Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

Knowing me, Knowing you..... Aha.....!

Notice Board

Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
Welcome to our exotic world of everlasting summers and tropical rainforests!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Caterpillars, Butterflies and Periwinkles

Catharanthus Roseus(Madagascar Periwinkle)

The catharantus roseus or kemunting cina as it is known in Malay is a fast growing and herbaceous dicotyledon plant. The leaves are dark green and shiny while the flowers come in shades of pink, dark pink, pale pink, lavender and white, all in different colour combinations. It can be planted as ground cover, in containers or window boxes. You can arrange the plants neatly together in a row using the same colour or mix and match different colours to decorate a garden. This evergreen plant seems to bloom the whole year through.

This species has been known to be cultivated for use in traditional and herbal medicine as a treatment for malaria, diabetes and certain cancers. As I know, some parts of the plant may be poisonous, therefore it is not advisable to practise self medication or consume it orally.

This pale pink species is quite easy to take care.

This lavender version is the easiest to plant and minimum care is needed. Quite often you find it growing wild along the roadsides, near drains and road dividers. When I first planted it, my no. 3 Auntie thought that I was planting a weed!
These are other colours that I have in my garden.
The dark-pink....

The lavender-white......

... and pink ones

The pale pink version on the right is the most difficult to propagate from seeds.

Propagation:After the flower has withered, retain the seeds to grow new plants. The seeds can be found in seed pods. The seed pods turns from green to brown. When ripen, the seed pods will burst open, releasing the seeds.

Butterflies love to lay eggs behind the leaves. Theses eggs will hatch into bright green caterpillars with colourful big eyes that look very cute but are voracious leaf eaters. Before long, I mean, in a day or two, your plant will be almost bald! These caterpillars look like that of the hawk moth butterfly's. Having said that, howerver, this is a hardy plant. It will grow back its leaves very soon and voila! Flowers come again.
Special Note:
1. If you don't like the caterpillars:
- you may pinch them off and get rid of them. As a prevention tactic, you must check behind the leaves and lightly scratch off any tiny eggs that stick onto it so that there is no chance for the eggs to hatch. Look out for torn and bitten leaves or caterpillars droppings which is dark green in colour. Don't mistake them for fertilizer grannules. If you see caterpillar droppings on you plant, don't give up until you find the caterpillar and catch it!

2. If you like the caterpillars:
- for example, you may want to observe the biological process of 'egg hatch --> caterpillar --> larvae --> pupa --> butterfly'. You need not do anything. Soon, you will be rewarded with a souvenir in the form of the left-over pupa. Hey, you can save a life! LOL.


  1. I love the one in the last picture. White with a little pink centre. I almost bought one the other day. Btw, so do you need to fertilise this plant with blooming fertiliser? or the flower can bloom well without fertiliser. Have a wonderful day autumnbelle!

  2. Stephanie, this one is 'nice to look at, but difficult to upkeep'. Need a lot of attention. Yes, I use the granular mixture type of fertilizer to induce blooming but in small amounts, i.e. use only a few granules per application, otherwise the plant will die.

  3. We have a similar plant here in Arizona and it is called Vinca. They can tolerate the heat, so they do well here.


  4. Michelle, the vinca flowers are very beautiful too.


Words are like the voice of the heart... Confucius

Note: If you are unable to comment on my latest post, click on the post title to reopen the post and try writing your comments again. Comments under "Anonymous" will be automatically treated as spam if no name is included.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin