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Begonia bipinnatifida

Common name: Fern Leaf Begonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Synonymous: Begonia warburgii

Begonia bipinnatifida

Begonia bipinnatifida

Distribution and habitat: Begonia bipinnatifida is a species with a fern-like leaf appearance from New Guinea. It was found in primeval forest growing high on Mount Horne in rocky places. It has a shrub-like growth habit and can get 25 to 30cm (10-12 inch) tall.
The name bipinnatifida comes from the Latin bipinnatus which means twice pinnate.

Description: Begonia bipinnatifida is shrub-like with erect and semi erect deep red stems that are branched. The deep red stems are somewhat zig-zag from thickened node to thickened node. Average mature leaves measure 13cm (5 inch) in length and 5cm (2 inch) wide. The upper surface of the leaves is deep green; in contrast, the undersurface is deep red. Leaf shape is obliquely oblong-ovate with an acute apex and an obliquely obtuse or slightly semi-cordate base. The leaf is deeply twice-divided outward on both sides of the deep red midrib into twelve to sixteen narrow taper-pointed divisions. Each division of the pinnate leaf is also pinnate: this gives the leaves a fern-like appearance.
Begonia bipinnatifida blooms infrequently and the flowers are tiny. The female flowers have five unequal pink tepals that are oblong or elliptic-obtuse. The styles and stigmas are golden yellow; threadlike erect styles are diverging and the velvety semi-crescent shaped stigmas are somewhat twisted. The deep pink ovary has three wings. Male flowers have two kidney-shaped pink tepals.

Houseplant care: Begonia bipinnatifida requires high humidity; this can usually be accomplished in a greenhouse or a terrarium. Careful watering and regular fertilizing are important. It can be a challenging species to grow but given the correct growing environment and care it grows into an outstanding species to enjoy.

Light: Begonia bipinnatifida plants are recommended to be grown in contained atmosphere (terrarium) under horticultural fluorescent lights. They require particularly bright light, therefore they need to be closed to the centre of the light where light levels are most intense. Timers may be used to provide 14 to 16 hours of light a day.
Alternatively, plants grown under natural sunlight on a windowsill will often perform best when provided with a south facing position in winter and est-facing one in summer. However, care should be taken if the plants are grown in glass containers to not overheat them by placing them on windowsill.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable for actively growing Begonia bipinnatifida. Overwinter these plants at no less than 13°C (55°F). This species tolerate temperatures between 10 to 35°C (50-95°F). Rise the air humidity around the plant when not grown enclosed in a terrarium. Begonia bipinnatifida will need relative humidity around 70%.
Because it likes a very humid atmosphere, in cultivation Begonia bipinnatifida is usually grown in an enclosed grass container. Terrariums should be placed in cool places to not overheat the plants, as the temperature could building up in enclosed containers. Additionally the temperature inside the terrarium can be reduced by setting the lights to come on only at night time when conditions are usually cooler. A fan can also remove any excess of heat produced by the lights.

Watering: Water actively growing Begonia bipinnatifida plants moderately, allowing the top couple centimetres (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. During the winter rest period water more sparingly, allowing the top half of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings.
Do not allow the plant to sit in water. Promptly remove the standing water.
Plants grown in contained atmosphere will need less watering then those in other situations. The only way to determine when to water is to touch the surface of the growing material to feel how moist it is. Water only when it become dry by spraying them with a fine mist. Rain or distillate water is preferable. Sealed containers will need watering only a few times a year. If a particularly dense build-up of condensation occurs on the inside of the container soon after watering, it means that too much water has been added. Use paper towers to remove the excess of water and leave the lid off for a few hours to correct the problem.

Feeding: Fertilising Begonia bipinnatifida grown in terrariums is rarely necessary. Otherwise, apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks to actively growing Begonia bipinnatifida plants.
Soilless potting mixture will need more frequent fertiliser applications than most soil based potting mixtures.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil based potting mixture and coarse leaf mould. Place a shallow layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of pots for extra drainage.
Move the plants into pots one size larger every spring until maximum convenient pot size has been reached . Thereafter, top-dress annually with fresh potting mixture. Do not overpot Begonia bipinnatifida plant, otherwise excessive moisture may accumulate in the potting mixture and cause the roots rot. When potting and repotting these plants, simply sprinkle some mixture around the roots and tap the container briskly to settle the mixture. Do not firm it down with the fingers.
Also Begonia bipinnatifida plant can be grown in terrariums. The growing medium should be composed of chopped, long-fiber sphagnum moss and a small amount of perlite. Prepare the sphagnum for the mix by immersing it in boiling water to sterilize it, allow it to cool, then cut it with scissors into roughly 2.5cm (1 inch) pieces. Blot the wet sphagnum with a paper towels to remove any excess of water before mixing it with perlite. Place a thin layer of charcoal, about 0.5cm (0.2 inch) in the bottom of the terrarium to absorb soluble salts and other impurities before they have the chance to damage the roots. Add a layer of 2.5 to 7.5cm of the prepared growing medium mix. This medium will be enough moist, no additional water after planting is needed. Check annually the pH of the growing medium. If the pH has fallen below 5.8, ground limestone may be gradually worked into the growing medium until the pH is raised to correct level.

Propagation: Begonia bipinnatifida are fairly easy to propagate from cuttings (even leaf cuttings). As usually is grown in terrariums, propagate this plant by simply taking a cutting and putting it right in straight sphagnum, keep it moist, but not too wet, medium to high light and very humid.The cuttings will root generally in three to four weeks. Treat the rooted cutting as a mature plant, but do not move it until it has been well established, showing significant new growth.
Begonia bipinnatifida plants grown in pots are normally propagated from 5-8cm (2-3 inch) long tip cuttings of new growth taken in late spring or summer. Trim each cutting immediately below a leaf, dip the cut end in hormone rooting powder and plant it in 5 or 8cm (2-3 inch) pot containing a moistened equal parts potting mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite. Enclose the whole in a plastic bag or propagating case and stand it in bright filtered light. After rooting occurs (generally in three to four weeks), treat the rooted cutting as a mature plant, but do not move it into the recommended potting mixture for the mature plants until it has made at least 7cm (3 inch) of top growth.

Problems:
Begonia bipinnatifida is particularly prone to powdery mildew. All progeny hybrids are prone to this fungal disease.
Treatment: Manage this disease by restricting watering to morning so that water unwillingly splashed on leaves will quickly evaporate. Improve the air circulation around the plants. Severe cases may be treated with adequate fungicide.

Pythium rot root attacks the roots and stem bases of adult plants and cuttings. Affected plants at first will have a slightly wilted appearance, followed by yellowing their lower leaves. As the disease progress, the roots and stems turn black and musky, leading to the death of the plant.
Treatment: The use of sterilized potting mixture and use of appropriate fungicide will control this disease.

Bacterial leaf spot will produce water-soaked areas on the leaves that are surrounded by yellow rings. It may cause leaf drop and, in some cases, associated stem rot may occur.
Treatment: Once the disease is present, remove and destroy any affected leaves or stems and spray the plants with a bacterial leaf spot treatment.

Botrytis blight will produce gray moldy patches on leaves, stems and duds.
Treatment: This disease can be managed by improving the air circulation and plant hygiene by removing and destroying dead and dying leaves ans flowers. Use a suitable fungicide.

Rhizoctonia crown rot will be detected by the presents of brownish mould spreading from the soil to the infected stem base, a condition that will eventually lead to the collapse and death of the stem. This fungal disease appear only on plants that have been damaged or stressed by high temperatures or poor growing conditions.
Treatment: Maintenance of hygienic conditions and good cultural practice should prevent fungal growth. Fungicide sprays are also available.

A variety of viral diseases can attack plants causing symptoms like yellowing the leaves, pale yellow rings or spots, leaf malformation and stunted growth.
Treatment: Always use sterile potting mixture and treat insect infestations to prevent viral disease. Destroy all affected plants.

Mealy bug will appear on Begonia bipinnatifida plants in abundance before they show up on nearby plants. All its hybrids are prone also to these bugs.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

A number of tiny mite species can be problematic for Begonia bipinnatifida. Infested leaves are yellow speckled and, if the infection is severe, may be covered with wool like substance on their undersurface.
Treatment: Control these mites with a suitable acaricide.

Leaf nematodes and root nematodes are parasite to these plants.
Treatment: The best form to control is to destroy affected plants. In open garden avoid replanting Begonia bipinnatifida in contaminated soil. In case of potted plants, infestation may be prevented ans controlled by routinely using sterilized potting mixtures and washing the plant pots.

Scale insects may feed on Begonia bipinnatifida plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

Both the adults ans larvae of two kinds of weevils feed on these plants.
Treatment: Insecticides are capable of controlling these insects, but if they are inside the cavities of the plants, they will not be killed. To fully exterminate them, systemic insecticide are needed.

Whiteflies infest the under-surface of the uppermost leaves and if disturbed fly rapidly around the top of the host plants.
Treatment: Successive sprays of insecticidal soaps or white oil will eradicate whiteflies infestations. Coverage of leaf undersides is important.

Note: For botanical classification Begonia bipinnatifida is placed in the section Petermannia with Begonia species with like characteristics.
Botanic name: Begonia bipinnatifida J.J.Sm.

Availability: This plant native of Papua New Guinea has been known for almost a century but is not common in collections. Begonia bipinnatifida is a rare type of Begonia which is ideally suited for a terrarium.
This plants are available for sale in small pots and may be shipped bare root, in sphagnum or still potted.

Uses and display: Begonia bipinnatifida can be grown in a hanging basket, windowsill pot or even planted in ground in a bright shade and humid area within its hardiness zone. But the most suitable way to grow this amazing plant is to plant it in a terrarium or to place it in a greenhouse where the high requirement for humidity can be achieved.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – coloured
Shape – bushy
Height: 15-30cm (6-12 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 13oC max 18oC (55-64oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 18oC max 27oC (64-81oF)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 11

Begonia bipinnatifida Begonia bipinnatifidaBegonia bipinnatifidaBegonia bipinnatifidaBegonia bipinnatifidaBegonia bipinnatifida



Begonias, Evergreen, Foliage Plants, Hobbyist Plants, Indoor Plants, Rare & Unusual Plants, Terrarium Plants , ,

Begonia bogneri

Common name: Begonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Begonia bogneri

Begonia bogneri

Distribution and habitat: Begonia bogneri is a curios species from Begoniaceae family, with short, thin stems, grass like leaves and diminutive flowers. It is a rare species which was discovered in a remote mountainous part of Madagascar in an area called Hiataka which has an average annual rainfall of about 3500mm (140 inch) and a yearly average of 230 rainy days. It grows in deep shade on moss-covered granite cliffs covering the naked rocks among mosses, ferns and sometimes Pothos scandens (Climbing Aroid) at an elevation of 50m (165 feet).

