How to care for Begonia
The Begonia one of the most widely used as house plants, is a genus from tropical and subtropical regions most species of which are grown for their brightly coloured flowers.
These vary in size and shape with the species or hybrid from the double, rose – like blooms of the tuberous-rooted types to other far smaller, single and button like among them the Begonia semperflorens.
In between are the trailing types and a large number of hybrids with medium_ sized flowers. Flowering begonias can be divided into three groups according to root system and care_the tuberous _rooted begonias, the fibrous- rooted types and among these the shrubby begonias which in their turn required a slightly different treatment.
Tuberous_rooted begonias, Begonia X tuberhybrida, include the splendid large_flowered Grandiflora group like wedding day corona Guardsman and Harlequin with flowers 8_15 cm (3_6) In diameter in a wide range of colours. Guardsman is. deep orange
Harlequin has dramatic white petals edged with a fine rim of deep red. Another group, know as pendula are suitable for hanging baskets with firm leaves and stems about 20_26 cm (8_11in,) high and soft, semi -translucent, trailing flowers stem with blooms in Many of the species have red -tinged succulent stems.
Fibrous -rooted flowering begonias blooms either in winter (like the Gloire de Lorraine and Hemalis group)or throughout the year
B . Semperflorens. Glorie de Lorraine begonias, a type of mixed origin which has acquired almost specific status, have single pink flowers 1-2 cm across and small round leaves.those of Hiemalis group have some what larger flowers which range in colour from white through pink to orange. Hybrids of the Eliator type.
are some of the most striking among them fireglow and schwabenland whose large single brilliant red flowers with yellow centres contrast splendidly with their shiny bright green leaves.These have very small tubers as well as fibrous roots but should be treated as fibrous-rooted Begonia s although they are extremely difficult to overwinter.
B. Semperflorens has masses of small, single flowers ranging in colour from white through pink to red and glossy leaves. In addition there are the shrubby begonias likes
B. Maculata with it elongated leaves flecked with white, red flowers stems and reddish flowers.These are more erect and woody and slightly more fragile, requiring more shade an even temperature and a richer soil.
B.fushsoides reaches 1m (3ft) and has fuschsia-like red flowers usually opening in winter and spring.
B. Metallic reaches 80cm (32in) and has leaves with a fine silver gloss and clusters of medium _sized red or flowers.
Tuberous-rooted Begonia s (Grandiflora,pendula and multiflora group s)
light and situation.a a good light with out direct sunlight.
Moisture. Water well in the growing and flowering periods. But avoids excess water in the pot. Father flowering dry out.
overwintering. When the leaves have dropped twist the tuber off the stems and store in a cool, frost -green place or in dry sand.Repot in spring with the hollow side upper- most in a 8cm (3in) pot.keep the soil just moist until growth has begun in earnest.
soil. Equal parts leaf mould and sharp sand.
propagation: cut the tubers into sections each with at least one shoot after growth has started.
fibrous_rooted Begonia .Gloire d Lorraine, Hiemalis Eliator, B.semperflorens).
light and situation: a good light with out direct sunlight.
Temperature: when first bought the plant should be placed in a cool place, 12_15c(54_59f) for two or three days.then transfer to a temperature of 18_20c (64-68f).
Moisture:water well using softened water. Maintain a high degree of humidity.
soil : plant in shallow bowls in a rich, humus -based mixture.
Propagation : from leaf or stem cutting in spring or summer.B semperflorens annually from seed by growers.
Special points : do not allow seed formation in Gloire de Lorraine begonias.Discard all types afther flowering
light and situation: a draught _free, slightly shady position away from direct sunlight.do not turn the pot.
Temperature: a steady temperature of 18_20c (64_68’f) B . metallic winters at 12_15’c (54_59’F).
Moisture: During the growing and flowering periods water well but avoids leaves excess water in the pot or allowing the root ball to dry out.spray to maintain a humid atmosphere but do not allow water to fall on flowers.
propagation: from leaf or stem cutting in spring or summer
How to grow Begonia plants
Begonias can be multiplied in a number of ways, including division, stem cuttings, and leaf cuttings. Here is a step-by-step explanation of each technique:
The begonia should be removed carefully from its pot and divided into smaller parts, each having roots and stems.
Repot each part into a separate pot with new, drained soil.
Place the freshly potted plants in a bright area with indirect light and give them water.
Pick a stem that is at least 6 inches long, healthy, and has a few leaves.
Just below a node, cut the stem (where a leaf attaches to the stem).
The bottom half of the stem should be cleared of leaves before being dipped in rooting hormone powder.
Make sure to bury at least 2 inches of the stem cutting when planting it in a pot with damp soil.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy and place the pot in an area with bright but indirect light.
Pick a leaf that is mature, healthy, and still affixed to the stem.
Cut the leaf from the stem, and then place it flat, with the underside facing up, on a surface.
The cut end of the stem should be dusted with powdered rooting hormone.
A pot with damp soil should be filled with the splint slice, and the stem end should be buried.
Put the pot in a bright area with circular light, and keep the soil wettish but not soppy.
No matter the strategy, it’s critical to keep the youthful shops out of direct sun and to maintain a constant humidity position in the soil that isn’t too wet to support new growth. It can take a many weeks to a many months.