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Currently, begonia is considered the most common houseplant. This subtropical flower lures growers with non-standard leaves and a riot of colors. To fall in love with them, it is enough to look once. If there is no such plant in your collection yet, it needs to be corrected.
Begonia is a genus of plants of the Begoniaceae family, numbering 1600 species. Each species is endowed with unique shapes, sizes, flowering colors and preferences. The family includes perennials and annuals, represented by herbaceous plants, low shrubs and full-fledged dwarf shrubs.
Homeland is Africa. It was from there that the spread to America, Asia, and later around the world began. The culture enjoys sufficient popularity among our flower growers due to its decorative effect.
History of appearance
For the first time, the beauty was found by the clergyman Charles Plumier in the 17th century. He was a member of an expedition to the Antilles. In total, the monk found about 6 representatives of an amazing plant, naming it after the friend and governor of the island, Michel Begon, who organized this study.
Since the discovery of the first species of begonia, it has undergone continuous hybridization and selection. Today, a huge number of varieties and hybrid forms are known, most of which are bred in Belgium. In specialized stores you can often find "Begonia Terry Mix".
Features of appearance
Grows as a bush (you can find out about the varieties of bush begonias here). Perfectly developed root system. Tuberous begonia can grow outdoors.
Lush foliage of a solid green color, the leaf itself has an asymmetrical shape with jagged edges. The flower is large, looks like a small rose. Blooming begonia mix has double inflorescences of red, yellow, pink, white flowers or with a border of all kinds of shades along the edges of the petals. You will find an overview of all varieties with bright red leaves in this article, and here we talked about the types of plants with yellow flowers.
Flowering occurs in summer in autumn, while indoor begonia can bloom before winter begins.
Today begonia is very popular and is grown both indoors and in the garden. We will tell you about other equally charming varieties of this plant, for example, such as Diadem, Naked, Sizolistnaya, Bauer or Tiger, Collar, Coral, Fista and Mason.
Further in the photo you can see what the flower looks like.
Where and how to plant?
It is best to start planting in March, then the most beautiful blooms will fall in the warm summer period. It is better to give preference to clay and ceramic pots, they allow the roots to be saturated with oxygen.
There are several ways to plant Begonia Mix:
- If you are going to plant begonia from the rhizome, do not harvest a volumetric container. Ideally, it should be 4 cm larger than the root diameter. By choosing an extremely large pot, the flower will suffer from excess moisture.
Planting in a pot is carried out, like transplanting, in the spring. Part of the container is filled with drainage. This is followed by charcoal to help bypass the decay process. After that, it is necessary to mix the fortified soil with humus, sand and peat.
It must be remembered that a young plant does not well tolerate the increased acidity of the soil, it should be within 5.5 pH. The plant accepts planting positively. Over the years, Begonia thickens, growing more leaves. Florists often cut or rejuvenate by dividing the rhizomes.
- For the tubing planting method, germination must be performed first. This is done by planting it in a vitamin-rich environment, keeping the flower in the light at high humidity and a temperature of 18C. It is better to arrange watering in a pan, excluding the ingress of water into the recess on the tuber itself. After germination, they are planted in a peat pot.
After waiting for the buds to appear, you can safely divide the tubers into several shares. Dry the divided parts a little, sprinkle with charcoal and plant in pots. Arrange tuberous planting at the end of March, this time is the best for the development of a strong and resistant plant.
Separated tubers bloom several weeks later.
Lighting and location
Begonia is a light-loving flower. She is a lover of bright lighting, but at the same time does not tolerate direct sunlight. It is preferable to put the pot on a window from the south-west or south-east side, avoiding northern windows.
Pulling a plant speaks of a small amount of daylight. When growth stops and spots appear on the leaves, it is necessary to rearrange the pot farther from the window.
Suitable lighting can actually be delivered with fluorescent lamps and fixtures. It is enough to turn on the illuminators for 12-14 hours a day. The light source must be located above the location of the flower.
The time of purchase of a terry mix and transportation has a strong influence on the adaptation to a new place of residence. It is recommended not to start begonias in cold and frosty weather, as it runs the risk of not surviving sudden changes in temperature between the street and the house.
For indoor cultivation, you must use a soilless mixture. The composition facilitates the entry of nutrients from the substrate to the roots. Most soilless mixtures consist of peat with added perlite or vermiculite. The use of peat often causes some discomfort. Before use, the component should be diluted with boiling water, softening the material. It is supposed to be applied after cooling.
