Need Help with Begonias

birdsnbloomsJune 24, 2011


Although I've had half-a-dozen or so Begonias over the years, I need help.

Do Begonias, depending on species, require different types of soil? BTW, my Begonias are container grown.

I've been seaching for B. luxurians, but it isn't an easy find. During my search, I found B. Vista Quest, which I end up purchasing.

Back to my question. Can B. Vista Quest be potted in the same soil/mix as say, a Rex? My plants are never over-potted, so approximately, how much room should there be between rootball and inside container?

If Begonias do well in the same soil/mediums, which is the best mix? I read they need acidic soil.

I haven't given up searching for B. luxurians, but after one disappointment after another, I ended up buying luxurian seeds from a seller in Australia.

Has anyone ever sown B. luxurians? Any advice sowing? Are they fast or slow germinating and maturing?

Sorry asking so many questions, but I really would like my Vista to survive, and luxurians seeds to sprout and grow. I'm sure you know what I mean...

I'm in IL..Winters are dry so I keep a humidifer running, mist, and shower to increase humidity.

Thanks much, Toni

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Quoting the Thompsons, "begonias will thrive when grown in most any good potting mix if it is coarse, light and porous." One example, l part perlite, l part spaghmum peat moss, l part soilless mix and 2 parts sterile top soil.There are vairations on this, this soil recipe is not set in stone. Sure, you can grow them as you grow a rex. They are basically shallow-rooted plants, squatty containers are best. I've never heard of B. 'Vista Qwest', how to grow it depends on what type it is (it sounds like rhizomatous (?)To sow, try a sterile mix, do not cover the seeds,they need a bit of light, but make sure the pan doesn't dry out. Bottom heat can be helpful.If the seeds are fresh, Toni, you can expect germination from 10 days to probably as late as 25 days. Be sure and write down the date you sow, otherwise you may lose patience and give up too soon. I have waited as long as 34 days for old seeds.You have made me so curious I am going to order some myself! By the way, 'Stewart'Luxurians' is listed as a chance seedling of B. luxurians, good for beginners, makes me wonder if it throws an occasional oddball. On the down side, 10 seeds is a very skimpy offering, if you have 70% germination which you should get, there isn't much left for a reserve sowing, is there. You are right not to overpot, more begonias are killed by overpotting, overwatering and over fertilizing, or so I am told.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 3:59PM
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Hello WoeBegonia.

Woe, I don't understand what people mean whey they suggest adding, sterile top soil.

Is it the rich, black soil used for outdoor gardens?
Or, is it bagged, All Purpose Potting Soil, rich in nutrients, used for house plants?

My Begonias and tropicals are potted in soil-less mixes, such as Perlite, 'depending on plant type,' but I amend with rich, black, house plant potting soil. It's something I've been doing for years..The mix is well-draining.

Vista Quest was purchased at Kartuz. Unfortunately, there's not much info about this Begonia, however, there are pics. (Google.)
I don't know Vista Quests type..Kartuz catagarizes it as a shrub Begonia, but doesn't name if it's a 'Cane, Rhizomatous, etc.' Same with Google.

Great, then Begonia seeds are fast-germinating. 10-35 days isn't too bad. 'If I'm lucky.' lol.

Woe, I keep a plant journal. I jot plant-related information in this book..Name of plant, when purchased, nursery name, what's blooming, when plant was fertilized and ST'd, etc.'
With seeds I also insert platic labels in soil.

What type of seeds will you order, and from whom? You don't have to name sources, but I'm curious if you plan on ordering from the same seller I did..That'd be great..we can sow/experiment together... :)

70% germination is pretty low, especially 10 seeds. Seven seeds isn't much to work with. Maybe he'll send more..I ordered Castor Bean for my said 20 seeds, but the seller sent 35. I also ordered Palm seeds, but was sent double the amount.

B. luxurians grow tall. Some say 10'. That's in-ground..they say, possibly 8' when container grown.

Woe, I tend to under-pot most plants. Since the number 1 plant killer is over-watering, if plants were potted in a proper size containers, over-watering and death could be avoided.

My old Begonias are still in 4" pots..when I repot the B. Vistas, I'm going to check older Begonias' roots. If too tight, they'll go in a one-size up pot..

Thanks for your help, Woebegonia...Toni

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 5:25PM
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I should have said 20 seeds, not 10, my brain disengaged as usual. . .still a skimpy offering. I am or

dering from the same place in Australia that you did. Be sure and inspect them when they arrive,use a 7 pwr lens if you have one. Begonia seeds are the smallest in the plant kingdom, you have to look closely to make sure they are not crushed or just chaff masquerading as seeds. Im sure you know what juvenile leaves are - when/if you have germination very likely the first leaves will be perfectly round, then grow to a lobed form of leaves, then down the line the divided shape will show up. Takes a lot of patience to do this.

MOst begonias have asymmetric, lop-sided leaves, I guess that is what appeals to me! I'm not sure about the type of top soil, I think the idea is to avoid nematodes so it has to be sterile, Garden Magic is one brand. I think garden types or house types either would be okay but I am not really sure. Your mix sounds perfectly fine to me. A shrub begonia means the growth habit, your albo-picta for example could be called a cane as well as a trailing begonia. Kartuz has done wonderful hybrids. I don't use natural soil of any kind in my mix, a lot of people don't, that is why that recipe is just a guide. I use more sphagnum moss if my terrariums because it is usually faster than having to re-wet my usual mix if it has dried out. I'll let you know how my seeds travel. There is a big listing there, I bet he has a lot of seeds to offer. I cant think how you could make money if there weren't a big volume . . .

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 9:12AM
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Woebegonia. Thanks. So the seeds are tiny...Shux, lol. What type of tray/pots do you sow in? Or do you place seeds directly in a terrarium?

Yep, I know the first leaves aren't true..Sowed many seeds in my life..but never Begonias. However, I have sown Petunia seeds that looked like ashes..Got a headache, lol.

I have a seed thingy, made in England. It's shaped like a spade, and has a knob on the handle. Seeds are placed on the spade-shaped part, held over the soil. The knob is turned w/your thumb. While turning the knob, the seeds slowly fall into soil. Hard to explain; I can snap and post a pic.

Oh yes, Kartuz has lovely Begonias..The other night I checked their site and found a couple more shrub-types. I added to cart, but decided to wait.

Living in IL, winters are very hard on Begonias. Sun is one thing, but dry air is a major problem.

Woe, how often do you repot? My poor babies have been in the same containers they came in..(years) Not all, only the 4"ers.
Do you use a complelely soil-less mix in your mature Begonias?

One more question. Do Begonias need acidic soil? Thanks much, Toni

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 1:50PM
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"They" say begonias basically are happy with a neutral (6) soil reading, but some will like it more acidic. I guess you just have to try it and see, I will see if I can find some more on this. My mix (Sunshine) always tests too acidic for me, I like it closer to neutral, use an old Sudsbury Testing Kit.

