Thought of the day

I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. ~William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Government's promises are like the Ringgit, they depreciate with time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Calathea Lutea

2 Months ago...
After moving in for a year, CM and I finally saved enough house fund for some DIY landscaping. We consulted our interior designer, Mr Chow back then and he encouraged us to plant some plants which match the "feel" of our house architecture - modern tropical. And we can either plant some Philippines yucca or nako (resembles yucca with softer foliage and not spiky). Plants with super big leaves like Calathea Lutea are forbidden in our compound. What?

The thing is, I am a big fan for humongous leaves, sort of like a fetish. And it's our home anyway and we CAN PLANT ANYTHING THAT WE FANCY, right? So after a year, with sufficient fund, we scouted around for quality Calathea Lutea due to the following reasons:
  • The plant is majectically tall and can go up to 3 metres. Big is good. Size does matter. It will form shades for Thor & Tease during the daytime.
  • It has this large paddle-shaped leaves held by long stalk and can easily form graceful clumps, which will be a dramatic evergreen display all year long at our side foyer. 
  • Easy maintenance, just need frequent watering.
  • Cheap: RM38/plant bag for smaller stalk, RM68/plant bag for taller stalk. There will be 3-4 stalks per plant bag. 
We have learnt a trick or two from the nursery in horticulture. And the elixir to strong, healthy and fast-growing plantation is - chicken shit! Yes, the pungent tahi ayam is the all time favorite for any plants and it can be sourced from almost any plant nursery and chicken farm, at an economical price. Now, just compare the difference of the same plants two months ago and now. 
The transformation of the well-fed Calatheas is satisfying and overwhelming at the same time. They remind me of Dr. Bruce Banner, a sci-fi character from Marvel's comic, who turns into a green giant (The Hulk) after he was exposed to gamma rays during an experiment. 3-metre is the tolerance guys, and please stay this way forever. If you grow any bigger and make my compound look like the Amazon rainforest, you guys are going on a diet.

Now, the next thing in my mind is to find a way to propagate them for my balcony. Adios.

Keywords: Calathea Lutea, Cigar Calathea, Cuban/Havana Cigar, Pampano, prayer plants

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