Characteristics of Elatior begonia
Begonia Elatior, belonging to the Begonia family, is a hybrid created in 1955 by the German botanist Otto Rieger.
With a compact bushy form, it reaches an average of 50 cm in height. The tuberous begonia is most sought after as a flowering houseplant, but is difficult to maintain once it has bloomed. It enters a period of vegetative dormancy, when all the leaves dry up and fall off.
The beauty and size of the flower, represented by a whole palette of different shades, are the main characteristics that make it possible to use this plant as a decoration for living quarters. They can be dyed red, yellow, orange, pink, white and other colors.
Colorful flowers, sometimes solitary, often double, with an average diameter of 5 cm. Begonias have heart-shaped, alternate and irregular leaves with teeth along the edges.
The stem is erect and rigid, on which clusters of flowers are formed, blooming one after another. What you should pay attention to is a long flowering, which can last from mid-summer until almost next spring.
Care and cultivation of begonia Elatior at home
The Elatior begonia is a species that is particularly affected by low temperatures and needs a temperate climate, in full light or partial shade. Inside the apartment, places with maximum brightness are suitable for her, given the indirect exposure to sunlight.
Note! Full sun in the middle of the day can scorch the leaves. It is advisable to choose areas in partial shade, on a balcony or by a window.
The cultivation of Elatior begonias takes place mainly in pots. They are also suitable for balconies and gardens, but suffer from cold, so it is recommended to keep the plant in a shelter at home in front of a window in winter. They cannot withstand temperatures below 10°C.
The plant needs light, breathable soil, rich in minerals and drained, as the root system of this species is very sensitive to stagnant water. A good solution would be a mixture of peat and perlite. The pH of the substrate should be between 5.3 and 5.7.
In addition, the soil must be evenly moist. For this, irrigation should be constant, but not excessive. Sprinkling should be avoided. The ideal temperature for growing x Elatior begonias is around 20°C. Subsequently, you can lower the temperature even to 17 or 18°C to get brighter colored flowers.
Optimum ambient humidity should be around 65-80%, if it is lower, the plants will have a lower growth, if above this value, they may stretch excessively.
Watering begonias Elatior
These houseplants should be watered only after the soil is half dry. Too much moisture will cause root rot.
You can not spray it, it can cause leaf diseases, but the humidity should be high. In winter, water moderately, only twice a month, making sure that the roots are not wet. In summer, water, preferably with soft water, once or twice a week, always leaving the lump moist.
Note! Begonia elatior is sensitive to salinity, so it is recommended to avoid excess chlorine, which can cause serious damage to the plant.
After the purchase, this flower is usually left in the same pot in which it was bought. When flowering is over, transplantation is not recommended: Elatior begonias do not tolerate this procedure well and almost always die. It can be used for new planting material. Experts recommend using pots with a diameter of 10 to 18 cm. If this plant is placed outdoors, for example, in a garden, provide the plant with always moist soil. The soil needs to be coarse to allow good drainage (Elatior begonias are especially vulnerable to stagnant water).
For side shoots and showier flowers, pruning during March is recommended. In fact, pruning is the removal of part of the branches to eliminate unwanted or excess vegetation. This operation promotes the growth of bushy plants and, if done correctly, improves their appearance and flowering.
Begonia Elatior reproduction
Begonia can be propagated by cuttings, leaf or apical method.
Additional information ! Breeding begonias with cuttings is the easiest way to preserve the varietal characteristics of the plant.
As leaf propagation, you can use both the entire leaf and its separate part.
Reproduction of begonia Elatior leaf in water. Clean, settled water at room temperature is poured into a transparent glass up to about half. You can add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide or Phytosporin, and change the water from time to time.
Eatior begonias begin to propagate with apical stems in the spring season or closer to the beginning of summer.
Cuttings should be chosen among well-developed shoots. They should be 7 to 10 cm long and contain 4 to 6 leaves.
Roots will develop better if the cuttings are placed in a rooting substrate. It can be vermiculite, perlite or very fine sand. It is also necessary to remove all leaves located along the stem, as they may rot after planting is completed.
Put the cuttings in a bright place, but away from direct sunlight, covered with a transparent film and often spray water. The resulting seedlings must be kept in a warm and humid environment. The cover needs to be lifted every day for a few minutes to avoid mold and rot.
After a few weeks, when the roots are formed, remove the bag, and watering should be more rare. Once the seedlings are strong enough, they will need to be transplanted into a larger pot and fertilized.
Choose a pot wider so that the plant has enough space for development. Since the begonia does not tolerate moisture, which can rot its roots, you will need to make good drainage at the bottom of the pot by placing clay balls or small pebbles.
Diseases and pests
Begonia Elatior is susceptible to various diseases and parasites. Gray rot is a real threat to this plant, as it can develop on the soil, flowers or leaves. One of the reasons for this problem may be too wet soil or excess organic fertilizer and high humidity.
To solve this problem, it is desirable to remove mold from the surface and reduce watering. However, if the mold persists, it is good to soak the soil with a dilute captano solution by rinsing the leaves with warm water.
Another threat to begonia health is powdery mildew. This disease, caused by a fungus, infects all green parts of the plant, covering them with a gray coating and causing the leaves to dry and wilt.
This is because powdery mildew blocks the passage of light. It is necessary to reduce the degree of humidity, remove damaged foliage and rinse the leaves with warm water.
Varieties of begonia Eliator
Varieties of this begonia are divided into low, medium and tall. Depending on the color of the flower, varieties can be distinguished.
Begonia Elatior yellow – houseplant with bushy growth, does not exceed half a meter in height. The leaves are dark green in color and have jagged edges. From spring to late autumn, the plant blooms profusely with yellow petals.
Given the bright colors during the flowering period, the begonia looks especially elegant.
Begonia elatior rosa is a variety that reaches a maximum height of 30 cm and a width of 15 cm. It can be placed on the windowsill or in particularly bright areas of the house and should be watered sparingly.
Begonia Baladin enjoys great success. Its characteristic feature is high (up to 30 cm) multi-tiered peduncles, on which up to 70 white, scarlet or pink flowers can be located. It is this variety of begonias that often serves as a “gift” bouquet.
Begonia Elatior Borias blooms profusely and for a long time. The flowers are simple or double, most often pink with a white border.