To sow I use a small shallow container for just sowing one type of seeds, it looks like a bottle cap and I put it in another container,closed, to move it more easily. My sowing mix is just Jiffy 7's or 9's, the ones with net, I cut off the net, wet the remainder heat in microwave, cool and it is ready to go. I use these because the color is uniformly dark and you don't get eye strain trying to decide if you are looking at a bit of vermiculite or whatever or are there actually cotylidons there . . .

Put your seeds on a firm piece of paper folded in the middle so the seeds will roll off easily, be sure and save a reserve if you need to, do that first.! I had a planter like yours once but begonia seeds are too small for that.

Don't be afraid of the names, they are descriptive to help. Canes, Rhizomatous, shrubby, rexes, tubers, semps, & trailing scandant - not too different from gesneriads, look at the difference between episcia, mini-sins, violets, streps and others.

I have to fight a heated home most of the year too. Only repot when you think you have to do it. You are supposed to take the plant out, if it comes too easily and there is still soil, put it back and wait a bit. Another writer on begonias had a good method for not having to pot on if you don't want to - you take the plant out, gently rub off about a third of the roots, put it back in a pot with fresh soil, add some on top, and let it go about its business.

Yes, I use mostly soilless mixes, there never seems to be any sterile soil around here and even if there were it is puzzling how sterile dirt can still have beneficial bacteria or fungus or whatever. Oneof the most interesting discussions I've seen on the forums was a very long one on mycorrizal fungus as a soil addition. You canlook it up under Search if you like, can't remember what subject forum it was I should ask Al Tapla, I guess. I still hope to track down Fafard 3 which he recommends, some day.

Nobody died and made me a begonia authority, but I'm glad to tell you what I do. Anything more?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 1:11PM
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Hello WoeBegonia. You wrote, 'nobody died and made me a begonia authority,' but with your screen name, I'm inclined to trush your judgement w/'gonias... :)

I have a pH meter which is sometimes used. Years ago, 'pre-net' I read Begonias need acidic soil, so I tried lowering my mix to 5.5-6 pH..Since 7 is neutral, I thought mix was too alkaline and needed amending.
Woe, I love B. luxurians, and really would like to see plant/s flourish.

I have Peat Pots and Peat Pellets. Are Peat Pellets what you mean? You mention removing netting..some pellet types have netting, so I assume pellets are one means you use for sowing???
I believe Jiffy makes them.

A Pro using Peat pellets/pots are, there's no need to remove seedling. After germination, the plant w/pellet/pot is set in an outer pot and eventually, breaks down.

I assume, remember, this is an assumption, luxurians is a Cane, but not sure..

Fafard isn't sold here either. In fact, there are very few soil selections, MG being the Number 1 choice among people. Hyponex, which is a black, rich, house plant soil contains nutrients. I add a little to tropicals, but because my mix is amended with soil-less mediums, is well-draining. It might sound conflicting, but works in the end. lol.

Woe, if I'm asking too many questions, please let me know..
If/when you have a chance, Google, B. luxurians..there is very little info..Perhaps it's because this begonia is rare???

Thanks for all your help, you're a sweet heart. Toni

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 7:01PM
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B. luxurians is actually considered a shrub. But a lot of shrubs are cane like - they just branch freely compared to a cane though. B. luxurians does wonderful in CA planted in the ground. I saw one at the Berkley Horticultural Nursery that was over ten feet tall (blooms included). They seem to be more difficult to grow on the east side of the country though. Perhaps they prefer the cooler nights and low humidity of the west coast? Get a hybrid of B. luxurians (there are quite a few) and you will be a lot happier with the longevity of the plant and the overall looks and size as well. Another one to consider is B. carolineifolia and B. thiemei if you like the parted leaves.

Most begonia species in their native habitats live in a more alkaline soil (a lot live near the entrances of caves) in the tropical regions of the world. Most live happily in a slightly acidic soil though so don't be too concerned about pH (don't get a pure peat product). Saw lots of native begonias in Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala living on limestone outcroppings.

The netting on the Jiffy pellets help contain the peat but rarely break down and can be a detriment for some plants (such as begonias) extending their roots beyond this mesh. It's a good idea but they need to make their netting break down after a short period. I've bought tuberous begonias in the past and after they started going downhill I discovered that the roots were contained in this small volume due to the netting, yet the grower planted them in a six inch pot without removing the netting!!!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 7:07AM
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Good to have more comments on this subject! I read once that thereis an appalling loss of begonias by beginning growers so the more questions asked the more, we might hope, can help others.I did Google B. luxurians and there is a lot there, I had never thought to try that, I will have to go back and check it out.

Some more comments on pH from Elda Haring's 'Begonias for Beginners' - try to provide begonias with a pH between 6 and 7, many growers add lime but if your water is alkaline you may not need it. You can get it checked out at your country extension office, or similar govt. office.

From a comment in an old issue of GSN magazine by an authority who spoke at a convention, you adjust the pH with dolomitic lime but your professional commercial mixes should not need as much as 2 tablespoons of lime per gallon, do not use more.

I think I obsess too much over testing, Fafard says on their site that their fresh mix may test acid but that dolomitic lime breaks down in storage and the pH will change.

A private store sold me some of their own mix, asked me to let them know what I thought of it. I tested it when I got around to needing it, it was acid to level 5, I sent them a note and they sent me back a small packet of lime and commented that it is difficult to thoroughly mix in lime in a potting mix. I wonder if it might work its way thru to the bottom of the bag (?).

There's a plus side to growing from seed, though, the plant has to adjust to your growing conditions, might be better than coming from a climate controlled greenhouse.You are an experienced grower, I've seen your plants, so quit thinking of yourself as such a beginner.

Yes, the little peat pelletsfrom Jiffy, they are about 12 for a dollar.Someone has a seedling or cutting of luxurians for sale on Ebay, it is from that grower in Oregon who was so honest she twice gave me the differencefrom the charge for postage to what was actually spent. Her little plantlet looks as though it is approaching the adult form. You can call me Joan but Woe rather fits my 'begonia career'!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 1:43PM
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Hem, thanks. What do B. luxurian flowers look like? Are they big, considering luxurians size? Do they resemble other Begonia blooms? I Googled and Bing'd B. luxurians..there's very little info and didn't find one picture in bloom.

I never saw let alone hear of luxurians, or a Begonia that grows larger than a foot. Now, I'm on the hunt. lol.

Do luxurians grow wild in CA? If it's cooler temps and low humidity, they'd do fantastic in IL..'autumn/winter.'

I'll have to Google B. carolineifolia and thiemei..Thanks much.

I'd never plant any plant in pure Peat..

You've done a lot of travelling. Lucky you. I bet you've seen some gorgeous plants through travel.

Not all Peat Pellets have least the pellets I have doesn't. Isn't it Jiffy that has netting? The remaining pellets I have, 'not Jiffy' were purchased as a set.. 'X' amount of pellets, tray, heating pad and plastic top/dome.

