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Tropic Gardener - by Roger Harris

Gumamela--Form of Hibisucs

February 25th 2008 03:46
Gumamela
Gumamela (Hibiscus)
Can you grow hibiscus, which the locals here call 'gumamela', in limestone? Just take a look at this one.

The land where I have my little garden spot is what is left after they moved a limestone mountain to make way for this subdivision. Thus, there is no natural topsoil on the ground. I have paid local mountain boys around $1 (in Philippine pesos) for each large burlap bag of topsoil they bring me. They also have cows so I buy cow manure to mix with the topsoil. After digging a hole for my plant, I mix the cow manure and soil with a little fertilizer from a local store and fill the hole while planting my plant.


In the case of my gumamela pictured here, I already had used this hole earlier for vegetables and found the soil mix was good, and the sunlight was plentiful enough. I bought a small gumamela since I must be careful about carrying heavy objects since my heart attack. I planted the plant, not knowing for sure what the flowers would be like. The clerk said they would be orange in color. Frequent watering helped the plant to get a good start. Now, however, I don't water it much as I learned that too much water is not good for this type of shrub.

It has about tripled in size after over a year. I had problems with goats getting into my land area until I put up the temporary bamboo slat fence. The goats had eaten a lot of this particular gumamela's leaves so I worried about losing the plant. By babying the plant, I now have this larger and colorful flowering plant. There are always flowers on it. I LOVE IT!!


The limestone absorbs a lot of the water I spray on my plants so I put sufficient topsoil to help hold moisture. Yes, it is possible to grow hibiscus (gumamela) in limestone.
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Recent Posts:
      Mindanao Pina 
      Mountain Apple 
      Gumamela--Form of Hibisucs 
      Tangerine (or ponkan) grown from a seed. 
      American who moved to the tropics. 

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