15 Fun Facts about Pothos

Pothos or Epipermum aureum and related species is now in demand. This a member of the of Aracea family that includes Caladiums, Colocasia, Xanthosoma which originates from Central and South America.

This highly ornamental plant is making a comeback, with dozens of new hybrids and variegated ones in the market.

Epipermum aureum or golden pothos at a plant stall within Goodwill Homes 1, Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City

Prices used to be in between Php 25 to Php 75 for small hanging basket in Tabang-Guiguinto plant stalls in Bulacan. Almost the same price in Silang, Cavite few years ago, until the demand for indoor plant skyrocketed last year.

Some plant center in the province would give cuttings as freebies whenever one will bring large purchases. Plant enthusiasts sometimes called plantiquarians, plantitos, plantitas,halamanmoms, plantaddicts whatever would you prefer calling them, would swear that having pothos is on their bucket list of plants.

15 Fun Facts about Pothos

Pothos grown in large cement vat within Goodwill Homes 1, Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City

15.) It is called “money plant ” by people living in the Indian subcontinent, Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai and some Southeast Asian countries. People believe that having one potted pothos can brings good luck, money or attracts positive chi inside one’s premises. This is also good in offices, condominiums and apartments which have minimal spaces.

14.) One can grow pothos indoors, preferably with bright indirect light, although it also will tolerate low-light conditions. Pale leaves means too much sun, and loss of variegation means too little.

13.) Pothos likes to have its soil dry out between watering. For potted plants dislikes soggy condition.

Epipermum aureum or golden pothos cling on branches on an acacia tree

12.) One can fertilize pothos on weekly basis with water soluble fertilizer brand that is available in the market preferably 1/4 to 1/2 the strength diluted. This is done after watering the plant. One can also apply Naturamin which is distributed by Harbest Agricultural Business Corporation based in Pasig. Another way to apply small amount of slow release fertilizer that is commercially available.

11.) This had various common names like golden pothos, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, money plant, taro vine, Ceylon creeper, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy, marble queen, water vine among others.

10.) It is also referred to as devil’s vine because it is quite impossible to kill the vine. This plant can tolerate low light levels. Some areas like in Florida, Hawaii, Southeast Asia,Tropical America, India, Sri Lanka the Epipermum aureum completely overgrows the forest floor as well as the trunks of trees and block the natural vegetation.

9.) Epipermum aureum, the golden form of the species use to be native over Mo’orea in the territory of French Polynesia. Epipermun pinnatum is native to many parts of the country and south This is under the family of Araceae.

8.) This is now one of the most common house plant and was introduced in many parts of the world due to human activity. The plant became naturalized in many tropical,sub-tropical area all over the world. Among the big farms includes Costa Farm in the United States of America.

Pothos growing on a large tree within Philvirra Homes, Barangay Tandang Sora, along Road 20 Project 8, Quezon City

Locally, one can buy varieties of pothos in several online sites and established farms like Unigreen Farm in Batangas, Bulacan Garden, Tabang-Guiguinto plant stalls, Araneta Farmers Garden, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Quezon City Memorial Circle, Cedarhills Garden Center in Mother Ignacia Avenue,White Plains, Cartimar Plant Center, Neopolitan in Fairview, Pasig among others.

7.) NASA and other scientist made studies in the 1980’s on the effects of pothos indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, trichloroethene, toluene, xylene, benzene, carbon monoxide and dust.

6.) Other genus like Scindapsus pictus commonly called satin pothos/ silver pothos or silver vine are also lump as pothos. This vine is widespread in many southeast asian countries. Some small leaf philodendron are also mistakenly sold as different cultivar variety of pothos.

5.) The vine can be propagated via nodal cutting planted in aquariums, placed on top of the aquarium and allowed to grow roots in the water. The plant roots can filter some nitrate.

For those living in Calumpit, Bulacan One can contact Mrs. Vivian Sumilang (0920-915-8975) or ( 0922-819-6414). She also have other ornamental plants for sale.

4.) It is popular in the Philippines with many schools, make shift altar, cemeteries, family shrines have pothos planted in clear bottles as water plant. According to some old time local horticulturists and backyard hobbyists. They have encountered this vine way back in the early 1950’s and was extensively featured in several magazines.

