Propagation Tank

mingtea(z9 Tucson)March 6, 2006

Just thought I would post a picture of my preferred method of propagation: the terrarium. this tank is mostly for species, but things tend to get mixed in!

i make use of styrofoam peanuts by placing a layer at bottom for drainage (also keeps the terrarium light), then a thin layer of charcoal, and then my medium (in this tank it's nice black gold potting soil with added perlite). So far this mix has worked in oregon and in arizona, where it's been less humid. i keep a light on 24/7 and have the screen top sealed with slitted saran wrap for moisture control with air flow (air flow is a must in enclosed environments!). it gets misted every other day and watered once a week or two, depending.

i just re-arranged this last week since i had quite a few things to propagate. B. rajah grows in there permanently, but you'll see some listada hybrids, B's bipinnatifida, serratipetala, luzonensis, hydrocotylifolia, prismatocarpha variegata, imperialis, nimbaensis, etc. plus the hoya growing on a chopstick.


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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

That's a great bunch, Ming! And I would think a terrarium would be absolutely essential in Arizona, tho' I use them here too in the swamps. I was wondering--I've had a funny thing happen lately I don't remember having had before, and I was wondering if it happens to you too. I have a bad habit of sticking a stray leaf in without a label. Twice now I've had little plants come up I didn't recognize at all, one a gorgeous little black guy and one a very pretty bronzy-rose with a silver pattern. Couldn't figure out what they were as I didn't have anything like that. Then the dark one got larger and it was masoniana. And a month or two later the new leaves on the second plant turned into 'Little Brother Montgomery'. I don't remember that happening before, and I've been sticking leaves for years.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 2:07AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

What kind is the one with the light strip down the middle and red underneath?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 9:04AM
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mingtea(z9 Tucson)

heh heh, nancy, do you mean that you don't remember obsessively propagating any stray plant material? i've let plants get out of hand before repotting them and have left small bits of rhizome in my tanks before and, behold!--brand new plants where the last one was. my mystery plants are usually because of that. i've been wondering if my tanks might be a nice place for seeds to grow. so far luzonensis and rajah have flowered like crazy (at least 3 times since september) and i did a little pollen-rubbing the other day just for kicks. i have one mystery in my tank that i can't remember what i stuck there. it'll either turn out to be 'George Fewkes' or sizemoreae.
don't know what i'm going to do when some of these get bigger. i really want geoff to build me a plant shelf with removable pebble trays and overhead lighting. despite the intensive lotion/chapstick routine i've adopted since i got here, i heard that summer is 10x worse, as far as dryness goes. this should be a learning experience...

loretta, the one i think you're pointing to is B. listada. its color is not as green as it should be, so the light mid-stripe isn't has contrasted...probably has something to do with the 24/7 lighting in the tank. B. listada is the parent plant in many begonia cultivars that all have the hallmark white stripe. if you look closely, you'll see two of them in the tank.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 9:50PM
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Looks good, Ming. You will probably need some new tanks by the end of the growing season. My serratipetala is about to fill half of my 60 gallon tank. Imperialis will grow like a weed, too.

If more people would try growing with this method then they'd see a dramatic improvement in some of the fussy ones. Humidity is very key in growing some varieties.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 5:24PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

I was thinking, Ming, that you might want to build a VERY BIG terrarium for you, too! One thing about Arizona's low humidity, tho', is that the heat doesn't seem quite so bad. When it's middle nineties with humidity like we get here it's pretty oppressive--but I've chosen plants accordingly and most of them really love it, so I sorta do too.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 12:05AM
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