Simply slip a 3 or 4 inch (8-10 cm) section of stem into damp soil, keep the mix moist and the air humid for a few weeks and you’ll soon have a new plant. Propagation is by stem cuttings… but as with the hiemalis begonia, it is not easy to maintain this plant from one year to the next. One way begonias make babies is with a little help from gardeners like us. The Begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates. The genus was named by the French botanist Charles Plumier for his friend, Michel Bégon, governor of the island of Saint Domingue (now Haiti) and a serious amateur botanist. With more than 1,700 species, Begonia is the fifth largest genus of flowering plants in the world, with almost an almost pantropical distribution: South and Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Gardeners enjoy numerous species and hybrids of begonia (Begonia spp.) Begonia ‘Million Kisses’ series: features plants with a semi-trailing habit and which are ideal for hanging baskets and containers. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. The first cultivar was named ‘Gloire de Lorraine’, hence the common name Lorraine begonia. Most gardeners with a bit of experience can recognize a begonia on sight, but here are few pointers for beginners: The leaves are alternate and usually asymmetrical (they are often ear-shaped or wing-shaped); Female flowers have a winged ovary behind their tepals. Nearly 15,000 hybrids of these popular plants exist. Brush off excess soil and make clean cuts along the tuber, making sure that there is at least one, and better yet two or three stems sprouting from each cut section. Begonia flowers are edible and in fact very rich in vitamin C. Their pleasant sweet/tart taste comes from the oxalic acid they contain, the same product that gives spinach and rhubarb their flavor. Unlike most flowering plants, which require at least a half day of full sun, begonias actually prefer growing in the shade. This category is a bit of a misnomer: all begonias have fibrous roots. Bolivian Begonia (B. boliviensis and its hybrids). Th… Staged changes in the growing environment will reduce the stress on the plant, prevent shock, and raise the chances of a successful tuber propagation. Its winged ovary readily distinguishes the female flower from the male flower. One gram of begonia seeds can produce up to 100,000 seedlings! Tuberous begonias, one of three types of begonias, are summer and fall blooming perennials known for their large, brightly-hued, camellia-shaped flowers. This Question is Waiting for an eXtension Answer. The show is spectacular, but don’t miss your flight, as it lasts only three and a half days. Now let’s look at this year’s annual, the begonia. Begonias brighten up shady areas with their colorful blooms. Place the tuber and stems at the same soil depth at which it was previously planted. They grow as easily in pots (indoors or out) as in the ground. Most are winter flowering and can provide not only beautiful foliage but also sprays of white to pink flowers in late winter. These shade-loving plants bring mounds of color when planted under trees or tucked in planters, hanging baskets, or window boxes. This begonia goes semi-dormant in winter: cut back on watering at that time. After flowering, the stems start to die back. There are several different types of begonias. Begonia experts remove the female flowers to give male flowers more energy to bloom. Originally rex begonias had leaves that were more or less ear-shaped, but there are now varieties with star-shaped and even spiral leaves. One-inch tubers will result in smaller plants. Wax Begonias (B. x semperflorens-cultorum), Begonia x semperflorens ‘Ambassador Green Leaf’. The genus Begonia has a pantropical distribution. Never let the soil dry out; Begonias love moist soil. Often the flowers are bi-colored or have fringed margins. This begonia has largely been replaced in garden centers by the hiemalis begonia. Begonia tuberhybrida, known as tuberous begonias, grow indoors or outside in any climate zone. Its abundant simple flowers are usually pink or white. Maintenance and multiplication is exactly like hybrid tuberous begonias and it fact, it is one of the parent species of this group. Arran, SK. My father used to grow this begonia when I was a young child, then it seemed to disappear from the market for decades. Hodgson, Larry. It’s often more logical to buy trays of plants in the spring instead of trying to start them yourself. The very popular ‘NonStop’ series, used extensively in flowerbeds worldwide, belongs to the Multiflora division, famous for flowers that are somewhat smaller that most other tuberous begonias (although much larger than those of other types of begonia), but as the name suggest, are produced profusely through the entire summer. We looked at the Year of the Carrot earlier in the month. The Begonia House at the Montreal Botanical Garden. They are also grown as perennials in hardiness zone 10 and above. Often these begonias have erect stems, although often arching at the tip, stems with very obvious knots and highly asymmetric, wing-shaped leaves (they are often simply called “angelwing begonias” for that reason), although there are many exceptions: plants with climbing or pendant stems or with leaves that are star-shaped or even compound. There are dozens of classifications for these begonias (Picotee, Fimbriata, Pendula, Crispa, etc. This begonia goes fully dormant in the fall and starts to grow again in the spring. If so, temporarily reduce their watering, letting the soil dry out