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Seeking the rojak flower

#1 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 11:20 PM

Was at the URA holiday chalet over the weekend and saw a droolsome E. elatior growing there. Sorely tempted to get out the knives but I had to go to church and didn't want dreadful sins weighing me down. Went to a nursery but the man said they were out and anyway suggested that it would cost anything like $18 to $25 for a small pot (*clunk* sound of one jaw dropping).

Can anyone tell me where I can get hold of some rhizomes free or cheaply? And honestly -_-/> for I would like to dip my Vietnamese spring rolls in the chilli without a haunting guilt.
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#2 User is offline   wilson 

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:31 AM

Hi Shireen,

Depending on which nursery you visit and the stock that is available, sometimes you can get an almost established plant with $25, which will reward you with the flowers in about slightly more than a year's time, depending on the growinng conditions you give it.

If you were to start from rhizomes, it will take even longer, taking into account of the time for the rhizome to recover from the shock, for it to sprout and grow, etc. Hence I would suggest that you wait for a while and grab one that is the right size when you go nursery hopping.

Remember to get the pink flowered torch ginger because it is the most floriferous cultivar compared to the red and white ones.

Wilson
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#3 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 09:41 PM

Well, Wilson, I guess your advice is probably sound and I might take that route if I really can't get a rhizome to grow for me. Yes, I want the pink one. But I am also wondering - are the red and white ones edible?

This post has been edited by Shireen: 18 March 2008 - 09:42 PM

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#4 User is offline   superfinefeline 

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 12:00 AM

ooh! I've always wanted a Bunga Siantan too! I can grow it in a pot? Thrilling! Which nursery did u spot the plant in?
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#5 User is offline   wilson 

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 06:24 AM

View PostShireen, on Mar 18 2008, 09:41 PM, said:

Well, Wilson, I guess your advice is probably sound and I might take that route if I really can't get a rhizome to grow for me. Yes, I want the pink one. But I am also wondering - are the red and white ones edible?


Hi Shireen,

The rest are also edible except that they do not bloom that often so we don't really see them in the market. Besides the white flowered torch ginger is considered as an exotic plant. It is perhaps the most shy bloomer amongst the three.


View Postsuperfinefeline, on Mar 19 2008, 12:00 AM, said:

ooh! I've always wanted a Bunga Siantan too! I can grow it in a pot? Thrilling! Which nursery did u spot the plant in?


Torch gingers can be bought from World Farm and sometimes plants up to 1.5 m in height can be bought. They are all planted in big black polythene bags.

Trust me, it is really worth that money to buy a plant of that size rather than to wait for the rhizome pieces to sprout! It is painfully slow.

Wilson
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#6 User is offline   porkchop 

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:57 AM

I've got a red torch ginger & have yet to plant it in the ground. What's the ideal location? Will it bloom in the shade?
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#7 User is offline   wilson 

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 11:22 AM

View Postporkchop, on Mar 19 2008, 10:57 AM, said:

I've got a red torch ginger & have yet to plant it in the ground. What's the ideal location? Will it bloom in the shade?


Hi Porkchop,

Grow it in a semi-shaded condition, best if it is sheltered from wind - you don't want to see a torn torch ginger.

Don't bury it too deep as this will cause the plant to rot. If it is not stable and wobbles, prop it up with stakes.

Wilson
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#8 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:40 PM

View Postwilson, on Mar 19 2008, 11:22 AM, said:

Grow it in a semi-shaded condition, best if it is sheltered from wind - you don't want to see a torn torch ginger.


Yes, I think this is right as the plant I saw was in an area that was bounded by the house wall on one side and by a tall boundary wall on the other in a space that was a bit over 11/2 metres deep, so there wasn't a great deal of sun yet it bloomed. The gardener had covered the ground over with nice round pebbles so it was all very low maintenence and looked good next to the terracotta pathway.
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#9 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:43 PM

View Postsuperfinefeline, on Mar 19 2008, 12:00 AM, said:

ooh! I've always wanted a Bunga Siantan too! I can grow it in a pot?


It's one of those plants that won't do quite so well in a pot as it needs space in order to spread out and flower. I think that's why they are sold in bags rather than in pots.
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#10 User is offline   wilson 

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 12:04 AM

View PostShireen, on Mar 19 2008, 10:43 PM, said:

It's one of those plants that won't do quite so well in a pot as it needs space in order to spread out and flower. I think that's why they are sold in bags rather than in pots.


To add on to what Shireen mentioned, plastic bags are meant to be cheap, temporary growing 'containers' for many plants meant for sale.

They should never be grown inside such bags for prolonged periods. They won't die but wont be too happy. When you found a spot to grow the Torch Ginger, remember to remove the plastic bag and plant the entire root ball into the ground. Try not to attempt to remove the soil, basically do not disturb the roots too much.

Wilson
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#11 User is offline   porkchop 

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:11 PM

Thanks Wilson, Shireen. I'll be growing the torch ginger in my parents' garden (they've recently moved). There is a very shaded area in the garden, as the roadside trees are quite dense in foliage, but I'm uncertain if any sunlight peeks through - I've not spent the whole day there watching the area. Torch ginger needs some sunlight, right? Also, how tall will it grow?
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#12 User is offline   wilson 

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:46 PM

View Postporkchop, on Mar 20 2008, 03:11 PM, said:

Thanks Wilson, Shireen. I'll be growing the torch ginger in my parents' garden (they've recently moved). There is a very shaded area in the garden, as the roadside trees are quite dense in foliage, but I'm uncertain if any sunlight peeks through - I've not spent the whole day there watching the area. Torch ginger needs some sunlight, right? Also, how tall will it grow?



