Ideally, you should cut the plant back at this point and let it rest for 5 or 6 weeks before starting another growing cycle… but hiemalis begonias are notoriously difficult to recuperate at the end of their season, so most gardeners simply buy new plants every year. BEGONIAS. Each year the National Garden Bureau declares a “year of” that features four plants: one vegetable, one perennial, one annual, and for the first time in 2016, one bulb. Here is a simplified classification that might be useful for the ordinary gardener, although it is certainly too simple for serious begonia collectors. How to Root a Begonia Stem. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. HOW DO YOOU MULTIPLY BEGONIA TUBERS. Use a timer to set your lamp to 14 hour days: that will ensure good germination and equal growth. 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. These begonias have a rhizome: a usually creeping stem (although some rhizomes are upright) that root in contact with the soil as they grow. The leaves are long and narrow and the flowers have long pointed tepals, giving a tubular flower that hummingbirds love. Spray the container with warm water and put the seed container in a clear plastic bag or inside a mini-greenhouse. Tuberous begonias, one of three types of begonias, are summer and fall blooming perennials known for their large, brightly-hued, camellia-shaped flowers. Some species are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants in cooler climates. No rooting hormone is necessary, but high humidity helps. Begonia experts remove the female flowers to give male flowers more energy to bloom. The easiest and quickest method of multiplying begonias is by stem cuttings, a technique that works with almost all varieties. What's an eXtension Answer? Rex begonias are propagated in the same ways as other rhizomatous begonias and require much the same care. and come in a variety of colors: pink, red, yellow, purple, white, orange, etc. Lorraine or Christmas Begonia (B. x cheimantha). Begonia seeds are among the smallest in the vegetable kingdom. This is done by offering the plants artificially short days. Cut the leaf into wedges to do so lay the leaf flat on your work space. Fibrous-rooted begonias are usually multiplied by stem cuttings or by division. This begonia goes fully dormant in the fall and starts to grow again in the spring. With its small leaves and decent branching habit (a bit of pinching will be needed), it looks like a small tree even if its stems are not truly woody. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! A1. 5.1 Watering begonias properly; 5.2 Fertilizing begonias correctly; 5.3 Begonias … These begonias are usually produced by seeds and treated as annuals, but you can also multiply them by division or stem cuttings. Even under the best circumstances, begonias can be finicky to propagate and the failure rate can be quite high. These are really eye-catching plants. 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. The flowers tend to be small and usually pink, red or white, rarely orange. Arran, SK. Typically begonia authorities divide this group into many subcategories, such cane-like begonias, shrub-like begonias, thick-stemmed begonias and trailing or scandent begonias. Tuberous begonias, one of three types of begonias, are summer and fall blooming perennials known for their large, brightly-hued, camellia-shaped flowers. 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. Nearly 15,000 hybrids of these popular plants exist. Place the cutting-filled pots outdoors when temperatures are mild and in the desirable natural range for begonias. The foliage of rex begonias is particularly colorful, coming in all imaginable shades of green, red, silver, purple, brown and pink, often with metallic highlights. The resulting hybrid species is called B. x rex-cultorum. These begonias are normally grown uniquely for their foliage and little attention is paid to their rather sparse white or pink flowers. Transplant the rooted tuber cuttings into the soil after at least a month of being placed outdoors. Its tuber can be huge! On the other hand, pelleted seeds are also much more expensive. University of Minnesota Extension. Thus, it is wise to cover the pot with a transparent plastic bag. It can be a bit tricky, especially if the seeds you get aren’t pelleted: they are extremely tiny. Multiplication: seed and stem cuttings. Also, fertilize occasionally with a soluble fertilizer. Until recently these begonias were generally considered houseplants, but gardeners have begun to discover they also make excellent annuals for shady flowerbeds. Most are mainly grown for their attractive and often very colorful foliage. 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. Dividing Tuberous Begonias - Knowledgebase Question. Question by acwir April 14, 1999. These new tubers will then sprout in the spring. Its abundant simple flowers are usually pink or white. This cliff-dwelling species has a naturally trailing habit, but there are now more upright cultivars and ones with more open, less tubular flowers. Fibrous begonia ‘Lucerna’: a popular hand-me-down houseplant. There are now many other varieties in shades of red, orange, yellow, pink and white. This category is a bit of a misnomer: all begonias have fibrous roots. The extremely fine seed gives seedlings that are tiny and very fragile at first, and their growth can be slow. This begonia goes semi-dormant in winter: cut back on watering at that time. The stems may be upright or drooping, the latter often used in hanging baskets. Begonias have been around for ages, and with good reason: This easy-to-grow annual does well in a variety of conditions and needs little to thrive. 