I don't understand why B. luxurians are so darned expensive. The last sold on Ebay went for 36.00 plus shipping. There's one nursery, Annies, that wants 12.50, (not bad) but shipping, one plant, is almost 30.00..That's absurd! It's not the size...4" pot.

Hcm, the reason I asked about soil pH is I like this Begonia so much, if I ever get one, or if seeds germinate, I want everything to go Growing Begonias in IL is a real chore, especially those that require high's a relief hearing luxurians isn't too fussy when it comes to humid air. Though during winter, I run a humidifer, indoor fountain, mist, pea gravel on saucers, and shower tropicals and semi-tropicals..

Thanks for all your help, Toni

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 2:08PM
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Woe Joan!! Think we were typing the same time.

What did you type in the Google search window? Did you see any luxurians in bloom?

I agree..wish people who had/have luxurians would chime in. Maybe this Begonia is rarer than we think or little info is known.

Don't know our water type. It's not easy finding a county extension office here. I've checked only hope in sending samples to a College that happens to be in a different county.

I agree, a plant sown from seed is more likely to adapt to conditions. 'if they germinte.' lol.
That's one reason I hoped to find a luxurians plant before temps cooled and heat is turned on.

Okay, I'll try not to worry about pH, etc, and hope for the best. It's such a beautiful Begonia..don't want to lose it. You know?

Joan, I've seen bags of Lime..they're huge and heavy. I have several bag of soils and soil-less mediums, stones, etc that is cluttering the back room..'planning on repotting most plants.'

Keeping soil pH low takes work, but alkaline isn't a problem. Even acidic soil turns alkaline after time passes. My pH question has been answered...

Joan, you're not obsessive. No way! You want healthy plants..there's nothing wrong with testing, keeping ahead before problems arise.
Same with doctors. Patients get sick..sometimes it takes several tests to diagnose a health problem..The same applies to plants.

Interesting, a local nursery asked you to test their soil. Which plants did you use? Being too acidic, how did it affect your plants?

12 Peat Pellets for 1.00?? You're kidding? Perhaps in fall, remaining summer products prices go on sale..A few years ago, they sold 6 pellets for 1.99. lol.

I saw the luxurians on Ebay, placed a bid on one, and was outbid at 20.00. Gave up. The second seller has it listed 5 days. By that time, only God knows what it'll go for. lol.
I also wrote to another nursery..she emailed me a wk or two ago, saying she would soon have more available. I'm waiting for her response but not going to hold my breathe. It's a family nursery; they might hold off buying/growing more plants until next spring.

Have you heard any news about the seeds? Toni

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 4:46PM
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Here is a picture of that luxurians in S.F. (ABS convention last year). Personally I don't find this a lovely begonia due to its height and sparsity of leaves but some folks just love to have it in their collection.

This is with Dr. Ching-I Peng from Taiwan (He is about five feet tall and was one of the keynote speakers at the convention about Taiwanese and Chinese begonias). So how tall do you think this begonia is?

The flowers

The base of the stems

I use Miracle Gro potting soil. I don't get the moisture control one though because I want the soil to dry out.

When I first started I followed a lot of advice about adding copious amounts of perlite to the potting soil for excellent drainage. I've since gotten away from that train of thought because perlite is so light that a lot of it floats to the top and then is soon gone. I do use perlite for starting a lot of cuttings though.

The last pellets I bought had the mesh. I finally dumped them all due to it being too peaty. After a year or so I could still find the mesh (is it nylon?) around the area I dumped all the peat pellets.

My latest experiments is to buy the Solo rinse cups (get the plastic since the paper ones deteriorate too quickly - yeah the plant roots quick but when the cup is gone it is hard to hold onto the remaining soil). Anyway punch holes in the bottom with a knife or an awl or any sharp object unless you want to burn a hole with a soldering iron or drill holes (a knife works well). Fill with perlite or potting soil, water well, drain, and stick your cuttings. Don't let it dry out completely but don't keep it water logged either. Place in a shady place and check every few days for watering.

Seed is fun in a way but very slow growing. No instant gratification in growing begonias from seed. I've got 40 different cups of it under lights. About half are from India and have had excellent germination. The other half are from Central America and the germination was very poor. I think the seeds from this part of the world must've been old or not stored in a cool place. Also collect your own seed since it is fresh and will germinate very quickly. Canes and rexes grow fairly well from seed while a lot of species are slow growing.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 8:24PM
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HCM..Wow, What a beauty!!!! Guessing the luxurians height, I'd say 13' tall..Am I hot or cold? lol.
The blooms are fantastic..Love their colored clusters.

You said Begonia luxurians grows in CA, right? You know the old saying? "The grass is always greener." LOL.

Before I forget, thanks for posting pics.

We're entitled to our own opinions..can you imagine how boring the world would be if everyone liked the same plants, books, movies, clothes, etc? BORING.
I find luxurians interesting because of its pinnate leaves and height..and after seeing the flowers, finding one has become an obsession. lol.

Is the luxurians in the picture, staked? It looks like bamboo next to one of the trunks.

I wish MG Corp would hold off on Moisture Control and added Fertilizer..Makes fertilizing difficult, and I don't like the fact soil holds moisture, which is why I amend MG with soil-less mediums. Even Begonias need to dry.

Many people complain about floating Perlite. lol. Perhaps it's my home-made mix, but when Perlite is added, I stir thoroughly. Every so often it floats, but seldom. The same with Peat...'I add Peat for acid-loving' plants.'

I believe the netting is nylon..I cut w/scissors. It'd hurt my fingers trying to snap off. lol.

I also have Peat Pots, but the last few times I 'tried' sowing, there were problems. They too can be inserted in an outer pot when seedlings mature.

Since there will be 20 seeds, I can always try different methods, various soils/soil-less. For some reason I lost my touch sowing seeds. lol.
Annual seed germinate, but forget succulents and tropicals.

Are your pellets the type that sits in water until they expand?
Guess the material is 100% Peat, hence the name, Peat Pellets/

Are Solo cups transparent? Oh, you use the cups for cuttings? Not seeds?
How tall do they get before your repot?

HCM, believe me, if I could get hold of B. luxurians, I'd never have purchased the seeds..It will be a fun project, but I still would like the plant. I also have Palm seeds, 'another slow-grower,' so, once the Begonia seeds arrive, I'll sow both, with a heating pad and plastic cover with vents. Hopefully, the heat will speed up germination. Though I realize neither will be Jack and the Bean Stalk

What type of seeds do you have in 40 different cups?

You're too funny, lol..collect my own seeds..First they have to germinate. lolol. That's a long way in the future. lol..also, if they germinate.
I've never purchased from the seller on Ebay, but praying he has fresh seeds.

BTW, did you order your seeds, or pick on your own? If ordered, was there an expiration date on the packet? A date should be listed, otherwise, seeds could be 10-yrs-old and never germinate.

I wish you luck, hope they grow...Thanks so much, take care, Toni

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 3:32PM
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The luxurians is not staked in that picture. I thought the same thing looking at the stems - reminds me of bamboo.

