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What's doing well for you?

Posted by greenelbows1 z9--so LA (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 23, 05 at 0:01

Most of our posts lately have been about tuberous begonias, which I can't grow because of our heat and humidity, and I kept trying to think of something worth posting about other begonias. I was admiring some of mine that are doing particularly well in spite of me, and wondered what was doing well for others. Right now my 'Silvermist' is looking very good and blooming well in spite of not having been repotted for a couple years and having most the soil washed out. We talked about 'Benitochiba' on another thread, and I have mine sitting next to a small cane that looks so much like 'Benny' from a distance I thought I should mention it--name is 'Kismet'. A few months ago a friend gave me a small plant I think she called 'Seattle Centennial', but I think it may be 'Washington State'. It looked like it wanted to get big so I put it in a very large terra cotta bowl and it has exploded. I was born in Seatle so it was of extra interest to me, and I really like the way it is looking. 'Little Miss Mummey' is looking fine. 'Mirage' and 'Passing Storm' just keep looking good with very little attention. What's doing best for you?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What's doing well for you?

Some of mine are doing better than others.

'Cowardly Lion' has taken on a growth spurt after sitting around doing nothing for six months.

'Del Mar Peninsula' is fast outgrowing its 6" pot. And 'Helen Tupel' (both of them) seem to love it here. I may have to repot them....again.

'Black Coffee' looks pretty good and so do 'Can Can,' 'Raspberry Crush,' 'Lemon Shag,' 'Pink Diamonds' and 'Tiger Kitten.' So are several others.

Now that you have me looking, mine are doing better than I realized!

I did plant a few of the rhizos improperly and they are now recovering. My bad.

I don't grow tuberous begonias either. I stopped with the outdoor plants because I filled their spaces during the summer and then had to play fruit basket turnover to make room for them in the fall. :-)

Enjoy the weekend,
Linda


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RE: What's doing well for you?

The only ones i managed not to kill are 'casey corwin' and the other is unkown. So please if you know the name, do tell.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://community.webshots.com/photo/357680679/384045140coMPCx#


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Here's my casey corwin

I still don't know how to put multiple images in the same post.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://community.webshots.com/photo/357680679/363809468pYqPYD#


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RE: What's doing well for you?

Too many to list. Should be what isn't doing well.

I would have to say 'Caribbean King' is living up to its name. It is quite large. I also have a begonia from GHW that was suppose to be 'Earl-ee-bee' but I doubt it is, but the leaves are quite huge. I guess I'll keep it. 'Bashful Bandit' and 'Benitochiba' are wonderful contrasts to each other. Imperialis makes a wonderful carpet in a large bowl.

I wish nelumbifolia would start putting some size on its leaves now. It is growing well but the leaves are staying small. 'Connie Boswell' is a big disappointment and it looks like 'Marmaduke' was a loser to torrential rain. The Chinese species (emeiensis and taliensis) are wilting now but I'm not sure if it is from stifling heat or the recent fertilizer I put on. 'Plum Gorgeous' must not be able to take a lot of sun so I have been having to water it heavily or move it to a shadier spot which would be a job since it is in an 18 inch pot.

I have been combining several canes in 18 inch pots lately and am pleased with the results. My first pot has 'Sinbad' which can get to be quite large, 'Torch', 'Chocolate', 'Richmondensis', and 'Maribel Pink Shades' in it. 'Chocolate' is prolific and likes to spill over the edge while 'Sinbad commands the middle. 'Torch' and 'Richmondensis' are heavy bloomers. 'Maribel' is the weakling in this pot. I had potted up 'Sophie Cecil', 'Irene Nuss', 'Little Miss Mummey', and 'Albo-Picta' in a 18 inch pot. I put 'Magdalene Madsen', 'Grey Feather', 'Benigo', another begonia labeled as 'Little Miss Mummey' in a 14 inch pot. I have one more 18 inch pot with 'Lucerna', 'Silvermist', and 'Mary Ann Flunker'. I haven't had the heart (or pots) to combine 'Cracklin' Rosie', 'Looking Glass', and 'Thurstonii'.

'My Special Angel' is growing like the proverbial weed. The blooms are so heavy on it, that it cannot stand up. 'Orpha C. Fox', 'Jim Wyrtzen', 'Sierra Mountain King' are also doing quite nicely.

'Pink Minx' on left and un-named rex (is this 'Martin Johnson'?)

What about 'Dragon Wings'? It may be common but it is very hard to beat for blooms and heat endurance. I have one of mine in a coconut lined stand on the deck where it gets sun from 8 AM until 8 PM in mid 90 temps. I have to water it heavy every day but it delivers the goods.

'Dragon Wings' on hot sun drenched deck two weeks ago, it has grown even more since then:

I just picked up a hanging basket from Wal-Mart Saturday that had 'Don Miller', 'Maurice Amey', and 'Medora' in it for a very decent price. I just stumbled onto this buy.

Wal-Mart buy:

How about this clearance rack special at one of the local nurseries? It costs $3. Granted it had 3 leaves on it when I picked it up a few weeks ago but with the sun, heat, and humidity it has responded well. I have no idea what it is, but it was hard to pass up.

Here it is:


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RE: What's doing well for you?

