Archive for the ‘Deciduous foliage’ Category

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 ,

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Common name: Golden Arum Lily, Golden Calla Lily

Family: Araceae

Synonymous: Calla elliottiana
Richardia aurata
Richardia elliottiana
Richardia rossii

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Distribution and habitat: Zantedeschia species are a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plants native to southern Africa growing naturally in swampy marshland, which tends to dry up during the summer months – a period of dormancy for the plants when they tend to dray off and lose their foliage. Zantedeschia elliottiana is known from horticultural sources only and is probably of hybrid origin.

Description: Zantedeschia elliottiana is a stemless plant with large, unusually arrow-shaped leaves and showy flowers. The leaves are heavily white spotted dark green, up to 28cm (11 inch) long and 23cm (9 inch) wide with 60cm (24 inch) long stalks. The inflorescence is a typical arum flower with the central erect spadix surrounded by a showy spathe. It is carried on a long stout stalk that rise among, sometimes above, the long leaf stalk. The 15cm (6 inch) long spathe is bright yellow inside and greenish yellow outside, forming an open trumpet around the yellow spadix. Flowering occurs in late spring and summer and they last over a month. The flower is occasionally followed by a spike of bright yellow berries that are attractive to birds.
It has fleshy rhizomes that run just below the surface of the potting mixture and from which fleshy feeding roots grow down into the soil.

Houseplant care: The resting period should be followed with Zantedeschia elliottiana used as indoor plants; they can provide only a temporarily display. Dormant rhizomes, however, once given suitable conditions, can be brought into new growth and can flower for many years.

Light: Provide bright light with some direct sunlight during the months when these plants have foliage. In the dormant period (usually from late spring to early autumn) keep the dried-out plants in a sunny spot in the garden or on an outdoor terrace or balcony – an ideal position as long as there is no risk of frost or very wet weather.

Temperature: When Zantedeschia elliottiana are starting into growth (usually from early autumn onward), they should be kept cool – if possible, at a temperature of 10-13°C (50-55°F) for about three months; thereafter, about 18°C (64°F) is best for Zantedeschia elliottiana hybrid until flowering is under way. While they are flowering , keep the plants at normal room temperature; temperatures above 21°C (70°F) are likely to curtail the blooming period of flowers and make the leaves wither prematurely. For rhizomes which are dormant, temperature is not an important consideration.

Watering: Water the newly potted plants or old rhizomes starting into growth after the dormant period sparingly – just enough to moisten the potting mixture throughout at each watering and allowing the top two-thirds of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. As growth develops, increase the quantity gradually until the Zantedeschia elliottiana are in full leaf. Thereafter, water the plants plentifully as often as is necessary to keep the potting mixture thoroughly moist; these are among the few plants that need constant moisture at their roots during the active growing period.
When they are in full leaf, in fact, potted Zantedeschia elliottiana can stand in saucers of water. When the plant stops flowering, reduce the amount of water gradually and stop watering altogether when the leaves become yellow and withered. Leave the dried-out Zantedeschia elliottiana in their pots for the entire rest period, whether indoors or out. An occasional brief moistening from rain will not harm the dormant plants, but they must on no account be subjected to prolonged rainfall.

Feeding : Once plants are in full leaf, apply a liquid fertiliser every two weeks and increase this to weekly dose when flowers appear, continuing until the end of flowering season.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture. A single flowering-size plant can be accommodated in a 15cm (6 inch) pot, but larger slumps need either larger pots or small tubs. In the autumn, as plants start into growth, move them into pots one size larger, if necessary. When maximum convenient pot size has reached, divide up the plants for propagation.
Dry, newly purchased rhizomes can be also planted at this time, either singly in 15cm (6 inch) pots or three together in a 20-22cm (8-9 inch) pot. Place the rhizomes horizontally with the eyes facing up in pots about 5cm (2 inch) below the surface of the potting mixture.

Gardening: Zantedeschia elliottiana rhizomes can be planted in either the spring or fall in zones 9a-10. In other areas, they can be planted in the spring after daytime temperatures remain above 13°C (55°F). In areas where they are not hardy, dig the rhizomes in early fall, clean off excess soil, let dry out of the direct sun for a few days, and store them in vermiculite or dry peat moss in a cool 10-13°C (50-55°F), dry place.

Leave the leaves to withered and dry out by themselves as they provide the nutrients to allow the rhizome grow and reproduce. Forming seed takes a lot of energy from the plant, so if not intended to propagate Zantedeschia elliottiana by seed, cut the dying flowers off.

