Begonia is a houseplant with a rich history. Its wild form was first discovered by a scientific expedition led by French botanist Plumier. In 1690, three years after the end of the journey, he described this plant in his book and named it in honor of his friend and fellow Begon. This was done in gratitude for the fact that the philanthropist took an active part in the plans of the naturalist monk and provided the expedition with money.
Thanks to the selection work of scientists in many countries, today we have hundreds or even thousands of varieties and hybrids of decorative begonias. Begonia and its cultivation from seed at home is a topic covered in our article.
Decorative begonias for growing at home are divided into two main groups:
- Decorative flowering begonias are an indoor herb with monochromatic green leaves and flowers of various colors and shapes.
- Deciduous begonias are a plant of the same type, but are distinguished by the rainbow colored leaves, flower ovaries are almost not formed.
In the photo above you see a representative of the first group, and in the photo just below - an instance representing the second class. As you already understood, these two begonias differ slightly from each other in morphology. In the brief description of the plant, we note these differences.
The main characteristic features of the decorative begonia structure:
- the roots are tuberous, fibrous or with a vertical main root, on which a plurality of processes is formed, the depth is no more than 20-25 cm (they are of the same type for both classes);
- the stems of begonias are upright, covered with fine hairs, the main color is green, but depending on the variety it can have a different tone, from light green tones to brown-purple hues (the same for 1 and 2 species);
- leaves - you can talk about them endlessly, in every variety or hybrid of begonias they are all different and unique in form, color, structure, look at the photo:
- flowers are irregular, asymmetrical, same-sex and mono-sized, that is, self-pollinating begonias cannot reproduce (if foliage begonias have inflorescences, they do not have decorative value, they should be destroyed, so that the plant does not spend valuable nutrients on their development).
We have already noted that the number of begonia varieties is in the thousands. For example, we will make a brief description of the representatives of the blossoming and deciduous species of the flower.
- Begonia decorative blooming varieties Elatioor (for growing at home). Flowering occurs twice a year at the beginning of summer and at the end of autumn; flowers (up to 5 cm in diameter) have different very delicate shades of a yellow, pink or red palette. There is also a rare "bouquet" for this variety. The height of the bush about 40 centimeters. The leaves are rich green. Stems grow densely, foliage and flower ovaries abundant.
- The begonia of Mason is decorative and deciduous - it is a squat bush (height is 45-60 cm) with large leaves about 20 cm long. The stems are brown-greenish or burgundy, pubescent with small hairs. The leaves are fleshy, compressed, bright green with a cross-shaped pattern in the center (it stands out with a brown stain contrasting with green), the surface of the leaves is with a glossy shine, the edges are notched, the oval shape is pointed at the end.
Here is a description of the most popular varieties of begonias, which flower lovers grow at home. What ways you can grow or plant this flower, consider below.
If you want to get several new plants at once, then the method of breeding begonias with a leaf is useful to you, in this case they take 2-3 large leaves, cut them so that large veins and petiole remain intact. These parts are placed in a container with a wet substrate. A week later, small roots appear on the handle. The plant is ready to transplant to a new place.
At a tuber reproduction, not so many new sprouts of begonia are obtained, 2-3 not more. The tuber must be cut so that each has two viable buds. These pieces are completely buried in the ground to a depth of 3 cm. The soil should be sufficiently wet, and should be constantly moistened when dried. Nodules root quickly, so they can be planted directly in a new pot.
Flower growers who want to get as many plants as possible use the method of growing begonias from seeds. It is easy to do it yourself at home. Let's stop on this method and tell about it in more detail. On the video at the end of the article you will clearly see how to do it correctly.
Growing from seed
Seed propagation of begonias at home is used in the following cases:
- if you want to grow a new plant variety;
- in the presence of a large area in the house or in the garden, which must be decorated with your favorite flowers;
- in order to obtain a large batch of seedlings with its subsequent implementation;
- or because you really like to give potted plants to your friends and relatives.