MG does come with slow release fertilizer already mixed in plus micronutrients as well! Moisture control is good for some plants such as colocasias and thirstier begonias. We have both but I primarily use MG potting mix.

Some folks like to change their soil yearly. I have way too many plants to do that. Not so much the money as it is the time involved. Often fresh soil makes a huge difference!

The pellets I have or had are the ones where you add some water to make them expand. For begonias I think the small cups with loose soil is the way to go. For seeds I used Jiffy Seed Starting mix. For lots of cuttings use aluminum roaster pans with plastic lids. Punch holes in the bottom and fill halfway with perlite, water well, and insert cuttings. Cover and place away from hot sun. Most should root in no time. Indoors place the filled pan inside a pan of equal size to catch any water that drains. Place under shop lights and you are good to go.

The rinse cups can be bought as clear, colored transparent, or opaque white. It doesn't matter much which one you use. I buy either the 200 packs at Sam's Club or a smaller number (50?) at Target or the grocery store. Do not buy the paper ones though - they rot fast and also promote black mold.

I would not use a heating pad unless you live in the frigid north pole. The temps in your house or in a shaded garden should be all they need. Too much heat may speed up rot.

I got a lot of those seeds from a woman who goes on begonia collection trips in Mexico and India. I also bought 4 packs of them while I was at the S.F. convention. You can also buy seed from the ABS seed fund but you may have to be a member (not sure about that).

Do you have any begonias now? If you do and you grow them outdoors then they should bloom and set seed. After the pods turn brown you can harvest your own seed. I've grown a few rexes and canes from my own collected seed so if I can do it then anyone can.

No expiration dates on seed I've bought or received. Supposedly if you refrigerate your seed until you are ready to sow them they can last for years and still be viable. I think that is what happened to a lot of the Mexican seed - it was old and/or got too warm.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 4:18PM
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Hi HCM..Yep, in the luxurians pic, one trunk looks exactly like Bamboo.
While searching for B. luxurians, a few articles mentioned staking, but if the main trunk is strong enough enough to hold stems and leaves, and since it's an upright grower, there's no need for staking.

To be honest, HCM, I prefer soil w/o moisture control or fertililzer. It complicates things. I grow different types of plants...tropicals, orchids, succulents, semi-tropicals and have at least twice as many fertilizers.
My Hibisus Fertilizer is used primarily for Hibiscus, same with Orchid fertilizrs.
From organic to chemical...although I don't use chemicals other than fertilizers.

I agree, fresh soil makes a difference, but like you, I have 300-400 plants..can't imagine repotting each yearly. lol. (expense and energy) However, some plants have been in the same pot 10+ yrs, 'only getting fresh topping,' I'm attempting to repot a small amount at a time.
Last summer I had surgery..So most plants were fertilized 2009. I know, terrible

You said, 'often fresh soil makes a difference' you feel the same about soil-less mixes?

Do you have plants other than Begonias?

I have plastic, 10 oz, possibly 8oz cups. Not paper. Is 8-10oz too large for sowing? Especially since Begonia seeds are tiny?

Your aluminum pan idea sounds ideal. I buy these pans for the holidays...great hauling meals, sides and sweets. Turns out I have an aluminum pan with plastic lid, and a flat pan for drainage. But it's rather big. Large enough to hold a small-medium turkey. Too large??

So, you believe using a heating bad will be a disadvantage?

I forgot the correct sowing temp for Begonia seeds. Normal summer nights are warm/hot, 'we don't use a/c,' but this year, some nights have been in the 60's.
I also plan on sowing Palm and Begonias in the same outer tray. What to do??? lol

Before purchasing more seeds, I want to see how Begonia and Palms seeds do. Think I mentioned, the only reason I got the luxurians seeds in the first place was because potted B. luxurians are hard to find, overly-priced, and the particular palm was close to 100.00.
But it sounds like you've passed the sowing test.

You're lucky you have a source for fresh and probably rare seeds. Wish we had a Begonia Society nearby. Most societies/garden clubs here deal with annuals and perrenials. Boring! lol
I can check ABS.

I have about a dozen Begonias, the oldest was purchased from Logee's, mid to late 90's. Most 2-4 yrs-old. The newest additions are Luxurians species.

They can be grown outdoors in summer, but not year-round. They would freeze.

Some of my Begonias have flowered, but don't recall seeing pods. Then again, I never really looked. From now on, I'll pay more attention.

Are your Begonias grown in the ground? Or set outside, in containers during warm seasons?

The seeds I have collected, 'not Begonias' are placed in a cool/chilly back room during winter. Dispite age, they sprout in spring/summer, including 3-yr-old Sunflower and Morning Glory seeds. They're in clean jars w/lids..I place cotton on the bottom of each container, and label.

I hope the Begonia seeds don't take too long..they were shipped from Australia.

Thanks again..You've been a big help.

Woebegonia..Are you still around? I'm curious if you have news or received Begonia seeds...Toni

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 3:15PM
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I got involved with that Google search on luxurians, my gosh, people from the U K to Japan grow it, see the Growing on the Edge Forum. Also, luxurians has been discussed in '09 on this forum, mainly about propagation from bits of the leaves and I bet it works.
My seed mix was in Spokane, the one where they sent me lime, I never contacted them again but could have because the soil was fine with the addition.
Yeah, my l2/$l.00 peat expandable pellets, about size of a 50 cent piece or slightly larger, and the net we all agree sould be ditched, came from a feed store which has a lot of out of date stuff for gardening, they quit carrying tub erhybrida and looks like no one shops their garden department anymore (except me). I don't think the peat pots were cheap as I recall, but I would not use them for houseplants, I think it would be harder on the roots to penetrate them.
The canes on Hem's luxurians look exactly like the canes you may see on cane begonias, Toni, now you know where the name comes from.
I have to agree perlite floats. Some years back I read a suggestion that to make sure your plant is fully wet at the roots you should dip your plant into a bucket of water to its rim, then drain it. Every plant I ever did that to had a nice rim of perlite on top of the water afterward.
Lots of good things about perlite, though, holds moisture but has air holes. retains water on the soil surface but never becomes soggy. i've started adding it to my chopped spaghnum mix for the few orchids I have as well as my terr. begonias. Vermicullite also holds water and nutrients and slows the change in pH or so I read.
I don't try to dip plants anymore, but I do bottom water sometimes and I wick a lot of them in the summer.
I spend about an hour and a half a day checking my plants, gee Toni, you must put in that much time or more.
No seeds yet but I will let you know. There are a lot of sowing methods. I don't keep them on the initial peat cubes very long, I go on to Jiffy Mix when they look like they can handle being moved. ABS had seed instructions once from a man who recommended moving them before the third, true leaf appeared! I think that is a little bit living dangerously. I agree with H., shouldn't be too hot, most of the year I just leave my mix around the house, but in the winter I may use a heating cable if my cat will stay off it).
Now remember, those begonia seeds will jump off your sowing paper like jackrabbits, you may intend to space them and find them in a clump but you can re-space them with a needle or something similar, and be sure to save reserve if you want to, place on another paper before you try to sow or they will all be sown when you didn't intend to do that. You are supposed to be a membr of ABS to buy seeds b ut I doubt they check. Have I covred everything? All for now.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 5:33PM
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When I say fresh soil I am talking about "soil-less" potting mix. I like the idea of slow release fertilizer and micro-nutrients already mixed in the soil. That makes potting up so much easier. Moisture control is good for thirstier plants.

