Robin Wakeland Farmer (L) is pictured with Jacob Bryant holding the Begonia Rex she is loaning for the month to Cooper Memorial Library.

By Grace Rabano and The Clermont Garden Club

Every month, from September through May, Clermont Garden Club members loan plants to Cooper Memorial Library and Clermont City Hall to promote horticulture awareness and connect our community to Clermont Garden Club’s programs, civic activities, and community outreach.

Clermont Garden Club member, Robin Wakeland Farmer, has loaned her Begonia Rex to Cooper Memorial Library for the month of January. Begonia Rex prefers bright, indirect light but can also grow well in part shade. Begonia Rex prefers high humidity (50% or higher) for healthy growth. In low humidity, the leaf edges will become crisp. Water weekly, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. During the growing season, fertilize twice a week with diluted water-soluble fertilizer or a balanced fertilizer. Pinch the tips of young plants to encourage branching.

Grace Rabano (L) is pictured with Jennifer Ustes (R, Building Services at City Hall) holding the Ficus Microcarpa she is loaning for the month to Clermont City Hall.

Clermont Garden Club member, Grace Rabano, has loaned her bonsai Ficus Microcarpa to Clermont City Hall. Ficus Microcarpa is an evergreen miniature plant native to Southeast Asia. It is also known as ‘Ginseng Ficus’ because of its unique, bulbous root system that resembles the shape of ginseng roots. It features glossy, dark green leaves and a distinctive, swollen base that serves as a water storage organ. With sufficient humidity, aerial roots may hang from its branches (as on this plant). Ficus Microcarpa is a great beginner’s bonsai because it’s easy to care for, tolerating a wide range of indoor/outdoor conditions. Just water every 5-7 days and provide bright indirect sunlight.

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