Jun 16, 2021

How to Dragon fruit from seeds with Step by Step Instructions and Images

Dragon fruit also called as Pitaya/Pitahaya or strawberry pear are native to America and these fruits are produced from a cactus variety plant.  These fruits are eaten raw or along with salad, juices and smoothies. 
Here are the below steps to propagate Dragon fruit from seeds with pictures to give you a better understanding.

Dragon fruit propagation through seed

    Introduction

    Dragon fruit belong to the cactus variety and cultivated in India, South east Asia and US. They are climbing cactus and require some support once they establish themselves.

    Another peculiar character of the plant is that the flowers bloom only overnight and usually wilt after that.
    Dragon fruit flower


    Dragon fruit flower wilt

    They are available in three different varieties,
    • White Fleshed Pitaya -White flesh with Pink skinned
    • Red Fleshed Pitaya - Red fleshed with Red skinned
    • Yellow Fleshed Pitaya - White fleshed with Yellow skinned

    Why is it called as Dragon Fruit?

    The outer layer of the fruit is silky with spikes which resembles Dragon and now we know the obvious reason why it is called as Dragon Fruit.


    Dragon fruit propagation through seed

    Benefits of Dragon fruit

    • They are rich in antioxidants and fiber content
    • It may help in lowering your blood sugar level
    • It can strengthen your immune system and they are rich in prebiotics ( Probiotic bacteria that help your gut feed on Prebiotics)

    Ways to Propagate Pitaya - Cuttings and Seeds

    Pitaya plant can be propagated through seeds or cuttings. I will be growing them through seeds as I did not have any  Pitaya cuttings available. But if you do have cuttings available with you - just plop  the cutting into the soil. Place them in a warm area and wait for it to grow. Keep the soil moist but take care not to over water.
    Dragon fruit propagation cutting


    Ok, so I bought a dragon fruit from the store and scooped out a spoon of the fresh white pulp and kept it aside ( we will be propagating this) and enjoyed the remaining portion by making myself a dragon fruit juice ( Cut the flesh white part into small pieces and mix it with a portion of milk,  water and sugar according to your taste).

    How to Grow Dragon fruit from Seeds

    • Take a fully ripen Dragon fruit and cut into two halves.
    • Scoop out the seeds from pulp like shown in the below image. The pitaya flesh has numerous seeds and when I grew them last time I had almost 90% propagation success rate. So you will face no despair growing these varieties in your home.
    And the best part is you can grow these in your balcony gardens or terrace gardens. Intermittent 
    Dragon fruit propagation

    • Wash the seeds and sprinkle the seeds onto a moist tissue paper. Though they belong to cactus variety they prefer slightly moist conditions.  

    Dragon fruit propagation

    Dragon fruit propagation
    • Pro tip : If you want to keep your seedling humid , you could also tie wrapping them in a polythene cover. This will act like a temporary green house.
    • Alternatively you can sprinkle the seeds on to moist tissue paper in a take away box. This will help in keeping the conditions favorable.  When the tissue paper dries out sprinkle some water.
    • The seeds only took around 3 days to germinate but it might vary depending on the climatic condition you live.

    Dragon fruit propagation

    I had grown Dragon seedlings from dragon fruit few months back and I was quite surprised by the rate of germination. Almost all the seedling had germinated. But I lost the seedlings as I was out of town for a few days and no one was there to take care of my poor little seedling. So this is my second attempt in growing them. 

    I will be posting the progress so keep yourself subscribed to get my updates.

    Repotting of Dragon Fruit Seedling

    After the seedlings have grown, repot them into small containers. Ensure you keep the soil moist and provide them with enough sunlight.

    Dragon fruit seedling


    Dragon fruit seedling

    Happy Gardening!!!