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. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Although a very few species show some adaptation to temperate climates (B. grandis, for example, is hardy to zone 6b), most are grown as houseplants or as bedding plants, treated, in the latter case, as annuals in cold climates. 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. The flowers are usually pink or white and tend to bloom during the winter, since most require short days in order to bloom. Over time, however, many sun-tolerant tuberous and wax begonias have been developed and they do well in full sun, at least in northern regions. Where Do Begonias Grow? MacKenzie, Jill and Moncada, Kristine. C4. Bolivian Begonia (B. boliviensis and its hybrids). You can multiply many begonias (especially rhizomatous begonias, including rex begonias) by leaf cuttings as well. Every two years, in August, the Grand Place in Brussels is covered with a huge carpet of tuberous begonia flowers. 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. Some species branch abundantly, others tend to produce few ramifications, even when you pinch them. Start watering more abundantly when the plant shows signs of new growth. Gardeners enjoy numerous species and hybrids of begonia (Begonia spp.) Most are winter flowering and can provide not only beautiful foliage but also sprays of white to pink flowers in late winter. Its gentle heat will help germination, as it should remain above 72˚F (21˚C) day and night. There are hundreds of cultivars of B. rex to choose among, usually classified by leaf size—small (three inches or less), medium (three to six inches), or large (more than six inches). The main variety of the Rex begonias is the Platy centrum rex. Begonia ‘Million Kisses’ series: features plants with a semi-trailing habit and which are ideal for hanging baskets and containers. I normally start them mid-March by sinking the bulbs about one-half their depth in peat moss. My father used to grow this begonia when I was a young child, then it seemed to disappear from the market for decades. They grow as easily in pots (indoors or out) as in the ground. This is a relatively compact plant with erect stems and glossy, somewhat spoon-shaped leaves, green or bronze in color. 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. Horticulturists like to put plants into categories, but begonias have always given both taxonomists and gardeners a hard time. To sow the seeds, fill a pot or seed tray with moist potting mix, level, and apply the seeds to the surface. To do so, cut a leaf into pieces, each with a small bit of midrib or primary vein, and press the sections into moist growing mix. Wax begonias are typically grown as annuals, reaching 6 to 12 inches tall and wide. If so, temporarily reduce their watering, letting the soil dry out more than usual, while still maintaining good atmospheric humidity. Repot and start watering them in March or April, about 1-2 months before its time to plant them out. Plant the tuber piece and stems in a nursery pot filled with moist, sterile potting mix. This begonia has largely been replaced in garden centers by the hiemalis begonia. Since oxalic acid can be toxic if consumed in large quantities, it is best to consume begonia flowers in moderation. One-inch tubers will result in smaller plants. 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. Begonias are notoriously difficult to grow from seed. This Question is Waiting for an eXtension Answer. Traditionally the tuber is dug up after the leaves are killed by frost, then kept dry and fairly cool during the winter. Multiplying Begonias. They are usually double and come in almost every color except blue. Begonias in this group like to be kept lightly moist and lightly fertilized all winter and do not go dormant, so never dry them out entirely. Divide caladium plants in spring. C2. Take a healthy leaf and insert its petiole into a pot of moist growing mix. Wax Begonias (B. x semperflorens-cultorum), Begonia x semperflorens ‘Ambassador Green Leaf’. Traditionally, this group includes only one hybrid species: B. x semperflorens-cultorum, the popular wax or bedding begonia. There are dozens of classifications for these begonias (Picotee, Fimbriata, Pendula, Crispa, etc. Above: Begonia rex ‘Red Tango’ mixes well with other shade- and humidity-loving plants such as asparagus ferns and geraniums. 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. That’s why it’s best to start begonias under lights, as that gives you full control of day length. Works Cited. This group is usually multiplied by stem cuttings, leaf cuttings or division. Begonia flowers are monoecious (male and female flowers appear separately but on the same plant). Fibrous-rooted begonias can be short to tall and may be grown for their foliage or their flowers. Maintenance and multiplication is exactly like hybrid tuberous begonias and it fact, it is one of the parent species of this group. They are also grown as perennials in hardiness zone 10 and above. Birds do it, bees do it, and even begonias do it—they make babies. In zones 2-8, Begonias do best when given a head start indoors so they can develop before being transplanted or moved outside. The flowers are small but numerous, in various shades of pink, red and white. Anyone can take one plant and multiply it into numerous identical offsets. Modern hybrids bloom so profusely that you can scarcely see the foliage! Garden Planning. Place in a location where they will receive only bright, indirect light. Staged changes in the growing environment will reduce the stress on the plant, prevent shock, and raise the chances of a successful tuber propagation. This is however really only obvious with single flowers. 