more than usual, while still maintaining good atmospheric humidity. Begin to acclimatize the cuttings after you see some new growth or after one month has passed. That’s why it’s best to start begonias under lights, as that gives you full control of day length. The flowers are small but numerous, in various shades of pink, red and white. Like reiger begonias, the tuberous types thrive in cool conditions and tend to sulk in especially hot-summer areas. Repot and start watering them in March or April, about 1-2 months before its time to plant them out. It can be a bit tricky, especially if the seeds you get aren’t pelleted: they are extremely tiny. A few examples of the variety in Begonia x rex-cultorum. This is the classic large-flowered tuberous begonia gardeners have salivated over for generations. They have the basic leaf structure of a true begonia (although they are not true begonias), but as they mature, the plants send out long, thin runners that end in clusters of leaves. You can also prolong their life by moving them indoors in the fall to serve as houseplants. Hiemalis means “of winter” and these plants are naturally winter blooming. It usually has three wings. The extremely fine seed gives seedlings that are tiny and very fragile at first, and their growth can be slow. Native to the tropics of South America and Africa, tuberous begonias thrive in warm, humid conditions and are hardy only in USDA zones 9 through 11. Some begonias are grown mainly for their beautiful, often exotically colored foliage, others for their attractive, abundant and long-lasting flowers. The easiest and quickest method of multiplying begonias is by stem cuttings, a technique that works with almost all varieties. No rooting hormone is necessary, but high humidity helps. You can multiply many begonias (especially rhizomatous begonias, including rex begonias) by leaf cuttings as well. The main variety of the Rex begonias is the Platy centrum rex. Place the cutting-filled pots outdoors when temperatures are mild and in the desirable natural range for begonias. Until recently these begonias were generally considered houseplants, but gardeners have begun to discover they also make excellent annuals for shady flowerbeds. HOW DO YOOU MULTIPLY BEGONIA TUBERS. You can try dividing larger tubers, but the cut surface often fails to heal properly, which can lead to rot. Most begonia seeds sold today are pelleted seeds, making them easier to handle. The flowers are smaller than those of most tuberous begonias, although larger than other begonia types. Some species are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants in cooler climates. Fibrous-rooted begonias are usually multiplied by stem cuttings or by division. Multiplying Begonias. Spray the container with warm water and put the seed container in a clear plastic bag or inside a mini-greenhouse. When outdoor temperatures remain above 50˚F (10˚C), acclimate the seedlings to garden conditions and transplant them, preferably into partial shade. Cut the leaf into wedges to do so lay the leaf flat on your work space. Transplant the rooted tuber cuttings into the soil after at least a month of being placed outdoors. The genus is composed of a wide range of mainy herbaceous plants (a few are semi-woody), including some with rhizomes and tubers, most adapted to moist tropical or subtropical climates. Their foliage is often the main attraction: it often shiny, hairy, purple, red, or dotted with silver. In cooler climes they are dug and overwintered indoors. Rhizome cuttings are just as easy, the only difference being that you press the rhizome horizontally into the growing mix rather than placing it upright. On the other hand, pelleted seeds are also much more expensive. Everything old is new again. With the exception of one or two species, begonias are tropical or subtropical plants and can be grown as perennials (dying back in fall and regrowing in … At that season, however, days are still short, yet begonias need good light to germinate. Only male flowers of tuberous begonias have double flowers. How to Root a Begonia Stem. At that point, remove the bag or dome to increase air circulation. Every two years, in August, the Grand Place in Brussels is covered with a huge carpet of tuberous begonia flowers. Place the container in about 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) below a fluorescent lamp. Horticulturists like to put plants into categories, but begonias have always given both taxonomists and gardeners a hard time. However, if you want to try growing begonias from seeds, here’s how: You’ll need to so the seeds of begonias you want to plant out very early in the season, in January or February. Multiplication: seed and stem cuttings. Some botanists accept no less than 87 sections in the genus, while some horticultural classifications include dozens of groups. This is however really only obvious with single flowers. Place the cutting in a moderately lit spot and at fairly warm temperatures (21˚C or more)… and wait. Tuberous begonias: And it is also called Christmas begonia because of its early winter blooming period. Propagation is by stem cuttings… but you may struggle trying to keep the cuttings alive. Indeed, once flowering is initiated under short days, the plant will continue to flower for 3 to 4 months even under long days, a technique that makes this plant a very good choice for the summer garden. ), but you don’t need to know how to classify them in order to grow them! After all, how can you bring order to chaos? Cut the tubers into 1- to 3 1/2-inch sections, using a knife. In the fall, except in hardiness zones 10-12, almost all begonias will need to move indoors if you want to save them from the cold. Gently push the corms into place and once planted, water thoroughly. Native to the tropics of South America and Africa, tuberous begonias thrive in warm, humid conditions and are hardy only in USDA zones 9 through 11. Anyone can take one plant and multiply it into numerous identical offsets. Propagate Caladiums. For convenience sake, I like to include two more recent introductions in this category: so-called B. x benariensis (I’m far from sure the name is botanically valid) such as the ‘Big’ series (plants twice as large as the usual B. x semperflorens-cultorum, but otherwise very similar) and Dragon Wing and Baby Wing series, with arching stems and wing-shaped leaves. Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate; Pruning: Old blossoms drop off as new ones appear. It suddenly came into prominence again around 2007 when the cultivar ‘Bonfire’, with orange-red flowers, very much like the old plants I remembered, was introduced. Works Cited. This begonia results from a cross between the winter-flowering B. socotrana and the semi-tuberous B. dregei. Wax begonias: The most common are Begonia semperflorens varieties, also called wax, annual, or bedding begonias. In the language of flowers, begonia means “beware”. Other types like tuberous, Rex, and Rieger begonias prefer cool temperatures and do not usually make reliable landscape plants in Florida, but you can always try them as houseplants. Begonia seeds are among the smallest in the vegetable kingdom. Propagating Begonia Tubers. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! A small plant will sprout from the soil after a month or two. It blooms annually on the birthday of the country’s late president, Kim Jong-il. What's an eXtension Answer? Question by acwir April 14, 1999. No rooting hormone is necessary, but high humidity helps. By following just a few simple steps, you can clone your favorite tuberous begonia, and save loads of money you would have spent buying new plants each year. Most have extremely double, extremely large flowers (up to dinner plate size!) Begonia ‘Dragon Wing Red’ falls between the cracks: it behaves and is used like a wax begonia, but has leaves like an angel wing begonia. First, always plant begonia corms concave side up (depression on top) either slightly above or level with the compost/soil surface. It takes 120 volunteers about 4 hours and about 600,000 begonia flowers to compose the carpet. Many species are epiphytes and grow on tree branches or trunks. Begonia propagation is an easy way to keep a little bit of summer all year long. Thus, it is wise to cover the pot with a transparent plastic bag. MacKenzie, Jill and Moncada, Kristine. and come in a variety of colors: pink, red, yellow, purple, white, orange, etc. Place two small bamboo stakes or wood dowels on either side of the pot. Traditionally the tuber is dug up after the leaves are killed by frost, then kept dry and fairly cool during the winter. You can grow begonias from seed, but it’s much easier to propagate them from cuttings instead, and you can do this with most kinds of begonias. Hybrid Tuberous Begonias (B. x tuberhybrida). These begonias have a tuber, an underground organ much like a potato, and differ from most other begonias in that they go fully dormant for months, losing both leaves and stems. BEGONIAS. No need for pruning. The plants tend to get wider as they age, but to remain low growing. Tuberous begonias, one of three types of begonias, are summer and fall blooming perennials known for their large, brightly-hued, camellia-shaped flowers. Give your begonias rich, loose, well-drained soil, moderate watering (only during the growing season, of course) and decent atmospheric humidity (indoors) and you should have no trouble growing them. They are however considered harder to grow well, especially over time. Or continue to grow them indoors if you want to use them as houseplants. Some species branch abundantly, others tend to produce few ramifications, even when you pinch them. These begonias are usually produced by seeds and treated as annuals, but you can also multiply them by division or stem cuttings. The leaves are long and narrow and the flowers have long pointed tepals, giving a tubular flower that hummingbirds love. These are really eye-catching plants. A1. Their blooms are small and their leaves are purple, reddish, green, or silvery, making the leaves often the most attractive part of the flower. Open the bag 1/4-inch more each day to mix fresh air with the greenhouse environment. If you need many plants, you can even use leaf sections as cuttings. Many varieties go into a sort of semi-dormancy in the winter, losing many or most of their leaves. Also, fertilize occasionally with a soluble fertilizer. Leaf section cuttings. 5.1 Watering begonias properly; 5.2 Fertilizing begonias correctly; 5.3 Begonias … 21 Essential Baking Tools Every Home Cook Needs (Plus 16 That Are Nice to Have) If you’re a beginner baker who’s just starting out (or a master chef looking to declutter), start with this list of … This is done by offering the plants artificially short days. Begonia is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Begoniaceae.The genus contains more than 1,800 different plant species. Most are fairly compact plants (but there are also varieties with very large leaves), often with round or star-shaped foliage.

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