Description: Begonia bogneri is an erect short stemmed tuberous perennial plant. The stem is pink to yellowish up to 4cm (1.5 inch) tall and form a weekly tuberous base, tuft-forming. The leaves have leafstalks which is not readily discernible and are crowded on the short stem. They are alternate stipulate with stringy appearance about 2mm (0.08 inch) thick and 15cm (6 inch) long, like green grass and margins with small irregularly spaced spicules. Like other species within this genus, the Begonia bogneri has male and female flowers. The inflorescence is 15cm (6 inch) tall with one or two male flowers and one female flower. The flowers are pink and the male flowers have 4 petals, while the female flowers have 6 petals. The flowers are usually produced in early and mid summer.
In cultivation the plant develops into a clump consisting of a number of stems all arising from the one tuber-like body.
This species is easily recognized by its unusual grass-like leaves. In nature the plants are probably deciduous, while in cultivation, the leaves are evergreen under right light conditions.

Houseplant care: Begonia bogneri has a slow growth rate. It is not an easy species as house plant or terrarium plant. In a terrarium this plant enjoys high humidity and temperatures. As a house plant it must be watered properly, though the soil must be kept wet but not overwatered. Prune out the dead stalks or fallen blooms.

Light: If grown in a greenhouse under natural light Begonia bogneri tends to become dormant in winter and will drop its leaves, but applying artificial lightining can prevent this resting period.
This plants may be grown in contained atmosphere (terrarium) under horticultural fluorescent lights. They require particularly bright light, therefore they need to be closed to the centre of the light where light levels are most intense. Timers may be used to provide 14 to 16 hours of light a day. This can be reduced temporarily to 12 hours a day for two months in early winter to encourage flower production.
Alternatively, plants grown under natural sunlight on a windowsill will often perform best when provided with a south facing position in winter and est-facing one in summer. However, care should be taken if the plants are grown in glass containers to not overheat them by placing them on windowsill.

Temperature: In cultivation Begonia bogneri is usually grown in an enclosed grass container because it likes a very humid atmosphere. It also prefers a relatively cool position and performs best within a temperature range of 18-21°C (65-70°F). Terrariums should be placed in cool places. Additionally the temperature inside the terrarium can be reduced by setting the lights to come on only at night time when conditions are usually cooler. A fan can also remove any excess of heat produced by the lights.
Rise the air humidity around the plant when not grown enclosed in a terrarium.  Begonia bogneri will need relative humidity around 60 percent.

Water: Use tepid water for these plants. Begonia bogneri tubers should be allowed to dry out between waterings.
Plants grown in contained atmosphere will need less watering then those in other situations. The only way to determine when to water is to touch the surface of the growing material to feel how moist it is. Water only when it become dry. Rain or distillate water is preferable. Sealed containers will need watering only a few times a year, making it great for people which are traveling. If a particularly dense build-up of condensation occurs on the inside of the container soon after watering, it means that too much water has been added. Use paper towers to remove the excess of water and leave the lid off for a few hours to correct the problem.
If it is grown mounted in sphagnum moss mounted on a piece of cork, never allow the sphagnum moss substrate to become saturate for this will cause the small tuber to rot. To solve this problem, suspend the mounted plant over a large storage tank of water inside a greenhouse. This arrangement provides the plant with necessary humidity without saturating the growing medium.

Feeding: Fertilising Begonia bogneri grown in terrariums is rarely necessary. Otherwise, apply standard liquid fertiliser once a month to actively growing Begonia bogneri plants.

Potting and repotting: Begonia bogneri should be repotted once at intervals of 2 years. Do not overpot this plant, otherwise excessive moisture may accumulate in the potting mixture and cause the roots rot. Use an open potting mixture containing lots of chopped sphagnum moss and perlite.
This species is also occasionally grown in sphagnum moss mounted on a piece of cork.
Also this plant can be grown in terrariums. The growing medium should be composed of chopped, long-fiber sphagnum moss and a small amount of perlite. Prepare the sphagnum for the mix by immersing it in boiling water to sterilize it, allow it to cool, then cut it with scissors into roughly 2.5cm (1 inch) pieces. Blot the wet sphagnum with a paper towels to remove any excess of water before mixing it with perlite. Place a thin layer of charcoal, about 0.5cm (0.2 inch) in the bottom of the terrarium to absorb soluble salts and other impurities before they have the chance to damage the roots. Add a layer of 2.5 to 7.5cm of the prepared growing medium mix. This medium will be enough moist, no additional water after planting is needed. Check annually the pH of the growing medium. If the pH has fallen below 5.8, ground limestone may be gradually worked into the growing medium until the pH is raised to correct level.

Propagation: Propagation of Begonia bogneri is topically achieved by dividing the plant or taking cuttings of whole leaves or section of leaves. Place the cuttings in an open rooting mix, such as four parts sphagnum to one part of perlite. If the tiny leaves, either whole or in part are planted in moss, they eventually produce new plants.

Problems:
Pythium rot root attacks the roots and stem bases of adult plants and cuttings. Affected plants at first will have a slightly wilted appearance, followed by yellowing their lower leaves. As the disease progress, the roots and stems turn black and musky, leading to the death of the plant.
Treatment: The use of sterilized potting mixture and use of appropriate fungicide will control this disease.

Botrytis blight will produce gray moldy patches on leaves, stems and duds.
Treatment: This disease can be managed by improving the air circulation and plant hygiene by removing and destroying dead and dying leaves ans flowers. Use a suitable fungicide.

Powdery mildews produce unsightly white powdery patches on leaves, stems and buds.
Treatment: Manage this disease by restricting watering to morning so that water unwillingly splashed on leaves will quickly evaporate. Improve the air circulation around the plants. Severe cases may be treated with adequate fungicide.

Bacterial leaf spot will produce water-soaked areas on the leaves that are surrounded by yellow rings. It may cause leaf drop and, in some cases, associated stem rot may occur.
Treatment: Once the disease is present, remove and destroy any affected leaves or stems and spray the plants with a bacterial leaf spot treatment.

Rhizoctonia crown rot will be detected by the presents of brownish mould spreading from the soil to the infected stem base, a condition that will eventually lead to the collapse and death of the stem. This fungal disease appear only on plants that have been damaged or stressed by high temperatures or poor growing conditions.
Treatment: Maintenance of hygienic conditions and good cultural practice should prevent fungal growth. Fungicide sprays are also available.

A variety of viral diseases can attack plants causing symptoms like yellowing the leaves, pale yellow rings or spots, leaf malformation and stunted growth.
Treatment: Always use sterile potting mixture and treat insect infestations to prevent viral disease. Destroy all affected plants.

Mealy bug can be a common pest of these plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

A number of tiny mite species can be problematic for these plants. Infested leaves are yellow speckled and, if the infection is severe, may be covered with wool like substance on their undersurface.
Treatment: Control these mites with a suitable acaricide.

There are two kinds of microscopic, worm-like creatures parasite to these plants: leaf nematodes and root nematodes.
Treatment: The best form to control is to destroy affected plants. In open garden avoid replanting begonias in contaminated soil. In case of potted plants, infestation may be prevented ans controlled by routinely using sterilized potting mixtures and washing the plant pots.

Scale insects may feed on plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

Both the adults ans larvae of two kinds of weevils feed on plants.
Treatment: Insecticides are capable of controlling these insects, but if they are inside the cavities of the plants, they will not be killed. To fully exterminate them, systemic insecticide are needed.

Whiteflies infest the under-surface of the uppermost leaves and if disturbed fly rapidly around the top of the host plants.
Treatment: Successive sprays of insecticidal soaps or white oil will eradicate whiteflies infestations. Coverage of leaf undersides is important.

Availability: Begonia bogneri it is relatively new discovered plant – in 23 January 1969 by Josef Bogner. It is a species known to had very limited distribution in wild and as a result it is a plant with limited population. Unfortunately, this species is one of the few Madagascan begonias have ever introduced into gardens and they remain rare.

Uses and display: Begonia bogneri is a very rare terrarium begonia. Lovable pink flowers which have a long inflorescence make the Begonia bogneri even more appealing for your terrarium or windowsill. Alternatively it can be grown mounted in sphagnum moss mounted on a piece of cork.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – bushy
Height: under 6 inch

PROPER CARE:
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in active growth period – min 18oC max 21oC (65-70oF)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 11

Begonia bogneriBegonia bogneriBegonia bogneri



Begonias, Foliage Plants, Hobbyist Plants, Indoor Plants, Rare & Unusual Plants, Terrarium Plants ,

Begonia luxurians

Common name: Palm-Leaf Begonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Synonymous: Begonia luxurians var. sampaioana
Scheidweileria luxurians

 

Begonia luxurians

Begonia luxurians

Distribution and habitat: Begonia luxurians is an unusual species from the rain forests of Brazil that looks more like a palm tree than a Begonia. It is a tall shrubby cane-like begonias growing up to 4m (13 feet) tall over a few years. Its natural habitat would be in humid, semi shady locations. Although it is grown primarily for its highly decorative foliage it does bear pretty flowers, which are quite fragrant by all accounts.

Description: Begonia luxurians is an erect woody herb with purple stems.This robust, upright-growing species can grow 2.5 to 4m (8-13 feet) tall. The stems are hairy when young and become hairless with age. The leaves have 7-18 palmate lobes and hairy stalks. The lobes are lanceolate, acute, sharpy toothed, hairless. The stipules are lanceolate, acuminate and hairless. Large cymens carries pink flowers. The bracts are lanceolate. This plant has many male flowers and only few female flower. The male flowers has four perianth-segments, obovate and the outer surfaces are rough or hairy. These flowers are filaments free. The female flowers have five perianth-segments and are oblong and hairless with undivided placentae. The flagrant flower clusters appear from late winter into summer at the tops of the branches. The fruits are three celled capsule, about 6.7-9mm. They are hairy and equally three winged.

Houseplant care: Begonia luxurians is seldom flowering indoors. It is a large-leafed shrub-type growing 2.5m (8 feet) tall indoors, although it may be pruned to any size.

Light: Begonia luxurians plant enjoys filtered light but can take some sun in winter.
Plants grown under natural sunlight on a window side will often perform best when provided with a south facing position in winter and est-facing one in summer.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable for actively growing plants. Overwinter these plants at no less than 10°C (50°F).
They will suffer in dry air. Over about 50% humidity is best for these plants. For increased humidity stand pots on trays of moist pebbles.