I think I may have between 300-400 begonias. They are kind of addictive. My oldest one is close to 38 years old and I always add several each year.

Yes, begonias must come indoors for winter. There are some hardy begonias and the only one I leave outdoors is B. grandis. I have a couple supposedly hardy Chinese begonias but so far I have not planted them in the ground to test.

I move all mine out for summer except for the few I keep in terrariums. It takes days to move that many out and then in fall it can take longer (cleaning pots, foliage, etc). I wonder why I do it each year but the results are worth it.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 7:15AM
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Hey Woe, there you are..nice seeing you again.

You certainly did a lot of research. So, luxurians is common in other countries, but rare in US?
I find this with other types of plants, too. If one wants 'X' plant, they take a chance ordering out of the states.

I'll search this forum for the past discussion on luxurians. Didn't think to check before...duh.

I'm also going to check YouTube...see if there's a video, rooting or discussing luxurians..
Guess luxurians root by 'leaves' similiar to other Begonias? Setting and pinning a leaf to soil.. But, first we'd need to find a leaf, lol.

Woe, do you not use Peat Pots for all house plants or only Begonias?

Woe, what does HEMS mean? Was Hem the explorer who discovered luxurians or cane Begonias? I'm at a loss. lol.

We probably read the same book about dipping newly potted
Actually, years ago, most house plant books/authors suggested dipping. In the beginning, I didn't know about Perlite, Peat Moss, Vermiculite, well-draining or water-retentive soils. Used whatever soil was available at the time, which was basically Hyponex Potting Soil. Thick, black soil. Too thick to float. lol. However, I know what you mean about dipping a newly potted plant, and soil-less mediums floating on top, outside the pot and making a big mess. lol

Every so often, I'll work with a number of plants by soaking in the sink..'especially during winter.' Not all but certain plants tip over, 'especially AV's.' I thought the cause was Peat. Hmm.

Woe, do you bottom-water Begonias or all plants? I bottom-water AV's.

What does your chopped sphagnum mix for orchids consist of? Orchids! Another plant difficult to choose a mix.

Woe, I check plants daily while misting..'except succulents, they aren't sprayed.' It really doesn't take long..Watering and Fertilizing is a different story..Takes 2-3 days. Dh knows, Do Not Bother Me when fertilizing/Superthriving! lol.
Woe, what are you looking for when you check plants?

The man who moves his seedlings before the third true leaf forms is very is no plant on earth I'd remove at that size..not if I want it to

Oh God Woe, now you have me worried about ash-like seeds. I've worked with them so frustrated, the entire 'cluster?' fell in one pellet/pot. Come to think of it, back in 1989, I bought Begonia seeds from Park's. I now recall how tiny they were. Thanks for the needle suggestion..I'll have to divide seeds in a room away from my birds..If they happened to fly on me while separating...what a disaster! lol.

It's so funny..Tell me, before I brought up luxurians, did you ever think to seek the plant/seeds? lol

It was good hearing from you..With a name like Woebegonia, you must visit Begonia Forum often. Learn new tricks, etc.

HCM...howdy. I now understand your version, 'fresh soil.' When using a completely soil-less mix, like Jiffy for seedlings, does it contain nutrients/fertilizers? I assumed it didn't.

300-400 Begonias!! Wow..I didn't know that many existed. lol.
Yes, they're beautiful plants..I like the fact that some bloom year round. Would you happen to have a picture of your Senior Citizen, 38 yr old? :)
Very impressive.

I'm assuming, B grandis is hardy to z7, not a zone lower?
Same with Chinese Begonias.

Every autumn, while hauling plants back indoors, I say, next spring, only a few plants are going out..Spring comes, 95% goes out.
Yes, summering outdoors is worth it, hauling them in is a pain..It's much easier taking out than bringing in.

It's not the work as much as my spider phobia..and the last couple years, ants have been impossible. I believe they live in container soil. It's disgusting. I've been battling ants since case you're wondering, my plants do not have Scale.
I wish there was a simple solution ridding insects, 'outdoor types.'

Are the majority of your Begonias in small pots? By small I mean, 4" or less.

I fear summering Begonias outside..afraid they'll sunburn. A few were brought out less than a couple weeks, past years. Even during their two-week vacation, they were placed on a shelf, third tier, in the back, surrounded by taller, non-Begonia plants.. Am I being parinoid?

The only shelter is the north side of the house. But a few, sun-lovers, Hoyas, slightly faded in this area..indoors, Hoyas are in windows that face south or west. Plus, a few receive artifical light, too.
Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 12:35PM
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There are thousands of begonias so 300 to 400 is not that much. Sorry that it sounded like the 38 year old begonia was intact from day one. It has been started over several times over the years to rejuvenate it.

I have no idea how cold a zone B. grandis will survive but I've heard folks say it is hardy to D.C. and further north. Give it a try and see if it survives for you.

Ants can be problems but with the right insecticide they can be toast in a few days. Slugs are more a problem for me. Not that they kill the plant but their trails and some leaf damage is very annoying.

No, most of my begonias are in six inch pots or bigger. Four inch pots are for starter plants and I may keep some of the smaller leaf ones in those size pots. My biggest begonia is in an 18 inch pot. I used to keep other large leaf ones in 18 inch pots too but they tend to shrink in winter so why bother with such big pots when a 12 inch bowl or bulb pot does so much better.

Begonias will sunburn if you move them to direct sun in spring but most recover in a few weeks if that does happen. It is best to start them in filtered shade and then move them over the weeks to receive some sun if you want blooms. Some will bloom in shade but some will never bloom without a few hours of sun (if blooms are your thing).

Look at some of the older posts to get some ideas on what begonias can do in summer (and winter indoors).

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 9:47PM
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Hi Hcm. I just spent 4 hours looking at Begonias, different sites, via Google.

There are some true beauty's..Every so often HD has Begonias, but never anything different

I placed an order with Accents, and Kartuz has B. Mike Flaherty that looks interesting. Think it grows tall. Would you happen to have this Begonia in your collection? If so, how does it do?
Another Kartuz Begonia I 'might' order is B. fuchsioides. It looks like an upright from the picture, large foliage, and very nice flowers. We'll see.

