How to Prune a Rex?

czygyny(8)June 26, 2014

I have a very pretty and otherwise healthy rex begonia. It started out as a tiny, half-dead Walmart offering in a 2.5" pot and now is in an 8" pot. It does well under fluorescent plant lights and our low California humidity.

Lately the leaves on the ends are getting smaller and more silver and the stems are getting long and bare inside. It is probably time to prune it somehow but I'm not to sure how to do so without really making the plant look bad for some time, since it is one of the stars of my living-room plants.

Any suggestions? (It doesn't like getting moved around so it is sulking in this image.)

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Cut the longer rhizomes off and start them in some fresh potting mix. This will encourage the mother plant to sprout some new growing tips. Sometimes I walk by begonias (or guests) and break off a long rhizome and that is what I do. You can also use pure perlite to root in as well.

My 'Cowardly Lion' was going downhill fast from this winter and I snapped all the growing tips off and put it in an aluminum pan with about an inch or two of potting mix, watered until just moist and covered with the included plastic lid. I checked it for water once a week. When the new leaves started pushing off the lid I removed it but that means I need to check it more often for water. Here is a photo of it a week ago. Time for a new pot?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:06AM
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Your little snail curlies are cute! I like the spirals. How many cuttings would you suggest in an 8" pot or should I rather just cut off the long lankies and leave the base of the plant to regrow? I may have to just put the pot back in my office grow window until it is ready for livingroom display again.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 7:53PM
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That is totally up to you on how to prune it. If it were me I'd start on the outside first. If the middle is thick with crossing rhizomes then that might be a good place as well (mine rarely get that thick with rhizomes crossing each other though).

Here is a photo of Ricinifolia that I cut a very long rhizome in 3 sections and put in a pan of perlite outdoors. I weighted down the rhizome with the leaves still attached and one of the other leafless rhizomes. This keep the plant oriented and also prevents squirrels from digging out the plant trying to root.

I have reused this pan for a few years with odd cuttings and am using it again this year.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 8:41PM
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