Watering: Water actively growing Begonia luxurians plants moderately, allowing the top couple centimetres (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. During the winter rest period water more sparingly, allowing the top half of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. It is recommended to use lukewarm water when watering these plants.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks to actively growing Begonia luxurians plants. Do not apply fertiliser to newly repotted plants for about one month.
Also remember that a soilless potting mixture will need more frequent fertiliser applications than most soil based potting mixtures.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil based potting mixture and coarse leaf mould. Place a shallow layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of pots for extra drainage.
Move the plants into pots one size larger every spring until maximum convenient pot size has been reached – probably 15-20cm (6-8 inch) . Thereafter, top-dress annually with fresh potting mixture.
When potting and repotting these plants, simply sprinkle some mixture around the roots and tap the container briskly to settle the mixture. Do not firm it down with the fingers.
These plants are top heavy, so it is recommended to use heavy clay pots.

Gardening: Begonia luxurians is a very ornamental foliage plant very popular in cultivation. The species is readily grown in a greenhouse or – in suitably warm areas – the outdoor garden.
Begonia luxurians might be able to survive a light, brief frost, but it is strongly recommend keeping it above 2°C (36°F). Although extremely hot temperatures might stress this plant. Excess sun and wind cause flowers and leaves to dry up and the tropical luxuriance of the plant is diminished.

Position: Begonia luxurians requires bright filtered to part sun situation, but avoiding the mid-day sun. It enjoys dappled sunlight or bright shade. Protect it from strong sun exposure and winds.

Soil: Begonia luxurians prefer a free draining soil that tends towards being more acidic with a pH of around 5.5 to 6.5. It does not like soggy soil though, so in heavy-rainfall areas, use a looser soil mix.
Use leaves to form a thick natural mulch layer around the plants that holds in the moisture and also breaks down to enrich the garden soil.

Irrigation: In the garden, water them deeply as required. They are succulent plants so they will accept quite dry conditions. Allow the soil to dry thoroughly before watering again. Do not to overwater these plants.
Water pot-grown Begonia luxurians when the soil surface dries out – test with fingertip to 2cm (0.8 inch) depth. When water the plant ensure that the pot is saturated, but do not allow them to stand in water.

Fertiliser: Add controlled-release fertiliser to the planting hole and apply a good general-purpose liquid fertiliser once a month.

Propagation: Begonia luxurians are best propagated via stem cuttings taken from near the base of the plant or by seed.
Stem cuttings propagation: Take a 8-10cm (3-4 inch) long cuttings of stem, best taken from near the base of the plant in spring or early summer. Trim each cutting immediately bellow a leaf, carefully remove the leaf and dip the base cut end of the stem in hormone rooting powder. Plant the cutting in a 8cm (3 inch) pot of a moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite and enclose the whole in a plastic bag or propagating case. Stand it in bright filtered light until renewed growth indicates that rooting has occurred. It will take about three to six weeks to root, less in case it is used the basal part of the steam. Uncover the rooted cutting and begin to water it sparingly and to apply standard liquid fertiliser about once every two weeks. Do not overwater to avoid rotting. About six months after the start of propagation, move the young plant into a slightly larger pot of standard potting mixture and treat it as a mature plant.

Propagation from seed: seeds are very tiny and should be not buried when sown. Mix them with little fine sand before sowing. Sow seeds trays in any standard germination medium (equal parts of peat and perlite or equal parts of vermiculite and perlite). A light mist spray of the surface will settle the seeds adequately. Keep the propagating trays in warm, moist conditions (intermittent mist ideal) in bright light, but no direct sun.
Prick the seedlings out into individual cells or small pots 6-8cm (2.5-3inch) when the first three leaves are formed. Use same potting mixture as for mature plants. The seedlings benefit from dilute applications of soluble fertiliser every two weeks. Re-potting will be necessary in about six months or so. Pot the new plants in pots one size larger when the root ball fill the pot. Thereafter treat them as mature Begonia luxurians.

Problems:
Mealy bug can be a common pest of Begonia caroliniifolia plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

A number of tiny mite species can be problematic for Begonia caroliniifolia. Infested leaves are yellow speckled and, if the infection is severe, may be covered with wool like substance on their undersurface.
Treatment: Control these mites with a suitable acaricide.

There are two kinds of microscopic, worm-like creatures parasite to Begonia caroliniifolia plants: leaf nematodes and root nematodes.
Treatment: The best form to control is to destroy affected plants. In open garden avoid replanting begonias in contaminated soil. In case of potted plants, infestation may be prevented ans controlled by routinely using sterilized potting mixtures and washing the plant pots.

Scale insects may feed on Begonia caroliniifolia plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

Slags and snails are a problem in open garden.
Treatment: These pests are controlled using an appropriate molluscicide, both pellet and liquid forms or by hand pick at regular inspections.

Both the adults ans larvae of two kinds of weevils feed on Begonia caroliniifolia.
Treatment: Insecticides are capable of controlling these insects, but if they are inside the cavities of the plants, they will not be killed. To fully exterminate them, systemic insecticide are needed.

Whiteflies infest the under-surface of the uppermost leaves and if disturbed fly rapidly around the top of the host plants.
Treatment: Successive sprays of insecticidal soaps or white oil will eradicate whiteflies infestations. Coverage of leaf undersides is important.

Bacterial leaf spot will produce water-soaked areas on the leaves that are surrounded by yellow rings. It may cause leaf drop and, in some cases, associated stem rot may occur.
Treatment: Once the disease is present, remove and destroy any affected leaves or stems and spray the plants with a bacterial leaf spot treatment.

Botrytis blight will produce gray moldy patches on leaves, stems and duds.
Treatment: This disease can be managed by improving the air circulation and plant hygiene by removing and destroying dead and dying leaves ans flowers. Use a suitable fungicide.

Powdery mildews produce unsightly white powdery patches on leaves, stems and buds.
Treatment: Manage this disease by restricting watering to morning so that water unwillingly splashed on leaves will quickly evaporate. Improve the air circulation around the plants. Severe cases may be treated with adequate fungicide.

Pythium rot root attacks the roots and stem bases of adult plants and cuttings. Affected plants at first will have a slightly wilted appearance, followed by yellowing their lower leaves. As the disease progress, the roots and stems turn black and musky, leading to the death of the plant.
Treatment: The use of sterilized potting mixture and use of appropriate fungicide will control this disease.

Rhizoctonia crown rot will be detected by the presents of brownish mould spreading from the soil to the infected stem base, a condition that will eventually lead to the collapse and death of the stem. This fungal disease appear only on plants that have been damaged or stressed by high temperatures or poor growing conditions.
Treatment: Maintenance of hygienic conditions and good cultural practice should prevent fungal growth. Fungicide sprays are also available.

A variety of viral diseases can attack Begonia caroliniifolia plants causing symptoms like yellowing the leaves, pale yellow rings or spots, leaf malformation and stunted growth.
Treatment: Always use sterile potting mixture and treat insect infestations to prevent viral disease. Destroy all affected plants.

Companion plants: Begonia luxurians associates well with other shade loving foliage plants such as ferns. It grows in the shade of larger plants such as bananas, tall grasses and palm trees.

Uses and display: While the flowers are certainly pretty, the real excitement of Begonia luxurians plants is its highly decorative foliage. The fan-like leaves emerge in an alternating, zig-zag pattern from each stem, for a great tropical look. It grows well indoors in a pot, and may even be raised as a bonsai specimen. It can be used as a tender perennial in a planter, where it can be grown to great effect alongside a palmate-leaved palm.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – coloured
Features – flowers, fragrance
Shape – bushy
Height: 2.5 to 4m (8-13 feet)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 10oC max 16oC (50-60oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16oC max 27oC (61-81oF)
Humidity – moderate

Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Begonia luxuriansBegonia luxuriansBegonia luxuriansBegonia luxurians Begonia luxuriansBegonia luxurians



Begonias, Evergreen, Flowering Plants, Foliage Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , ,

Begonia dregei

Common names: Dwarf Wild Begonia, Maple-Leaved Begonia, Wild Begonia, Wildebegonia, Grape-Leaf Begonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Synonymous: Begonia richardsiana
Begonia caffra
Begonia favargeri
Begonia homonyma
Begonia macbethii
Begonia natalensis
Begonia partita
Begonia parvifolia
Begonia richardsiana
Begonia richardsoniana
Begonia rubicunda
Begonia rudatisii
Begonia sinuata
Begonia suffruticosa
Begonia uncinata

Begonia dregei

Begonia dregei

Distribution and habitat: Begonia dregei is an erect perennial to 1m (39 inch) tall, but usually to 40cm (16 inch) tall in cultivation. This plant has developed at the base a caudex. Between different populations of the species there is a large variation in leaf shape and size. These plants are found in small isolated population in nature and they hybridize easily with one another.
Begonia dregei is native to southern Africa and occurs in forests, on rocky, mossy cliffs and steep banks, from the coast up to about 600m (2000 feet) in altitude. It is grown as an ornamental plant and there are numerous hybrids of this species.

Description: Begonia dregei is a semi-tuberous, fleshy perennial that grows to about 40cm (16 inch) tall, typically with a swollen stem base (caudex). The stem are pale green to reddish green or gray-brown, hairless, branched or branchless. The leaves are small with the blade above green, often with reddish or purplish veins and margins, sometimes white-spotted, especially when young, hairless, beneath paler green, hairless, asymmetric, in outline ovate to ovate-lanceolate, apex acute to shortly acuminate, base deeply to very shallowly cordate or almost truncate, margins entire, toothed or with three to five short or long lobes, the lobes themselves sometimes lobed or toothed, veins palmate. The stipules are persistent, linear-oblong to ovate-oblong.
The inflorescence appear in upper leaf axils. It is a few-flowered, bisexual cymose; the flowers are fragrant; the bracts are deciduous, ovate to broadly ovate or oblong. The male flowers are formed by tepals two, white, sometimes pink-tinged or pink, circular or kidney-shaped. The stamens are about 50, arranged in a flattened spherical mass and the anther connectives projecting. The female flowers have bracteoles absent or rarely present and then small and insignificant; the tepals are in number of five, same color as males, ovate, elliptic, almost circular or obovate. The flowers appear in spring and summer. The fruit is three celled capsule, about 1–2cm across the wings.

Houseplant care: Begonia dregei is quick-growing and in winter becomes semi-dormant and it may lose some of its stems and leaves. They are an interesting arty looking plant, makes them ideal as a bonsai like as they resemble small trees. Their preference for under potting also contributes to growing them in this manner. They respond to pruning to shape to please the eye.