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. This is the largest category of begonias, with hundreds of species and thousands of cultivars. Begonia is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Begoniaceae.The genus contains more than 1,800 different plant species. Keep the humidity around the cuttings high for a two- to four-week period, during which they will root in the potting mix. 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. Never let the soil dry out; Begonias love moist soil. The tubers start to sprout all on their own towards the end of the winter. After all, how can you bring order to chaos? They are however considered harder to grow well, especially over time. The genus Begonia has a pantropical distribution. First, always plant begonia corms concave side up (depression on top) either slightly above or level with the compost/soil surface. Make sure, however, that water does not sit in the depression of the corms, as this could lead to rotting. Some botanists accept no less than 87 sections in the genus, while some horticultural classifications include dozens of groups. One gram of begonia seeds can produce up to 100,000 seedlings! 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. 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. At that point, remove the bag or dome to increase air circulation. All Rights Reserved. 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 … 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. Propagate Caladiums. 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. Or continue to grow them indoors if you want to use them as houseplants. This hybrid species often goes under the names Rieger begonia or Elatior begonia after two hybrid series that were once very popular. Some begonias are grown mainly for their beautiful, often exotically colored foliage, others for their attractive, abundant and long-lasting flowers. They can be stored in vermiculite, peat, sawdust, or newspaper or, if you grow them in pots, just pile the pots one on top of the other in a dark corner. These begonias will also produce new tubers during the growing season that will then fall to the ground in autumn. Most have extremely double, extremely large flowers (up to dinner plate size!) Tuberous begonias, one of three types of begonias, are summer and fall blooming perennials known for their large, brightly-hued, camellia-shaped flowers. Open the bag 1/4-inch more each day to mix fresh air with the greenhouse environment. A small plant will sprout from the soil after a month or two. If you need many plants, you can even use leaf sections as cuttings. The Begonia House at the Montreal Botanical Garden. for their colorful flowers, a long bloom period, attractive foliage and few maintenance requirements. Like reiger begonias, the tuberous types thrive in cool conditions and tend to sulk in especially hot-summer areas. 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. Place the cutting in a moderately lit spot and at fairly warm temperatures (21˚C or more)… and wait. Begonias do prefer humid locations if given the choice and will often struggle in very dry arid places in your home, such as near fireplaces and by radiators. Originally rex begonias had leaves that were more or less ear-shaped, but there are now varieties with star-shaped and even spiral leaves. Cut the tubers into 1- to 3 1/2-inch sections, using a knife. Trumbull County Ohio. The easiest and quickest method of multiplying begonias is by stem cuttings, a technique that works with almost all varieties. Now let’s look at this year’s annual, the begonia. Begonias brighten up shady areas with their colorful blooms. Keep the soil slightly moist (you have to water very gently, preferably from below, as water pouring from the watering can’s spout can easily knock over or bury fragile young seedlings). In the Tropics, they are treated as perennials or small shrubs. Alternatively, press an entire leaf flat against the soil and cut its veins with a knife: a baby plant will soon poke out of each cut vein. They do best in situations with shade or morning sun/afternoon shade. There are usually distinct nodes (bumps) on the stem; The flowers are quite distinctive, with two opposite sepals much larger than the pair of much smaller petals, borne at right angles to the sepals. Especially don’t expose tuberous begonia seedlings to short days, as they are long day plants and therefore need days longer than 12 hours in order to bloom. However, it is commonly used to describe all begonias that have only fibrous roots, therefore neither rhizomes nor tubers. The most common species in this category is B. dregei, a species with a swollen stem base (caudex) and small white flowers, often used in bonsai. C1. Take a healthy leaf and insert its petiole into a pot of moist growing mix. Unlike most flowering plants, which require at least a half day of full sun, begonias actually prefer growing in the shade. Many varieties go into a sort of semi-dormancy in the winter, losing many or most of their leaves. After flowering, the stems start to die back. However so few are available through in the average garden center that I find this creates confusion rather than simplifying things, so I prefer to lump