Deepthie’s— Garden


Alocasia Berries



Here  is my contribution to Indoor Plants .

This is my Habarala ( Alocasia )  plant that I have been nurturing for a
few years , from a small plant that my son gave me, that he rescued from a
pile of plants to be thrown out to compost at his place of work .

It is placed in a it a  large  a water container,  that is an old fridge
basket that I picked up from someone elses’s garbage throw out on the curb .

I keep the pot out doors as soon as it gets warm in late spring ( mid -late
may ) .
Use a heavy 20- 20 -20 fertiliser to promote large leaves .
The rain water does it a world of good

 I bring it indoors in  mid October – and it will be indoors till the
spring .
These big leaves- stay on till next year .

A new leaf appeared a few days ago- nov 4th .
You can see how tall the plant is –  I am 5 ft tall, and the plant is 7 ft
tall .

An older  much  smaller leaf that came out in late april- is now fading off
, as you can see in one of the photos .

I water it  only when the water level in the basket dries out, but,  I do
pour out my tea pot + leaves on to it every other day .
Perhaps the acidic tannic acid of the tea leaves also helps in its growth-
as it simulates the natural boggy wet acidic conditions  of the tropics .  

I have placed my comfy chair virtually under this huge umbrella like
leaves, and do my day light reading, day dreaming  , in the winter months,
pretending I am out doors in a tropical garden !

This is a  very inasive plant as you all know, and I hear that it is not
permitted to be grown in Florida-
Sam- and others who live in Florida can correct me on this .

When I leave for Arizona in late Jan- I lower the house temp down to 58  –
60 deg  F, water the plant well ,  and once in Februraly, my son will come
to check the house etc and give it and my other house plants  a good
watering , and then I return 1st April and water them again .

So, the lesson here is – house plants are very hardy- as long as they are
not over watered , and the house not too , too warm in the winter .
My Indoor plants are there fore watered only Once a Month – for the 8 wks
I am away , provided the house temp is low .

The only way to kill a house plant is to drown it !

This plant is a very popular out door ornamental garden plant  and the City
of Toronto has real huge ones growing in huge cement tubs, in  city parks
and on University Avenue, where all the big Toronto Hospitals are located .

Enjoy the good old Habarala plant with a new life in Canada  !


18 thoughts on “Deepthie’s— Garden”

  1. Hi Deepthi,

    You do have beautiful garden . The insight regarding bringing up a Habarala plant is fascinating.

    I do really like this unusual plant here but very common in Sri Lanka.The villagers use the big leaves as an umbrella too when needed.

    In addition to being a Tree Hugger and Baila Queen we can call you an Alocasia lover too.

    With Best Regards,



  2. Thank you Esiri for your encouraging comments .
    I do recall very well, people of Srilanka, using this big leaf as an umbrella, if caught unawares in a rain storm .
    Praxy took the photo of me, at the Galle Mother Theresa orphanage, when we visited it , back in 2007 oct .

    Then, I really wished if I could have a p lant like that in Canada- and my wish came true when my son ( a Gardener for the City of Toronto ) found a half dead plant , on its way to the compost ” here mom take it home and doctor it up ‘ he said and now you see it- 7 ft tall .
    I wonder if you saw the previous post that Sam put out sunday am- with me on a protest Water Walk in my community .
    Yes I do wear many hats- Protest Water Walker, Activist — more serious ones ( !! ) to add to the list !!
    Better keep my head down, and keep going !


  3. My dear Deepthie,
    Amongst leaves, in any flora, leaf ‘Alocasia’ is strong and tough
    It is a friend of the poor folks, due to water repellant qualities
    Even in a torrential down pour, reliably serves, strong and pliable
    To name a mate, with such humane qualities, don’t have to think far


  4. Thanks Deepthie for sharing photos of your beautiful garden with us. I feel a garden to some extent reflects the culture of gardener?


    1. Yes- Rani- you are quite right to say the garden reflects ‘ the culture ‘ of the gardener .

      I seem to want a ‘tropical feel ‘ to my garden .– Habarala, Canna, Hibiscus, and lots and lots of green in the garden, to create that tropical feel to it , complete with a verendah- the good old Isthoppuwa !
      In BC- I have seen people even growing banana trees in sheltered areas in big pots, like my Habarala plant .
      I even have a pineapple plant growing in a pot- I will talk about this later .

      Folks from UK- want an ‘English Garden ‘ with lawns, roses and fences .
      Golf lovers – love big plush golf green lawns .
      Folks from Eastern Europe have another way of creating their gardens –
      I have come to recognize this feature , because I as a Master Gardener have had to go round gardens, selecting the gardens for our local Garden Show .


    1. Yes- Swarna- this is my ‘trip to lanka’ moment- when I sit under that huge leaf, looking at the waters of Lake Huron – I imagine I am in Lanka, looking at the Indian Ocean !
      This is Magic and Make Believe !