Light: Give Begonia dregei plants bright filtered light all year round. Plants grown under natural sunlight on a windowsill will often perform best when provided with a south facing position in winter and est-facing one in summer.

Temperature: During the active growth period normal room temperatures are suitable for Begonia dregei. In temperatures above 18°C (64°F) stand pots on trays of moist pebbles. During the winter keep these semi-dormant plants at a temperature of about 13°C (55°F) in bright filtered light as they retain their foliage while resting.

Watering: Water actively growing plants moderately, allowing the top couple of centimetres (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. As growth slows down, reduce amounts of water gradually. During the winter rest period give to Begonia dregei plants just enough water to prevent the potting mixture from drying out.
Use tepid water for these plants. Avoid getting water on leaves and flowers except for occasional necessary rinsing for grooming purposes.

Feeding: Apply a high-potash liquid fertiliser to actively growing plants about once every two weeks. Stop feeding the plants which are going dormant.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil based mixture and coarse leaf mould. This species prefers a shallow pot. Put a layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of pots for extra drainage. When potting or repotting, simply sprinkle some mixture around the tuber and roots and tap the container briskly to settle the mixture.
These semi-tuberous Begonia dregei should be moved into pots one size larger each spring. When repotting always keep the tuberous swelling at the same level in the mixture. After maximum convenient pot size – 15-20cm (6-8 inch) – has been reached, top dress annually with fresh potting mixture.

Propagation: Begonia dregei plants are normally propagated from 5-8cm (2-3 inch) long tip cuttings of new growth taken in late spring or summer. Trim each cutting immediately below a leaf, dip the cut end in hormone rooting powder and plant it in 5 or 8cm (2-3 inch) pot containing a moistened equal parts potting mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite. Enclose the whole in a plastic bag or propagating case and stand it in bright filtered light. After rooting occurs (generally in three to four weeks), treat the rooted cutting as a mature Begonia dregei, but do not move it into the recommended potting mixture for the mature plants until it has made at least 15cm (6 inch) of top growth.

Begonia dregei grows very well from seed, and the new seedlings develop the swollen base very quickly. The seeds are very tiny and should be not buried when sown. Mix them with little fine sand before sowing. Seed is best sown in early spring or summer. Sow seeds trays in any standard germination medium (equal parts of peat and perlite or equal parts of vermiculite and perlite). A light mist spray of the surface will settle the seeds adequately. Keep the propagating trays in warm, moist conditions (intermittent mist ideal) in bright light, but no direct sun.
Prick the seedlings out into individual cells or small pots 6-8cm (2.5-3inch) when the first three leaves are formed. Use same potting mixture as for mature plants. The seedlings benefit from dilute applications of soluble fertiliser every two weeks. Re-potting will be necessary in about six months or so. Pot the new plants in pots one size larger when the root ball fill the pot. Thereafter treat them as mature Begonia dregei.

Problems:
Begonia dregei is particularly prone to powdery mildew. All progeny hybrids are prone to this fungal disease.
Treatment: Manage this disease by restricting watering to morning so that water unwillingly splashed on leaves will quickly evaporate. Improve the air circulation around the plants. Severe cases may be treated with adequate fungicide.

Pythium rot root attacks the roots and stem bases of adult plants and cuttings. Affected plants at first will have a slightly wilted appearance, followed by yellowing their lower leaves. As the disease progress, the roots and stems turn black and musky, leading to the death of the plant.
Treatment: The use of sterilized potting mixture and use of appropriate fungicide will control this disease.

Bacterial leaf spot will produce water-soaked areas on the leaves that are surrounded by yellow rings. It may cause leaf drop and, in some cases, associated stem rot may occur.
Treatment: Once the disease is present, remove and destroy any affected leaves or stems and spray the plants with a bacterial leaf spot treatment.

Botrytis blight will produce gray moldy patches on leaves, stems and duds.
Treatment: This disease can be managed by improving the air circulation and plant hygiene by removing and destroying dead and dying leaves ans flowers. Use a suitable fungicide.

Rhizoctonia crown rot will be detected by the presents of brownish mould spreading from the soil to the infected stem base, a condition that will eventually lead to the collapse and death of the stem. This fungal disease appear only on plants that have been damaged or stressed by high temperatures or poor growing conditions.
Treatment: Maintenance of hygienic conditions and good cultural practice should prevent fungal growth. Fungicide sprays are also available.

A variety of viral diseases can attack plants causing symptoms like yellowing the leaves, pale yellow rings or spots, leaf malformation and stunted growth.
Treatment: Always use sterile potting mixture and treat insect infestations to prevent viral disease. Destroy all affected plants.

Mealy bug will appear on Begonia dregei plants in abundance before they show up on nearby plants. All its hybrids are prone also to these bugs.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

A number of tiny mite species can be problematic for Begonia dregei. Infested leaves are yellow speckled and, if the infection is severe, may be covered with wool like substance on their undersurface.
Treatment: Control these mites with a suitable acaricide.

Leaf nematodes and root nematodes are parasite to these plants.
Treatment: The best form to control is to destroy affected plants. In open garden avoid replanting begonias in contaminated soil. In case of potted plants, infestation may be prevented ans controlled by routinely using sterilized potting mixtures and washing the plant pots.

Scale insects may feed on Begonia dregei plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

Both the adults ans larvae of two kinds of weevils feed on these plants.
Treatment: Insecticides are capable of controlling these insects, but if they are inside the cavities of the plants, they will not be killed. To fully exterminate them, systemic insecticide are needed.

Whiteflies infest the under-surface of the uppermost leaves and if disturbed fly rapidly around the top of the host plants.
Treatment: Successive sprays of insecticidal soaps or white oil will eradicate whiteflies infestations. Coverage of leaf undersides is important.

Uses and display: Begonia dregei species is well worth growing for its curious swollen caudex, which often gives it a somewhat gnarled appearance and makes it an excellent subject for a bonsai pot. It makes a good specimen plant and can be used as table top plant or preferable placed on a south facing windowsill in winter and est-facing one in summer to provide them adequate natural light. This plant is often used in hybridization. It is interesting that it crosses with plants from different horticultural groups.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – coloured
Shape – upright
Height: 40cm (16 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 13oC max 18oC (55-64oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 18oC max 27oC (64-81oF)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 11

Begonia dregei Begonia dregei - female flowerBegonia dregeiBegonia dregei flowersBegonia dregei Begonia dregei - bonsaiBegonia dregei - female flower



Begonias, Evergreen, Flowering Plants, Hobbyist Plants, Indoor Plants, Rare & Unusual Plants , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Begonia caroliniifolia

Common name: Hand Begonia, Carolineabegonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Synonymous: Gireoudia carolineifolia
Begonia rotata
Gireoudia rotata
Begonia carolineifolia (misspelling)

Begonia caroliniifolia

Begonia caroliniifolia

Distribution and habitat: Begonia caroliniifolia is a perennial evergreen rhizomes form of begonia native to Southern Mexico and Central America. In the wild, these plants often lean against tree trunks or rocks, sometimes grasping them with their wiry roots.

In moist forest on steep,rocky slopes at an altitude of 50-495m.

Description: Begonia caroliniifolia is an upright rhizomatous with a striking woody trunk with palmately compound leaves that look like palm fronds. This plant does not branch freely and becomes quite large when well-grown, up to 60-100cm (24-39 inch) high. The stem is exceptionally tick, bearing the scars of the felled off leaves. This swollen trunk-like stems sprout decorative frilly-edged palmate foliage each leaflet with its own petiole, dense heads of small pink flowers.
The digitate leaves are arranged alternate and the leaflets are lanceolate with undulate margins. The leaves are hairless above, with long rusty hairs beneath glossy green, 30-40cm (12-16 inch) in diameter and have long reddish stalks 1-2.7cm (0.8-1 inch) merging into leaf-blades and densely hairy. The stipules are large, ovate-acuminate with outer surface hairy.
The light-pink flowers with yellow hearts are an added boon to this already beautiful plant. Dichotomous cymes are bearing pink flowers. Elliptic, obtuse bracts with outer surface hairy are subtending only the male flowers. The male flowers are 6.7-9mm across with two rounded-obovate perianth segments and filaments that are slightly fused at base. Female flowers are smaller and have two perianth segments and three persistent styles. The flowers are produced in late winter and spring. The flowers regularly for at least three months and sometimes longer and are followed by loculicidal three celled capsules about 9mm diameter and unequally three winged.

Houseplant care: Begonia caroliniifolia is an easy to grow plant and it is highly decorative not only its foliage but also its flower add colour and beauty.
A winter rest time seems is beneficial for these plants.

Light: Begonia caroliniifolia needs bright light without direct sunlight. Plants grown under natural sunlight on a windowsill will often perform best when provided with a south facing position in winter and est-facing one in summer. Do not rotate Begonia caroliniifolia if it is in the windowsill as the delicate stalk may break as the flower tries to reorient towards the sunlight.
Plants grown in too dark location will result in unnaturally pale foliage that is stretched towards the brightest source light. However plants receiving too much light will often have pale, bleached leaves with dry brown margins.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable for actively growing Begonia caroliniifolia. Overwinter these plants at no less than 12°C (55°F).  These plants need a constant temperature to flourish.
For increased humidity stand pots on trays of moist pebbles.

Watering: Water actively growing Begonia caroliniifolia plants moderately, allowing the top couple centimetres (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. During the winter rest period water more sparingly, allowing the top half of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. Use lukewarm water when watering these plants.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks to actively growing Begonia caroliniifolia plants. Do not apply fertiliser to newly repotted plants for about one month. Also do not fertilise sick or dormant plants because they are particularly susceptible to root damage.
Also remember that a soilless potting mixture will need more frequent fertiliser applications than most soil based potting mixtures.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil based potting mixture and coarse leaf mould. Place a shallow layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of pots for extra drainage.
Move the Begonia caroliniifolia plants into pots one size larger every spring until maximum convenient pot size has been reached – probably 15-20cm (6-8 inch) . Thereafter, top-dress annually with fresh potting mixture.
When potting and repotting these plants, simply sprinkle some mixture around the roots and tap the container briskly to settle the mixture. Do not firm it down with the fingers.

Gardening: Begonia caroliniifolia tolerate temperatures only above at least 1°C (34°F). They are tender but very drought-proof. These plants make interesting subjects for containers or they grow well in the garden in areas with warm humid summers . Although they may be slow to establish.

