaper Vine (Petrea volubilis) also known as Purple Wreath or Queen's Wreath. By its nature (vigorous growth and sandpapery leaves), there are some specific considerations, and those too will be discussed.

Wouldn't it be a gorgeous sight to have this display that greets you as you enter your home? And to have this sight a few times in the year at that!


Easy Adenium (Desert Rose) Grafting - Wedge Technique

In this article we'll explore a grafting technique called Top Wedge Grafting or, simply, Wedge Grafting as it's known with adeniums (desert rose). We chose an ordinary adenium to be the stock plant.

Ordinary or common adeniums are very hardy, robust, and would make a good choice as the stock. For the scion, we'll be using the beautiful triple-petal Thai variety called Rung Arung. Shown below in the inset is the Rung Arung adenium variety.

Designer Adenium Stem Sculpture 4 - Lantern

Among the Adenium (Desert Rose) Stem Sculptures I've created, the Lantern Design is by far the trickiest. It is perhaps the cutting or carving of the Adenium for the pattern you're after is not naturally intuitive. Without a design plan, or not following it correctly, you can have unwanted and, oftentimes, awful results. So what I wrote in this article was to simplify the planning and cutting processes that will yield the pattern you'll need to execute the design. And when you've successfully cut or carved the Adenium plant (photo below), you're in for a treat! (see inset)

Grafting Christmas Cactus to Dragon Fruit Plant

The first time I saw a Christmas Cactus, I couldn't believe cacti would grow and develop flowers that way. In a recent project, I was able to graft the moon cactus to the dragon fruit plant. I was amazed how the dragon fruit plant can be used as a versatile grafting stock for cacti.

Grafting Moon Cactus on Dragon Fruit Plant

Wayback when I was visiting gardens shows in Los Banos, Laguna, I chanced upon a seller who had very colorful cacti on display. I learned from her that they were called Moon Cactus or Gymnocalycium mihanovichii. The prices were steep for my taste (as usual).

Well, I saw a tiny cactus pup (or offsets as they are called) that fell off in one pot. Of course, the curiousity in me led me into sneaking that pup into my pocket. This, with the intent of planting it at home as some sort of a cutting. I planted the pup. It just rotted after a few days.

I found out much later why there was no way for that Moon Cactus pup to survive.



DIY Mosaic Pots with Ceramic Tiles - Sealing the Tile Grout

(This is the continuation of Part 3)

When the tile grout has dried, the mosaic looks really good. The grout looks a bit chalky though and doesn't blend well with the rest of the glossy mosaic tiles. Not only that, the tile grout powder sometimes has the tendency to stick to your fingers when handling the pot.

And this is where you need to seal the grout with a tile grout sealer. The tile grout sealer penetrates the grout, fills and seals it. It leaves a waterproof surface with a shiny finish.


Sealing the Tile Grout

  1. The tile grout sealer is liquid and there's nothing to mix. However, do shake the tile grout sealer well. Spray some of the sealer on the mosaic garden pot. After spraying, spread the liquid around on the tile grout rather than on the tiles with your fingers. You may also use a small paint brush to apply the sealer on the grout.

DIY Mosaic Pots with Ceramic Tiles - Applying the Tile Grout

(This is the continuation of Part 2)

This may, arguably, be the fun part of the DIY Mosaic Garden Pot project, if not the dirtiest part. In this stage, you'll be working on filling in the spaces in between tiles of the mosaic and further securing them to the pot. Other than black, there are other available tile grout colors like gray and white. In a way, tile grouting gives a touch of color syle to the finished mosaic pot.

Applying the Tile Grout

  1. Before you add the tile grout, it is best to feel if there is tile adhesive that sticks out with the tiles. This is tile adhesive that may have been pushed out from beneath the tile pieces and dried. If so, use an old screwdriver to scrape off this excess tile adhesive.

    Ideally, there should be some space between the tiles for the grout to fill. Edges and points of broken tiles can be extremely sharp so wear garden gloves to protect your hands from injury.