them all together into a single category. Provide it with light shade, rich well-drained soil, ample water, and plenty of fertilizer—and you’ll be rewarded with stunning flowers and foliage. Long considered houseplants, rex begonias have begun to star in shadier parts of the summer garden in recent years. Tuberous Begonias. Often the flowers are bi-colored or have fringed margins. Place two small bamboo stakes or wood dowels on either side of the pot. However, begonias, even from different continents and with different numbers of chromosomes, will often readily cross, so many plants have traits belonging to two different classes and sections and thus fall through the cracks. Regular fertilization (during the growing season, of course) will stimulate better bloom, especially for plants grown in pots outdoors and therefore exposed to rain (rain, as wonderful as it may be for plants, has the annoying habit of leaching container soil of all its minerals). It blooms annually on the birthday of the country’s late president, Kim Jong-il. With such a wide range of different plants, you’d expect to need a lot of varied instructions on how to cultivate them all, but in fact, most begonias do best under pretty similar conditions… as long as you respect their growing season, because some, as mentioned, go dormant and don’t need light or watering for months on end. Once begonias start flowering, they bloom continuously from summer to frost. 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 … Dig up and divide your begonia tubers in the late spring or late summer while the plant is in its active growth phase. The propagation of tuberous begonias is easy. Despite their theoretical winter bloom, nurseries now offer hiemalis begonias all year long, even as bedding plants for the summer garden. 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. Thus, it is wise to cover the pot with a transparent plastic bag. Many species are epiphytes and grow on tree branches or trunks. Th… Transplant the seedlings in small individual pots when they have two or three leaves. Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate; Pruning: Old blossoms drop off as new ones appear. You can multiply many begonias (especially rhizomatous begonias, including rex begonias) by leaf cuttings as well. Do not splash fertilizer onto the plant foliage. Rhizomatous begonia Begonia heracleifolia nigricans is one of the rare begonias with star-shaped leaves. This is the classic large-flowered tuberous begonia gardeners have salivated over for generations. Retrieved on 26 October 2018. Slide a garden fork into the soil at the base of the plant and lift the tuber clump out of the garden bed. Place the tuber and stems at the same soil depth at which it was previously planted. Winter Care: Lift in fall and store in a frost free location for the winter. 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. Hiemalis means “of winter” and these plants are naturally winter blooming. This category is traditionally divided into 2 parts: rhizamotous begonias per se (a sort of holdall category) and rex begonias. ), but you don’t need to know how to classify them in order to grow them! If the female flower is fertilized, the ovary becomes a capsule filled with numerous very fine seeds that, in nature, are carried far and wide by the wind, ensuring the species’ survival. 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. Propagating Begonia Tubers. A few examples of the variety in Begonia x rex-cultorum. At that season, however, days are still short, yet begonias need good light to germinate. This subcategory of rhizomatous begonia includes hybrids derived from the long-lost species B. rex crossed with other begonias. And it is also called Christmas begonia because of its early winter blooming period. Even under the best circumstances, begonias can be finicky to propagate and the failure rate can be quite high. When outdoor temperatures remain above 50˚F (10˚C), acclimate the seedlings to garden conditions and transplant them, preferably into partial shade. Wax begonias: The most common are Begonia semperflorens varieties, also called wax, annual, or bedding begonias. It’s often more logical to buy trays of plants in the spring instead of trying to start them yourself. 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. Everything old is new again. One way begonias make babies is with a little help from gardeners like us. In 7-14 days, sometimes longer, you should see very tiny green leaves appear. Begonia propagation is an easy way to keep a little bit of summer all year long. They come from a cross between summer-flowering tuberous begonias and the rarely grown winter-flowering species, B. socotrana. Most are fairly compact plants (but there are also varieties with very large leaves), often with round or star-shaped foliage. This begonia results from a cross between the winter-flowering B. socotrana and the semi-tuberous B. dregei. There are several different types of begonias. In coming weeks, I’ll look into the other two winners. Your questions are answered by Cooperative Extension and University staff and volunteers from across the United States. Although most have creeping rhizomes, some do have upright ones. Start Begonias 8-12 weeks before the last frost in your area. In general, begonias prefer partial shade and many will tolerate full shade. Only male flowers of tuberous begonias have double flowers. The show is spectacular, but don’t miss your flight, as it lasts only three and a half days.
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