Position: In warm sunny areas, Begonia caroliniifolia plants should not receive bright direct sunlight and light should be indirect (scattered off surrounding object) or filtered (by netting or trees). In northern regions this shading is often necessary during the spring and summer, but in fall and winter they will need far less shading.
Begonia caroliniifolia needs plenty of garden space (or a large tub) as it will spread its very large rhizomes over a considerable area.

Soil: Begonia caroliniifolia prefer a free draining, light and well aerated soil that tends towards being more acidic with a pH of around 5.5 to 6.5. If the soil is alkaline, add some sulphur to increase the acidity. To improve the drainage, add some compost or other organic matter when preparing the soil for these plants.
Use leaves to form a thick natural mulch layer around the plants that holds in the moisture and also breaks down to enrich the garden soil.

Irrigation: In the garden, water them deeply as required. They are succulent plants so they will accept quite dry conditions. Use tepid water to water these plants.
Water pot-grown Begonia caroliniifolia when the soil surface dries out – test with fingertip to 2cm (0.8 inch) depth. When water the plant ensure that the pot is saturated, but do not allow them to stand in water.

Fertiliser: While Begonia caroliniifolia are actively growing they will benefit from a regular application of water soluble fertiliser containing a 20-10-20 mix of the three major plant macro-nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Always follow the instruction that come with the fertiliser. Overfertilising the plant can damage the roots.

Propagation: Begonia caroliniifolia can be propagated by rhizome cuttings which are similar with stem cuttings. Like other stem cuttings, use cutting with nodes. Rhizome cuttings can be made at any length. The rhizomes do not have to have leaves to root and grow. Tip cuttings from rhizomes can be rooted upright with the cut end stuck 1.2-2.5cm (0.5-1 inch) into the rooting medium. When using the tips of rhizomes remove the largest leaves as they will probably fall off during rooting anyway. Dip the cut rhizome in hormone rooting powder. Plant it in a 8cm (3 inch) pot of a moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite. Make sure the rhizome has good contact with the rooting medium but not buried more than half way. Enclose the new planted rhizome in a plastic bag or propagating case. Stand it in bright filtered light until renewed growth indicates that rooting has occurred. Uncover the rooted plant and begin to water it sparingly and to apply standard liquid fertiliser about once every two weeks. Do not overwater to avoid rotting. About six months after the start of propagation, move the young plant into a slightly larger pot of standard potting mixture and treat it as a mature plant. Using this method of propagation it is obtained a new plant faster.

Propagation from seed: The seeds are very tiny and should be not buried when sown. Mix them with little fine sand before sowing. Sow seeds trays in any standard germination medium (equal parts of peat and perlite or equal parts of vermiculite and perlite). A light mist spray of the surface will settle the seeds adequately. Keep the propagating trays in warm, moist conditions (intermittent mist ideal) in bright light, but no direct sun.
Prick the seedlings out into individual cells or small pots 6-8cm (2.5-3inch) when the first three leaves are formed. Use same potting mixture as for mature plants. The seedlings benefit from dilute applications of soluble fertiliser every two weeks. Re-potting will be necessary in about six months or so. Pot the new plants in pots one size larger when the root ball fill the pot. Thereafter treat them as mature Begonia caroliniifolia.

Problems:
Mealy bug can be a common pest of Begonia caroliniifolia plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

A number of tiny mite species can be problematic for Begonia caroliniifolia. Infested leaves are yellow speckled and, if the infection is severe, may be covered with wool like substance on their undersurface.
Treatment: Control these mites with a suitable acaricide.

There are two kinds of microscopic, worm-like creatures parasite to Begonia caroliniifolia plants: leaf nematodes and root nematodes.
Treatment: The best form to control is to destroy affected plants. In open garden avoid replanting begonias in contaminated soil. In case of potted plants, infestation may be prevented ans controlled by routinely using sterilized potting mixtures and washing the plant pots.

Scale insects may feed on Begonia caroliniifolia plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

Slags and snails are a problem in open garden.
Treatment: These pests are controlled using an appropriate molluscicide, both pellet and liquid forms or by hand pick at regular inspections.

Both the adults ans larvae of two kinds of weevils feed on Begonia caroliniifolia.
Treatment: Insecticides are capable of controlling these insects, but if they are inside the cavities of the plants, they will not be killed. To fully exterminate them, systemic insecticide are needed.

Whiteflies infest the under-surface of the uppermost leaves and if disturbed fly rapidly around the top of the host plants.
Treatment: Successive sprays of insecticidal soaps or white oil will eradicate whiteflies infestations. Coverage of leaf undersides is important.

Bacterial leaf spot will produce water-soaked areas on the leaves that are surrounded by yellow rings. It may cause leaf drop and, in some cases, associated stem rot may occur.
Treatment: Once the disease is present, remove and destroy any affected leaves or stems and spray the plants with a bacterial leaf spot treatment.

Botrytis blight will produce gray moldy patches on leaves, stems and duds.
Treatment: This disease can be managed by improving the air circulation and plant hygiene by removing and destroying dead and dying leaves ans flowers. Use a suitable fungicide.

Powdery mildews produce unsightly white powdery patches on leaves, stems and buds.
Treatment: Manage this disease by restricting watering to morning so that water unwillingly splashed on leaves will quickly evaporate. Improve the air circulation around the plants. Severe cases may be treated with adequate fungicide.

Pythium rot root attacks the roots and stem bases of adult plants and cuttings. Affected plants at first will have a slightly wilted appearance, followed by yellowing their lower leaves. As the disease progress, the roots and stems turn black and musky, leading to the death of the plant.
Treatment: The use of sterilized potting mixture and use of appropriate fungicide will control this disease.

Rhizoctonia crown rot will be detected by the presents of brownish mould spreading from the soil to the infected stem base, a condition that will eventually lead to the collapse and death of the stem. This fungal disease appear only on plants that have been damaged or stressed by high temperatures or poor growing conditions.
Treatment: Maintenance of hygienic conditions and good cultural practice should prevent fungal growth. Fungicide sprays are also available.

A variety of viral diseases can attack  Begonia caroliniifolia plants causing symptoms like yellowing the leaves, pale yellow rings or spots, leaf malformation and stunted growth.
Treatment: Always use sterile potting mixture and treat insect infestations to prevent viral disease. Destroy all affected plants.

Uses and display: Begonia caroliniifolia is striking as a house plant and surely just as much an eye-catcher in your terrarium or as a exotic plant at home. It makes an excellent feature plant for any garden scheme. This distinctive and dramatic plant features large, light green compound leaves and an upright growing. It is an unusual specimens within its genus.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Shape – upright
Height: 60-100cm (24-39 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 12oC max 16oC (55-60oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16oC max 27oC (61-81oF)
Humidity – moderate

Hardiness zone 10a-11

Begonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifolia



Begonias, Evergreen, Flowering Plants, Foliage Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , ,

Begonia incarnata

Common name: Metal-Leaf Begonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Synonymous: Begonia aucubifolia
Begonia ciliata
Begonia insignis
Begonia martiana
Begonia metallica
Begonia papillosa
Begonia subpeltata
Knesebeckia aucubifolia
Knesebeckia incarnata
Knesebeckia papillosa

Begonia incarnata

Begonia incarnata

Distribution and habitat: Begonia incarnata is a species of evergreen perennial succulent herb in the family Begoniaceae, native to Mexico. It is found in deciduous and pine forests of medium and high altitudes from 800 to 1700m (2600-5600 feet) or growing as secondary vegetation in damp places and shallow soils. This plant thrives in habitats that include wet and shaded slopes.

Description: Begonia incarnata is a fibrous-rooted hirsute begonia with fleshy stems and bushy habit, growing up to 90cm-1.2m (35-47 inch) tall. Its 15cm (6 inch) long and 10cm (4 inch) wide, oval leaves are alternate and lobed, tooth-edged and covered with white hairs. Leaf colour is olive green with metallic gloss and the deep-set veins are purple. The slender petioles about 2.5cm (1 inch) long. Sometimes stipules can be observed (at the base of the petiole) narrowly ovate , pointed, up to 1cm (0.4 inch) long, reddish.
The whitish, summer-blooming flowers are covered with pink hairs. The inflorescence with few flowers pedicellate – pedicels up to 2.9cm (1 inch) long – are clustered towards the apex of slender stalks – up to 7cm (3 inch) long. The peduncles and pedicels are without hairs. The flowers are unisexual and plants are monoecious or rarely dioecious. Male flowers are preponderant. The male flowers have 4 tepals (undifferentiated petals and sepals): two of them are external nearly circular up to 1.3cm (0.5 inch) long and the other two are shorter and narrower placed between the external tepals. In the middle of the male flowers are numerous elliptical stamens with the filaments bonded to the base and topped by anthers. The female flowers have 5 tepals oblong-ovate, up to 8mm (0.3 inch) long with the ovary which is continued by three styles united at the base. The flowers are accompanied by deciduous, narrow , bracts up to 8 mm (0.3 inch) long, pointed. The fruit is a capsule with 3 wings most probably with one wing larger then others.

Houseplant care: Begonia incarnata is primarily grown for its beautiful foliage, but the blooming can be a bonus for its appearance. Keep the leaves of Begonia incarnata clean and glossy by dusting them with a soft brush, supporting each leaf with the hand to prevent damaging it. Avoid using leaf-shine products. Pinch the plant tips and prune outer stems in the growing season to make a bushier plant. Regularly remove spent flowers to encourage new flowers to develop.

Light: Begonia incarnata needs bright light without direct sunlight to form great foliage, but can take some sun in winter.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable for actively growing Begonia incarnata. Overwinter these plants at no less than 13°C (55°F). This species does not tolerate temperatures below 10°C (50°F) and will suffer in dry air. For increased humidity stand pots on trays of moist pebbles. These plants need a constant temperature and fairly high humidity to flourish.

Watering: Water actively growing Begonia incarnata plants moderately, allowing the top couple centimetres (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. During the winter rest period water more sparingly, allowing the top half of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. Water these plants avoiding wetting their leaves.
Do not allow the plant to sit in water. Promptly remove the standing water.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks to actively growing plants.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil based potting mixture and coarse leaf mould. Place a shallow layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of pots for extra drainage.
Move the plants into pots one size larger every spring until maximum convenient pot size has been reached – probably 15-20cm (6-8 inch) . Thereafter, top-dress annually with fresh potting mixture.
When potting and repotting these plants, simply sprinkle some mixture around the roots and tap the container briskly to settle the mixture. Do not firm it down with the fingers.