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    May 23, 2021

    Easiest way to Propagate a Wandering Jew with Pictures

    Tradescantia zebrina is also called as Wandering jew plant. These plants are extremely easy to grow and care. They are also known as Zebrina , Spiderwort, Inch plant. They are called as Zebrina plants since they have a Zebra like pattern on their leaves. The plant has green and silvery stripes on the upper side of the leaf and a magenta color on the lower side. 

    wandering jew


    Zebrina, wandering jew, Tradescantia,Inch plant

      Introduction

      Zebrina can be grown as a hanging plant or as a ground cover.  They also make excellent plants that  can be grown in plastic bottles, pots or glass jars. These inch plants can be easily grown even if you are new to gardening.

      The Zebrina's are highly tolerant plants and invasive plants. 

      Propagation Methods

      Inch plant or Wandering Jew are the easiest plants to grow and multiply them through cuttings.
      Wandering Jew can be easily propagated through soil or water.

      Propagation Methods through Soil

      • Take few healthy cuttings from the Wandering Jew plant
      Zebrina, wandering jew, Tradescantia,Inch plant propagation
      • Cut the cuttings with at least one or two nodes for each cutting
      Zebrina, wandering jew, Tradescantia,Inch plant propagation

      • Here I have cut all the long stem cuttings into small stems with at least one node.
      Zebrina, wandering jew, Tradescantia,Inch plant propagation
      • Add some water and till the soil until its loose. This will help in aerating the soil.
      Zebrina, wandering jew, Tradescantia,Inch plant propagation

      • Poke all the cuttings into the soil and drench it with water.
      Zebrina, wandering jew, Tradescantia,Inch plant propagation

      Propagation Methods through Water

      • Take few healthy cuttings from the Wandering Jew plant 
      • Cut the cuttings with at least one or two nodes for each cutting
      Zebrina, wandering jew, Tradescantia,Inch plant propagation

      • Put them in a glass jar of water.
      • Healthy roots will appear within few days. Change the water once in 8 to 10 days.

      Sunlight conditions

      Wandering jew prefers medium to bright sunlight conditions. But harsh sunlight conditions may burn the leaves.

      Water requirements 

      Wandering jew prefers regular watering. Water the plant thoroughly and allow the plant to dry in between watering's.

      Tips to revive a plant losing its variegation

      Variegated wandering Jew might turn green if conditions are not favorable. For example : if the sunlight is low, the plant might reverse its variegation to save it energy.
      • Check on all the conditions like temperature, humidity and sunlight conditions.
      • Try to fix the plant with enough sunlight and needed humidity.
      • Remove all the non variegated leaves and do a pruning.
      • You can add in extra compost, so that your plant has enough nutrients required for its growth.

      Pruning and Maintenance of Wandering Jew

      Remove the yellow and dead leaves from the plant, that will help in better growing of the plant. Pruning also helps in growing the plants bushy. Leggy plants can be easily made bushier by pruning techniques.

      I have tried growing the plants in plastic bottles and here are few images from my balcony garden.

      Zebrina, wandering jew, Tradescantia,Inch plant
      Zebrina, wandering jew, Tradescantia,Inch plant


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      Dec 21, 2020

      Painting on Areca Palm plates

       Get inspired by these beautiful painting ideas with Areca palm plates. These paintings are cost-effective, rental friendly, and add a statement piece to your wall. 

      Areca palm paintings

      Things Needed:

      • Areca palm plates
      • Acrylic paints
      • Paint Brushes
      • Water 
      • Varnish ( Optional)

      How to 

      • Clean the surface with a dry cloth and remove any debris from the palm plates.
      • You can also use styrofoam, Ceramic, or any unused steel plates for this purpose.
      • Trace out the design from any print outs or free hand sketch the design onto the areca palm. You could use yellow or carbon paper to transfer the designs onto the plates.
      Paint brushes for Plate painting

      Here are some of the floral design created,

      Areca palm paintings


      Paintings on Areca palm

      • You can easily hang these plates using double-sided tape.

      Happy Painting!