H, I doubt any Begonia would survive our winters..especially when temps are -3F. Too cold for any living thing, including

So, potting from a 4" to a 6" is okay? I've got a few to repot tonight..5" pots are impossible locating, so guess 6" will have to do.
The largest container one Begonia is in, 8.5", is a cane, spotted type, bought at Logees in the 1990's. Its stems were approximately 4', but started looking a little spindly, so they were pruned.
Wow, an 18" pot..which Begonia has a rootball large enough to live in an 18"'er?

Yep, I found out they burn. My B. glassworks, or glasspane, is almost pure white/'s in a west window, right before it.
It actually looks pretty, but I don't want my plants feeling distress.

Well, going to check Kartuz one more time before grocery shopping. Thanks again, Toni

PS..there's a site, Brad Begonia World. The author knows Begonias and has lots of info. Including sowing B. seeds. my B. luxurians seeds today..Now to sow them..eeekkk..Did you get yours, too? Toni

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 4:15PM
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My seeds came in the afternoon mail, just finished inspecting them. There look to be many more than just 20 which is good news, it also looks like a mix of old and new as some of them are so dark in color I thought it was chaff. But the shapes are the same. I think I will put them down tomorrow, after looking them over again. I won't leave feedback for awhile.Five days from Australia, not bad!

HCM,what is the name of your oldster? My oldest is about 30 years, it is B. 'Orange Rubra', my oldest favorite is B. 'Red Compta'. I was thinking, maybe we can get some more comments if I made a general request for "What is your favorite begonia?", or "What is your favorite potting implement?". It just seems we have a lot of good comments here, I hope others are reading them. I think we all learn from each other.

Toni, your begonia is B. albo-picta, Latin, means white spots, from Brazil, cane/trailing scandant. I am not a big fan of peat pots, I use them mainly for outdoor garden plants like primroses. I do bottom water A.V.'s more than I do my begonias,but it is easy to leave them sitting in water when you didn't intend to.

Well, they say re-potting is 'good therapy', so I hope yours goes quickly and smoothly. I only have a few orchids, I'm trying to get away from bark as it dries so quickly in the winter. I am experimenting with spaghnum, chopped, with small perlite added and round clay pellets to help aeration. I think it should work well with terr. too.

I am an early riser, I haven't been able to sleep in since I was about 45, wish I could. I utilize the time by checking my plants while I have coffee and it does take about an hour and a half to do it,and by then I have to try and remember where I left the coffee cup.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 6:11PM
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In S.F. the B. fuchsioides were planted in the ground and grows perhaps 4 feet tall. It is not an easy one for winter care though (at least it wasn't for me). Same thing for B. foliosa. Not sure exactly what they need for care in winter.

If your begonia fills a four inch pot then it should be able to fill a six inch pot fairly quickly. I had 'Caribbean King', 'Caribbean Queen', and 'Plum Gorgeous' in 18 inch pots each. The King and Queen filled those pots in one summer. My only 18 inch pot now is 'Lotusland' and it gets HUGE! You can also combine several begonias into a large pot. I've had canes in one pot and rhizomatous in another for example. B. 'Sinbad' has filled an 18 inch pot for example. The one thing you don't want to do is plant a very large begonia with smaller varieties else the smaller ones will probably get lost and die.

I met Brad when I was at Kartuz for the 2007 L.A. convention. I bought some of his hybrids while there plus some exotics from Mr. Kartuz's collection. Brad is quite the hybridizer too.

My oldest one came as a cutting from a friend of my wife and was simply called angel wing. Years later I bought some other "angel wing" begonias. One was called trout leaf begonia. Only after the Internet matured and PCs became somewhat affordable did I find the true names of these cane begonias. The oldest one was B. 'Corallina de Lucerna' or shortened to Lucerna. The next big cane was B. 'Sophie Cecile' and the trout leaf turned out to be B. 'Medora'. Silvermist and Lana are two great canes you should get as well. Too many canes to mention would make great additions.

B. 'Orange Rubra' is a very reliable bloomer and very easy to propagate too. A lot of canes are very easy to propagate though.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 10:27AM
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Woe...I too got the Begonia lux seeds Sat, in the afternoon mail. Shipping was much faster than expected.

I don't know a good seed from a bad..I'm still hauling plants outside, and repotting..I want to finish this project before sowing.
I'll 'try' using half the seeds, then sow the remainder at a later date..
Ususally, when tiny seeds are ordered, more are sent..I hope there's hundreds, lol.

Woe, here's the spotted Begonia from Logees..

I'm not a fan of Peat Pots either, but Pellets work great. Insert seed, cover, place lid on top and you're done.
After germination, place pellet/plant in a pot and let be. I used to sow annual seeds in Peat Pots..But the soil dried too fast, besides, I feared the pots would deteriorate. lol

I agree working with plants is great therapy. Unless it gets too complicated, especially when heavy mediums are needed. I believe in simplifying, not complicating.

My Orchids are in bark..when they were potted in a soil mix, I knew when to water, but have no idea when to water now.

Funny, losing your coffee cup.

H, that's one problem with Begonias..Except for a few, we don't know how they'll over-winter, indoors..It's a chance we have to take. I try duplicating plants' native habitats.

I plan on repotting all my older Begonias, then, placing outside, in a super-shady spot..behind larger plants..they'll get light, just not direct.
Unfortunately, I don't most of the Begonias I have. That's one reason I'm worried about repotting in a 6" pot..What if they're natuarlly small? Wouldn't a large container cause problems?

I've made dish gardens with other plants..It saves on space, but shallow container pots are clay..'dish garden types'
Some of my Holiday Cacti are planted in one large 'plastic' container.

H, I've over-done it with Begonias..since my plants are kept indoors in winter, space/light can is a problem.
I ordered several Begonias yesterday, from two nurseries. Problem is, where will they go come winter? My windows and shelves are packed to the gill. lol.
After I find a true B. luxurians, I'll have to cut back. Many of my plants are high-light like succulents, fruiting plants, etc. Thankfully, begonia don't require a ton of sun, but they still need light. We'll see..There are so many beautiful colored and shaped Begonias, it's hard to choose a couple/few. lol.

We will see what happens..Toni

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 3:40PM
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Your begonia is 'Medora' (99% sure).

Space can be a problem as well as light. I run 76 shop lights in winter and still don't have enough shelves nor lights so some have to suffer through. I have five wooden shelves I made myself (8 feet long, 6 feet high, and 2 feet deep). The rest are chrome shelves from Sam's Club - 6 feet high, 4 feet long, and 18 inches deep. I try to go for four shelves on these with the top shelf to hold supplies and of course one of the shop lights. I have about 17 of these for plants only (lots more for other seasonal things and tools).

If space is a problem then go for small leaf varieties and keep them in small pots. Of course you can always get rid of fruiting plants and C&S (I left out about 200 of them a few winters back due to room, time, and energy).

Have fun playing with your luxurians. Hope you can keep it for a season or two.

Here are a few of my big begonias;


Red Umbo and green form of heracleifolia

Bayberry Lane (this was over 8 feet across at one time)

Selph's Mahogany

Maggie Nodal

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 7:51PM
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Here are some big begonias if you want to grow them in big pots.

