Here’s the Root Awakening column for this week where two gardening questions were given answers.
The first question dealth with the identities of two commonly encountered shrubs which are great hedge plants. One of them is Syzygium campanulatum and there are two cultivars available currently. One has orangey new leaves whilst another has maroon new leaves. Both the orange and maroon cultivars have become quite popular shrubs for landscaping in Sinagpore. They are best grown in a sunny, well draining spot to ensure the leaves put forth their vibrant colour. Some people prune the shrub regularly to promote new colourful foliage growth.
Another hedge plant identified was Baphia nitida. It is an ‘old school’ plant that has been around for quite some time and is fondly remembered for its use to screen away rubbish points in public housing estates in the past. It is a highly versatile shrub as it also thrives in shady areas.
Both shrubs are easy to grow and relatively fuss-free. But Syzygium campanulatum may occasionally get attacked by caterpillars or beetles.
The second question was about the effect of putting ice cubes on the root zone of a bamboo plant with the hope that the leaves will be greener. As far as I am aware, there is no scientific evidence to support such a claim. Excessive chilling of roots can do more harm than good. Yellowing bamboo leaves can be brought about by a variety of reasons, such as by the lack of certain nutrients, and it is best to find out the root cause and remedy it.