09 March 2013

Begonia houseplant from a single leaf

A couple of years ago I was visiting an office where I was asked to wait ... and wait ... and wait. There was a begonia on a stand that was bursting with flowers and about to break out of its pot.

 I took a single leaf and tucked it into my purse. When I came home I put that leaf on moist vermiculite in a strawberry container and kept it out of direct light.

That leaf took root and sent up another tiny leaf so I put it into a tiny clay pot filled with dampened, sterile potting soil.

As it grew, I re-potted it a couple of times and this week it is showing off its sweet pink flowers.

Do you know what kind of begonia it is? More searching for this plant's name (Dec.2013) and still nothing. Plenty of hints from similar looking ones but nothing exactly like it.


 
Dec. 2013
It's time to propagate this beauty, as her stems have become so long she can barely support leaves. We pruned it back to the crown and will keep the cuttings in damp paper for a few days, then move them to damp soil for re-growing. Here's a link to a great begonia propagation page by Brad's Begonia World -
http://www.bradsbegoniaworld.com/prop.htm
As with all begonias, it is pretty easy but you do have to keep an eye on the process so nothing rots or dries out too much to survive.  Brad says that rhizome cuttings are stem cuttings with nodes and with or without leaves. They can be any length and rooted in potting mix, planted with part of the rhizome showing. Tip cuttings are rooted upright, one-inch into the potting mix. His illustration couldn't be any clearer. Great job!
Brad's Begonia World


 
 

2 comments:

Sarah said...

Beefsteak begonia. Good luck!

Martha Stoodley said...

Hey thanks Sarah!
Beefsteak is a slightly odd name for a plant.
PlantOfTheWeek says, "one of the earliest hybrids still in cultivation today. In 1845 Germany, B. hydrocotylifolia was crossed with B. manicata to produce B. x erythrophyllum. It is a rhizomatous species with dark green, glossy, nearly orbicular, peltate leaves."