Lol, Butch, you make me want to think up more topics to inspire you to post your gorgeous plants! About nelumbiifolia and getting larger leaves--I potted up two approximately equal sections a couple months ago, one for me in a large pot, and one to take to a plant exchange in a small (6" I think) pot. The one in the larger pot is easily twice the size of the other one with the newer leaves twice the size too. I think we are told so often not to over-pot, just go up an inch or two in size, but I just don't think that holds true for begonias, or at least the larger-growing ones. I am careful to use a mix that drains well, and if I'm potting a rhizomatous or rex I use a clay pot to add extra insurance against overly wet soil, but I often use quite large pots with excellent results. Something else I do sometimes, which is against what I've been told, is to wick-water some, especially rexes and shorter ones I can grow on my light stand. Sometimes I think experimentation is useful. It's not necessarily what the 'experts'--who may or may not really be!--say to do so much as finding what works for you. Take several small plants of the same variety, for instance, and try them different ways. Then tell us! Maybe it will solve a problem we've been struggling with.
And smithjm, you're doing well with your rexes, but might I encourage you to try some easier begonias? I used to grow rexes well in another climate, but struggle some here. There are rhizomatous that have just as pretty leaves as the rexes and are much easier. And canes are easier still, at least for me.
I've enjoyed your posts--maybe we can expand it to cultural methods. I'm tempted to suggest a 'dog show' like some clubs have--let's see your worst specimens. What do you think?


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RE: What's doing well for you?

I only have rhizos and rexes. I do much better with the rhizos because they don't seem to be as temperamental and are more forgiving when I screw up. I have a few rexes doing quite well but the percentage of rhizos doing well is far greater.

All of my begonias are inside under lights or in south-facing windows.

Now about those worst specimens...... LOL

Linda


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RE: What's doing well for you?

Greenelbows,

I put my nelumbifolia in a 18 inch pot and it may have up towards 100 leaves now but they are maybe 4x6 inches. Not that I expect the huge leaves I saw down in Fairchild but surely twice the size I have. This is its first year and I got it from YuccaDo. Does it need more than a year to get huge?

I agree with you on the size of the pot. If you want a large plant then give it room to grow. The downside is you may overwater it while the plant is still small. Large pots with small plants take a lot longer to dry out. Smaller pots just dry out faster but that means you just have to be vigilant on watering. Whatever you do - DO NOT add those water absorbing granules for begonias, maybe for thirsty plants like colocasias.

I also agree with you on experts. What may work in one area of the country or for one individual may not work for another area or person. I cannot get over the notion to keep your begonias in shade. A lot of begonias do a lot better with a couple of hours of sun. You have to gradually expose them to more light over a couple of weeks like getting a tan. Not only do they get bigger, darker, and showier but they also bloom heavier.

Clay pots are my mainstay for rexes and a lot of rhizos. I prefer the bonsai or azalea pots instead of the standard for these types of begonias. I also mix in liberal amounts of perlite and have also used pea gravel to get the best drainage. I am trying the composted pine bark (Nature's Helper) this year in the bottom 2/3 of the large 18 inch pots. It is cheap, adds weight to the pot, and has good drainage. So far so good. They do have mushroom spores in it which does no harm but I try to remove them when I see them.

One more note: I just tried something new with wilting leaves that look like they could be used for propagating. Usually they give up the ghost if planted directly in the medium. I just put some wilting leaves in a plastic bag and put them in the refrig a couple of nights ago. They all look turgid now so I will plant them today and see how they do.

Butch


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RE: What's doing well for you?

  • Posted by MingTea z8 OR Corvallis (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 26, 05 at 12:35

hah! i'm giving up on rexes myself! yet again, i'm making a move and i think my plants' culture shock this time is going to be a lot greater than this last, fatal, winter.

i'm moving to arizona and my rexes always look spotty. what with the low humidity, i'm getting rid of them all together. rhizos always do well for me, and the canes have put on a surprisingly good show since being outside. here's one i posted on the HP forum, that i gave my mom last year from a cutting:

butch: beautiful pictures as usual. great finds, too!

linda: keep up the good fight. me, i just give up because i'm too cheap to buy a light stand, lol.

-ming


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RE: What's doing well for you?

Oh, Ming, Arizona will be a climate shock for you! My nephew from Eugene went to Arizona to school some years ago--I think mostly he loved it, but it's hardly green and moist like western Oregon! Our good friend Jon Dixon has posted directions for how he does his light stands for not very much money--you can be cheap and still have plant lights--I know because I did, especially when I was in school (also in Eugene. But my second son went to OSU so we don't have to fight!) I used plant lights at the ends of my sofa for reading etc. And as I sit here typing my big light stand is sending light over my shoulder and brightens what would be a rather dark room all day. Now with fluorescent bulbs that fit in regular lights you don't even need a light stand--assuming you keep your plant numbers in check, which I know none of us do!


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RE: What's doing well for you?

Ming,

You can always grow cactus and agaves in Arizona if begonias fail. Arizona is such a beautiful sightseeing state.

Do you have a name of the begonia you posted?

Butch


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RE: What's doing well for you?

Ming:
I search Big Lots! almost weekly. Have found the most wonderful wrought iron baker's racks. You have to be careful, sometimes the shelves are too close to make a good light stand. But, once in a while, they will have ones that are just right.

I bought my last one for under $70.00. It is 6' high and has four shelves; I attached 2' plant lights to three. Bought the lights in Wal-Mart for $8.00 and that included the bulbs.

Linda


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RE: What's doing well for you?

Yaay. My tuberous begonias from Antonelli's (the hanging basket assortment--18 tubers for about 20 dollars) are finally blooming. I've discovered that as long as nights are cool (and they always are in Reno-Sparks), that begonias of all types do extremely well, as long as I'm careful not to (go figure--I live in a desert) overwater.


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RE: What's doing well for you?

Part 2.

Now that summer is over, almost all begonias are at their prime. A few bug holes, fungus/mildew is starting to set in on the more susceptible rexes and mallets, and some leaf damage from falling debris with sweetgum seedpods being the worst.

Here are some pictures:

Begonias, caladiums, and elephant ears

'Stephen Brigham' looks like a semp on steroids

some canes with 'Big Mac' in front

'Big Mac' and 'Kumwha'

'Caribbean King' and agaves

'Caribbean Queen' and friends


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