Usually these begonias are grown as houseplants in temperate climates, although they also do wonderfully planted outdoors for the summer. Once begonias start flowering, they bloom continuously from summer to frost. If you need many plants, you can even use leaf sections as cuttings. The most common species in this category is B. dregei, a species with a swollen stem base (caudex) and small white flowers, often used in bonsai. The first cultivar was named ‘Gloire de Lorraine’, hence the common name Lorraine begonia. Most have extremely double, extremely large flowers (up to dinner plate size!) One way begonias make babies is with a little help from gardeners like us. Begonias are notoriously difficult to grow from seed. With more than 1,700 species, Begonia is the fifth largest genus of flowering plants in the world, with almost an almost pantropical distribution: South and Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Transplant the seedlings in small individual pots when they have two or three leaves. Place two small bamboo stakes or wood dowels on either side of the pot. The tuberous begonia ‘Kimjongilia’ is one of North Korea’s floral emblems. Cut the leaf into wedges to do so lay the leaf flat on your work space. That’s why it’s best to start begonias under lights, as that gives you full control of day length. Cultivar Selection. Dig up and divide your begonia tubers in the late spring or late summer while the plant is in its active growth phase. These new tubers will then sprout in the spring. Propagation by stem cuttings and seeds. These shade-loving plants bring mounds of color when planted under trees or tucked in planters, hanging baskets, or window boxes. Begin to acclimatize the cuttings after you see some new growth or after one month has passed. Some begonias are grown mainly for their beautiful, often exotically colored foliage, others for their attractive, abundant and long-lasting flowers. The flowers are smaller than those of most tuberous begonias, although larger than other begonia types. Its gentle heat will help germination, as it should remain above 72˚F (21˚C) day and night. This group is usually multiplied by stem cuttings, leaf cuttings or division. Maintenance and multiplication is exactly like hybrid tuberous begonias and it fact, it is one of the parent species of this group. Spray the container with warm water and put the seed container in a clear plastic bag or inside a mini-greenhouse. They can be stored in vermiculite, peat, sawdust, or newspaper or, if you grow them in pots, just pile the pots one on top of the other in a dark corner. Since oxalic acid can be toxic if consumed in large quantities, it is best to consume begonia flowers in moderation. You can multiply many begonias (especially rhizomatous begonias, including rex begonias) by leaf cuttings as well. These begonias are normally grown uniquely for their foliage and little attention is paid to their rather sparse white or pink flowers. Additional Information: Float blossoms in a shallow bowl of water for a different twist to a cut flower display. Modern hybrids bloom so profusely that you can scarcely see the foliage! In the fall, except in hardiness zones 10-12, almost all begonias will need to move indoors if you want to save them from the cold. It blooms annually on the birthday of the country’s late president, Kim Jong-il. A few examples of the variety in Begonia x rex-cultorum. Place the tuber and stems at the same soil depth at which it was previously planted. Works Cited. They grow as easily in pots (indoors or out) as in the ground. Propagate Caladiums. Provide it with light shade, rich well-drained soil, ample water, and plenty of fertilizer—and you’ll be rewarded with stunning flowers and foliage. Typically begonia authorities divide this group into many subcategories, such cane-like begonias, shrub-like begonias, thick-stemmed begonias and trailing or scandent begonias. Begonias in this group like to be kept lightly moist and lightly fertilized all winter and do not go dormant, so never dry them out entirely. Fibrous begonia ‘Lucerna’: a popular hand-me-down houseplant. There are dozens of classifications for these begonias (Picotee, Fimbriata, Pendula, Crispa, etc. Wax begonias: The most common are Begonia semperflorens varieties, also called wax, annual, or bedding begonias. Plant the tuber piece and stems in a nursery pot filled with moist, sterile potting mix. Above: Begonia rex ‘Red Tango’ mixes well with other shade- and humidity-loving plants such as asparagus ferns and geraniums. Traditionally, this group includes only one hybrid species: B. x semperflorens-cultorum, the popular wax or bedding begonia. Also, fertilize occasionally with a soluble fertilizer. Their blooms are small and their leaves are purple, reddish, green, or silvery, making the leaves often the most attractive part of the flower. Keep the humidity around the cuttings high for a two- to four-week period, during which they will root in the potting mix. Start watering more abundantly when the plant shows signs of new growth. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. For convenience sake, I like to include two more recent introductions in this category: so-called B. x benariensis (I’m far from sure the name is botanically valid) such as the ‘Big’ series (plants twice as large as the usual B. x semperflorens-cultorum, but otherwise very similar) and Dragon Wing and Baby Wing series, with arching stems and wing-shaped leaves. There are several different types of begonias. Alternatively, press an entire leaf flat against the soil and cut its veins with a knife: a baby plant will soon poke out of each cut vein. Most gardeners with a bit of experience can recognize a begonia on sight, but here are few pointers for beginners: The leaves are alternate and usually asymmetrical (they are often ear-shaped or wing-shaped); Female flowers have a winged ovary behind their tepals. It usually has three wings. Start