Caribbean Queen in 18" pot

Caribbean King is not quite as large as the Queen

Red Umbo, parvifolia, and Challenger getting ready to come
back indoors for winter

Lotusland in summer under shade

Lotusland is one of the last begonias to come indoors for winter.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 9:59AM
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Belated, Happy 4th.

H, Wow, your Begonias, and other plants, (Agaves, Aloes, Haworthias) are beautiful and so healthy! I love each and every one.

When you wrote you run 76 shop lights, I wondered why so many.. I now understand..
Do they get natural light, too?
How many hours do you keep lights on?

In the first two pics, there are buttons on the leaves. What are they?

You have so many varieties I can't decide which is favorable, they're all so gorgeous. Some are huge. Your rooms must be large over-wintering the widest plants.

Do you grow small Begonias, too?
Dumb question...Which Begonia sold/grows in summer, and dug up in autumn? It's not a cane or rex. Can't think of the other types. Their flowers are usually larger than other Begonias, and different shapes. Oh, Rhizome..that's the word I was thinking, but don't know if rhizomes go dormant/deciduous during winter months.

H, you suggested I leave my plants outside..Lord, I could never do love ALL my plants. Some were purchased sporatically, others have meaning.
For instance, one Spider, 'common plant' was purchased 1972/3. My largest Clivia, sowed from seed in 1982.
Since Florida's Citrus ban, I haven't added any new Citrus, so those I have were purchased from Fl, 2004 to 2006. The sweet-smelling flowers, that lead to fruit, 'including an Olive tree,' are worth the work and space.

I like variety. A few to several per Family. Besides, although I dote on Begonias, they're risky. Living in IL, our winters are very dry. It doesn't bother succulents, but tropicals suffer. I use humidifers, a little, indoor fountain, mist and shower a few every so often.
Watering takes several days, and fertilizing/Superthriving seems to take forever...still, I love each and every plant.

Here's two pics of one plant's a little messy..I move stands around occassionaly, or did, before getting the huge green plant stand.

Facing North

Facing South

Back Room

So you see, H, my house is pretty You haven't seen the living room, bathroom, bedroom, hallway, and kitchen..and outdoors!! lol.

Sorry about the pics, they're not the best.

Anyway, your plants are gorgoues. Looks like you feed them

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 3:30PM
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Some get natural light but not many. We only have 3 windows and 3 doors with windows in the basement. One door cannot be blocked since that is the access for the dogs in winter. The other doors (double) I do put some plants in front of for winter. I run the lights 12 to 14 hours.

You must be thinking of tuberous begonias with large blooms. I don't grow those often since they are usually annuals here.

I didn't suggest you leave any plants outside unless you don't like them and want to make room for some new ones. Yeah, I grew my clivia from seed too and have given away so many. Gorgeous in bloom but other than that, not that much to look at.

I quit using Superthrive. Some swear by it and some swear at it. I never saw anything great from it but then I didn't try it for propagating.

Almost all my plants go in the basement for winter. I have a few on the main floor and none upstairs. It does take a couple of hours to water everything if I haven't watered anything in a few days.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 7:50PM
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Forgot to add that the button you inquired about is a lens cap from the lens I had mounted on my camera. It is 72mm which is almost 3 inches across so you have an idea of how big the leaves are.

Here are some more photos with the same lens cap:




Art Hodes


Redington Shores

PHOE's Cleo


Curly Silver Rex


Spanish Moss

His Majesty

Selph's Mahogany

Black Cauldron

Alocasia 'Stingray'

Alocasia 'Black Magic'

Red Fred

Silver Queen

Island Magic

Dorothy Behrends

valida can be more colorful than this example if exposed to more sunlight

Deco Twirl



Bashful Bandit

Maggie Nodal

Sophie Cecile

Big Mac

Holley Moon with tattered leaves from falling debris from a storm

Castor Bean plant

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 8:36AM
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Terrific pictures, they are like show plants. What is the name of the one pictured at the end of your first post today?Toni you mentioned a 'B. glasspane', do you mean B. Looking Glass', sure sounds like it. I get mine to a good size, then it picks up mold spots and I have to cut it back. I am experimenting with dwarfing compound on a cutting to see if smaller would work better.
HCMC, I agree, I think Superthrive is overrated, don't use it anymore. I grow B. Medora',it always has a couple of 'ruffles' or small drip points on the side of every leaf, I could not see that on Toni's begonia.

It's supposed to hit 90 today, yesterday and today I was hauling stuff around, most to get outside, and checking my shade cloth as it appears another shade tree is biting the dust. I have never counted my plants, when people ask me how many I have I just say the truth, 'too many!'. But I do have 90 kinds of species seeds, some as old as 15 years. Great to see all those pictures! Makes me want to hide some of mine . . .

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 11:26AM
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That was B. 'Connee Boswell' (some spell it as Connie and it goes both ways).

Perhaps if Toni showed her begonia closer up, we could determine if it is Medora or not.

Here is a favorite small cane - 'Cracked Ice'

and Sinbad is a great shrub

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 11:54AM
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germination report on B. luxurians - started yesterday on day six and continuing today, I imagine they will be showing up for a few more days. It was a good investment! I am going to post this on 'Houseplants' as a couple of others there encouraged Toni to try seeds ( I don't know how to double post).

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 9:09AM
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Howdy..I've been so busy repotting, hauling out more plants, 'still have a bunch of Hoyas,' and weeding..In the Garden, not house

H, your Begonias are so, very beautiful. I am jealous. :) After looking at yours, guess Begonias aren't my forte, but I won't give up, yet.

The room my guys are in is too hot. Since we've had a heat wave they started doing poorly.
I don't have a/c, only fans and opened windows, 'out of choice,' so the house gets extremely hot, especially the front plant room. A few times, over 100F degrees.

H, some of your Begonia leaves are huge. Are those w/big leaves, shrubs? I know stupid question, but new at growing Begonias, 'other than a couple.'

Although all your Begonias are lovely, here are my favorites.
Connie Boswell, Imperialis, Silver Queen, Deco Twirl, Barsalouxiae, Bashful Bandit, 'almost bought BB', Sophie Cecile, and Sinbad. WOWEE!! Lucky you.

I've been a Superthrive user many many moons. Won't tell you how many moons though, lol.
People are entitled to their own opinions; each should be respected. Live and let live.

Although it's said not to mist/spray fuzzy leaf plants, do you mist or hose outdoors?

H, is your Castor Bean in a pot or garden? If a container, how tall will it get? I never tried growing CB in a pot..
This year, in the front garden, I sowed CB, then Sunflower, CB, Sunflower, etc. Under these plants are Delilahs.
The problem is, I started seeds/corms a little later than usual, so they're still small. Rain would help, too.

H, I took a couple pics, and a closeup of the Logee's Begonia, but I'm embarrassed posting them, after seeing yours. lol.