3.) The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) listed this plant as mildly toxic when ingested to pet dogs, cats and small mammals. Avoid letting your pet animals chew the leaves or any parts of the plant.

2.) Avoid constant touching the leaves and stems of Epipermum pinnatum and Epipermum aureum since parts of the stems and leaves contains calcium oxlate crystal which may cause general skin irritation.

1.) Leaves are used in general flower arrangement, ikenobo arrangement and adds color.

Sources, References, Bibliography, Interview:

Personal interviews – with Ms. Charita Gunao, Mrs. Leticia Cabiao, Mr. Lebon Ong, Mrs. Marilyn Montemayor, Professor Purita Marquez, Mr. Allan Marquez , Mrs. Vivian Sumilang

Royal Horticultural Society

Wolverton, B. C. How To Grow Fresh Air, Penguin Books, New York, 1997.

Wolverton, BC (1996) How to Grow Fresh Air . New York: Penguin Books.

Sawada, Ayako; Oyabu, Takashi (2008). “Purification characteristics of pothos for airborne chemicals in growing conditions and its evaluation”. Atmospheric Environment. 42 (3): 594–602.

Nauheimer, L., Metzler, D. and Renner, S.S. 2012. Global history of the ancient monocot family Araceae inferred with models accounting for past continental positions and previous ranges based on fossils. New Phytologist, vol. 195, p. 938-950.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. Araceae Epipermum aureum pages 89 to 90, Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. Gabi Family page 142, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

8 Practical Tips For Caring Hibiscus During Rainy Season

Hibiscus locally called as Gumamela is one of the top 10 all time favorite flowering shrub in the country. Growers can encounter some problems during rainy or wet season in the Philippines.

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The most common colors are red, pink, yellow,magenta and intermediate colors. There are some native hibiscus in the country, While hundreds of hybrids origin being cultivated in many homes, public parks, cemeteries, schools, resorts and estates. The flowers does not last long, most of the hybrid cultivars only last for a day or so.

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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis hybrid or Gumamelang Pula planted as hedge plant within Manila Memorial Park

Some Feng Shui practitioners recommend planting reddish color, bright yellow color gumamela. Depending on the position of one’s property to create harmony in colors and balance within the household.

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double petal pink Gumamela  ( photo courtesy of King Louis Farm and Sir Lebon Ong)

8 Practical Tips for Caring Hibiscus /Gumamela

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yellow color 

8.) One can grow their gumamela / hibiscus directly on garden plot or in potted terracotta/ plastic containers. This allows growers to move the containers in ideal location or focal point in one’s home or office when the plant is in bloom. Providing at between 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

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Hibiscus Taiwan Cloud Cotton

7.) Gumamela requires 50% loam/garden/brown soil with combination of 20% sandy mix, 30% compost, aged cow or carabao manure, aged rice hull, coco coir and vermicast for the rest of the potting mixture. Mulching is recommended for gumamela planted outdoors because it not only provides a lot of protection for the roots, but it also helps the plant retain the moisture, especially if grown in garden type setting.

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peach color

6.) Fertilize weekly using a variety of water soluble fertilizer 20N, 20P, 20K or 10N-10P-10K, (whichever is available) diluted into 1/2 or 1/4 strength during its growing season or flowering season. One may add few teaspoon of slow release fertilizer or compost mixture as fertilizer for the plant. For blooming gumamela plants, a ratio of 20N-30P-30K water soluble fertilizer, trace elements, calcium nitrate, epson salt can also be applied alternately.

Another good brand is Naturamin which enables hibiscus or gumamela to absorb the nutrients. This is also good in other plants like Syngonium podophyllum, flowering plants, orchids, crops and fruits trees.

Avoid using skim milk, beer, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), urine or any home base fertilizer mixture as these can eventually kill your Gumamela or Hibiscus in no time.

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tangerine color

5.) Regular pruning is also required when the shrub grow lush during rainy season. One can schedule a monthly pruning period. Try to sterilize your pruning shears, knife or cutter before using them.

4.) Try to regular check for pest such as aphids, white flies, scale insects, mealybugs, caterpillars, thrips or even spider mites. These insects can eat parts of the flowers, leaves or stems of gumamela.

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3.) Potted hibiscus / gumamela plant with flowers can be enjoyed for a limited time period. Interior decorator suggest that one can put them inside their homes between 1 to 3 days. Near windows where there is bright light.

a humidity tray if you have dry air conditions inside of your house to ensure the plant is getting all of the moisture it needs to thrive.