Gardening: Begonia incarnata does not tolerate temperatures below 10°C (50°F), therefor in temperate regions it must be grown under glass. They do not like cold weather.
These shrub-likes begonias need tip-pruning in the early stages to encourage lateral growth and an overall pruning as adults to achieve the desired shape and size. This may be done at any time.
Begonia incarnata grow well in the garden and they are also well suited to being a potted plant.

Location: Begonia incarnata prefer semi-shade position. The ideal place to plant Begonia incarnata is where they get morning sun and dappled shade during the day but are protected from the hot afternoon sun.

Soil: Begonia incarnata prefer a free draining soil that tends towards being more acidic with a pH of around 5.5 to 6.5. If the soil is alkaline, add some sulphur to increase the acidity. To improve the drainage, add some compost or other organic matter when preparing the soil for these plants.
Use leaves to form a thick natural mulch layer around the plants that holds in the moisture and also breaks down to enrich the garden soil.

Irrigation: The leaves on Begonia incarnata are sensitive to water and need to be watered from below. Water will blister and discolor the leaves.
In the garden, water them deeply as required. They are succulent plants so they will accept quite dry conditions.
Water pot-grown Begonia incarnata when the soil surface dries out – test with fingertip to 2cm (0.8 inch) depth. When water the plant ensure that the pot is saturated, but do not allow them to stand in water.

Fertiliser: Add controlled-release fertiliser to the planting hole and apply a good general-purpose liquid fertiliser once a month.

Propagation: Begonia incarnata ca be propagated by cuttings or seed.
Cuttings propagation: Take a 8-10cm (3-4 inch) long cuttings of nonflowering shoots in spring or early summer. Trim each cutting immediately bellow a leaf, carefully remove the leaf and dip the cut end of the stem in hormone rooting powder. Plant the cutting in a 8cm (3 inch) pot of a moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite and enclose the whole in a plastic bag or propagating case. Stand it in bright filtered light until renewed growth indicates that rooting has occurred. It will take about three to six weeks to root. Uncover the rooted cutting and begin to water it sparingly and to apply standard liquid fertiliser about once every two weeks. Do not overwater to avoid rotting. About six months after the start of propagation, move the young plant into a slightly larger pot of standard potting mixture and treat it as a mature plant.

Propagation from seed: seeds are very tiny and should be not buried when sown. Mix them with little fine sand before sowing. Sow seeds trays in any standard germination medium (equal parts of peat and perlite or equal parts of vermiculite and perlite). A light mist spray of the surface will settle the seeds adequately. Keep the propagating trays in warm, moist conditions (intermittent mist ideal) in bright light, but no direct sun.
Prick the seedlings out into individual cells or small pots 6-8cm (2.5-3inch) when the first three leaves are formed. Use same potting mixture as for mature plants. The seedlings benefit from dilute applications of soluble fertiliser every two weeks. Re-potting will be necessary in about six months or so. Pot the new plants in pots one size larger when the root ball fill the pot. Thereafter treat them as mature Begonia coccinea.

Problems:
Yellow patches on the leaves indicate a virus.
Treatment: There is no cure and the plant should be destroyed to prevent the infection spreading.

Brown or black spots on the leaves are signs of rot which can result from overwatering or poor air circulation.
Treatment: Drench with a mild solution of fungicide to prevent the rot spreading and move the plant to an airy spot.

White spots on stems and leaves indicate an attack of powdery mildew.
Treatment: Spray with a suitable fungicide and carefully remove any dead leaves or flowers as they may be affected. Repeat the treatment at regular intervals until all the white spots have gone.

Sudden leaf drop is caused by fluctuating temperatures and irregular watering.
Treatment: Cut back the stem tips and keep the plant warm and moist. The plant will grow new leaves quite quickly.

Scorched, brown leaf tips are caused by lack of humidity and water.
Treatment: Water frequently during hot weather and raise humidity by standing the pot in a saucer of pebbles which are kept constantly damp.

Life span: With some care, Begonia incarnata will live for many years.

Companion plants: Contrast the glossy foliage of Metal Leaf Begonia with a Euphorbia pulcherrima (Christmas flowers) or Begonia semperflorens (Wax Begonia) to create an attractive display.
While they can be grown in the flower bed, try them among ferns, Cordyline species (cordylines), Croton species (crotons) and bromeliads as a contrast in height and shape.

Usage and display: Begonia incarnata are prized for their attractive foliage, but their flowers are an add-on to plants appearance. They grow well in the garden and they are also well suited to being a potted plant. These plants can be kept in standard pots or in hanging pots. It is the perfect choice for beds and borders as well as it is superb for baskets, containers and window boxes. Also Begonia incarnata is an wonderful choice for combination plantings.
It makes a wonderful specimen plant for a big room or hallway. Display it in a large pot on a pedestal to show off the leaves and their hanging clusters of flowers to best advantage.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – coloured
Shape – upright
Height: 90-120cm (35-47 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 10oC max 16oC (50-60oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16oC max 27oC (61-81oF)
Humidity – moderate

Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Begonia incarnata flowersBegonia incarnata leavesBegonia incarnata



Begonias, Evergreen, Flowering Plants, Foliage Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , , , , , , ,

Begonia bowerae

Common name: Eyelash Begonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Wrong spelling: Begonia boweri

Synonymous: Begonia bowerae var. major
Begonia bowerae var. nigramarga
Begonia bowerae var. roseflora

Begonia bowerae

Begonia bowerae

Distribution and habitat: Begonia bowerae is a native of tropical Mexico and its natural habitat is the shadowy area on the floor of the tropical forest as ground-cover and non-stem-forming plant. This creeping rhizomatous Begonia grows up to 25cm (10 inch) tall and is spreading up to 18cm (7 inch). It is a miniature Begonia with straight, scattered, single hairs on petioles, leaf margins and peduncles.

Begonia bowerae is usually offered under the incorrect name: Begonia boweri. This is a fantastic Begonia that is heavily used for breeding to create new exciting cultivars and is itself rarely on offer.

Description: Begonia bowerae it is a tender perennial that grows from a creeping branched rhizome (underground stem). It is a bushy, stemless plant, about 15-20cm (6-8 inch) tall. The small, heart shaped leaves are deep emerald green with black edging and with stiff hairs on leaf edges and leaf stalk. The purple-burgundy to nearly black markings may also create bands along the leaf veins. In late winter and early spring it produces loose clusters of white or light pink male and female flowers that are held on thin pink stems above the foliage. The flowers are tiny, shell shaped, produced on 10-15cm (4-6 inch) long stalks.

Houseplant care: Begonia bowerae cultivars are among the most preferred indoor plants for their rich colours of the leaves and because the relatively rapid growth. Pinching tips and pruning outer stems in the growing season gives a bushier plant, good for hanging baskets. Remove dead foliage to prevent disease.

Light: Begonia bowerae are grown primarily for their foliage. Their leaf colours will be saved only when the plant is kept in high humidity and away from direct sunlight, but well-lit location. A shaded greenhouse or a window free of direct sun also will suffice. Although this plant enjoys filtered light, it can take some sun in winter.
These plants do not like changing their position.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable for actively growing plants, preferable at least 15°C (59°F). Give to these plants fresh air as much as possible and avoid draughts or cold air.
Begonia bowerae suffer in dry air. For increased humidity stand the pots on trays with moist pebbles or suspend saucers of water under hanging baskets.

Watering: As these Begonia bowerae plants are able to store large amounts of moisture in their thickened stems they require less moisture than most other Begonias types, especially during the colder months.
Water regularly with trepid water, so that the potting mixt stays always moist, but never soaking-wet. Do not spray mist this plant and avoid getting the leaves wet when watering.
In winter, this plant dislikes conditions which are too moist and too dark. In this period water the plant more sparingly, allowing the top half of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks to actively growing plants.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil-based potting mixture and coarse leaf mould. Put a shallow layer of clay-pot fragments or other drainage material in the bottom of the pot for extra drainage.
Begonia bowerae is a rhizomatous begonia and has shallow roots, therefore is best planted in shallow pots or pans. Move small plants into the next size of pot or pan only when the rhizome has grown across the entire surface of the potting mixture; do this preferably in spring. Discard aging rhizomatous Begonia bowerae in favour of attractive new plants.
When potting or repotting a Begonia bowerae, simply sprinkle some mixture around the roots and tap the container briskly to settle the potting mixture. Do not firm it down with the finger as this procedure may damage the roots and stems.

Gardening: Begonia bowerae can be grown outdoors in pots, in the ground to form groundcover or in hanging baskets in filtered light and moist, but well drained soil. In mild winter areas, they may remain outdoors year-round as long as they do not freeze.

Tip pinching early develops a well-rounded plant. Pruning usually consists of replanting an old plant that is crowding itself. Rhizomes often will grow over the pot edge. This forms a nicely rounded plant and, unless it is not becoming unattractive, need not prompt pruning. Once Begonia bowerae have finished flowering, pinch out the growing tip to encourage the development of laterals and a fuller plant. Old leaves should be removed at the end of winter.

Position: These rhizomatous begonias grow nicely when given adequate light without strong direct sun. Under a shade structure or a tree is a good place to grow them outdoors.

Soil: Begonia bowerae plants prefer well drained soil rich in compost or organic matter. They like an acidic soil  with pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. Humidity around 60 per cent is ideal and good drainage is essential.

Irrigation: In the garden, water deeply as required, which is not as often as people may think. They should be kept on the dry side, as overwatering them can be fatal, whether they are in a pot or garden bed. Begonias are succulent or semi-succulent plants so accept quite dry conditions. Overhead watering would not harm them.

Fertilise: Feed these plants with liquid fertiliser at three of four weeks interval.

Propagation: Cut off 5-8cm (2-3 inch) long growing tips in spring or early summer. Trim each cutting immediately bellow a leaf, carefully remove the leaf and dip the cut end of the stem in hormone rooting powder. Plant the cuttings in an 8cm (3 inch) pot of moistened equal-parts of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite and enclose the whole in a plastic bag or propagating case. Stand it in bright filtered light until renewed growth indicates that the rooting has occurred – about three to six weeks. Uncover the rooted cuttings and begin to water it sparingly and to apply standard liquid fertiliser about once every two weeks. Do not overwater these hirsute Begonias which will rot if kept too wet. About six months after the start of propagation, move the young plants into a slightly larger pot of standard potting mixture for mature Begonia bowerae.