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      Dec 6, 2020

      DIY Traditional Coaster painting ideas for 2021

      I had this idea in my mind for over few months, but I was skeptical to start the coaster project. But the results turned out amazing. If you are a DIY - person you must try this out. 

      It is such a interesting and usable project which you could use in your day to day life. 
      Here are few ideas to spice up your coaster with Madhubani paintings...

      Traditional coaster paintings



                      Traditional Madhubani coaster paintings

      Things Needed :

      Acrylic colors
      Coasters - MDF boards
      Carbon paper
      Brushes
      Pencil

      Lets begin:

      • Coat a layer of white acrylic colour as a base coat. Apply two coats if necessary. 
      coaster paintings
      • Once the paint is dried, trace out the traditional madhubani designs onto the wooden board. You may draw the design onto a paper and then trace out the design into the coaster with a carbon paper
      • Start painting with your desired choice of colours. I have used Neon colours for painting.
      Traditional  coaster paintings
      • Apply a layer of modpodge or varnish to protect your painting from dust and to make them water proof.
      Traditional  coaster paintings

      • And ta-da your coaster is all set to use. Do let me know if you like more of DIY's.


      Happy day!

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      Sep 30, 2020

      DIY Elegant Designs for your Upcycled plastic bottle planter in 2021

      Do you love to decorate your planters like I do?

      Nowadays I am addicted to growing ornamentals plants in used plastic and coke bottles. They are cheap, affordable, and provide a classy look to your balcony at absolutely zero cost.

      I assure you, by the end of this blog you would get a few easy designs to decorate your planter. They are very easy to paint and require no artistic knowledge.

        bottle gardening

        Design 1: Dandelion planter



        Design 2: Zentagle planter/ Doddle planter



        Design 3:Gold Lamp dandelions



        Design 4: Floral planter



        Design 5: Basic vine planter with quotes



        Design 6: Feather Planter


        Design 7: Leaf Planter



        Design 8: Shadow leaf Planter

        Design 9: Polka dot planter


        Design 10: Basic Planter



        Design 12: Geometric Planter

        Design 13: Galaxy Planter



        Let me know which design you liked the most.

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        Aug 8, 2020

        How to Propagate Sedum from cuttings

        Sedums are beautiful trailing plants for your hanging basket. Sedums are drought tolerant and available in green and lime yellow shades. They are hardy plants and are rarely attacked by pests. This makes sedums one of the best house plants.


          Popular names of sedum

          • Sedum 
          • Stonecrop
          • Tokyo sun sedum


          Propagate sedum from cuttings in soil

          • Sedums can be easily propagated by cuttings.
          • Snip of 5 to 6 cuttings from the mother plant with the help of a disinfectant scissor.
          • Remove the lower portion of the leaves.
          • Plant the cuttings into loose soil. Avoid burying them so deep.

          Sedum Propagation and care

          Method 1 - The Lazy Way

          • Just place the cuttings and layer it with soil at the top. Make sure you do not cover the entire leaves with soil. Spread a thin layer of soil.

          Method 2 - The Usual Way

          • Insert the cuttings at half to one-inch depth. Sedums mostly have a shallow root system so avoid planting the cutting too deeply.
          • Keep the soil moist till the plant establishes itself.
          • Ensure the cuttings are placed in a well-draining soil. They don't like their feet to be wet.


          Water Requirements of Sedum

          • Water sedums only when the top inch of the soil feels dry. 
          • Avoid frequent watering in the rainy season.
          • Allow the plant to dry out in between watering's.

          Sunlight Requirements of Sedum

          • They love full sunlight. But they thrive in partial shade as well.
          • Sedums are low growing plants so they are best to grow as ground cover and hanging basket.
          These are best plants to grow in plastic containers as well.
          Happy Gardening!


