Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A temperate garden in the lowland tropics

Many temperate plants will grow and flower in the highland tropics at 1000m elevation and above. In the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia for example, fuchsias, daylilies, apples, roses, pelargoniums and snapdragons grow and flower throughout the year. In the lowlands e.g. in Kuala Lumpur, at 100m, they survive for only a few weaks or may grow but not flower.

I have been trying to grow temperate plants by arranging for them to get a cold water shower for 15 minutes a night at midnight. The water is chilled to about 18 degrees Celcius. However the effect has not been significant.

My next option was to get engineers to design a flat bed cooler on which I can place containers of plants for their roots to be cooled at night. I have opted for cooling at night so as not to have to fight against the daytime high temperature of 30 degrees. At night there is a natural drop to 24 degrees, which is a help. However the engineers have not been able to design a flatbed cooler for me. I thought this would be somewhat like a mini ice-skating rink, but exposed to sun and rain and only switched on at night. Does anyone out there know whether this can be done?


Anonymous said...

i've tried Cameron Highland strawberry in lowland, itproduced flower and small fruit.. recent experiment I grow strawberry plant from seed taken from fruit that that sold in Jusco...after almost 7 months the plant grow reproductive runner and the plant multiply but no flower

Anonymous said...

I have done the same thing but my apartment unit is at level 15 which gets cold at night, so the plant actually flowered but didnot grow into a fruit.

Unknown said...

I tried the same thing, my plant has been about 4 months adapted to high temperature, about 33-37 noon and 25-27 at night, the strawberry plant grow many runners, and i have one plant that i always pinch the runner, it has not been flowering yet but the leaf quite big, look healthy and vigorous, im thinking doing the same thing to cool the nutrient at night time,