But instead of waiting for the sea wave to wash the stick back to you, why not bring it home and grow it. These green long sticks are Mangrove seedlings. In Singapore, there are few areas you get to see mangrove, most beaches are cleared of mangrove and hidden in a few corners of the coast, you still find them. One place is the Pasir Ris Breach and the St. John's island. Here is how you can grow them.
Mangrove are actually very slow growing as I read, so my guess is you don't have to worry about space for some time. Surprisingly, mangrove seedlings are hardy and easy to grow. Pick those that are still green on the top (just pick a few, you don't need many). At the same time, collect some sand (no need a lot, just sufficent to cover 2-3 inches of the top of the planting pot).
I prefer to grow the seedling in saltwater because it will not attract/breed mosquitos and insect (but according to text, mangrove can be grown in freshwater).
1) You will need a food container wide enough for a pot to put inside (see picture). The container will hold the saltwater.
2) I use Pan salt from the supermarket as they are less toxic. Mix the pansalt to about 70% concentration of the sea in a cup (just estimate with your tongue. If you think seawater is sweet....OMG OMG OMG.
* Not super concentrate but more than enough to kill a freshwater fish and mozzie. You do not need a lot of salt water as the pot will eventually displace most of them.
3)Fill the planting pot with soil (as how you would plant a houseplant) and pour freshwater till it runs out (I use plastic pot with holes at the bottom side, rather than under). Fill in more soil and make the soil very compact (press the soil down). Continue adding water to let the loose ends out from the pot holes.
4) Wash the mangrove clean under the tap and stick the seedling into the soil deep (the fat round end in). Then fill 2-3inch with the top sand.
5) Pour the prepared salt solution evenly into the pot till water flows from the bottom.
6) Next put the pot into the plastic container and fill the container with more salt solution.
6.1) Keep the seedling in a shaded area with reflected light (not direct sun). Mist the seedings daily with fresh water till root.
7) Top up the container (not pot) with freshwater when needed. It is low maintenance as you will only need to top it up when it the water level drops to 25% (but you can always keep the level high as you wish). *Salt does not get evaporated so it stays inside the container.
** Be patient, mangrove seedling grow slooowly.
For first 2 weeks, you will have to change the container salt solution weekly as the soil material decays.By the 3rd time, the water should remain clear. Mist the seedlings with freshwater daily to keep it moist. By end of the 3rd week, you should see roots coming out from the pot holes (depending on the size of pot). And you can stop misting.
When you see more roots coming out, you can now give it a very very week fertilizer. In the photo container, I put just 1 (one only) slow release pellet. By end of 5th week, you should see the tip turing green, ready for the first leaf.
When the salt solution becomes very dirty, you will have to change the salt solution but it last for many weeks. Do not let the water container water level too low (top it up with water).
What is going to happen next, I don't know yet.... you can figure it out yourself. I would presume that the leaves have to be wet once a while as salt is expel via the leave.
This post has been edited by spheredome: 11 February 2012 - 01:04 PM