Being a tropical country, it’s inevitable to want to have pretty flowers in your home. It’s also nice to wake up to an array of colours greeting you on your balcony or front porch while you have your morning coffee before work. Now, gardening may not be the easiest, and not many have been blessed with a green thumb, however some local plants are said to be low maintenance and thrive beautifully in the Malaysian climate. New to gardening? Here are some common “beginner” plants you can try growing.
Very commonly found in housing areas outside, planted just outside of the house, the bougainvillea is a good landscaping plant. Known as bunga kertas in Malay, which literally translates to paper flower, the flower blooms all year round and available in different colours, including purple, red, and orange. The flower thrives in tropical climates and are typically found in countries that are hot and wet.
The red-coloured hibiscus is the Malaysian national flower, and they are typically found all around Kuala Lumpur. There are other types of the flower available as well, but the red-coloured flower is the most common, and it’s usually among the top picks to plant. The red colour is said to represent courage, life, and rapid growth in Malaysians. In some species of hibiscus, the petal structures and sizes vary as well. Another flower that loves hot and wet climates, it is also the state flower of Hawaii. Hardy, blooms all year round, and doesn’t require much attention and care, it’s no wonder many choose to plant this beautiful flower.
Another common shrub seen along the streets of Kuala Lumpur, this sun-loving flower played an important part in many Malaysian childhoods. Called jejarum in Malay, which translates to needle flower, the name comes from the needle-like stem in the centre of the flower that usually contains nectar. In our younger days, we would pluck the needle out and suck on the sweet nectar from the flower. Blooming all year round, it makes a good hedge and are usually red but there are some that are orange or pink.
This flower is greatly associated with graveyards, with it being called graveyard flower or bunga kubur in Malay. With the ability to grow up to 10m in height, it’s not usually seen in specific households but sometimes seen along the roads within a housing area. The frangipanni are large and fragrant colours, typically white with yellow centres however, there are other types and species available too.
A flower that represents many things in different cultures, the jasmine flower’s intense aroma is easily identifiable. They are commonly worn by Indian girls and women as a hair accessory, especially on special occasions. Brightly-coloured and easy to maintain as an indoor and outdoor plant, the flower blooms all year round and is sure to brighten your home. It grows in lovely clusters of bright white or yellow. All it needs is a warm and sheltered area to grow and sometimes, the vining may require some additional support.
6. Morning Glory
The flowers and vines of the morning glory would be a nice addition to your porch if there’s a fence separating you and your neighbour. Rather easy to grow, the flowers are brightly-coloured and has a faint fragrance. Expect visits from birds, butterflies and even bees if this is in your garden. The flowers bloom when they are in contact with direct sunlight so unless the flowers get to see the morning sun, they may not necessarily be “morning” glories. Nevertheless, these flowers are annuals, which mean that it takes a year for the flower to go from seed to flower and back to seed and then die off, so expect the flower to keep growing in the same spot every year.