Hi Porkchop,

The torch ginger should be able to grow under dense shade, except it will tend to grow slightly taller than usual (as it stretches to reach to light) and flower less frequently.

The usual height of a torch ginger is about 2.5 to 3 m. With such a height, a mature, flowering torch ginger is surely a spectacle to behold and makes a bold focal point in a garden.

Wilson
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#13 User is offline   mm 

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 06:01 PM

Shireen - this is what to expect :

Freshly dug rhizomes :
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e79/mmlim/Torchie1.jpg

A full length inflorescence and stem:
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e79/mmlim/Torchie2.jpg

It's 64 inches tall!
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e79/mmlim/Torchie3.jpg

This post has been edited by mm: 20 March 2008 - 06:04 PM

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#14 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:52 PM

mm, is that for me? Those rhizomes look amazing. I bought a pink one today in Bedok but if you give that I think I have a spot. Though my neighbour may eventually not be too pleased. :lol:/> My pink one is about 1.8 metres tall but I paid just $14 so I think it's not too bad a deal. That's going near the banana, but I haven't placed it yet as I am thinking whether it should be before or after the banana - concerned about the light being blocked. Will it manage if there is direct sunlight for just about a couple of hours in the afternoon?
A certain member of the family was not very appreciative of the height of the plant and there were mutterings about jungles. :rolleyes:/> Aesthetics is really a very subjective thing. I love jungles.
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#15 User is offline   wilson 

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:56 PM

Hi Shireen,

This plant can be grown with the light conditions that you have stated in your previous post. My plant which is now about 2.5 m in the community garden gets about 4 to 5 hours of direct morning sun daily. It has been doing well.

If it is grown in too bright an area, you probably need to water it more often too.

You need to space it apart from the banana as you won't want the both plants to be fighting for space and light in the end. Not only they don't grow well because one may overly shade the other and in terms of aesthetics, you don't want two plants to be too crammed together.

Wilson
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#16 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:09 AM

Am concerned that I may have to dig up a limau purut and a lime plant which are already in the ground. Plus, there is a sewage cover in the area so there isn't much room. But it looks like the best spot. Looks like I will have a lot of digging ahead.
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#17 User is offline   mm 

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:54 AM

View PostShireen, on Mar 20 2008, 11:52 PM, said:

Will it manage if there is direct sunlight for just about a couple of hours in the afternoon?

It's a fairly tolerant plant I think. I have grown them in full sun, on a slope, and they grow to 13 ft, with inflorescences more than 5ft tall. I had also grown them in partial sun, and they seemed just as happy. I had grown them in well prepared soil (clayey with lots of compost and chicken manure and bone meal dung in) and they grew fabulously. I have also left them to their own devices, and they still didn't seem to mind. But let me qualify that last statement - those left to their own devices had lots of leaf litter which are left to decompose naturally ( I like to think I'm a purist in simulating natural conditions, but the truth is I don't have time to clean up :rolleyes:/> ).

So, the moral is - plant it where it's convenient, except in complete shade. And as for what to do with the 2nd plant? Plant both together, instead of in separate locations. It'll look better.
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#18 User is offline   porkchop 

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 11:38 AM

Hi mm,

*shameless request*

May I have a pink torch ginger rhizome, please? I have a variety of lotus seeds if you want to barter....
:blush:/>
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#19 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:34 PM

View Postmm, on Mar 21 2008, 12:54 AM, said:

It's a fairly tolerant plant I think. I have grown them in full sun, on a slope, and they grow to 13 ft, with inflorescences more than 5ft tall. I had also grown them in partial sun, and they seemed just as happy. I had grown them in well prepared soil (clayey with lots of compost and chicken manure and bone meal dung in) and they grew fabulously. I have also left them to their own devices, and they still didn't seem to mind. But let me qualify that last statement - those left to their own devices had lots of leaf litter which are left to decompose naturally ( I like to think I'm a purist in simulating natural conditions, but the truth is I don't have time to clean up :rolleyes:/> ).

So, the moral is - plant it where it's convenient, except in complete shade. And as for what to do with the 2nd plant? Plant both together, instead of in separate locations. It'll look better.

Pink, red, purple - gimme, gimme. Will be totally shameless and greedy. (Hah! I hear everyone saying - showing her true colours!)

Two of the stems (there are 4) of the torches I bought have bent. :(/> Do I cut at the bend or nearer the base?
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#20 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:35 PM

View Postmm, on Mar 21 2008, 12:54 AM, said:

It's a fairly tolerant plant I think. I have grown them in full sun, on a slope, and they grow to 13 ft, with inflorescences more than 5ft tall. I had also grown them in partial sun, and they seemed just as happy. I had grown them in well prepared soil (clayey with lots of compost and chicken manure and bone meal dung in) and they grew fabulously. I have also left them to their own devices, and they still didn't seem to mind. But let me qualify that last statement - those left to their own devices had lots of leaf litter which are left to decompose naturally ( I like to think I'm a purist in simulating natural conditions, but the truth is I don't have time to clean up :rolleyes:/> ).

So, the moral is - plant it where it's convenient, except in complete shade. And as for what to do with the 2nd plant? Plant both together, instead of in separate locations. It'll look better.

Pink, red, purple - gimme, gimme. Will be totally shameless and greedy. (Hah! I hear everyone saying - showing her true colours!)

Two of the stems (there are 4) of the torches I bought have bent. :(/> Do I cut at the bend or nearer the base?
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