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Care For Caladiums

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Caladium is a popular ornamental plant famous for its large leaves of interesting, striking colors. Also known as elephant ear, caladium is native to South America. Because of this, it is used to hot temperatures and needs special treatment during winter in cooler climates. Keep reading to learn more about storing caladium bulbs and how to care for caladium bulbs over winter.

Winter Care of Caladium Bulbs
Caladiums are winter hardy to USDA zone 9, meaning that they should be able to survive the winter outdoors. Even in these areas, though, a heavy mulching of 3 inches is the recommended winter care for caladiums to keep them from dying in the colder temperatures. In USDA zones 8 and lower, winter care for caladium bulbs involves digging them up and bringing them inside to go dormant.

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Storing Caladium Bulbs
Once temperatures begin to fall and stay below 60 F. (15 C.), dig up your caladium bulb with the foliage still attached. Don’t try to remove any of the dirt from the roots yet. Place your plants in a cool, dark area for 2 to 3 weeks. This process will cure the bulbs and cause them to go dormant. After a few weeks, cut the tops off level with the soil line. Brush away any loose soil, cut out any rotted areas, and apply a fungicide.

Storing caladium bulbs is easy. Store them at 50 F. (10 C.) in a dry place. It helps to keep them in sand or sawdust to prevent them from drying out too much. Keep them here until the spring. You should plant caladium bulbs outdoors after the last chance of frost, but you can start them indoors earlier in areas with short growing seasons. Caladiums can also be grown and stored in containers over winter. Limit watering to once monthly (to prevent it from drying out completely in soil) and keep in a somewhat dark location. Once warm temps and longer days return in spring, the plant should begin regrowing, at which time you can give it additional light and resume normal care.

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The Myth on the Undying Love of Sampaguita

sampaguita

A love that continues to the after-life—this is the gist of the myth on the undying Sampaguita love story.

Guita was a beautiful princess of a strict king who ruled his subjects ruthlessly. According to this myth, the king had high hopes for his only daughter and hoped that one day Guita would meet a fitting prince from a strong kingdom. The myth says she was educated in one of the best exclusive schools abroad designed for royalty.

However, according to the myth, Guita secretly befriended a slave named Sampague—or Sampa, as he was fondly called by friends—as she roamed her father’s kingdom. Guita eventually fell for Sampa. The myth says the cruel king learned of the affair, and became furious. He ordered Guita to stop seeing Sampa and cut the madness. The myth says, the king threatened his daughter about continuing the love affair.

According to the myth, to avoid the King’s wrath, Sampa and Guita eloped and went deep into the forest to hide, thinking that they could find refuge there and forever be out of harm’s way. But, the myth says, the king ordered an unrelenting search and destroy mission until Sampa and Guita. The soldiers left no stone unturned and vowed to fulfill their mission by any means.

The soldiers finally found Sampa and Guita in their forest hideaway and killed them right there and then. They buried the lovers on the spot where they were killed. The king was notified. But instead of triumph, he felt deep remorse and repented of his wickedness, though too late. The myth adds that the king wished that Sampa and Guita would live again so he could ask their forgiveness and give his approval to their love affair.

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The myth says that after several days, the king, terribly disheartened by the death of the couple, went to the tomb of the lovers in the forest. He was surprised to see a healthy shrub with white flowers that emitted a strong and unique fragrance. He felt relieved seeing and smelling the flowers, taking them to be Sampa and Guita being given life again, and the powerful fragrance as the sign of the couple’s pardon for his grave mistake. Since then the king called the flower Sampaguita.

True love is said to be strong and eternal, not even the grave can stop it. Not even a furious king and his kingdom, this myth shows readers.

The Myth about Dama de Noche

La reyna

The Philippine plant Dama de Noche is a shrub that bears flowers that give off a strong scent at night. How this came to be is what this myth imagines it to be.

The myth starts with the time when there once was a beautiful native princess who had a knack for feeling deep emotions since she was a kid. Even as a baby, the myth says her parents noticed she would laugh when somebody in the house was so happy, and cry when somebody in the house was so sad. And as a teener she was always able to empathize with people, identifying with how they felt. “Feel” in the dialect was “dama,” so she had been named Dama, the myth concludes.

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Dama, the myth says, was also very found of perfume. She and her maids would experiment on different flowers and plants in their vast garden to make perfume. According to the myth, she also always smelled fresh and fragrant especially in the night. The myth continues that her suitors, when they visited her at night, would enjoy the sweet and luring scent from her.

But one day, the myth says, she got very sick. So was so sick she couldn’t get up. Her conditioned deteriorated and, the myth says, no amount of medication could improve her condition. The myth says even quack doctors of the barangay were consulted, as rustic people were often prone to do when a sickness seemed hopeless. The quacks tried to do some treatments and rituals on her, to no avail. The myth says all her family, friends, the quacks, and the rest of the people could do was watch her beauty and smell her fragrance till the day she died.

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The myth continues that the funeral was lavished with bouquets and garlands of flowers. Even her body was bathed in perfume before being laid in her coffin. Her suitors watched helplessly as the beauty they once admired so much was being lower to its final resting place. The myth says, she was buried in the vast garden of their house.

One night, the myth says, a unique shrub was seen growing out from where Dama was buried. When it bore flowers, they emitted a sweet fragrance at night. People remembered how Dama was and insisted that the plant, when in flower, was “Dama visiting us at night.” Later on, as time went by, the plant was called Dama of the night, or “Dama de Noche.

Source: Philippinesinsider.com

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