Cane begonia - Rooting stems?

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)April 3, 2013

I have a pretty pink cane begonia that, when I turned my back, grew a cane around 5-6 feet long. Haha, I don't know when that happened... I guess while I was in school? Anyway, I want to cut it back and need information about how much I can root. I know that I can easily root tip cuttings, but what about a mid-section of the stem? After I cut off 8-10 inches from the top, I'm still left with a four-foot stem. Will cuttings from the middle root? Do I need to leave at least one leaf on each stem piece? Would these types of cuttings be better rooted in water or in damp soil? It is beginning to turn warm here - lows in the 50s/60s and highs in the 70s/80s.

Here is a photo of the long remaining stem:

Thanks so much for your help!
Carol in Jacksonville

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hcmcdole(z7)

Yes you can easily root the mid sections too. You can either root them vertically or horizontally. Horizontally requires a pan but each node may be capable of making a new plant. Vertically is probably easier but the important thing is to remember the orientation of the stem when sticking them into a pot. You can break (or cut) the stems into smaller sections as long as you have 2 to 3 nodes. You want to cover at least one node where the roots and possible shoot will emerge.

I am including a picture of one pot of Little Miss Mummey I did of excess stems.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 4:52PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

The stump you leave should grow 2-3 nice new tops. Is that stem standing up like that on its' own?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 12:16PM
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hcmcdole(z7)

Purple, are you asking me? If so, yes the stumps should make some some more plants. The stem is standing on its own. Here is another cup I did of discarded stems.

Just started some more cuttings (Looking Glass, Benigo, Maurice Amey, Don Miller, and Lois Burks) the same way this morning.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:47PM
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hcmcdole(z7)

Another way is a lasagna pan (two pans actually - one punched with holes, the other is a drip tray - cheap aluminum pans that can be reused or thrown out after you are done). Fill with good potting mix and start sticking your favorite canes (and coleus). This pan was started last summer and I've picked most of the leaves off at least once since then.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Sorry, it was unclear to whom my question was directed. I was wondering if Carol's Begonia is holding itself up. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:58PM
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sewnmom7

hcmcdole, you really do well with begonias.. the photos are wonderfully colored.. will you trade , sell, s.a.s.e.. please let me know.....
btw, where are you in z.7 , i'm in Abilene,Texas and in z.7 also...molly

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:17PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Hcmc and Purple,

Thank you for all the tips! Yes, that long cane was strong and sturdy and standing up all by itself. It was about 6 foot tall before I lopped off the top. The photo is deceptive: that pot is much bigger and deeper than it appears. It is probably a foot tall. I fill the bottom 2/3 with pine bark. Only the top 1/3 is potting mix.

I did it - I took your advice and cut up that long cane into sections with two nodes each. Your description of how to do it was great! (I appreciate details!) I put a number of them directly into the ground in a very protected spot. I feel they may do ok because this pot was left outside all winter in the same spot with no freeze damage. Also, pentas are in the same spot and suffered no damage. I put the rest of the cuttings back into the same pot. I read on Brad's Begonia world that cuttings with no leaves may take longer to root. That's ok - I will be patient.

Hcmc, I had no idea that many cuttings could be put into a single pot. I've always spaced mine out much further - much too far, looking at yours. I bet you will get a much fuller, better-looking plant. I am going to do that with some of my other begonia cuttings.

Thanks again for your time and advice! It is greatly appreciated!

Carol

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:36AM
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hcmcdole(z7)

Hi Carol,

Not sure about putting them in the ground to root since there are so many pathogens in the soil. After they rooted in a more sterile potting medium and the cuts had healed would be a good time to put them in the ground.

The reasons I crammed so many into a pot are instead of throwing them out, I thought I'd see how many rooted and the second reason is I don't have enough space indoors to put up several more pots. Hopefully there will be plenty to give at begonia meetings with the local chapter of the ABS this fall.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hcm, your pics are inspiring me too! Unfortunately there's no ABS in Alabama, looks like the closest is Atlanta. (Please take me in spirit to your meeting! What is that like - what happens?)

Carol, I had no idea a Begonia could get so tall and still hold itself up. More inspiration.

Sending good vibes to everyone's cuttings!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:23AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Uh oh... pathogens did not occur to me. I will pull them out today and do as you suggest. Thank you for alerting me. I don't want to lose them.

I have always spaced cuttings about 1-3 inches apart, even small cuttings. But I like what I see in your photo! Is the mix in your container a propagation mixture? Or is that a potting mix? Could you keep them like that? Or is that for propagation (rooting) purposes only?

Carol

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:25AM
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hcmcdole(z7)

Depends on what pot you are talking about. The tray and the small pot of Little Miss Mummey used Miracle Gro Potting Mix (not the moisture control mix which stays too wet). The other small cup was just perlite (very sterile and excellent drainage but no food either).

Spacing is good for air flow and keeping sick plants from healthy ones but sometimes...

You can use the same principle for starting other plants as well. Here is an inverted cake lid from the grocery store filled with perlite and cut stems of brugmansias. Most of these were bare stems back in November when I cut the mother plant close to the ground. They certainly require water despite no drainage.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:41AM
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don_socal

We used to start cane cuttings in baby food jars filled with water. The advantage is you can see the roots and know when to move them to 3" pots. We used to do a thousand at a time as we both lectured at different clubs and brought plants for the raffles. Nice to see one of her namesakes above, the only one I know of that has white spots that are bumps.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:40PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Just a follow-up: all eight stem cuttings that I stuck in a protected area rooted and have leaves. The area is an in-ground planting area inside my front sidewalk and surrounded on two sides by the house. As I had read at Brad's Begonia World, the sections/cuttings with no leaves did take longer to root, but even those have rooted and have leaves on them now. I did decide to risk them in the ground because so many people in Florida grow begonias in the ground. I'll see how they make it through the winter.

So I want to thank you all for the help. I really appreciate it!

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Brad's Begonia World

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 8:48PM
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hcmcdole(z7)

Congrats on your successful rooted cuttings.

Canes are some of the easiest to do.

I started some new Cracked Ice back in the winter by taking the tops off and the mid sections I stuck in another pot as well. Here they are about five days ago after finally moving them outdoors a week or two ago.

.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:18AM
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hcmcdole(z7)

Congrats on your successful rooted cuttings.

Canes are some of the easiest to do.

I started some new Cracked Ice back in the winter by taking the tops off and the mid sections I stuck in another pot as well. Here they are about five days ago after finally moving them outdoors a week or two ago.

.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:19AM
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hcmcdole(z7)

Well nothing like a double post.

Here is the mother plant of Cracked Ice with the morning sun shining on it..

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:26AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Your begonias are beautiful! I saw some small rooted cuttings of Cracked Ice for a reasonable price a couple months ago and I think I might go back and get them. Yours look delicious!

Here are my newly rooted cuttings. They were planted far back in this bed, behind the caladium, pentas and plumbago. There are four each (total of eight) planted on either side of the ligustrum tree. You can see the base of the ligustrum tree in the first close-up photo.

When the canes grow up, I'm hoping the blooms will hang over and fill the empty space behind the caladium.

Carol

Left side:

Right side:

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 9:28PM
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