broken begonia sprout

purplefirefly(z7 NC)May 16, 2005

I have roseform begonias just starting to come up, about 2-4 inches above ground. Today I found one broken off at the ground level, probably trampled by my puppy. Will it grow back this year or not? I will be digging them up and taking them inside in the fall, so will it come back next year?

Is there any way to take this little broken off part and make it grow?

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kdjoergensen

You can try to root the broken off sprout. It may not take, but provided it has been broken "low enough" it might..

You may still get a sprout from the tuber. Sometimes, when you deadhead a sprout (Nice way of putting it, eh ??) the tuber may send up a new sprout. This is because the main sprout exert apical domiance over the other (dormant) sprouts (eyes) on the tuber. Once the main growing point has been removed (another nice way of putting it, right ?) the apical dominance disappear which may make one or more eyes start to grow instead.

There is still hope (don't be too hard on the puppy).

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 10:05PM
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purplefirefly(z7 NC)

Thanks, kdjoergensen! I have noticed that several of the others have send up two different sprouts already, so I was hoping that this one might do that as well.

How do I root the broken off piece? It is a pretty good chunk, about 5 inches maybe.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 11:54PM
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kdjoergensen

Remove lower leaves and place in moist well draining potting soil (cactus mix, or seed starting mixture). Enclose pot in a plastic bag and put in indirect subdued light for 14-21 days with room temperatures (70-75F).

You can try to tuck on it once every so often. if it gives resistance, it has rooted. if it does not give resistance, and comes right out, no roots.. go again.

You may get this cutting to flower this year, but the ability of the cutting to form tubers in fall depend on whether any meristem tissue (reproductive tissue) was included. Usually this tissue is found on the tuber itself, or if you take a cutting from the leaf axis, then the bud (typically a small leaf) must be included. Without this bud, or other meristem tissue, tubers wont form.

Tuberous begonias are really not tubers. They are modified stems, in fact, the modified stem is the portion ABOVE the roots but BELOW the seed leaves (the hypocyl).

If the cutting was taken without a bud, there will not be any meristem tissue for the tuber to form subsequently.

Don't worry too much about it right now.. just be aware that even if you manage to root it, and get it to flower, survial for next year depends on how the cutting was made (e.g. if the reproductive meristem tissue was included)

If you want to try root one of the sprouts from the other tubers, simply remove the soil covering the tuber by the stem and grap the stem as close to the tuber as possible with your thumb and forefinger. Rock the stem back and forth until it comes off (typically with a small portion of the roots which formed on the tuber).

leave the break in the tuber uncovered for the night to callus before covering with soil again. The stem should be left for 30 minutes to callus and then planted as above. If removed from the tuber this low (at tuber level) it usually retains meristem tissue.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 10:44PM
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purplefirefly(z7 NC)

Okay, I put it in some starting mix in a 4 inch plastic pot and sealed it up in a ziploc bag. It's sitting in my kitchen window right now, which I'm not sure about. It gets a lot of sun during the day and there is a light there right above that we keep on all night...one of those long tube lights. I have impatiens in a hanging basket there and they are doing extremely well. Does this location sound okay for the begonia?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 11:55PM
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kdjoergensen

Don't expose the cutting to direct sun. Bright indirect light or fluorescent light fixtures is fine. Too much direct light (even for a short time) will kill the cutting.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 6:50PM
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