Its been a year since I was bitten by the gardening bug (the hobby not an actual bug) and I have found myself being obsessively enthusiastic in getting people to start gardening themselves. And why not? I think the world will be a better place if we each just tended a garden.
The following plants were chosen based on my own personal experience and entails very basic gardening knowledge – snip and plant. All are propagated through cuttings which visually in my humble opinion gives the instant gratification that gets newbie gardeners hooked.
This post attempts to enjoin all to start or at least give it a try by planting the following plants in my list which are personally tried and tested to guarantee success even for the newbie gardeners.
From my garden to yours. Good luck!
The plant that started it all for me. Oregano is incredibly useful (either medicinal or culinary), fragrant, and prolific. They enjoy full to partial sun and will appreciate regular pruning which makes the bush fuller.
Plant a section with 2 pairs of leaf nodes in soil and watch as the fleshy leaves go from droopy to full on erect when they start picking up. Surprisingly, oregano makes for a nice ornamental bush when grown en masse with an intense herby scent to boot. they can grow unabated and would be great to be trained beside something vertical.
4. LUCKY BAMBOO
You’ve seen them being braided or wrapped with red ribbons given out during the Chinese New Year but the lucky bamboo is not just lucky its also an active grower. I got mine from from the Dangwa flower market when I tried looking for foliage which I can experiment on.
I highly suggest leaving them in clear vases with water then almost forgetting about them. The bunches I bought grew the prettiest orange roots even when I placed them indoors in limited light. You can really continue to leave them in water and just enjoy them as is, but if you’re inclined to do so, they will grow better in soil outdoors.
You will be stacking luck for gardening success in your favor if your grow this incredibly lucky bamboo.
3. BASKET PLANT (aka Callisia Fragans)
I first started seeing these active growers as groundcover but when I researched further, I was surprised that it can also be grown vertically supported by a tall stake. Its a beautiful plant with fleshy leaves forming “buds” that almost has an orchid-like quality. As it becomes larger and taller, it creates a thick stalk where offshoots produce new trailing “buds”.
To grow the basket plant, simply bury one or three growing heads in a pot and wait for the plant to grow taller exposing more of its stalk. I have tried to grow them in hanging baskets but I have come to prefer growing them in tabletop pots for easy maintenance. For the gardener looking for instant gratification, this propagation method ensures that you have a beautiful plant at the onset of the process.
2. ALUGBATI (aka Malabar Spinach)
If you’re trying your hand at an exotic edible, alugbati or malabar spinach can easily be grown from cuttings which I got from the grocery store. After picking off the larger leaves for a soup we were making last Christmas, I put the foot-long stalks in water where it vigorously sprouted roots within a week.
It has deep burgundy undersides and a thick violet stalk which is a great way to introduce color in your burgeoning garden, and did I also mention it is edible.
While it will be happier planted on the ground with a trellis to climb on, it also looks surprisingly beautiful – almost ornamental, planted in bunches on pots.
1. POTHOS (aka Devil’s Ivy)
And the best plant to kickstart your gardening bug is pothos. Its inexpensive, incredibly resilient, needs very little attention, tolerates the littlest sunlight you can give and just as a crowning touch – it can grow in water. The regular all-green variant called “jade” is the most common while more dramatic variegated varieties like “marble queen” can be readily bought at garden shops.
It is most dramatic when hung in a basket or placed on top of a perch like a book case where its can cascade its lovely leaves down. I hang three pots of pothos and in the span of months it can reach more than a meter of trail.
I also train my variegated pothos for tabletop display by wrapping the trails within the pot so the roots can latch on the soil and create a bushier and fuller specimen. For the inexperienced gardener who wants instant success, you can seriously never go wrong with pothos.