Begonia luxurians disaster
OK, that's a bit of an overstatement. It's more like a setback of a few months...
I had a 5 1/2 foot tall Begonia luxurians with multiple canes. It had two sets of buds on the tallest cane. Here's the plant in August:
A couple days ago I came out and found all of the tall canes bent over, with the tallest one snapped. My best guess is that an animal (squirrel, cat) jumped on the plant, thinking it was sturdier than it actually was. Here's what it looks like now:
I haven't ruled out the possibility that the plant suddently wilted and partially collapsed. However the plant was not dry and it was below 80. It looks like perhaps there are scratch marks on a couple of stems, which might happen from a startled animal. I don't see any other obvious source of these:
The funny fuzzy plant with the green stem in the above photo, also obvious in the photo two up, is a "vining Calceolaris", possibly Calceolaria perfoliata. It had climbed into the Begonia a bit, and is unharmed.
So at this point it looks like I will cut each cane below where it had its sharpest bend/break. I will likely generate about a dozen cuttings from cutting the plant up. Hopefully it recover in several months.
I thought about staking up the individual canes. However I decided they would almost certainly end up weakened from the experience. If they get tall (say 10 ft. ) it seems unwise to have anything but the strongest canes. The plant wouldn't look as good with multiple stakes, either.
I have another plant in the ground, and it looks great after a couple weeks. The photo is misleading; the plant is a couple feet tall and the leaves are huge.