Another way to propagate Begonia bowerae is to cut a rhizome into 5-8cm (2-3 inch) long sections, each with at least one growth point. This way of propagation have to be undertaken in spring. Treat the cut ends of sections with sulphur dust. Plant each section half in and half out of slightly moistened rooting mixture in a 8cm (3 inch) pot or pan. Use a rooting mix of equal parts of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite. Place the section either horizontally or vertically, depending on how the parent rhizome was growing in its container.
Enclose each planted piece of rhizome in a plastic bag or a propagating case and stand it in bright filtered light. Roots should form in four to six weeks. When two or three new leaves have appeared, uncover the little plant, repot it in an appropriate container of the recommended potting mixture and treat it as a mature plant.

Begonia bowerae can be propagated also from leaf cuttings in spring. Take a healthy leaf with 2-5cm (0.8-2 inch) leaf-stalk attached and plant the stalk at an angle of 45° in a small pot of moistened propagating mixture recommended above or insert several leaves in a small pan or seed stray.
Enclose the whole in a plastic bag or propagating case and stand it in bright filtered light. Rooting should occur in two or three weeks and tiny plantlets should appear from each leaf after a further two or three weeks. Several plantlets are generally clustered together. When each of them has produced at least two recognisable leaves, pot the plantlets up singly in 8cm (3 inch) containers of the recommended potting mixture for mature Begonia bowerae. Before treating the little plants as adults, however, dampen the mixture sighly and put the plants back in a plastic bag or propagating case for another four weeks. This will acclimatise them to normal room conditions.

Problems:
Begonia bowerae can easily develop mildew if wetting its leaves.
Treatment: Spray these plants with a suitable fungicide at regular intervals.

The only pest these plants seem to be affected by is the snail.
Treatment: Use snail bait around them.

Companion plants: Begonia bowerae can be planted together with few different types of Begonias with contrasting colours and shape: plain leaved ones can be alternated with patterned forms and / or juxtaposing silvery leaves with darker foliage. They also contrast well with upright, strap-leaved plants that tolerate dry shade, such as Liriope species, renga-renga lilies (Arthropodium cirratum) and bromeliads, as well as with ferns.

Recommended varieties:
Begonia bowerae cv. ‘Tiger’ has olive-green leaves with light green spots. The undersides of the leaves and the brittle, juicy stems, are wine-red.

Uses and display: It is regarded as one of the prettiest begonias for foliage and its relative ease of culture as both a houseplant or annual bedding begonia. As a houseplant it is favoured for culture in a terrarium or glass bowl. Also it can be used as groundcover for shady tropical gardens. In frost-prone regions use it as a seasonal annual accent in containers, hanging baskets or window boxes where its ornate foliage can be highlighted.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – coloured
Shape – creeping
Height:  15-20cm (6-8 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 13°C max 15°C (55-59°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 27°C (61-81°F)
Humidity – moderate

Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Begonia bowerae - female flowers Begonia bowerae - male flowers Begonia boweri Tiger



Begonias, Evergreen, Flowering Plants, Foliage Plants, Garden Plants, Ground cover, Indoor Plants , , , , ,

Begonia coccinea

Common name: Angel Wing Begonia Plant, Scarlet Begonia, Coral Begonia, Begonia Dragon Wing, Cane Begonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Synonymous: Pritzelia coccinea

Begonia coccinea

Begonia coccinea

Distribution and habitat: Begonia coccinea plants occur primarily in Central and South America growing in shady and humid spots of Atlantic forest.
They are popularly grown as ornamentals because of their beautifully shaped and colourful foliage and flowers.

Description: Begonia coccinea has only a few bamboo-like stems up to 1m (3 feet) tall. Leathery, obliquely oblong to ovate leaves are 10-15cm (4-6 inch) long and 5-8cm (2-3 inch) wide with slightly toothed, undulate edges. Leaf surface is grass green tinged at the edges with red above and dull red bellow. The leaves are arranged asymmetrical on stems.
Begonia coccinea, with its thick, jointed stems, is an popular fibrous rooted begonia.
The flowers are irregular, unisexuate and in axillary, pendulous cymes with red peduncles. The male flowers have 2 large, pink tepals and 2 small tepals in opposite pairs at right angles to each other. There are numerous stamens with short filaments and yellow anthers. The female flowers have 5 pink tepals of unequal sizes attaches above the inferior ovary. The ovary is three-winged and dark pink with 3 styles and a golden yellow, convoluted stigma. The 1cm (0.4 inch) wide, waxy, coral red flowers appear in large, drooping clusters on red stalks from early summer to mid-autumn.
The fruit is a triangular capsule, up to 8cm (3 inch) long and three winged.

Although Begonia coccinea are herbaceous evergreen perennials, they are susceptible to frost and many cultivars planted in temperate areas are treated as annuals. They are easy to grow, both outdoors and in containers.

Angel Wing Begonia Plant name is coming from its large leaves that are shaped like the wings of an angel and is the common name of a number of Begonia species.

Houseplant care: Begonia coccinea is primarily grown for its elegant foliage, but it can be a heavy bloomer as well.
Careful pruning of Begonia coccinea canes will keep the plants compact, rounded and in many cases, suitable for hanging baskets. When the new plant is 15cm (6 inch) tall, pinch the top growing shoot; lateral shoots will develop in a few weeks. Allow any extra shoots from the base of the stem to grow since they too will develop a bushier form. If any one cane starts to take over or grows rapidly with only a few leaves, prune it out. When the plant is one year old, prune it drastically down to 15cm (6 inch) both in the winter and again in late spring.
Regularly remove spent flowers to encurage new flowers to develop.

Light: Begonia coccinea needs bright light without direct sunlight to form great foliage.
Place them in a bright east or west window. Bright light intensifies the leaf colourations and promotes good flower development.

When taken outside for the summer, they will prefer partial shade to avoid leaf scorch.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable for actively growing Begonia coccinea plants. The ideal temperature range is 21 to 24°C (70-75°F) during the daytime and no cooler than 16°C (60°F) at night, though they will tolerate temperatures as high as 40°C (104°F) and as low as 10°C (50°F).
Begonia coccinea will suffer in dry air. For increased humidity stand pots on trays of moist pebbles.

Watering: Water actively growing Begonia coccinea plants moderately, allowing the top couple centimetres (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. During the winter rest period water more sparingly, allowing the top half of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings.
Do not allow the plant to sit in water. Promptly remove the standing water.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks to actively growing plants. Over-fertilising leads to excessively cane growth.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil based potting mixture and coarse leaf mould. Put a shallow layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of pots for extra drainage.
Move the plants into pots one size larger every spring until maximum convenient pot size (probably 15-20cm) has been reached. Thereafter, top-dress annually with fresh potting mixture.
When potting and repotting these plants, simply sprinkle some mixture around the roots and tap the container briskly to settle the mixture. Do not firm it down with the fingers.

Repotting should be done in spring or summer, although Begonia coccinea are better off if slightly pot bound. Too much soil around the roots may waterlog the plant and create root rot. Clay pots are preferred since they dry out faster than plastic pots.

Gardening: Begonia coccinea is a perfect understory plant if light is available. It is a very attractive addition to the garden.
Avoid frost as leaves become damaged and plants can perish.
Begonia coccinea grows at a moderate to fast rate. Cutting back is a good idea because the Begonia coccinea plant gets fuller and the size can be controlled.

Location: Begonia coccinea should be planted in a shadier area in regions where temperatures are typically high and in a less shady area if temperatures tend to be cool. Avoid extreme heat and direct summer midday and afternoon sun. Plants will grow happily in sunny positions outdoors if protected from extremes. This begonia species is quite sun tolerant, but will look and flower its finest with shade for the hottest part of the day. In tropical areas, use this as a tall accent plant in mixed borders or as part of lush foundation plantings. It will thrive dappled shade, making it an useful plant in the garden to add colour underneath trees.

Soil: Humus rich soil that is free draining is best for Begonia coccinea. Make sure the soil is sandy and loamy and has a pH between 6.1 and 7.5 as this plant is a weakly acidic soil or weakly alkaline soil loving plant. Avoid soils that are mucky or are dry, infertile sands.
Prepare the garden by breaking up the existing soil. Add organic matter such as manure, peat moss or garden compost until the soil is loose and easy to work. Organic ingredients improve drainage, add nutrients and encourage earthworms and other organisms that help keeping the soil healthy.

Irrigation: Begonia coccinea has to be moderately watered. Too much or too little irrigation can have an adverse effect on the production of leaves and flowers and on the general health of the plant. This plant is especially susceptible to over-watering. It should be watered whenever the surrounding soil appears to be dry, but it should never be drenched. Use drip irrigation practices rather than just dousing it. Ultimately, over-watering can cause shedding of leaves and buds or flowers, but too little irrigation can be equally harmful. When it does not receive enough water, vital nutrients and minerals are not carried properly through the root system to the rest of the plant and Begonia coccinea health deteriorates. Wilted plant will eventually recover when watered but over-watered plant will die. However, consider this plant as being drought tender. Water the plant when the soil is dry.
Make sure Begonia coccinea has good drainage and watering once a week should be enough to keep the soil barely moist.

Fertilising: Fertilize once a month only from spring to autumn with a dilute liquid fertiliser. Fertilising more often than this results in excessively cane growth.

Propagation: Begonia coccinea ca be propagated by cuttings or seed.
Cuttings propagation: Take a 8-10cm (3-4 inch) long cuttings of nonflowering shoots in spring or early summer. Trim each cutting immediately bellow a leaf, carefully remove the leaf and dip the cut end of the stem in hormone rooting powder. Plant the cutting in a 8cm (3 inch) pot of a moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite and enclose the whole in a plastic bag or propagating case. Stand it in bright filtered light until renewed growth indicates that rooting has occurred. It will take about three to six weeks to root. Uncover the rooted cutting and begin to water it sparingly and to apply standard liquid fertiliser about once every two weeks. Do not overwater to avoid rotting. About six months after the start of propagation, move the young plant into a slightly larger pot of standard potting mixture and treat it as a mature plant.

Propagation from seed: seeds are very tiny and should be not buried when sown. Mix them with little fine sand before sowing. Sow seeds trays in any standard germination medium (equal parts of peat and perlite or equal parts of vermiculite and perlite). A light mist spray of the surface will settle the seeds adequately. Keep the propagating trays in warm, moist conditions (intermittent mist ideal) in bright light, but no direct sun.
Prick the seedlings out into individual cells or small pots 6-8cm (2.5-3inch) when the first three leaves are formed. Use same potting mixture as for mature plants. The seedlings benefit from dilute applications of soluble fertiliser every two weeks. Re-potting will be necessary in about six months or so. Pot the new plants in pots one size larger when the root ball fill the pot. Thereafter treat them as mature Begonia coccinea.