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single petal yellow variety

2.) Propagation is quite easy. One can propagate via cuttings, air layering or seeds during the onset of the rainy season, or when one prunes their gumamela shrub. Find a node and cut about six-inches below that and then remove everything except the very top leaves. Another way is to graft different colored gumamela.

1.) Avoid over watering, Especially during this rainy season. This can cause a lot of problems like root rotting and fungal problems. When in doubt, one can forgo watering for at least a day or so. Gumamela needed well- drained soil if planted in garden type setting.

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pale pink form

Economic Importance and Ethno Botanical Uses

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Hibiscus Red Double

Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea while Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. Hibiscus brackenridgei is the state flower of Hawaii, While it is a national symbol in Haiti, Solomon and Niue.

Hibiscus, Gumamela, Rose Mallow or Rose of Sharon and hybrids are commonly use to beautify the landscape.  Blooming gumamela can also serves as focal point in one’s office or public area.

The flowers is used by children in many parts of the country as part of a bubble-making pastime. The flowers and leaves are crushed until the sticky juices come out, adding 1 tablespoon detergent to make bubble.

Some would use the flowers to make edible flower salad. Flowers and young leaves are also use by some for their medicinal properties. In some parts of the country, flowers are use for offering in home altars and as lei for welcoming guests.

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Hibiscus manihot or Abelmoschus manihot

Abelmoschus manihot formerly known as Hibiscus manihot is eaten in ( Quezon / Tayabas area) called Sapinit, Lagikuway. Bicol region and some parts of Ilocos region. Some Visayan provinces also use the flowers for souring agent in soup. In Surigao provinces it is called Lagikway, Lagikuway,Baniwayun. It is called Malaguhon / Malaguhun ( Han.) and Linikway/ Barakue ( Bng) Glikway/ Gikugguse (Sub) in other Philippine languages.

The flower is used as souring ingredient or add on for local vegetables, soup or meat dishes. The dish had a slippery texture like okra.

Although not so common within Metro Manila region. This species grow in semi-wild state in open grassland,cultivated fields and in rural areas all throughout the country.

University of the Philippines Los Baños had been active in breeding hibiscus and came up with several series which pay tributes to great women of the country.

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Php 8.00 block of 4, Gumamela flowers issued by Philippine Postal Corporation in 1991

Philippine Postal Corporation released several definitive and special stamps in 1991, 2015 and 2018. This is a proof that gumamela or hibiscus is popular among thematic stamp collectors. Some mural painters also painted on the long perimeter wall of Manila North Cemetery last October 2019 dubbed as ” Flores para Los Muertos“.

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yellow with red center

Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea made as an infusion from crimson or deep magenta-colored calyces (sepals) of the roselle or Hibiscus sabdariffa flower. Sometimes called Karkade tea or Jamaica tea.

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Hibiscus sabdariffa popularly known as Roselle- grown by the author from seeds

There are also several Fb groups which specializes in Hibiscus or Gumamela.

Gumamela plants and hybrids are commonly available in many garden centers like in Tabang, Guiguinto,Bulacan Garden,Bay,Calamba,Los Baños in Laguna, Silang, Cavite province, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Araneta Farmer’s Garden, Quezon City Memorial Circle,White Plains garden center,Neopolitan, Fairview, Rona’s Garden in Visayas Avenue,Cartimar Garden Center in Pasay, Centris Sunday Market, neighborhood homes and backyard nationwide.

Some big time propagators includes Pagsolingan Garden, Arids and Aroid, Bulacan Garden, Mr. Rey Tester among others.

References, Sources, Bibliography:

Interview and photo courtesy of the following: King Louis, Mr. Rodrigo Joseph Bautista, Mr.Lebon Ong, Arids Aroid, Mac Pagsolingan,Mr. Rey Tester, Ms. Naida Delma and the author

Personal interview with backyard growers, hobbyists and farm owners.

Wonning, Paul R. (March 3, 2014) Gardener’s Guide To The Hibiscus: Perennial Hibiscus Flower Care ( ( Gardener”s Guide to the Full Sun Perennial Flower Garden Book 12) Mossy Feet Books.

V. M. Jadhav et al. / Journal of Pharmacy Research 2009, 2(8),1220-1222

University of the Philippines Los Baños : https://ovcre.uplb.edu.ph/

Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. Gumamela Family (Malvaceae) pages 173 to 174, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. Malvaceae pages 240 to 244 Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Lawton, Barbara Perry (2004). Hibiscus: Hardy and Tropical Plants for the Garden. Timber Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-88192-65-45.

International Hibiscus Society

C Les Beers & Jim Howie: Growing Hibiscus (1985 and 1990), Reprinted 1986, 1987
Second edition published 1990, First published in 1985 by Kangaroo Press Pty Ltd
3 Whitehall Road (P. 0. Box 75) Kenthurst 2156, Typeset by G. T Setters Pty Limited
Printed in Hong Kong by Colorcraft Ltd, ISBN 0 86417 278 8

Brickell, Christopher, ed. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 534. ISBN 978-14053329-65

Bulacan Garden Corporation

American Hibiscus Society

Piso Day Sale at Arid and Aroids Farm

It is a rare opportunity to know that one can still buy something out of One Peso (Php 1.00). This was proven at the Piso Day Sale and Great Discount Sale at the Arid and Aroid’s farm in San Rafael, Bulacan province.

Arid and Aroids farm entrance

One Peso Sale

portion of the farm

A last minute decision made past 9:00 pm on April 30 while chatting with an online friend who will be visiting the farm. I manage to wake -up by 3:30 am and left our home by 4:00am.

long lines of buyers

It was early dawn when people began to arrive at the Arid and Aroids farm located in San Rafael in Bulacan province.

Hundreds of people have flocked from different areas  and provinces to buy rare and hard to find plants and cacti. Some arrived before 5:00 am.

variegated sanseviera

dykia hybrids for sale

buyers at plant area ( photo courtesy of Mr. Marlon Valdellon)

There are several buyers which went to the Php 1.00 , Php 2.00 and Php 3.00 area.  Most of the plants were sold out even before noontime !

all smiles from Mr. Joshoua Banzuela ( photo courtesy of Mr. Marlon Valdellon)

different types of grafted cacti for sale

We were able to arrive around past 8:00 am and registered at the booth. We were given a haworthia cutting upon registration and some stubs which can be use to purchase some 1 and 2 PESO worth of potted plants like cacti, aglaonema, episcia, rhipsalis, sansevierra, tillandsias, adenium and among others.

Rhipsalis cacti

Aglaonema hybrids

variegated pineapples

I cannot help but to splurge in buying episcias, rhipsalis, aglaonema and cacti for token gifts (pasalubong) to some of our neighbors. They would give us some of their vegetables produce and would lend their 7 feet ladder whenever we needed them.

variegated sansevieras

BIG SALE

Some of the much rarer plant varieties like variegated cacti, succulents and foliage plants were sold between 30 to 70% discount.

different tillandsia

Just like any event, there were on the spot raffles, short talk on cacti grafting, chit-chat with fellow plant lovers and pocket meetings.

resource speaker

The generous host also fed all the visitors with pancit, banana cue, sandwich for mid-day snack. While they also prepared a lunch which consisted of mix vegetables, pork and beef barbecue, lumpiang shanghai and softdrinks.

blooming aloe hybrid

Plant enthusiasts from Taytay, Cainta, San Mateo in Rizal province even brought some foods and juice which they shared with participants.

( Photo courtesy of Mr. Timothy Laurie Ang -The Haworthia Guys)

There were several plant and cacti groups from Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and even from Laguna and Quezon provinces.

Another hot item for sale was the A&A magic drops . This is a type of hormone can induce growth for cacti, succulents and other plants.

lucky visitor winning a variegated sanseviera

Those who does not have time to visit the farm got hooked over the FB page of the farm, since online discount selling happened several times a day.

online selling

Everyone was happy and glad to have went to the big sale.  For those who were not able to come at the great big sale, There will be another round of PISO Sale and Great Discount Sale at their Silang farm sometime September 2019.

group photo

Try to save money, time and save the date for the great big sale and PISO sale.

