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Begonia Flower

Begonia

Begonia Flower

Type:  Perennial Flowers

Species:  1500

Height:  30 – 90

Growing:  Central America, Africa, Asia, South America

Flowers:  White, Pink

Kingdom:  Plantae

Unranked:  Magnoliophyta

Order:  Cucurbitales

Family:  Begoniaceae

Genus:  Begonia

BEGONIA: How to Grow

For foliage and bloom, the begonia ranks among the best of greenhouse plants. The summer leafing or tuberous begonias are excellent for the cool greenhouse, or for bedding out during the warm months; the winter flowering or fibrous rooted sorts are valuable under glass when the supply of blossom has become scarce. The culture of the tuberous sorts is not difficult. An ordinary 15-inch box is big enough, with an inch of drainage material at the bottom and a layer of moss over it. The compost is one part leaf-mould, one part loam and one peat with a dash of silver sand. Begonia seed is so tiny that a lot of it may be lost if any lumps are left on the surface. The box or pan should be immersed as far as the edge in a tub of water in order to soak the soil. Any excess of moisture should be allowed to drain away, and the seed carefully sprinkled on the surface. All that is then necessary is a covering of the finest silver sand. Another method adopted by some growers is to lay on a few flakes of clean moist moss instead. Afterwards the box should be placed in a propagator or in an even temperature of 60°, and be covered with a sheet of glass and a piece of brown paper in December or January. When the tiny seedlings show they should be carefully shaded. In a month they will be ready for transplanting to other boxes. The seedlings should be kept thereafter in a moist atmosphere at as near 60° as possible. If they are to be grown in pots the next shift should be into a 3-inch pot. If intended for bedding they can be kept in boxes.

Growing Begonias Out-of-Doors

Bedding plants should be carefully hardened. The beginning of May is usually the proper time to put the boxes in a cold frame. Begonias in beds should be well treated. The beds should be dug deeply and well raked over. It is advisable to add spent hotbed manure if available. The plants do best in semi-shade. Many begonia lovers ignore seed and start with tubers purchased in winter or spring. In starting tubers into growth, lay them on a bed of fibre or in a box of leaf-mould in a moist position in an ordinary greenhouse temperature, where they can get at any rate half-light. All the little fibrous hairs should be carefully rubbed off.

The winter flowering begonias, of which Gloire de Lorraine and its forms are the principal sorts, are invaluable. Gloire de Lorraine is propagated by cuttings. The flowering period extends from October to February, and at its best the plant is a mass of beautiful bloom. After flowering it should be cut back and one or two plants put aside foxyoung stock. New shoots appear after the pruning, and these, which should be removed with a heel of the old wood, form the cuttings. There are several winter varieties. The rex begonia is grown for its foliage. Its leaves are large and ear-shaped; they are coloured in a great variety of ways, including remarkable combinations of silver greys, crimsons, and bronzes Propagation is effected by means of the leaves The best way is to cut half-way through the larger ribs and to pin the leaves down upon the top of a pot or pan containing candy loam and peat, just above the places where the incisions are made. In due course tiny plants will appear at the points of these incisions. Pron. Be-go’-ne-er.


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