Root awakening: Pineapple plant needs direct sunlight

Pineapple plant needs direct sunlight.
Pineapple plant needs direct sunlight. PHOTO: ZHANG HAN LIN
Tip: Dwarf version of Orange Jasmine can grow bigger.
Tip: Dwarf version of Orange Jasmine can grow bigger. PHOTO: WILSON WONG
Ornamental plant requires cooler conditions.
Ornamental plant requires cooler conditions. PHOTO: EMILY TAI
Fruit can be made into jam.
Fruit can be made into jam. PHOTO: CHRISTINA CHIANG

Pineapple plant needs direct sunlight

A year ago, I planted the top part of a ripe pineapple which I bought. It has yet to flower. What can I do to make it flower?

Zhang Han Lin

According to reports, pineapple plants grown from the leafy top part of the fruit start flowering and fruiting when they are about two years old.

From your photograph, the leaves of your pineapple plant appear rather long and floppy. This could be a sign of insufficient sunlight. Pineapple plants need to be grown under direct sunlight for at least six hours daily and in well-draining, fertile soil.


Tip: Dwarf version of Orange Jasmine can grow bigger

Murraya "Min-A-Min" is relatively new to Singapore. It may not be commonly available in commercial nurseries here.

Unlike the common Murraya paniculata (commonly known as Orange Jasmine), this new cultivar features a dense canopy with much smaller, finer leaves with rounded tips.

Often touted as a dwarf version of Orange Jasmine, this shrub has the potential to grow much bigger, although the growth rate may be slow.

It produces many white flowers which emit a strong fragrance. Plants can be closely planted to form a low border, trimmed into topiaries or planted in a shallow pot and trained into a bonsai.

Murraya "Min-A-Min" requires a sunny location and moist and well-draining soil to grow well.


Ornamental plant requires cooler conditions 

I saw this flowering plant at the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay. I would like to grow it, but I am not sure if it is suitable for Singapore's climate. If it can be grown here, how can I maintain it?

Emily Tai

The plant belongs to the genus Fuchsia and is a popular ornamental plant in temperate areas.

It generally does not do well when grown under ambient temperatures in Singapore. It prefers cooler conditions to thrive.

You can try growing it if you have a sunny window, where there is at least four hours of direct sunlight, in an air-conditioned office.


Fruit can be made into jam

Are the fruit of this miniature apple plant edible?

Christina Chiang

The plant is commonly called Acerola or Barbados Cherry (its botanical name is Malpighia emarginata). It is highly ornamental for its numerous pink flowers and red cherry-like fruits, which are edible though they have a rather sour taste. The fruit is rich in Vitamin C and can be made into jam. The plant can be put in a pot and grown into a bonsai.

It is best to grow it in a sunny location with moist and fertile soil.


Native plant has medicinal properties


PHOTO: ERIC FOO

What is the name of this plant? The underside of the leaves are golden yellow and has three distinctive black dots.

Eric Foo

The plant is commonly known as Mistletoe Fig (botanical name is Ficus deltoidea). It is native to Singapore and grows in coastal areas. It has medicinal properties.

This plant is best grown in a sunny location where it can be exposed to direct sunlight for at least four hours a day so that the colour of its foliage is more pronounced. It grows best in moist, well-draining soil that contains organic matter. Do not allow the plant to dry out or have wet feet for long periods.

•Answers by Dr Wilson Wong, a certified practising horticulturist and founder of Green Culture Singapore (www.greenculturesg.com). He is also an NParks-certified park manager. He will speak about growing succulents, starting a miniature garden and more at the Singapore Garden Festival next month. General admission ticket to the festival applies (go to www.singaporegardenfestival.com).

•Have a gardening query? E-mail it with clear, high-resolution pictures of at least 1MB, if any, and your full name to stlife@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2016, with the headline 'RootAwakening'. Print Edition | Subscribe