Location: Zantedeschia elliottiana should be planted in a location that gets full sun for most of the day, but some late afternoon shade, particularly in hot summer regions.

Soil: Zantedeschia elliottiana grow best in a moist, well drained soil that has been enriched with compost and other organic matter.
It can be grown as a marginal plant in water up to 30cm (12inch) deep. Use aquatic compost and a 30cm (12inch) deep planting basket.
Prepare the planting hole by mixing in compost, peat moss and bone meal. Plant the tubers horizontally, 30cm (12 inch) apart, with the eyes facing up. Zantedeschia elliottiana rhizomes should be planted 5cm (2 inch) deep. After planting, water Zantedeschia elliottiana generously, soaking the soil.

Irrigation: Zantedeschia elliottiana are bog plants, meaning they like a soggy soil or an almost constantly wet area to grow in. While it appreciates watering during the growing season it should be dried out once it has finished flowering in late summer to prepare it for its winter dormancy.

Fertilise: Fertilize monthly with a good all-purpose fertilizer when actively growing.
Keep well mulched to preserve soil moisture.

Propagation: Divide rhizomes or detach the offsets that develop around the main rhizomes for propagation. Either process is best done at the time of repotting in the autumn when they are just starting into growth. Separate the rhizome into several pieces making sure that each piece has healthy growing point. Pot single sections or a divided rhizome in a 15cm (6 inch) pots of slightly moistened potting mixture and treat them as mature plants. Plant small offsets in 8 or 10cm (3-4 inch) pots until they are bigger enough to move into bigger containers, but otherwise give them exactly the same conditions as the larger rhizomes.
It is also possible to increase Zantedeschia elliottiana number from seed. This is the easiest way to get a stock of the mixed hybrids, since they are less readily available as rhizomes than the other forms. Raising these plants from seed, however is a complicated, lengthy process which is best carried out in the carefully regulated conditions of a cool green house. It is definitely not an advisable procedure for most amateur growers. The seeds of Zantedeschia elliottiana should not be covered because they require light for germination. Sow seeds indoors in early spring and maintain a temperature in the moist growing medium of 21-24°C (70-75°F) during germination, which takes 30-35 days. The new plants will not flower for two or three years.

Problems: Zantedeschia elliottiana can suffer from cold damage, but are otherwise fairly trouble-free.
Take precautions to protect Zantedeschia elliottiana from slugs and snails.
Treatment: Use a snail & slugs bait.

The worst disease Zantedeschia elliottiana get is soft rot with Erwinia bacteria. Erwinia is a common organism in the soil, but it will rush in and attack if the plant starts to get rot. These plants may rot because: they have been overwatered or they are overstressed due to their roots getting too hot.
Treatment: Cut out rotted portions in rhizome. Dry thoroughly for a day or two then soak for an hour in a 2percent formaldehyde solution. Drain and plant immediately.

Zantedeschia elliottiana is prone to rust on leaves, stems and spent flower debris. Rust often appears as small, bright orange, yellow, or brown pustules on the underside of leaves. If touched, it will leave a colored spot of spores on the finger. Caused by fungi and spread by splashing water or rain, rust is worse when weather is moist.
Treatment: Provide maximum air circulation. Clean up all debris. Do not water from overhead and water only during the day so that plants will have enough time to dry before night. Apply a fungicide labeled for rust on affected plants.

If Zantedeschia elliottiana do not flower, move them where they can get more sunlight.

Availability: Zantedeschia elliottiana is available as potted plant in flowering period and as dried rhizomes in dormant period or even seed. Cut flowers are available in all seasons.

Toxicity: Zantedeschia species are poisonous due to the presence of calcium oxalate. All parts of the plant are poisonous, typically producing local irritation or a burning sensation in the mouth and occasionally vomiting and diarrhea.

Uses and display: These tender varieties can be displayed either as houseplants or seasonal outdoor bedding displays. Zantedeschia elliottiana can be used as marginal plant in water garden.
Zantedeschia elliottiana is used as extensive commercial production for cut flowers, being very popular and appreciated for bouquets as the beautiful flower last for over a month in vase.


Foliage – variegate
Features – flowers
Shape – upright
Height: 45-60cm (18-24 inch)

Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bight
Temperature in rest period – min 10oC max 13oC (50-55oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 18oC max 21oC (64-70oF)
Humidity – low

Hardiness zone: 9a-10b

Zantedeschia elliottiana - flowerZantedeschia elliottiana - cut flowerZantedeschia elliottiana - opening flower

Bulbs, Corms & Tubers, Cutting Flowers, Deciduous foliage, Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , ,

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