I am not sure when I started developing this new hobby of mine. Perhaps I just wanted to 'fluff up' the balcony and also put my fingers to the green test.
I started with the basil plant and within weeks, I not only successfully propagated them but also expanded from one plant to four plants! Encouraged by the success, I proceeded to undertake more challenges like the strawberry plant, lime plant and some flowering plants as well.
The plants flourished for some weeks but slowly began withering one by one there after. For some plants, like the basil and lime plant, I started observing white cottony spots on the underside of the leaves. Upon querying with a friend and a search in the ever-knowlegeable Google, I finally found the culprit - Mealybugs! One of the treatments would be the application of white oil on the leaves to kill these bugs. There was a brief success but soon after, the plants were colonized by a fresh batch of bugs. The rate of colonization and reproduction by these bugs won me hands down. I finally surrendered and had to dispose off the diseased plants. :(
As for the flowering plants, it took me three to four pots before I realised that they need to be placed in a shady location. The Husband, in addition, provided his 'expertise' opinion that I overwatered them. Lesson learned! :(
So what is left on my balcony, you may ask. From a flourishing population of nine pots, I have reduced the number drastically to the current four pots - aloe vera, pandan, grape plant and the celosia. With the exception of the grape plant, the remaining three are known to be hardy plants which will probably take "The Finger of Death" to murder them all - which I hope I do not have.
Regardless of the numerous failures, the interest is still strong within and I'll be sure to go plant hunting soon! :)