Cindy’s Talk @ HortPark

The year 2008 is coming to an end. For this last month of the year, we first conducted Cindy’s talk on the growing of carnivorous plants to the public at HortPark. Despite the downpour in the afternoon, we still had a good number for the audience and in it, we have several young ones. Carnivorous plants never fail to amuse children as they are fascinated by the carnivory habit of these plants.

In today’s talk, Cindy introduced to her audience the various genera of plants that inhabit wetter growing environment and they include the famous Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), North American pitcher plant (Sarracenia spp.), butterworts (Pinguicula spp.) and sundrews (Drosera spp.) that are commonly grown by hobbyists in Singapore.

A young member from the audience watching how Cindy propagates a sundew plant.

Because many of these plants originate from subtropical and temperate regions of the globe, many tend to have a habit to go into dormancy. Cindy shared with the audience what conditions could trigger a plant to go to sleep as well as how to care for such a plant.

Cindy is also especially good with kids and despite the fact that a gardening talk can be rather technical in nature, she was able to attract their short attention span. When she wielded her ‘surgical tools’ that she uses to cut a plant for propagation, the kids stormed to the front to catch a glimpse of how one perform the ‘operation’.

It was exceptionally amusing to watch how one of the young ones from the audience cringed when he was asked to hold a severed trap from a Venus fly trap!  Cindy then assured him that the trap is harmless and it would not open its jaws and bite. The young ones had a good time today as Cindy was generously handing cuttings of a sundew and the Venus flytrap which they can then bring home to grow.

My heartfelt thanks go to Delwin, one of our members from the Green Culture Singapore discussion forum, who brought along some plants to make them available to members of the public for them to bring home so as to get started on the carnivorous plant growing hobby. Cindy is grateful to Sylvester Lau, the manager from the Event Sales section of HortPark, who was on duty for the day where he had helped her to set up the Fruit Room where her talk was held.

Cindy and Delwin shared with the audience how one can grow bog carnivorous plants without fear of mosquito breeding.

Last but not least, a very useful tip which Cindy and Delwin shared during the talk was how to safely provide a reservior of water that is necessary for the growing of this group of moisture-loving carnivorous plants. She introduced to the audience a very cheap and potentially environmentally-friendly method which involves putting the pot of plant inside a plastic disposable food container with a hole cut into its lid that is able to fit the base of the pot nicely. Using this method, the volume of water is made inaccessible to mosquitoes which can then not be able to lay eggs in it. This method can help to avoid mosquito breeding which is a big public health issue in Singapore.

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