The genus Begonia – a large family of flowering plants, numbering about 1,500 different species and hundreds of hybrids.
Begoniaceae – beautiful plants that live in tropical and subtropical forests of America. In the culture found mostly hybrids and attractive varieties of plants found in nature.
Begonias have a different type of stems and roots, ornamental leaves and flowers, a way of cultivation. Thanks to the work of breeders, the market offer a full flower and more resistant plants.
They are usually divided according to the size of the flower: melkotsvetkovye, large-on group Flowering and leafy breeds.
By type of roots can be divided into 3 groups.
- The first group – from fiber and fine roots, which quickly fill the entire flower pot
- The second – grow from a fleshy root which appears on the surface of the soil
- The third group – tuberous begonias that make up the tuber in the ground and in need of a winter alone
Begonias with fibrous roots usually have round leaves. Species with fleshy roots – with asymmetric heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges.
Leaves, depending on the species may be dark or light green, and usually with a pattern. The flowers can be simple or full color, with different shades of the petals: white, pink, yellow and red. Some species have wavy flowers.
On the market there are many varieties, which differ in size and shape of the flowers (there is a full, semi-double or single colors).
Depending on the type of begonia differ both in appearance and on the requirements. Basically, they are suitable for growing indoors, but there are varieties that feel much better on the terrace or balcony.
Tuberous begonia blooms from June until the first frost. They feel much better in pots. They are sensitive to low temperatures, so they can be planted in the flower beds just at the beginning of June.
Additional information!The most demanding are cascading begonias, which, due to their long, hanging, fragile shoots should be grown only in a suspended state.
Garden Begonia in the early fall to be moved into the room. At the end of the season the top part of the plant dries. It is necessary to dig them out of the ground, and stored in a cool, dry place but, preferably peat.
Types begonias with decorative leaves
There are beautiful flowers with decorative leaves – from the most beautiful leaves in houseplants group. Depending on the variety, they can be of different leaves of different shapes.
The Royal Begonia(Begonia rex) are unmatched among all types. Its leaves are striking exquisite forms. It usually grows up to 30 cm in height, although in good conditions can reach a little larger. Its leaves have a lot of colors: green silver, red, maroon, multicolored patterns. Sometimes it flowers, but the flowers are inconspicuous.
Begonia Mason(Begonia masoniana) reaches a height of 30-60 cm Greenish-brown leaves -. Large, drooping. On their surface can be visible to the characteristic pattern.
Coral Begonia(spotted Begonia maculata) – this is the original species that reaches a considerable size in the flats (over 1 m). Coral Begonia decorated broadly, mottled leaves and beautiful buds. It blooms with white or red blossoms.
Recently, new varieties have appeared, whose leaves are not found in other species of begonias (folded leaves in the form of a snail shell).
Tuberous begonia– is a hybrid formed from many species of wild begonias. Tuberosa group includes various types of flowering plants with colorful petals. This is mainly tuberous varieties.
From tubers grow fleshy, short and branching shoots, height 15-20 cm. Leaves are thick, asymmetrical, heart-lanceolate, on long stalks. Leaves and petioles are covered with long sparse hairs.
Perhaps the most popular are hybrid begonias (Begonia elatior) with attractive colors. Winter begonia blooms only during periods when the days are short (hence the name).
This is one of the species that tolerates dry air in the apartment. The plant has a thick rind on the leaves, which protects it from excessive loss of water.
Flowers are concentrated on the tips of the stems, and so many of them that they close the beautiful leaves – almost round, green or red. Blooms continuously for several months. If she ceases to bloom, it needs to be cut in order to get her back into shape quickly. Shoots are pruned to 12-15 cm.
It should also be regularly remove dry flowers. The regular removal of withered buds will promote the formation of new inflorescences, and thus will last bloom.
Winter begonia is easily restored, and forms a new kidney, but it can not be considered a long-lived – they usually live a maximum of 2 years at home.
Home care for Begonia
The stems and leaves of begonias are very fragile and break easily, so you need to handle them carefully.
Begonias usually do not cause much problem, but they have different requirements. Most indoor plants need light, but not too sunny, location.
Note!In full sun well begonia blooms only.
From spring to autumn it is desirable to place on the windowsill east or west window in the winter – in the south. Plants can grow in the shade, but growth will slow and the leaves lose their color intensity. In the deep shade begonias become weak and do not want to bloom.
Important!Avoid placing the plants in the kitchen. Most species are sensitive to air pollution,
For potted begonias required room temperature to 23 ° C all year round. Come from a warm climate is very sensitive to the cold (temperatures in winter may not fall below 16-18 ° C. Only winter begonia grows better and longer in bloom, when the ambient temperature is not very high and is 16-19 degrees. On the street begonias should be planted only after passing the spring frost (after May 15).
Since begonias originate from the tropics, they impose high requirements for humidity. They need a moist substrate, and high humidity. In dry and hot environments they need to be watered often, but avoid spraying the leaves.
Begonias can not fill. Wrong watering – the most common mistake in their cultivation. They like to constantly slightly moistened soil. Watered it only when the substrate dries. Water should be chlorine-free, room temperature.
Earth and change
Begonias require light, fertile soil, but there is a stable species that are in the worst conditions will always bloom.
Transplant young plants every year, the senior – every 2-3 years, in a slightly larger pot. On the bottom of the pot is poured drainage layer: gravel, expanded clay. Drainage is important for reducing root diseases.
From spring to autumn, the plants can be fed every 2-3 weeks. For flowering species is best to choose a fertilizer with more phosphorus for hardwood – nitrogen and potash fertilizers. Specialty fertilizer begonias available on the market.
Begonias can be propagated by cuttings and seeds. Some samples may be propagated by division of the tuber.
Begonias with decorative leaves can be expanded from a sheet or portion thereof. During the period from March to April, and again in August cut sheet which is chosen for this purpose, into pieces 5 cm long prepared and placed on wet ground. Pressed against it so that it adheres to the surface. leaf parts take root and form new shoots on the sides.
Most species are propagated by cuttings. Early spring rooting shoots with two or three large leaves.
Tuberous begonia reproduce by fission tubers. The tuber is cut in half so that the two parts have shoots and roots. Sections were covered with charcoal and is planted so that the tip has performed slightly above ground level. They can also be propagated by cuttings taken from the first shoots,
Tuberous begonia propagated by seeds (as well as constantly blooming begonia). Plants will bloom until late June or early July.
How to prepare for winter
In late September, gradually cease to water the plants, and when the stems dry out, take out the tubers from the ground and stored in a dry, cool place. wintering temperature must always be below 15 ° C. They are better winter in a dark place, in a dry box filled with sawdust or peat. Lowest winter temperature must not fall below two degrees above zero.
Diseases and pests
How to grow a flower to make it beautiful and healthy? First of all, it is important to know what diseases and pests threaten these plants. Typical pests are aphids, mites and rot. Often can appear spots on the leaves, but they are usually caused by incorrect watering and direct exposure to sunlight.
Begonias sometimes get sick. The greatest threat (especially for winter begonias) are fungi. Brown spots on leaves and shoots – gray mold and white coating – is powdery mildew. The affected part should be removed as soon as possible, and if the plant is very thick – removed part of healthy leaves, which will facilitate the circulation of air.
Despite the fact that they are not easy to grow, these plants are excellent massively put on the windowsill, and in the garden.