Great Dishes at Arki’s Grill

Arki’s Grill specializes in different dishes, some of them are locally sourced from the market and what is in season.
pechay-wrap
pechay wrap with tinapa and ginataan
The leaves pechay is used in a different way, it is use for wrapping flaked tinapa fish topped with finely chopped carrots with gata. The coconut milk is thick and the pechay leaves is still crunchy.
dinuguan
dinuguan
Arki’s version of pork dinuguan is different, it is thick with crispy pork liempo and banana chilies added as topping.
sinampalukang-manok
sinampalukang manok
Sinampalukang manok or tamarind chicken soup use tamarind leaves, chicken meat.  There are plenty of tamarind leaves used in this soup. ( hindi tinipid sa rekado).
This goes well with white rice. The soup is not that sour, the banana chilies add some right kick to this soup.
It is also surprising that this soup would only cost Php 160 per order ( for sharing between 3 to 4 people).
shrimp
sauteed garlic with shrimps
This is another perfect dish with generous amount of garlic topped the sauteed shrimps.
balalo-soup
bulalo soup
Bulalo soup is big with fresh young corn, vegetables at Php 295 per order ( for sharing between 2 to 4 people). This goes well in cool weather and rainy days with white rice.
arkisgrill
Arki’s Grill
Arki’s Grill accepts reservations for events, parties, debuts, wedding and offers catering services.
The restaurant had a sitting capacity of between 90 to 100 people at any given time.
arkis-grill
Arki’s Grill signage
Note: Menus prices posted are subject to change without prior notice, Please visit their FB page for latest updates and promos.
Address: Arki’s Grill- Salangan Highway , San Miguel, Bulacan ( (Fronting ICBT, besides Olive Lechon Manok)
Contact Persons: Architect Ervin and Mrs. Kat Garcia
Contact : 0935- 889- 1003
Operations: Mondays-Sundays
Operational Hours: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm

Amazing Array of Mushroom Products at Buenas Diaz Mushroom Farm

Buenas Diaz Mushroom Farm used to be a poultry farm then converted into a mushroom production farm early part of this year.

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Buenas Diaz Farm

“Buenos dias” is Good Morning in Spanish,  The proprietor use this wonderful greeting and play of words then incorporated their surname “Diaz” and not “Dias” and that “Buenas” would refer to the evolved Tagalog word for good luck.

buenas-diaz-farm

tarpaulin poster

They get the technical training including the sourcing of spawns and mushroom production and processing know-how from the Central Luzon State University. DTI and TESDA Bulacan is also helping them thru their trade bazaars and shows.

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oyster mushroom production area

Majority of the of their production were oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) in fruiting bags and their by-products. The production area also includes misting system, which help regulates the temperature and humidity inside.

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out of youth children earn part time at this farm

Buenas Diaz farm produce is worth patronizing aside from  of their various food preparations is their contribution to providing livelihood opportunities to local residents either as hired labor or as contract growers.

oyster-mushroom

oyster mushroom

They also hired some out of school teenagers which the parents cannot afford to send them to school. The farm is slowly increasing their output and joining the bandwagon of farm tourism.

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chocolate cake, puto, baked lasagna, pancit malabon

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chocolate cake

The mushroom farm offers the local farmers off-season labor opportunities in the preparation of fruiting bags which is quite labor intensive.

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mushroom chicharon in different flavors

This farm came up with various mushroom products. like the crispy mushroom “chicharon”, it came in various tastes – the plain, cheese, garlic, spicy barbecue, salted eggs, sour and cream. There were few combinations like spicy garlic and cheese barbecue.

mushroom-sisig

mushroom sisig

The group also enjoyed first hand the culinary skills as the host prepared dishes using oyster mushroom that are freshly gathered from their farm.

mushroom-tempura

fried mushroom

This is everyone’s favorite, their version of fried mushroom ala chicharon style. These are freshly prepared with the use of fresh oyster mushroom, batter mixture  and other ingredients.

mushroom-patty

mushroom patty

The dehydrated products could be ground, converted to powder can be used in soups and even medicine.

They are also joining other local bazaars and trade show in order to further promote their products.

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group photo ( photo courtesy of Buenas Diaz farm)

Note: We visited the farm upon the special arrangement made by Mr. Ervin Garcia, Diaz family and local government.  We are also careful by not entering the production area to avoid contamination.

Buenas Diaz Mushroom Farm

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Buenas-Diaz-Farm-1055535507929760/

Address: 797 Magdangal,  Camias, San Miguel, Bulacan province
Contact : 0917-136-9075/ 0977-825-5899/ 0936-168-8857