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Begonia Rex needs advice

Posted by greenbrier_grower 05 (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 14, 09 at 22:09

My begonia rex/ cane begonia/ angle wing begonia is from multiple cuttings over the years that have survived. The plant (possible original) is from at least 1916. Survived in the Greenbrier mountains in WVA, over the various years outdoor, then in zone 5 with limited summer time outdoors.
How can I help her?
I have sucessfully grown her over the past 30 years in pots as well with multiple rootings in water. I gave plants to other people. (they always kill her at least once until they figure out what she likes!)
Now my green thumb has gone "brown" after all this time, babies from the original plant.
I don't want to loose "Bertha".
The only way she survives now is only with water rooting. When I plant her in potting soil she dies. I save her by topping the green and go back to rooting into water.
What does anyone suggest? I don't want to loose "Bertha". She was part of my grandmother's family, my mom, and now mine for 50+ years since I saw her as a child.
Any suggestions to help her grow will help.
Otherwise, she seems to only exist in water. Tap water to boot!
Is she adapting to being hydroponic?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Begonia Rex needs advice

Are you planting it in a heavy soil? Too big of a pot? At least you still have it as a water plant but it is strange that you lose it when you pot it up.

I would suggest you pot it in a quality, loose mix and a pot size to match the size of the plant. For best results, I would place it in a terrarium until it shows new growth and then start weaning it from that environment. Give it plenty of light to get it to grow. Go easy on the fertilizer until it gets some size.

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