Begonias 8-12 weeks before the last frost in your area. These begonias are usually produced by seeds and treated as annuals, but you can also multiply them by division or stem cuttings. They are usually double and come in almost every color except blue. Begonia tuberhybrida, known as tuberous begonias, grow indoors or outside in any climate zone. One gram of begonia seeds can produce up to 100,000 seedlings! In cooler climes they are dug and overwintered indoors. Slide a garden fork into the soil at the base of the plant and lift the tuber clump out of the garden bed. Place the cutting-filled pots outdoors when temperatures are mild and in the desirable natural range for begonias. The plants tend to get wider as they age, but to remain low growing. Use a timer to set your lamp to 14 hour days: that will ensure good germination and equal growth. When outdoor temperatures remain above 50˚F (10˚C), acclimate the seedlings to garden conditions and transplant them, preferably into partial shade. Regular fertilization (during the growing season, of course) will stimulate better bloom, especially for plants grown in pots outdoors and therefore exposed to rain (rain, as wonderful as it may be for plants, has the annoying habit of leaching container soil of all its minerals). One-inch tubers will result in smaller plants. Begonias that do best in the landscape generally fall into three groups: wax begonias, cane or angel-wing begonias, and rhizomatous begonias. When allowed to hang over a sill or edge, they form a very interesting display of hairy, red-hued leaves. Rhizomatous begonia Begonia heracleifolia nigricans is one of the rare begonias with star-shaped leaves. To sow the seeds, fill a pot or seed tray with moist potting mix, level, and apply the seeds to the surface. and come in a variety of colors: pink, red, yellow, purple, white, orange, etc. Anyone can take one plant and multiply it into numerous identical offsets. By following just a few simple steps, you can clone your favorite tuberous begonia, and save loads of money you would have spent buying new plants each year. Nearly 15,000 hybrids of these popular plants exist. It takes 120 volunteers about 4 hours and about 600,000 begonia flowers to compose the carpet. Propagation is by stem cuttings… but as with the hiemalis begonia, it is not easy to maintain this plant from one year to the next. I've been growing the same begonia bulbs for a number of years and they are getting rather large. Fibrous-rooted begonias can be short to tall and may be grown for their foliage or their flowers. Here is a simplified classification that might be useful for the ordinary gardener, although it is certainly too simple for serious begonia collectors. You can multiply many begonias (especially rhizomatous begonias, including rex begonias) by leaf cuttings as well. First, always plant begonia corms concave side up (depression on top) either slightly above or level with the compost/soil surface. Although a very few species show some adaptation to temperate climates (B. grandis, for example, is hardy to zone 6b), most are grown as houseplants or as bedding plants, treated, in the latter case, as annuals in cold climates. This is a relatively compact plant with erect stems and glossy, somewhat spoon-shaped leaves, green or bronze in color. Gardeners enjoy numerous species and hybrids of begonia (Begonia spp.) In the Tropics, they are treated as perennials or small shrubs. MacKenzie, Jill and Moncada, Kristine. Cut the tubers into 1- to 3 1/2-inch sections, using a knife. Some species are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants in cooler climates. How to Root a Begonia Stem. The very popular ‘NonStop’ series, used extensively in flowerbeds worldwide, belongs to the Multiflora division, famous for flowers that are somewhat smaller that most other tuberous begonias (although much larger than those of other types of begonia), but as the name suggest, are produced profusely through the entire summer. Wax begonias are typically grown as annuals, reaching 6 to 12 inches tall and wide. Winter Care: Lift in fall and store in a frost free location for the winter. Birds do it, bees do it, and even begonias do it—they make babies. Native to the tropics of South America and Africa, tuberous begonias thrive in warm, humid conditions and are hardy only in USDA zones 9 through 11. for their colorful flowers, a long bloom period, attractive foliage and few maintenance requirements. However, it is commonly used to describe all begonias that have only fibrous roots, therefore neither rhizomes nor tubers. With the exception of one or two species, begonias are tropical or subtropical plants and can be grown as perennials (dying back in fall and regrowing in … Begonias brighten up shady areas with their colorful blooms. After all, how can you bring order to chaos? Even under the best circumstances, begonias can be finicky to propagate and the failure rate can be quite high. This is the largest category of begonias, with hundreds of species and thousands of cultivars. They are however considered harder to grow well, especially over time. These are really eye-catching plants. Its tuber can be huge! Begonias have been around for ages, and with good reason: This easy-to-grow annual does well in a variety of conditions and needs little to thrive. Trumbull County Ohio. Other types like tuberous, Rex, and Rieger begonias prefer cool temperatures and do not usually make reliable landscape plants in Florida, but you can always try them as houseplants. Garden Planning. The easiest and quickest method of multiplying begonias is by stem cuttings, a technique that works with almost all varieties. The flowers are small but numerous, in various shades of pink, red and white. Begonias can be grown from seed at home and it’s a popular method to multiply some species, especially the outdoor varieties that are grown for their flowers. Begonia flowers are edible and in fact very rich