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Castaway Begonia

Posted by AuntBarbie 8b-9a FL ( on
Fri, Jun 20, 14 at 10:22

I am quite new to growing begonias (I'm hooked!) and have run into a wonderful problem with an over-exuberant Castaway. It was started from a cutting about a year ago and due to some sun damage, I cut it back and poked the cuttings into the soil. That's problem one...I was unaware how freely cuttings would sprout and/or pop up from the roots and now have a veritable jungle.

Problem two comes from having been ill during the winter and paying little attention to the plant's location with one cane stre-e-e-etching for the sun. It was blossoming so fully that I didn't want to cut it back...well, its now about 18", arching, and still throwing out softball-sized panacles (sp) at an amazing rate. I've staked it at about the one-foot level which was the highest I could go without breaking the bending cane and the point at which branches have started. Its in a decorative pot that's roughly 9 x 9... do I rectify my mistakes?
at what point should I consider dividing it? Should I just wait until roots start coming from the bottom?
How many cuttings might a pot of this size support?
How should I properly treat this long, starting to branch cane? As much as it'll break my heart, should I top off this cane?

Any advice, suggestions, directions or enlightenment on the growth habits of Castaway is sorely needed! Thanks so much.

What fun! A cutting that's too successful....

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Castaway Begonia

Don't you wish all problems were like #1.

If it gets out of hand (for you), cut it back. You know how easy it is to start a new plant with the cuttings now.

The more cuttings you put into a pot, the more competition there will be so on one hand it will look fuller but on the other hand the overall size of the plants will probably be a lot smaller. You choose on what look you like best.

RE: Castaway Begonia

Thanks for the encouragement...

Is it unusual for them to get this tall or is it par for the course? The other cuttings seem to start trailing within a few inches of the top of the pot...course they're part of the jungle so maybe not a good comparison.

RE: Castaway Begonia

As they settle in and get their roots down, the newer canes emerging from the soil will get bigger than your starter plant (generally). Castaway though seems like a smaller cane and I've not been impressed with mine.

I bought a salicifolia a few years ago after seeing a beauty in the convention in Florida. Mine did okay but nothing spectacular until last year when it sent up a much thicker cane that was approaching four feet. Of course there are a lot of much larger canes but pruners can keep them in bounds.

Here is the full grown salicifolia at the West Palm Beach convention in 2009.

RE: Castaway Begonia

Wow--great looking plant Butch. What size pot is it in?

RE: Castaway Begonia

Probably a 12 inch pot. The grower always seems to have the best looking canes at the Florida conventions. Here is one he put in the Miami convention 2006. This is 'Miniperba' that was excellently grown. Maybe 4 feet tall (mine may get to 18 inches tall and are an embarrassment compared to this)

RE: Castaway Begonia

Super nice. My Miniperba is not doing much in a 4 inch pot.

I can't imagine you with an embarrassing plant!

RE: Castaway Begonia

What gorgeous plants!!! I'm dumbfounded at the size the smaller leafed begonias can achieve.
Does anyone happen to know the parents of Castaway?
When happy, what kind of height might be achieved?

RE: Castaway Begonia

'Castaway' is a great everblooming cane. Here in Tampa Bay, mine finishes around 3-4 feet tall. Brad Thompson of Calif., created it along with many hybrids. He is a great hybridizer. For more info, go to his link it also has lots of begonia information. Have fun! Greg

Here is a link that might be useful: Brads Begonia World

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