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Cutting is one of the favorite methods of begonia propagation by many growers. It is quite simple and effective: even a novice flower lover can separate a stalk from a begonia, root it, and after 3 - 4 months enjoy the beauty of a blooming new plant. Details on this breeding method can be found in this article. We will tell you how to propagate begonias at home, how the cutting process itself takes place, how to prepare for it, how to plant and root cuttings, as well as about subsequent care and possible problems.
How to propagate at home?
Begonia reproduces in the following ways:
- By dividing the bush.
Reference! A cut is a detached part of a plant (leaf, shoot), and cuttings are vegetative propagation using a cut. The advantage of this method of reproduction of begonia is the inheritance of all the qualities of the mother plant, including the color of flowers and leaves.
How to cut?
Despite the fact that cuttings can be carried out at any time of the year, it is better to wait until spring. The fact is that in the spring, begonia enters the active phase of the growing season: new cells begin to form intensively due to the acceleration of metabolic processes occurring in it. The trigger for the active growth of the plant is favorable weather conditions (a lot of sun, warmth), which have replaced winter ones.
Varieties of planting material
Begonia has several types of cuttings.: leafy, apical, stem.
- A leaf stalk is a single leaf of a begonia that can be planted in a pot after rooting. Alternatively, a begonia leaf is cut into pieces, and the resulting fragments are planted in the ground for rooting.
- Apical cutting is a shoot cut from the mother plant, which is subsequently rooted.
- From under the substrate in August - September, stem cuttings can begin to actively appear. They are well suited for rooting, they are often already with roots, which will greatly facilitate the process of plant propagation.
- Leaf stalk.
One healthy, without damage and disease, medium or large begonia leaf is selected. To prevent the occurrence of infectious diseases, it is recommended to treat the leaf with a fungicide.
- Apical stalk.
A healthy, strong, without visible damage, non-flowering shoot 8 - 12 cm long is selected. The shoot is cut from the begonia bush with a sharp knife obliquely. The place of the cut should be below the node, and the shoot must have a leaf or a pair of leaves.
If there are a lot of leaves, then the lower ones must be removed in order to prevent decay. For the same purpose, it is recommended to dry the cut shoot in the air for several hours.
- Stem cutting.
To extract a young shoot from the ground, it is necessary to firmly grasp its trunk and, swinging it in different directions, pull it slowly up. It will break off in the “right” place, often along with the roots.
If the cuttings growing from the substrate are already with buds, then they must be removed: all the strength of the young plant should be spent on the development of the root and deciduous mass.
How to plant?
- After the roots of the cutting, regardless of the rooting method, reach 0.7 - 1.5 cm in length, it is planted in an individual pot.
- The bottom of the tank (there must be a hole in it for water drainage) is filled with drainage (expanded clay, pebbles, broken brick), and then - with a substrate.
- Having made a depression in the soil with your hand, place the seedling in the pot, carefully straightening its roots, if rooting was previously done in water.
The best planting method for young seedlings rooting in the ground is the transfer method:
- The plant is taken out of the container and, without shaking off the earthy coma, is placed in a new pot.
- The top layer of soil near the stem is crushed by hands, the plant is watered and put in its place.
Reference! The soil for begonia should be loose and light. The easiest option is to buy a ready-made substrate at a flower shop.
You can prepare the necessary mixture with your own hands. There are several recipes for homemade soil.:
- Sod soil, humus, peat, vegetable compost and a little river coarse sand are mixed in equal proportions.
- A mixture of peat and coarse sand in a 1: 1 ratio is used. You can add a little humus to this mixture.
How to root?
- A large begonia leaf is cut into pieces in the form of a triangle, each of which should have 1 - 2 veins.
- Slices are processed with crushed activated carbon, it is also possible with "Kornevin".
- Further, each of the segments is deepened into the moistened substrate by 5 - 7 mm, the top layer of soil is slightly crushed by hands for better fixation of the planted parts of the leaf.
Alternatively, a begonia leaf is cut across the veins in several places and placed on a moistened substrate, while it must be pressed to the surface with small pebbles or toothpicks.
Medium leaf can also be rooted in water... For this, a leaf with a petiole is placed in a container with water, in which a tablet of activated carbon was previously dissolved. The leaf stalk is in the vessel until the roots appear.
It can also be rooted in two ways: in water or directly in the ground.
- A shoot rooted in water is immersed in a liquid poured into a dark glass or plastic vessel. The entire container should not be filled with water: it should be exactly as much as needed to immerse only the lower part of the shoot.
In water, you need to dissolve a tablet of activated carbon and a little drug - a root growth stimulator ("Kornevin").
- If you root the stalk in the ground, then it should first be dipped in water with its tip, and then in a root formation stimulator. Further, at an angle of 45 degrees, the shoot must be buried in moist soil by 2 - 3 cm.
If the cutting could not be removed from the substrate with roots, then it should be rooted in water in the same way as the apical stalk. And if the young shoot already has developing roots, then it can be planted in the ground.
Attention! An important condition for any type of rooting is the subsequent mandatory placement of the cuttings in a mini-greenhouse: for the development of the root system, high temperatures and humidity are required.
These conditions can be achieved by placing the container with the stem in a plastic bag, a plastic food container with a tight-fitting lid, or in a cut-open plastic bottle. With the appearance of the first roots, the greenhouse can be removed. But it is also important to remember that such a greenhouse should be opened daily for ventilation, otherwise the shoot may simply rot.
What to do after?
- Cuttings of begonia, already planted in individual pots, must be placed in a bright place, while avoiding direct sunlight on the foliage of young plants. The ideal option is the north, north-west, north-east windows.
- The optimum temperature for begonia growth is + 20C - + 22C.
- The young plant is watered often, but little by little. It is important not to allow excessive moisture in the substrate, otherwise begonia will die from decay.
- Spraying is not recommended: begonia does not like water droplets on leaves and flowers. You can put a container with water next to the pot to increase the humidity level in hot and dry weather, or place the pot in a tray covered with expanded clay, which must be watered periodically.
- Top dressing is carried out with complex mineral fertilizers purchased in flower shops, from spring to autumn, 1 - 2 times a month.
If something went wrong
- The growth point of the cutting, which was taken out from under the substrate, began to rot... This happens if the cuttings are taken during the active flowering of the mother plant.
Microscopic buds that had already appeared on the handle and were not yet visible to the naked eye were rotted away. This is not scary, since begonia has many "dormant" buds in the axils of each leaf, and such a stalk is quite viable. This phenomenon happens quite often.
- A young ampelous begonia shows signs of infectious diseases (rot, powdery spots, etc.)... To prevent this phenomenon, it is recommended to disinfect the soil, the pot in which the cuttings will be planted (treatment with fungicides, heat treatment).
- Rotting cuttings... This phenomenon is possible with excessive watering. Also, do not forget about the daily airing of the "greenhouses" in which the rooting of the plant is carried out.
Having done simple manipulations on transplanting and reproducing a plant, you can delight yourself and your loved ones by seeing the beauty of blooming begonia for more than one year. The main condition is compliance with all requirements for the care and maintenance of this flower.
We suggest you watch a video about begonia cuttings: