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Begonia Elatior (beautifully flowering) is the most common and favorite type of flowering begonias. This is a hybrid species that resulted from the crossing of Socotran begonia and tuberous.
The result is an amazing plant: bright flowers against a background of glossy green leaves - it looks elegant and spectacular.
Below are photos of Elatior begonias, which, of course, can only partially convey all the stunning beauty of the grace of this flower, and we will also learn how to properly care for the plant.
Botanical description and photo
Begonia Elatior is a representative of the winter group of Hiemalis hybrids. An evergreen perennial, but sometimes grown as an annual and discarded after flowering.
The maximum flower height is forty centimeters. Stem erect and thick, reddish color. Begonia leaves are small; heart-shaped, bright green color with glossy sheen. The flowers of the plant are large, reaching five centimeters in diameter. The petals are regular or double, sometimes decorated with fringes along the edges.
This is how Begonia Elatior looks like:
History of origin
Begonia first discovered by monk Charles Plumier (this was in the seventeenth century), he was a member of an expedition to the Antilles. In total, he found six varieties of this plant. Plumier gave the name to the flower in honor of the governor of the island, who was also his friend, Michel Begon.
Conditions of detention
Although this beauty loves good lighting, it is better to keep her away from direct sunlight. To grow Elatior on a windowsill, you need the windows to face the west and east sides. If you put the begonia on the south side, then it will bloom in small flowers.
From too much sunlight, terry begonias simply turn pale. As for the winter growing period, flowering begonia belongs to plants with a short daylight hours, so it does not need additional lighting.
Temperature and humidity
In order for the hybrid to grow well and bloom for a long time, it must be kept in a warm room with a temperature of 18-20 degrees Celsius. If the temperature in the room is lower than it should be, the begonia will stop growing and shed its buds. It is impossible to grow a flower at a low temperature, otherwise the roots or stem will begin to rot. For this reason, the plant is contraindicated in temperature extremes and drafts.
Begonia Elatior is very demanding on air humidity, however, it should not be sprayed. To increase the moisture around the plant, you can place the pot on a tray filled with moss, damp expanded clay, or peat.
Begonia must be planted in loose, breathable and permeable soil (a mixture of peat soil, humus and sand). The flower pot should be compact, as its root system is very fragile and it is undesirable to transplant it too often.
You can transplant a flower only after the end of the winter period. Before planting, it is necessary to shake off the roots of the plant from the ground and put in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for one hour. If the plant has weak and rotten roots, they must be removed.
The new pot should be three centimeters larger than the previous one. The transplant soil should be loose and nutritious in order to retain moisture well, but at the same time dry well. You can make your own earthen mixture.
For this you will need:
- peat land;
- greenhouse humus;
- leaf humus.
All these components must be mixed in equal proportions. Coarse river sand must be added to the soil ready for transplanting begonias. or perlite.
Begonia Elatior can be watered only after the earthen lump dries out (at least to the middle). You need to water in moderation, do not overdo it with water - the flower does not approve of dampness. Water should not stagnate neither in the pot nor in the pan, otherwise the plant stems will begin to rot. It is better not to add water than to pour it over; there will be nothing from a smaller amount of begonia water, but overflow is fraught with serious consequences.
You need to feed Elatior very carefully. For feeding, only specialized mineral complex fertilizers are used. It is undesirable to use organic feedingbecause frequent use of organic nitrogen will make the flower stems watery, transparent and brittle. After organic feeding, begonia flowering leaves much to be desired, and the flowers themselves do not look as impressive as they should.
This method allows you to make a flower bush decorative and give any shape you want (pyramidal, spherical, and so on). How to pinch begonia correctly? This procedure should be carried out either before flowering or after (in autumn or spring). And you need to pinch like this:
- First you need to find the highest point of growth on the main stem of the plant.
- Now you need to carefully pinch it off by one or two centimeters.
- After two to three weeks, active growth of lateral shoots will begin.
When can a plant be replanted after purchase?
The root system of begonia develops slowly and takes a long time to master the earthen lump, so frequent transplants are undesirable. A healthy begonia that has not fully mastered the pot is not transplanted. It is also undesirable to transplant a flower immediately after purchasing it. The only exception can be an urgent need for this. Here are some good reasons to transplant begonia:
- the roots of the flower have grown so that they look out of the drainage holes;
- yellowing of the leaves is observed;
- fungal diseases appear;
- found pests in the soil;
- the pot has fallen into disrepair.
There is another way to help you understand when you can transplant a flower. To do this, you need to hold the plant with one hand, and with the other, turn the pot upside down with the flower. Now you need to carefully pull the pot up to expose the earthen ball. If it is all entwined with roots, then it is time to transplant the plant.
Important! It is better to plan a begonia transplant in early spring, while the growth processes have not yet been activated. During this period, the flower will more easily transfer the transplant and quickly recover after it.
Although begonia is a very fragile plant, it is rarely affected by diseases and pests. However, as with any other indoor plant, such a nuisance as leaf disease can happen to it. There are several types of flower disease:
- Powdery mildew. The leaf is covered with small light spots, which gradually grow and cover its entire surface with a white powdery coating. Then the leaf darkens and dries.
- Gray rot. White spots with a gray bloom appear on the leaves, tops of shoots and flowers, which then darken, become brown and damp. The stems rot and break off. The leaves are covered with large holes.
- Bacterial spotting. The underside of the leaves is covered with watery spots, which eventually darken to brown; leaf petioles also darken.
- Ring spot. The leaves are gradually covered with light spots and dead areas, then the leaves take on a bronze tint.
Begonia can also be attacked by parasites. Here are several types of pests and symptoms of their "tricks":
- The false shield is soft. When infected with this parasite, the plant is weakened and does not bloom well. The leaves of the flower become lighter and deformed, a plaque in the form of sugar grains can be observed.
- Aphid. The leaves turn yellow, clusters of insects are visible on the underside (their length reaches two and a half millimeters).
- Double wing. Begonia leaves turn yellow, and on the underside one can see insects up to one and a half millimeters long with two pairs of wings covered with a white coating.
- Thrips. The flower is very stunted. The leaves become discolored and turn yellow; brown insects up to one and a half millimeters in size with two pairs of wings are visible on them.
- Gall nematode - a worm that inhabits the roots and the lower part of the stem. For laying eggs, it forms galls, which is why it is called a root nematode. This parasite provokes rotting of the root system and the death of the plant.
- Leaf nematode. This worm is no more than one millimeter in length, but no less harm from it. When damaged by a leaf nematode, the shoots thicken and bend, and light spots appear on the leaves.
If you want to replenish your collection of indoor plants with such a specimen as begonia, then you need to be prepared for careful care and constant control over all factors of the fragile beauty's habitat and know about the features of its reproduction. But these efforts are not in vain, because for taking care of herself, she will delight with a lush bouquet of bright and graceful flowers.