Begonia rhizomes make more plants You Can Grow That!

Soak entire pot contents
Begonias are mostly tender perennials in zone 7 with only a few exceptions. They are one example of plants that we keep from year to year, dividing in the fall, growing in the shed over the winter and putting back outside in the spring.

There are different types of begonias according to Gary Turner, including cane, shrub, thick stem semperflorens, rhizomatous, tuberous, trailing/scandent. Cane-types can be rooted in water.

Begonia rhyzome growing over pot
Most have shallow roots and prefer shallow containers where they can trail out. We use bagged soil-less potting soil, remixed with extra perlite for ours.

A few of ours are so crowded that their rhizomes are crawling over the sides of their containers. We keep ours outside in flower beds, under trees, all summer in pots and our summers are 100 and above with pretty high humidity.

Gently separate rhyzome clumps
At the link above, Turner says: "The planting medium mix should be slightly acid, containing loose, well-drained ingredients such as Perlite, Vermiculite and leaf mold (oak leaf, Orchid Bark). Begonias in general prefer to be root or pot bound. The type of pot does not matter, but for tall plants it is wise to use a heavy pot that will help prevent the plant from tipping over.

When repotting, place the plant as low in the new pot as possible to bury more stem buds and encourage more canes and roots to grow.
Separated begonia rhyzomes

Start the dividing process by letting the container dry out so you can slip it all out in one piece. Then, soak the contents to soften it all to make it easy to remove loose soil and get your fingers between the rhizomes to gently pull them apart.
Each rhyzome will then go into its own container. Or, you can cut the rhyzomes into pieces and plant them as illustrated on the right which we are going to try.

Our potting shed is filling up with wonderful projects like this that keep our fingers in the soil all winter long!

Turner, "Optimum temperatures for Cane Type begonias
range from 55 degrees at night to about 80 degrees in the day. Some survive short bouts of freezing weather, and others can withstand 100 degree summers. Higher humidity through misting helps them grow better in higher temperatures."

Carol Notaras and other members of the San Francisco Begonia Society use a basic blend of: • 1/3 Potting Soil,  1/3 Perlite• 1/3 Orchid Bark (small or micro-chip size)
Joan Coulat of the Sacramento Begonia Society recommends this special soil mixture recipe includes the following: • 2 bags of 2 cubic feet Professional Potting Soil• 2 bags of 2 cubic feet Master Nursery Paydirt with Soil NʼRich• 3 - 1/2 gallons of Perlite (course) • 2 - 1 gallons of Vermiculite (course) ● 1 - 1/2 cup of Blood Meal• 1 - 1/2 cup SuperPhosphate ● 1 - cup of Bone Meal• 1 C Agricultural Lime ● 1 - 1/2 cup of Ironite


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