I LOVE your A. stingray. I ordered one early 2011, but the seedling was shipped when temps dropped in the single digits. I think it's a goner, but will wait a little longer. In case.

About your Black Magic. I believe it's Colocasian not Alocasia. Check it on Google. Is yours in a deep or shallow pot? I unpotted mine last summer..Roots are shallow. It needs repotting, but a wider not deep pot, but of course I can't find that size.

H, after rereading the size of your cap, 3", I'm shocked by your Begonia leaf sizes. Gorgeous!!!!!

Woe..Yep, you've got it..It's B. 'Looking Glass.' duh, lol.

Good idea when ppl ask the number of plants you

Woe...I don't understand what you mean about the luxurian seeds...???
"Started yesterday on day six and continuing today." What? lol. What started yesterday? Do you mean they germinated yesterday, after six days? Please explain..Toni

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 2:28PM
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Forgot to post pics. lol.

Here's a close-up pic of the Begonia purchased from Logees in the '90's. I cut back big time since stems neared the floor, and some looked spindly.

New Begonias from Kartuz

Vista Quest

Mike Flaherty

Looking Glass..don't know its exact age.

H, you said Clivias w/o flowers were boring. I agree, but when it comes to variegated varieties, they're worth having. Here's a pic of one Clivia bought at China in 2008/9.

Colocasia 'Black Magic,' Don't have a current pic. Plant is outside..too lazy to go out and snap.

The Calo's leaves are darker than the pic..Think it depends on sun. They're darker in less sun, green in direct. Toni

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 2:47PM
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Most of the big leaf ones are rhizomatous.

I hose mine outdoors and never mist indoors. Kind of crazy? I set up micro sprinklers the last few years but moved my area to the very back of the lot and so far it has been hose or rain. Maybe next weekend I can set up micro sprinklers.

I grow the castor beans in the ground. The one I showed you may have gotten six feet tall but can grow a lot taller.

My A. Stingray is pretty small this year probably because it is not getting enough sun. You are right on Black Magic being a colocasia instead of alocasia. Although your picture of one doesn't at all resemble colocasia or Black Magic. It looks like an alocasia of some sort.

Your small leaf begonia definitely looks like Medora. I guess under flash conditions it shows silver a lot more readily. When I had it years ago it was like a weed but now I can hardly keep one. Oh well.

That is a beautiful clivia. That is certainly more interesting than boring green!

Here is a group shot of some rexes:

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 3:08PM
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Yes, germination of the B.luxurians seeds was fast. I think there must be close to 100 seeds in the packet. I wonder if my snarky comment about the number of seeds encouraged them to send more . . .It will be a long time before the true leaves appear, they may have germinated like radishes but growth will not be very fast,I'm pleased with these seeds. Someone on Exchanges is looking for B. luxurians, I may well suggest he order seeds from Australia, it doesnot seem likely that someone would have a small plant which could be easily mailed. HCMC, I love that 'Connee Boswell', I am a sucker for variegated begonias. Do you allow visitors to see your plants, it would be quite a show for them. Yes, I guess that plant could be 'Medora'. Love those pictures,

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:05AM
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I have the Atlanta Begonia Society over to my house a few times and anyone else who wants to come is welcome.

Cowardly Lion from last year

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 9:01PM
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The hybridizer of this one was a close begonia friend some years ago. I have to grow it "under glass" so to speak, it gets touchy. I also have 'Northern Lights' which looks so much like a close relative, in my opinion. It is as hardy as an old shoe . . . I think 'Cowardly Lion'has become a perennial favorite, it has surely stood the test of time.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 11:46AM
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So you knew Kit Jeans-Mounger? She used to be in the Atlanta Begonia Club but I joined after she apparently quit coming or couldn't come anymore. She had quite a few hybrids, didn't she?

Another nice one that is very similar is 'Wild Pony'. It is much darker veined and depending on light levels can be green or almost black.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 7:49PM
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Yes, I know Kit going back to the days when she sold by mail order and did crossing on the side. She had dropped out but when she re-married she said she was met by the Richardsons who greeted her with a wedding present of begonia cuttings, so she got active again. I think she is likely still active with the stained glass business she had. You see her other crosses mentioned now and then, I remember 'Rhinestone Jeans', and the name 'Jeans' figured in a lot of them. She was a good writer, too.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 10:34AM
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Yes, I have seen a few begonias with "Jeans" in the name. I have a begonia named after her (Hope it is still alive) that resembles a much smaller Redington Shores.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 8:31PM
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HOWDY....I GOT IT!!! Patience IS the key!

I wrote one nursery, asking if they had B. luxurians. Someone from the nursery wrote back, saying they'd have more in a wk or two. Well, a wk or two came and Begonia luxurians..
Weeks passed, and still no luxurrians. I gave up.

Today, I got online, and thought to check one more time.
Lo and Behold! More in stock. I purchased two. lol.

BTW, I never got around sowing the seeds. I've been so busy with house plants, outside gardening, and household cleaning, I got side-tracked..
Before sowing, I wanted to be free of worries. Relaxed.

Woe, if you're still are your seedlings doing and what percentage germinated?

H, your Rexes are gorgeous. Wow.

Hope everyone is well, and having a great summer. Toni

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 4:40PM
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Hey Toni, glad you found it. I am sure you will keep those seeds stored in the fridge, they should be good for a few years. I don't remember how many I put down, but I have seven seedlings coming along. This summer hasn't been as hot as we feared it would be but I keep busy watering things anyway.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 1:20PM
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I am fighting with the forum today, not only is it slow but it hijacked my message. I just wanted to say I made my first transplant today from the sowing mix. These are vigorous seedlings! I hope you are happy with your new plantletts. It is only in the 80's today, a nice break! My house, too, is too hot on the second floor in the summer, I move everything to the basement, but the plants outside look great. Take care.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:55PM
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I am fighting with the forum today, not only is it slow but it hijacked my message. I just wanted to say I made my first transplant today from the sowing mix. These are vigorous seedlings! I hope you are happy with your new plantletts. It is only in the 80's today, a nice break! My house, too, is too hot on the second floor in the summer, I move everything to the basement, but the plants outside look great. Take care.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 1:06PM
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Joan, how are your seedlings doing? Can you post pics?
Did you use all the seeds or a few?

Do I hear an echo? lol. j/k.

HCM, don't know if you're still here, but your Begonias are absolutely beautiful. Don't know which I like have too many favorites. Toni

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 8:06PM
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I have a number of begonia corms that started to sprout in early January,I have them in paper bags in a semi warm greenhouse.As they have started to shoot should I start potting them now or leave them until later in the year?If I have to pot them,do I leave the shoots outside the soil or bury the lot?As you can tell I am new to all this so any advice will be gratefully appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:43PM
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If they have started to sprout they will continue so you may as well pot them, use small, appropriately sized pots until they grow, then pot on as you would usually do with a houseplant. Cover with soil all the tuber/corm, but not the shoots. Are they a form of B. grandis? All that type break dormancy in January, mine are showing too.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 8:26AM
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