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          Grow Tomatoes in containers from kitchen scrap

          Growing veggies in our home brings us immense happiness and satisfaction. 
          In the current situation, it is hard to get organic vegetables from the market. People understand the need to have organic and rich foods. So we are moving towards a new phase of gardening called Apartment gardening or container gardening. A small step towards a better tomorrow. 
          Tomatoes are great for beginners who are getting started on growing kitchen gardens. Tomatoes are easily grown and cultivated in a small space.
          They are good starters for your balcony. Tomatoes do surprisingly well in small containers. 
          I will walk you through the entire process of growing the tomatoes from sowing the seeds to harvesting. Additionally, as a bonus, I would be sharing a few tips on how to hand pollinate if your tomatoes are not fruiting.grow tomatoes from kitchen scrap

            Buy seeds

            This is the first step in growing tomatoes. You can purchase Tomato seeds online or directly used from the kitchen scraps. Cut the tomatoes and remove the pulp that has seeds. Dry the tomato seeds in a tissue paper. You can also place the tomato slices directly in the soil.


            Tomato saplings

            Grow seedling

            Use a seed starting tray or a pack away box to start your seeds. Place the tissue paper with seeds onto the takeaway box or tray. Spray some water and close the box.
            The seedlings will grow in a couple of days. Mist them when the tissue paper feels dry.

            Transplanting into bigger pots

            Transplant them into bigger pots from the takeaway boxes or seed starting tray when the true leaves have formed. The first set of leaves that develop from the seed is cotyledons or False leaves.
            The second set of leaves that develop is True leaves. This is the most crucial step. Repot them without disturbing the roots and keep in them in a controlled environment. Move them outdoors occasionally. Let the tomato seedlings set in the new environment (You can find this when you start to see new growth in the plant) you can move them outdoors.

            Stage 1: Flowers start to grow from your plants. 

            Tomato flowers

            Stage 2: If the Flowers are successfully pollinated they would develop into fruits. The flowers that are not fertilized would eventually fall off. 
            If the flowers are not turning into fruits you could try some of the below methods, grow some flowers in your balcony garden as it attracts pollinators like bees, butterflies, and insects. As Tomatoes are self-pollinating (i.e - They have both male and female plant parts) hard pollination is another best option if you are not able to attract pollinators. Brush the flowers with a paintbrush or something similar like a Q-tip. Tapping the calyx (where the flowers are held together by green sepals) also helps. Check out the short video on How I do hand pollination in my tomato plants.
            Stage 3:If the pollination is successful they would develop into fruits. Else the flower would shed eventually.

            Growing and Fertilizing 

            Grow your tomato plant with enough light and water them regularly. You will see growth within a few days.
            Next step is to check if your Tomato is determinate or indeterminate.
            Do not panic if you are not aware of these terms. In simple terms, Determine tomatoes are more bushy and small. The fruit ripens all at the same time. Thus giving a huge harvest at a single time.
            In the case of indeterminate tomatoes, they grow indefinitely. They can give you a continuous harvest till the end.

            Light requirements 

            Tomatoes need direct to bright sunlight as they are fruiting plants. A good light-receiving balcony or a window sill would work perfectly.
            You can also use grow lights if no alternative is available.

            Water requirements 

            Tomatoes are heavy drinkers. Water them regularly.
            Tomato plants tend to dry and close themselves when do not receive water for 2 or more days.

            Potting soil requirements 

            Use ready pot mix to plant tomatoes. Or prepare the pot mixture by mixing 70%soil, 20% coco peat, and 10% compost. Coco peat helps in retaining the water for a longer period.

            Pruning

            Pruning is an essential process in growing more fruits. Tomatoes if not pruned they will produce many leaves and not enough fruits.
            Pruning the suckers is very important as this helps in diverting the nutrients back to fruits. Suckers are shoots growing in between your main branch and sub-branch. 

            Fertilizers 

            To produce healthy tomatoes use compost once in 15 days.
            Homemade fertilizers which are readily available from the kitchen scrap are good for your plants.
            Example: Eggshells, Onion peels, dried banana peels, and Used Tea dust
            grow tomato in balcony



            Happy Gardening!