It is contraindicated to use some standard formulations, for example, humus or leafy soil. Harvesting poorly permeates water, which leads to the defeat of the culture with diseases.
The exemplary composition of the soil for growing begonias: sand, peat and black soil in equal proportions, also two parts of leafy land.
- Watering. We recommend watering the begonias with increased or medium watering, depending on the season. On summer days, the flower needs more moisture, in cold months the amount of watering is limited to less. Excess and lack of moisture leads to negative consequences.
It is recommended to start the next procedure when the soil dries up by 2 cm.
The water should not stagnate, it is necessary to use purified or thawed water, approximately equal to the air temperature in the room.
Your plant will let you know when comfortable conditions will be achieved, and when the irrigation regime should be changed. Careful consideration should be given to the quality of the water used to hydrate the terry begonia. It is not worth taking tap water, since it is sufficiently saturated with chlorine.
- Top dressing. Top dressing is applied twice a month, starting from the period of bud formation and for the entire flowering period. This affects decorative flowering representatives. For decorative foliage species, nitrogen-free blends are required because this micronutrient accelerates foliage development by inhibiting flowering.
If you do not add top dressing, the leaves will become faded, the plant will take on a faded appearance. The buds will be small and the flowering period is short.
- Pruning. By eliminating pruning, the plants will quickly lose their attractiveness: they will lengthen, the stem will be exposed, the flowers and leaves will become small. To obtain a luxurious flower, it is necessary to shape the begonia as soon as possible. The procedure is performed in the spring according to the following plan:
- When the flower reaches a height of 7-8 cm, pinch the top, which will stimulate the growth of the lateral processes.
- Reaching 10 cm, the lateral processes of the branches are the top. After the development of new branches, the formation of the bush is interrupted.
- The next care comes down to pruning or removing overgrown, unnecessary shoots.
- Peace. The plant of tuberous species after flowering neatly passes into a dormant period. To do this, you need to reduce the amount of watering until the aerial part of the indoor flower dries completely. All dried parts of the plant are removed by placing the flower itself in a cool room with a temperature of 10-12C for 2.5-3 months.
- Change of location. In warm weather, you can take it out onto the balcony or loggia. The main thing is not to overdo it, because of the frequent change of location, begonia can bloom with ordinary flowers instead of double ones.
Diseases and parasites
- Spider mite. A spider mite causes great harm. A small insect is extremely difficult to spot. The consequences of infection lead to the death of begonia. Symptoms are dark spots, crusty covering on branches and foliage, wilting.
Immediately isolate the plant marked with a tick from other crops. In the treatment, use 10% soapy water, then rinse with warm water. For effective control, apply an insecticide by increasing the air humidity.
- Tuber Rot. The spread of rot regularly begins during the dormant period. About 50% of the planting material is at risk of perishing. Frequent inspection and removal of all darkened areas of the tuber will help resist rotting.
- Nematodes. Tubers and leaves are affected. The attacked tuber must be destroyed. If you suspect an infestation of the foliage, you need to set the pot separately from the others. Use thermal treatment of begonias as a prophylaxis and treatment.
- Powdery Mildew. Dew is associated with fungal diseases. Initially appears as light spots on the leaves. Inaction leads to rapid spread, it has a special love for yellow inflorescences. Begonia can be treated with a systemic fungicide spray. To prevent infection, use the drug before bud break.
- Weevil. The most harmful begonia invader. The beetle leaves clutches of eggs in the soil. The larvae that appear plunge into the tuber, eat it, causing irreparable damage. There is a whole list of pest control products. The best insect exterminator is Provado.
Begonia can be propagated in several ways:
- Cuttings. A couple of whole leaves should remain on the cut cuttings. Places of cuts must be sprinkled with crushed activated carbon. Plant each stalk in a personal container. The plant is taken for about a month at a temperature of 20C and good moisture in the soil and air. Avoid the open sun, shade the seedlings.
- By dividing the bush. The bush is divided along with the root part, planting in personal pots. At the time of rooting, the flower should be in a warm room.
Begonia Mix will be a wonderful gift for every connoisseur of the delicious world of plants. You just need to provide her with constant care and fulfill easy requirements, and she will definitely respond, delighting you with her variegated colors.