Thursday, August 7, 2014

Philodendron Hunting in Robelle Garden Center

Sorry for the very long absence. I was admitted to the Graduate School of the University of the Philippines and am now currently residing here in Los Baños, Laguna.

As always, the many gardens here have rekindled my passion for the genus Philodendron. Los Baños is actually famous as a major supplier of Philodendron bipinnatifidum (P. selloum) leaves in Dangwa and other flower markets. P. bipinnatifidum locally called “silom” is so common here and yet quiet rare in other parts of the country, like in our place in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte. I think I am one of the first to bring some. I gave 30 plants to my Aunt last year, which also is into gardening aroids and owns a flower shop.

Last December, I visited Robelle Garden Center in Calamba to look for some Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. One of the stall owners, Mr. Sol was very nice and when I informed him I am into Philodendrons, he ushered me to a part of his greenhouse to show me a new hybrid he was able to acquire. I was totally stunned by this hybrid. It was so beautiful it looked surreal. I took a photo and promised someday to return to buy one or two if he is successful enough to propagate it. He called it Philodendron ‘Golden Serratum’. Unfortunately, searching google proved futile, as no plants of that name was appearing. A close one was the plant Philodendron ‘Moonlight’ x ‘Serratum’ hybrid. This was the photo I took last December.

Yesterday, I was able to return to Robelle Garden Center to hunt for an unknown Meconostigma I happen to see in one of the growers here in Los Baños  The asking price was too high here so I looked around if the plant is also offered in some of the stalls at Robelle Garden. Indeed, one is offered for PhP1,500.00 for a medium size plant. I ended up buying the two plants here for PhP500.00 and PhP100 for a smaller one. This was the bigger of the unknown plants I bought this morning.

When mature, this plant should look like these. I am very excited.

Anyway, I asked the gardeners if the plant P. “Golden Serratum” is now for sale. Regrettably, some small plants were displayed but still not for sale. But they told me that the original plants have grown much bigger already and are now at the other greenhouse also owned by Mr. Sol. I went to that greenhouse, and to my astonishment, the plants really grown quiet big and even more beautiful. Sadly, still not for sale. These were the plants I mentioned.

I went home quiet happy. I have a lot of Philodendrons to return to, or maybe buy next month, like this one. It looked like Philodendron renauxii

The leaves have red edges.

This one is Philodendron subhastatum with its very nice red underside.

The unknown Meconostigma hybrid I bought, together with a P. goeldii, P. tortum and Asplundia sp. ‘Jungle Drum’ are now en route to Sindangan via courier. I am planning to send Philodendrons every month so when I finish my studies, I have a full greenhouse already.hehehe

It’s nice to be writing again about my favorite plants. Happy gardening everyone!