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Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in January/February 2018

The four month cool and wet spell lasted into January, and then at last it warmed up as we approached Chinese New Year.  Thereafter it was hot and rained only occasionally of an evening. I have to water the plants almost every day now.

Canna Lilies happily grow and bloom all year.

this I grew from two cuttings from another crepe ginger – now there are over 10 stems

a young lime tree – some of its first fruit – still small

plumbago seems to be happy in this spot

I normally prune the passion fruit vines at this time of year – dry the cuttings in the sun, and then put on top of the soil to add nutrition back

I had put a lot of pumpkin seeds in the compost, so now in places where I’ve put the compost sometimes pumpkin plants appear. Then I transplant them. This grew from a tiny transplanted plant.

Another pumpkin plant I recently transplanted.

Lots of baby lines on my original lime tree

Over 60 passion fruit are on the vines now

I’m growing several papaya on the roof – today the first flower opened

Aloe Vera like this spot – I should harvest soon. They always have little babies growing nearby so there is always another crop coming

bought from Cold Storage – this plant is struggling

Basil is OK here

Mock Oranges are usually doing well

some of the many passion fruit growing

passion fruit I recently picked – or fell to the floor

these are very easy care – just water occasionally

some more crepe ginger plants


Duranta are happy if they have plenty of water


mini-eggplants. Great in soup.

So many mini-eggplants grow on one tree in a big pot

We’re spreading crepe ginger all over the place. So easy to care for and they look great.

One of our pandan collection

The original crepe ginger plant, from which we’ve cultivated about 15 pots

just starting cultivating more crepe ginger plants – it takes a few weeks.


Community Garden

On the web site for the Gurney Wharf project I found that they had a community garden, more or less between Tesco and Quayside.  It is quite small, but built on raised beds.  There was no one around to talk about it when I visited.

The tale of Greeney the grasshopper

Greeney the Grasshopper

Greeney the Grasshopper was with us for about two months.  She lived a quiet life in our garden, and being only one of her, didn’t eat too much and cause a problem for our plants.  When watering the plants, first I had to find her so that I didn’t drench her with water – or at least surprise her, as she was really quick – she leapt out of the way before the water reached her.  When it rained or stormed she moved under cover, nearby.   She lived in a radius of about six feet, and moved around onto different plants.

Then, three days ago, she disappeared.  Very sad. She was only fast when she had to hop – and I tried not to cause her problems.  She had generally moved very slowly – it looked like she was old.  Apparently their lifespan is about one year.

But then it turns out she was a mother! This morning we saw lots of little hoppers on one hibiscus plant that Greeney had spent a lot of time on. They are really cute.  However, if more than two or three grow up and stay it’ll be a problem for our plants, so we’ll see what happens.  At the moment there seem to be around 20 of them.

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in November/December 2017

Well, it rained most days during November and the last week of December, with it also being cool.  For the last few days there has only been a very, very light sprinkle of rain on a couple of occasions, and it has remained cool.

Uploading and the web page are not working well today, so here are what I could manage…




cultivating crepe ginger plants in Penang

Crepe Ginger grows really well here, in pots and in the ground, and produces sprouts you can eat.  If you cut off the head and take cuttings you can easily cultivate it.

Crepe ginger growing

cuttings about 18″ or 45cm long

cut the ends off the leaves and remove leaves near the bottom

get some pots and fill with soil

poke holes in the soil for the cuttings – don’t push holes in the soil with the cuttings

cut the bottom off for a fresh cut – then dip into rooting hormone

put the cutting into a ready-made hole – don’t push it further into the soil – and fill in the hole with soil and tamp down

we put four into each pot – keep moist and in the shade – may take two months to get new growth

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in September/October 2017

Well, it rained most days during September and the first half of October, with floods sometimes in parts of Penang. And then it stopped raining – except for once a week or so. Thus today, Sunday is the first sunny Sunday for a while.

Another quiet couple of months, then.

Not all that much happening in the back lane garden

This papaya almost died – when there is heavy rain one papaya sometimes dies. As I can’t get any seeds to germinate there at the moment, eventually, as has happened over the years, all papayas die. One smaller one did die. So only three left

Crepe Ginger very healthy

Crepe Ginger very healthy

the grape vine still OK

the grape vine even has a few grapes

pandan trees doing well

we can harvest some mini-eggplants every week – great in soups and curries and stews

the neem tree is getting huge

cuttings from crepe ginger to cultivate

these are so easy to cultivate and care for we’re cultivating more

rosemary gets attacked sometimes by a black bug or fungus

my attempt at cultivating crepe ginger is working out

papayas germinated from seed

basil is happy

papayas germinated from seed

my oldest papaya has had its trunk attacked so may not survive another year. Being in a pot it never fruited, but it looked nice

Passionfruit really need sun to ripen, and there has been so little for months due to rain.

So now some passion fruit are just dropping to the ground without the skin changing colour much if at all. But inside they are often ripe and yummy.

Some passion fruit seeds from different fruit to germinate next February