Problems:
Leaves turn yellow or brown and fall off as result of overwatering.
Treatment: Keep the plants in small pots (clay pots preferable) and water the plants only when the potting mixture become dry. Cool conditions and oversized pots contribute to this problem.

Tans spots on leaves and plant rot at the base are result of fungal disease (Botrytis).
Treatment: This disease is common with rooted cuttings and is best prevented by using a clean, pathogen-free medium. Discard affected plants and start new plants form clean stem tip cuttings.

Spots with yellow halos on the leaves are results of bacterial leaf spot.
Treatment: Remove affected leaves and increase air circulation. Discard infected winter blooming as they carry these disease throughout their system.

Mildew is not the problem with Begonia coccinea that it can be with other begonias, but fungal disorders can certainly set in if plants are too crowded, watered from overhead or have poor air circulation.

Watch out for mealybugs and aphids on foliage.
Treatment: Control them by dabbing with alcohol-soaked cotton swabs. Repeat the treatment every 5 days until the problem is solved. Do not use oil sprays to control pests on any begonias.

Begonia coccinea may be infected with nematodes, soil-dwelling plant parasites that are more difficult to treat.
Treatment: Many garden shops carry products to control nematodes. A home remedy for these pests is mothballs. Watering the plants with mothballs on the soil surface will help eliminate the nematodes.

Longevity: Begonia coccinea will lose they vigor in time (typically after 4 to 5 years). When the plants begin to lose their vigor, take stem cuttings in the spring or summer and create new healthy plants. In this way the plants will last indefinitely.

Recommended cultivars:
Begonia coccinea ‘Flamingo Queen’: This cultivar has dark green leaves with varying sizes of silver spots and with silver spotted margins with pink flowers.

Begonia coccinea ‘Sinbad’: Foliage with a silvery sheen and pink flowers.

Begonia coccinea ‘Torch’: This is an cultivar with red blooms year round in warm weather. Waxy, arrowhead-shaped leaves are dark green on top and maroon underneath. Upright stem growth with pendulous leaves and flowers. Great hanging basket, or container plant.

Uses and display: Begonia coccinea are prized as much for their attractive foliage as their flowers. This plant tends to be in bloom all year round. This plant is a great attractor for butterflies, bees, and birds, so Begonia coccinea is a great choice for the garden to attract wildlife. It is the perfect choice for beds and borders as well as it is superb for baskets, containers and window boxes. Also Begonia coccinea is an wonderful choice for combination plantings. It is perfect understory plant if light is available.
Begonia coccinea is a very attractive addition to the garden or as an indoor specimen. Indoors can be used as table top plant or hanging basket.
Pruned stems from Begonia coccinea make good cut flowers.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – coloured
Shape – upright
Height: 1m (3 feet)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight
Temperature in rest period – min 10oC max 16oC (50-60oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16oC max 27oC (61-81oF)
Humidity – moderate

Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Begonia coccineaBegonia coccinea Flamingo QueenBegonia coccinea SinbadBegonia coccinea - hanging basketBegonia coccinea TorchBegonia coccinea Lana



Begonias, Cutting Flowers, Flowering Plants, Foliage Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , , , , ,

Begonia × tuberhybrida

Common name: Tuberous Begonias

Family: Begoniaceae

Begonia × tuberhybrida

Begonia × tuberhybrida

Distribution and habitat: Begonia × tuberhybrida are a group of Begonia cultivars, regarded as some of the most spectacular of the genus. This is by the far the most widely grown type of tuberous begonias and it is also probably the most popular type of begonia worldwide. Over many decades of hybridizing work, various species traits were combined to create what we know as the tuberhybrida type today.
The Begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates.  In cooler climates, Begonia × tuberhybrida plants are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants or cultivated outside in summertime for their bright colorful flowers.

Description: Begonia × tuberhybrida are grown for their handsome flowers. Plants truly characteristics of the group have swollen underground stem (tuber) and are deciduous with a period of total dormancy every year.
Begonia × tuberhybrida forms usually have fleshy, erect stems up to 2cm (0.8 inch) thick and 38cm (15 inch) tall, with a few hybrids having a trailing habit. The soft easy damage, pointed-oval leaves 15-30cm (6-12 inch) long and 8-13cm (3-5 inch) wide are dark green but vein areas in some forms are a paler green. Flowers bloom in summer on 15cm (6 inch) long flower stalk arising from leaf axils. Male flowers are sometimes many-petaled and up to 15cm (6 inch) across, whereas female flowers are single-layered and up to only 5cm (2 inch) across. Flower colours is white or any shade of pink, red, yellow or orange.
All forms are dormant in winter.

Houseplant care: At the end of the growing season, the stem and leaves of deciduous Begonia × tuberhybrida will gradually fall off. Do not pull away the stems since this could damage the tuber.

Use canes to support the heavy flowers stems.
Blooms will be encouraged to grow larger if all female flower heads are removed (these are easily recognized by the seed capsule behind the petals).

Light: Give Begonia × tuberhybrida plants bright filtered light all year round. Light is not important during the dormant period.

Temperature: During the active growth period normal room temperatures are suitable for Begonia × tuberhybrida. In temperatures above 18°C (64°F) stand pots on trays of moist pebbles or suspend saucers of water under hanging basket. During the winter keep dormant forms at a temperature of about 13°C (55°F).

Watering: Water actively growing plants moderately, allowing the top couple of centimetres (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. As growth slows down, reduce amounts of water gradually. Stop watering when the foliage begin to turn yellow and plant start to loose their foliage for winter dormancy.
Avoid getting water on leaves and flowers except for occasional necessary rinsing for grooming purposes.

Feeding: Apply a high-potash liquid fertiliser to actively growing plants about once every two weeks. Stop feeding the plants which are going dormant.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil based mixture and coarse leaf mould. Put a shallow layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of pots for extra drainage. When potting or repotting, simply sprinkle some mixture around the tuber and roots and tap the container briskly to settle the mixture

Start the tubers of Begonia × tuberhybrida forms into growth in early spring by planting several in shallow trays of moistened peat moss, setting the tubers (with the concave side upwards) half in and half out of the peat moss. Stand each tray in bright filtered light for about three or four weeks, when about 5cm (2 inch) of the top growth will have been made. Then move each specimen into an 8 or 10cm (3-4 inch) pot of the recommended potting mixture for adult plants. The large-flowered hybrids may need to be moved into larger pots two or three times during the summer, but most other kinds can spend the entire season in same container.

Gardening: The ideal conditions for tuberous begonias are areas where evening temperatures do not fall below 15°C (59°F) and where day temperatures are less than 27°C (81°F)(on average). These plants are a definite challenge in very warm climates. They prefer a mild summer climate and are totally intolerant of high temperatures or very high humidity levels.

The plants are quite brittle and staking helps them tolerate violent weather.
The single female flowers are removed before seed forms to keep the plant blooming. The females are on either side of the double male flowers.

In warm climates the tubers of  these plants can be planted in fall for use as a cool season bedding plant.

Location: Begonia × tuberhybrida grow best in partial shade. Exposure to excessive sunlight can result in burnt flowers and leaves. Too much shade results in foliage that is very lush with few flowers.

Soil: Begonia × tuberhybrida plants need rich, well-drained soil with high organic matter. Amend the soil with leaf mold or peat moss.
Plant the tubers “eyes up” indoors in early spring in flats of peat moss and sand. Place the trays in a dark location at 18°C (65°F) until 3cm (1inch) tall shoots appear. Cover the shoots with additional mix and move the trays to a lighted location at the same temperature. Plant them outdoors after all frost danger has passed.
Plant Begonia × tuberhybrida with 15 to 30cm (6-12 inch) space between them.

Irrigation: The plants need frequent watering, but excess causes flower bud drop. Allow soil to dry between waterings. Stop watering when leaves start to turn yellow and the stems begin to fall. Do not remove stems at this time.

Fertilise: They should be fertilized weekly with quarter strength fertilizer during all their active growing period. Stop fertilizing when plants shows signs of winding down or a month or so before you expect them to go dormant.

Dormancy: The tubers are dug when the leaves and stems fall off. Do not break off the stems, but wait until they fall off naturally. Injured bulbs should be exposed to air to allow the area to dry. Wash tubers and allow them to dry before storing. Dried tubers are covered with peat or sand and stored at 7 to 15°C (45-60°F).

Propagation: To propagate Begonia × tuberhybrida forms cut a large tuber into two or more sections in the spring, making sure that each has a growing point. Treat the cut ends of the sections with fungicide to prevent root. Allow the pieces to dry several days and then pot each one exactly as if it were a whole tuber. Pinch off the first flower buds.

Alternativelly take a stem cutting. Stem cuttings are made from surplus shoots which arise from the tuber. Stem tips may also be used. The cuttings are 8cm (3 inch) long and are cut off just below a node. Sand may be used as the rooting media. Keep cuttings out of direct sun and in temperatures between 15 to 18°C (60-65°F). Rooting occurs in five weeks.

Problems: Begonia × tuberhybrida has long-term health usually not affected by pests.

Tubers will rot if they are too wet prior to planting.
Treatment: Keep them in an airy cool place over winter (do not expose to frost).

Begonia × tuberhybrida plants can also rot if over-watered.

Yellow leaves are a result of either too much or too little water.

Leaf loss may be caused by lack of light if stems are thin and leggy, too much heat if leaves are dry or too much water if leaves are wilted and rotten.

Loss of buds and leaves turning brown at the tips are usually caused by lack of humidity.

These plants are susceptible to powdery mildew (a white powder that forms on the leaves) caused by bad ventilation.
Treatment: Improve the air circulation or use a suitable fungicide as a preventative measure.

Thrips cause irregular reddish brown lines on the upper sides of the leaves. Spots form on the undersides of the leaves, especially along the main veins. The leaves may be deformed.
Black vine weevil grub eats the roots causing wilting and death.
Mites stunt the new growth.
Treatment: Use a suitable pesticide that treat each of these pests effectively.

Avalability: Begonia × tuberhybrida plants may be available as either a mature, blooming plant or dormant tubers.

Uses and display: Begonia × tuberhybrida group are temporary plants making spectacular displays for the summer and autumn. Begonia × tuberhybrida are usually grown in pots, but there are also hanging basket varieties. Begonias can be grown in a sheltered shadehouse, on a veranda, in a sun room or on a window ledge.

Height: 38cm
Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Begonia × tuberhybrida - trailing habitBegonia × tuberhybridaBegonia × tuberhybridaBegonia × tuberhybrida - female & male flowersBegonia × tuberhybrida - female & male flowersBegonia × tuberhybrida



Begonias, Bulbs, Corms & Tubers, Deciduous foliage, Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants ,

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