Saturday, 12 May 2012

Roses versus red ants!

Pest, pest...and more new ones! This time it's the red ants. Those tiny ones and they were attacking my yellow rose plant. Poor favorite, one and only rose in my garden! Not spared even by the tiniest ants. This is more than once it is being 'attacked' in 2 months. Just when it is about to recover from the previous 'invasion', now this. Trail of ants burrowing down its main stem into the soil. Why? Did the fat worm die? Were they going to pay their last respect or plainly put, wallop the dead meat!

What shall I do? No more pesticides, that's for sure. Took me awhile to decide and then presto! To open up the dense soil and see what's going on inside and then opt for new soil. NOoooo! I'm not going to do it myself. Surely do not want to encounter any 'surprises' wiggling out from the soil.

So, off I went to my favorite nursery at I-Vision in Tropicana, Petaling Jaya (next to Riana Green condo). The weather was nice. The owner, Angie, a pleasant lady and her workers were happy to see me again. Has been quite a while since I last came to buy plants here. When I told them my problem, they agreed that changing soil would be best. This is the beauty of this nursery, excellent customer service! The owner is always around not only to assist you but to answer whatever questions you might have, unlike other nurseries. And the workers Abdul and Norbi, both immigrants from Bangladesh, have worked here for more than 8 years and are very committed in their work.

They recommended that I use compost soil, best for roses. Really..I'm a novice with roses so I agreed. Abdul removed the dense soil from the pot and saw nothing. Only when he loosened up the soil, was the picture clear! Tiny red ants all over! About to build a nest! Thank God my timing was perfect. I watched him removed all those affected soil and then put in new compost soil. He then mixed in a white powdery substance into the compost soil as well as on the inside of the pot. This would deter red ants from coming again. Phew! It was a big relief to see aid coming to rescue my sweet rosie.

I also brought with me two plants in polybags, for potting services. Initially, I plan to get plastic pots as it is lighter and easier to handle. And I don't have to worry about strong wind knocking them over because it is after all an indoor garden! I do rearrange the pots regularly.
But look what I got instead! Glazed ceramic pots! See picture below. This nursery have very nice selection of pots especially those glazed ones and I couldn't resist myself.

My bonsai now has a lovely 'house' 
Can't resist the pastel turquoise color! Pot costs RM13 and black pot stand cost  RM11
Smaller two-tone pot, pastel green color at top and brown at bottom, costs RM10
What a lovely sight to feast the eyes!

By the time I reached home and started rearranging the pots in my garden, a sense of happiness and satisfaction set in. Not only did I manage to save my rosie but also give a new hope for it to grow stronger and flourish. I don't know about you but plants do sense our feelings towards them. I know some people talk to their plants, I do also at times :)

The Houris would like to share a few thoughts on pot stand. Besides elevating the plants off from the floor and makes it more accessible to direct sun, it also makes cleaning the floor area very easy. As you can see from the photo above, the wall restricts full sun exposure. Pot stand also saves a lot of backache for me..haha. I do not need to bend down so much, something which I try to avoid at any time. I would rather sit down on the floor comfortably if some work need to be done on the plant or the soil.

SubhanAllah, thank you God for blessing my garden and bringing it back to life. I know I will sleep well tonight. And thanks to you for dropping by.


  1. The glazed flowers are beautiful and they blend in with the greenery of your window garden. You are very smart to send your plants for repotting by the experts. Now, they are happy and cheerful. Like us, plants need the beauty treatment too. Yours just went for a pedicure. Now the roots can breath easily.

  2. Hi Ms Belle! Say, that's a nice analogy. Pedicure for plants :) You know, I can't stand worms. I will scream and jump before anything happens. I used to laugh at my mom when she did that and now look at me..hahaha!
    I hope I did a big favor for my rose, it's a 'benson and hedges gold' species. Yesterday, I buried small pieces of banana peel into the pot, just by the side of it, for potassium and phosphorus. It's ok right?
    What about used tea leaves? Can I put it too as fertilizer? I heard contradicting comments on it so I dare not do so.

    1. A "Benson and Hedges" rose? Wow, it certainly deserves the royal treatment. Regarding the banana peel, I dry it first before cutting it up. I too bury it by the side of the pot. The roses seem to bloom radiantly after that. I'm not so sure what to do with the used tea leaves. Maybe you can post this question in Malaysian Rose Society group in Facebook or ask the Ros sifu. Also check out this link:

    2. Ms Belle, I think it's a "Benson and Hedges" rose. Probably a rose kampung after all :) But it blooms pretty flowers.

      I was told that tea leaves may not be as acidic as used grounded coffee but they are organic. Could try them on other plants instead. Oh by the way, I'm no longer with the Malaysian Rose Society. I have also sent an email to Ros Sifu but no reply from her till now. Maybe she's busy.

  3. I agree that the glazed ceramic pots are so much more beautiful than plastic, even if they are heavier. I have a local store that sells them so much cheaper than the garden centers, so I always buy mine there.

  4. Hi Robin! Good to be seeing you again :)
    Our glazed ceramic pots are mainly for exports. Very few outlets have them. I'm glad I found them. Will be on the lookout for more :)


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