There is a saying in Hindi that goes “bantne se pyaar badtha hai”, meaning the love multiples or increases when shared. I think this is especially true for plants – the joy and shared love for growing things, greenery & seeing things blooms. I recently experienced this with the Brahma Kamala.
Thanks to growing up on the lush green IISc Campus, I always was fond of plants and feel at home in a garden. Though I live in a community that has beautiful lawns and trees, I missed the garden. I finally succumbed to temptation and started a balcony garden in 2017 and it has grown so much in 6 years!
During the pandemic years, my own balcony garden thrived – may be due to the extra time spent tending to the plants. Many people also took to gardening during this time as a stress buster. This gave me the idea to start a Plants Exchange group in my community where we share cuttings, saplings, and extra plants that we may not need. The intention is to spread joy and do our wee bit for the green revolution. The group works on pure exchange or sharing and no selling of plants is allowed.
One of the earliest plants that I got, maybe in 2018, was the Brahma Kamala. At that time I didn’t know what it actually was. The name sounded very nice so I bought it off a lady for Rs.100 who was moving cities and hence selling her plants. I researched the plant and was quite enchanted. I got my first blooms in 2019 and after I proudly shared the pictures, I got many people showing interest in the plant. So I started propagating and gifting it to friends and family. I must have shared the cuttings with more than 30 homes since 2020 and many of these have started giving their first blooms this year. It brought me such joy to see the pictures each person shared so proudly this last month!
What Is The Hype About Brahma Kamala
The Brahma Kamala is usually grown in the hilly regions of Uttrakhand and is its state flower. The flower and plants in the hills look a bit different than the ones that are grown here.
It is a white flower that blooms slowly over six hours to reach its full splendor. The season for the blooms is usually from May to August. Each flower blooms only once for one night. The buds start to fill out by evening and are in full bloom by midnight. By sunrise, it closes up and droops. The flower is beautiful to look at and there is a fragrance to it too that fills one with joy & a sense of well-being.
The Significance Of The Plant & Flower
As per mythology, Lord Brahma sits on a white lotus. Hence the name – Brahma Kamala. The flower finds a positive mention across many mythological stories like Ramayana & Mahabharata. It is considered auspicious to be used in the worship of Lord Shiva. The leaves are also considered to have medicinal properties.
Propagating The Brahma Kamala
New leaves and flowers come out from the nodes of the leaves. In fact, it is quite simple to grow a new plant. Just snip off a piece of the leaf or even the stem, put it in the soil and a new plant will take root.
Caring For The Plant
You can water the plant daily. But don’t water it if the soil still has moisture. Overwatering can make the leaves brown and eventually kill the plant. The plant needs to be kept outdoors but grows best in indirect sunlight. It is also recommended to not frequently change the location of the plant so the light remains consistent.
Be Patient! Wait For The Blooms
The plant grows quite fast and you will find shoots coming off from the leaves at all angles. You can prune a bit to manage the plant but it may take 2-3 years for the first blooms to appear. So be patient, let the plant take its time and bloom! Don’t give up and discard the plant.
Personal Tip – During the season, I find light spraying of water over the leaves helps the little buds appear.
Once the tiny buds peep out from the leaf nodes, it will take around 2 weeks to reach 4-5 inches. They are still greenish during this time. When it is ready to bloom, the buds will be white. By that evening, the buds fill out and look like they have air filled in them. Now keep watch over the buds as they start blooming slowly – after waiting for so long, you don’t want to miss D-Day!
Here is a little glimpse of the recent blooms from my balcony garden!
Have you come across any such rare and beautiful plants? Do share your story through the comments below.