  5. Dear Deepthie,
    Your Habarala plant looks gorgeous. In fact I can remember my taking the last photo when we went on our charity mission to help the orphanage in Galle. That trip was fantastic as we were able to help the convent looking after so many orphans. I think we have done our fair share of charity work…Praxy.


  6. Dear Deepthie your indoor garden projects looks beautiful.I learned after reading how to care for them better.When i am away for 2 weeks I worry about watering so in winter
    I donot have worry for 2 weeks about watering.Your science knowledge is helping the garden in addition to multiple other talents as we see.with love Maithri


    1. My dear Dr R Almeida !!
      I am on the ‘look out point ‘– have been there for quite a while ,and have not yet found any one that can do the job, even half as well as I do !!
      I just came in from the garden now- after a heavy load of work- raking leaves , mulching them, spreading it in the compost bin, mixing soil and manure, and spreading it over the 4 bags of mulched leaves and other garden material .
      I dont need a man- I need two hands and legs that can move as fast as I can , and do the job !
      Ask Praxy- she has been here in the autumn season, and she has seen the pace at which I move and get the garden work done .
      If you think, you can help me, come on over !!!!!
      But, dont expect me to ‘baby and pamper ‘ any man !

      Thanks for your suggestion – and I will leave it to the Blog Readers to mull over Dr Almeida’s Idea !!
      eagledmastergardener !!!


    2. HI Maithri- if you are going away for two weeks- simple – just water well before you leave , lower the house temp and thats it !
      House plants- like the ones you have , that I have seen, need watering only once in two weeks any way .

      Like I said before – the only way to kill a house plant is to drown it !
      Good luck – eagledmastergardener


  7. Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures of your garden. Wow “ habarala “ in Canada. I was surprised to see it doing so well.



    1. HI Nisantha- this is a very easy plant to grow- both out doors and indoors.
      The size of the plant just depends on the size of the pot in which it is planted .
      My Pond habarala plants are in smaller pots, as my pond is a small ornamental ‘natural ‘ pond, with NO artificial pond cleaning stuff etc .
      See my description of this on the comment to Seelan’s Coconut Woman is Calling out !
      I remember, you and Peeching had many plants in your big old home , that I used to visit back then .
      Do you still have indoor plants ?
      Since I live alone, my indoor plants are my loyal companions / pets that dont talk back, and give me all the love I need in return for the Unconditional Love I give them !!!
      BY the way- I do play the flute for them for entertainment !!
      eagledfluteplayer !


  8. Dear Deepthie the “master” gardener,
    I like the Alocasia – in door & out door. The in door one looks big. Do you fertilize with “urea” as I did for my Palms?
    Above all I like those Coconut trees. Looks very healthy. Can you get some one to Tap Toddy?
    “Coconut water, good for your daughter”.
    “Toddy is good for your body”


    1. HI my dear Downunder Gardener !- aka sweet man seelan sweetened with coconut water ,-
      This is the ” Coconut Woman is Calling Out ‘ !!!! from Canada !

      Thanks a lot for the pics and description of your lovely garden Down Under .
      I am totally impressed by your achievements — in all spheres .
      You sure have that Midas Touch !

      The habarala plantation with the coconut trees in the background photo was taken by Praxy, when we visited Galle , back in 2007- take a look at the previous comments by praxy and my self .
      In Canada, we seem to have a fascination with Alocasia – perhaps of its very large green leaves that gives us this ” tropical feel ‘ year round , if one is fortunate enough to give this plant the proper care and has a place indoors to house it for the winter .
      There are many folks from the West Indies, living in Toronto area, who have this plant indoors for the winter.
      In the summer, when we put our plants outside, it is real ‘Show Stopper ‘ for those passing by .
      NO I dont use that special brand of high Nitrogen Urea liquid fertilizer !
      I use 20- 20- 20– with equal proportion of N PK, for maximum vegetative growth .
      It does produce a little flower , like a Calla Lily- I have had one flower with a small cluster of berries that turn red when mature .
      Never able to get it to grow .

      I have a smaller pots of habarala in my little garden pond- that is my ‘water filter ‘ so I dont need to use any artificial water cleaning stuff .
      Also- I keep my pond free of commercial cleaning stuff, as I want my frogs, snakes and birds, squirrels that come to drink from the little water trickles around the rocks , to stay healthy .
      Even the Humming bird sometimes, takes a sip of water from the little water spout !

      All of my smaller pond cleaning habarala plants are also indoors now , near a sunny south facing window .
      My home- is now like an Indoor Garden Centre – and I love it, more so, when the snow flies in- which is next week !
      Imagine the Oxygen released into the house at night, by these giant leaves !
      No wonder I get a good night’s sleep every night !

      eagleDmdmastergardener !


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