in vitamin C. Their pleasant sweet/tart taste comes from the oxalic acid they contain, the same product that gives spinach and rhubarb their flavor. Begonia seeds are among the smallest in the vegetable kingdom. Some botanists accept no less than 87 sections in the genus, while some horticultural classifications include dozens of groups. C1. Place the cutting in a moderately lit spot and at fairly warm temperatures (21˚C or more)… and wait. The genus was named by the French botanist Charles Plumier for his friend, Michel Bégon, governor of the island of Saint Domingue (now Haiti) and a serious amateur botanist. This Question is Waiting for an eXtension Answer. These begonias have a tuber, an underground organ much like a potato, and differ from most other begonias in that they go fully dormant for months, losing both leaves and stems. Propagating Begonia Tubers. There are now many other varieties in shades of red, orange, yellow, pink and white. The foliage of rex begonias is particularly colorful, coming in all imaginable shades of green, red, silver, purple, brown and pink, often with metallic highlights. At that season, however, days are still short, yet begonias need good light to germinate. Never let the soil dry out; Begonias love moist soil. However so few are available through in the average garden center that I find this creates confusion rather than simplifying things, so I prefer to lump them all together into a single category. This category is traditionally divided into 2 parts: rhizamotous begonias per se (a sort of holdall category) and rex begonias. Their foliage is often the main attraction: it often shiny, hairy, purple, red, or dotted with silver. Hiemalis means “of winter” and these plants are naturally winter blooming. To do so, cut a leaf into pieces, each with a small bit of midrib or primary vein, and press the sections into moist growing mix. These begonias will also produce new tubers during the growing season that will then fall to the ground in autumn. These begonias have a rhizome: a usually creeping stem (although some rhizomes are upright) that root in contact with the soil as they grow. Your questions are answered by Cooperative Extension and University staff and volunteers from across the United States. Hodgson, Larry. This is the classic large-flowered tuberous begonia gardeners have salivated over for generations. Cover the pot with a clean, clear plastic bag and either tie off or tuck the ends of the bag under the pot to secure and to create a greenhouse effect. Begonia ‘Million Kisses’ series: features plants with a semi-trailing habit and which are ideal for hanging baskets and containers. Divide caladium plants in spring. And it is also called Christmas begonia because of its early winter blooming period. The stems may be upright or drooping, the latter often used in hanging baskets. After flowering, the stems start to die back. Plant the tuber piece and stems in a nursery pot filled with moist, sterile potting mix. Begonia propagation is an easy way to keep a little bit of summer all year long. Most are mainly grown for their attractive and often very colorful foliage. Begonia flowers are monoecious (male and female flowers appear separately but on the same plant). If the female flower is fertilized, the ovary becomes a capsule filled with numerous very fine seeds that, in nature, are carried far and wide by the wind, ensuring the species’ survival. The genus is composed of a wide range of mainy herbaceous plants (a few are semi-woody), including some with rhizomes and tubers, most adapted to moist tropical or subtropical climates. Long considered houseplants, rex begonias have begun to star in shadier parts of the summer garden in recent years. As a result, germination can be poor or irregular and initial growth almost nil. Tuberous begonias, one of three types of begonias, are summer and fall blooming perennials known for their large, brightly-hued, camellia-shaped flowers. Unlike most flowering plants, which require at least a half day of full sun, begonias actually prefer growing in the shade. We looked at the Year of the Carrot earlier in the month. Th… Often these begonias have erect stems, although often arching at the tip, stems with very obvious knots and highly asymmetric, wing-shaped leaves (they are often simply called “angelwing begonias” for that reason), although there are many exceptions: plants with climbing or pendant stems or with leaves that are star-shaped or even compound. In the language of flowers, begonia means “beware”. This cliff-dwelling species has a naturally trailing habit, but there are now more upright cultivars and ones with more open, less tubular flowers. Bolivian Begonia (B. boliviensis and its hybrids). The propagation of tuberous begonias is easy. Even under the best circumstances, begonias can be finicky to propagate and the failure rate can be quite high. It can be a bit tricky, especially if the seeds you get aren’t pelleted: they are extremely tiny. Begonia tubers can be forced to propagate by dividing stem and tuber cuttings and will propagate on their own by seeding and by naturalization in the landscape. Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate; Pruning: Old blossoms drop off as new ones appear. Staged changes in the growing environment will reduce the stress on the plant, prevent shock, and raise the chances of a successful tuber propagation. The show is spectacular, but don’t miss your flight, as it lasts only three and a half days. However, if you want to try growing begonias from seeds, here’s how: You’ll need to so the seeds of begonias you want to plant out very early in the season, in January or February. What's an eXtension Answer? Multiplying Begonias. They have the basic leaf structure of a true begonia (although they are not true begonias), but as they mature, the plants send out long, thin runners that end in clusters of leaves. 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