We will not argue that the whole process of planting begonia seeds takes a lot of time, as well as further care of the seedlings. Weigh the pros and cons, and decide yourself whether to spend time on such work. For those who do not consider this work burdensome, rather see it as pleasure and satisfaction, we will continue our story.
Before planting begonia seeds for seedlings, it is necessary to carefully prepare all the components for this procedure, and the main thing here is seeds. The seeds of the plant are tiny, it is difficult to work with them, but using some tricks you can cope with it even at home.
As has already been said, the seeds of begonias are very, very small, so manufacturers pack them in special capsules for several pieces in one jelly beans. In the photo (see below), we suggest that you consider in detail how the begonia seeds look full-sized.
The usual procedure for preparing seeds for sowing includes soaking and disinfecting them, but because of the size of these seeds, it is impossible, we will decontaminate the substrate. This will be discussed in the next paragraph.Attention! To guarantee one hundred percent germination of begonia seeds can not be any manufacturer. When purchasing a bag of seeds, pay attention to the date of harvesting (hybrid varieties should not have a shelf life of more than 1 year, other types - more than 3 years).
The name of the manufacturer also plays an important role. It is better to buy from the company that is already known to you or your friends.
In the upper photo you see the planting of begonia seeds in peat tablets. Flower growers recognize this as convenient and less costly than harvesting individual containers or pots for seedlings. To do this easily and simply, even at home, adhere to the following order:
- several peat tablets are placed in a waterproof and heat-resistant container;
- hot water is poured to the bottom of the tank up to + 50 ° C so that it does not cover the upper part of the substance;
- during swelling, about 15-20 minutes, you can gradually pour some water;
- each seed of begonia is placed in the center of the swollen tablet;
- the container is closed with a lid (if present) or with polyethylene and put in a warm place;
- when the plant takes roots, and two cotyledon leaves appear on the surface (in 5-7 days), the lid can be removed, the container can be moved closer to the light or light can be added to the same place;
- do not let the peat dry; moisten the surface regularly 1-2 times a day;
- The development and vegetation of begonia seedlings in the first month after sowing seeds occurs slowly; to speed up the process, use chemical preparations that accelerate the growth of seedlings, in small doses, add them when watering;
- after regrowth of 2-3 true leaves, begonia can be transplanted to a permanent place.
What time is better to sow (or plant) begonia seeds? According to experienced flower growers, this should be done in December or January. They believe that the main reason is that over a longer period of vegetation, begonia has time to form a larger, and therefore more viable root. A period of relative rest for the plant begins at the end of autumn. For almost a year before hibernation, the plant will actively increase the root system and green mass, it will be ready for reproduction by tubers, sheets or cuttings.Compare! Tuberiform begonia, the seeds of which were planted in December, formed a tuber 2.5 cm in diameter by November of the following year, and in December of a begonia planted in February, the nodule grew only 1.5 cm.
What affects the germination
Sometimes flower growers, sowing begonia seeds, wait for the emergence of the first shoots for a long time, but for some reason they are not and are not, or 2-3 sprouts grow from 10 seeds. There are many explanations for the reasons, we will cancel only a few main ones. High-quality seeds from a reliable producer should produce sprouts within 7-10 days, some varieties - a maximum of two weeks.
The reasons for the non-germination of begonia seeds are as follows:
- storage periods are violated - small flower seeds can be stored from 1 year to 3 years, preference should be given to material collected in the previous year, the longer the storage period, the lower the germination rate;
- the substrate must always be wet, it is very difficult to wet the peat again if it dries;
- for seed germination of begonias it is very important to maintain a constant temperature not lower than + 25 ° С, use additional heaters while reducing this figure;
- Watch the humidity of the air; if the room is dry and hot, you should spray the plant with water using a spray gun or use special devices to humidify the air.
Fans of flowers who are interested in obtaining abundant flowering of begonia or its foliage, sow seeds for favorable days on the lunar calendar. They believe that the plants planted on these days form more flower buds, their roots become strong, and the leaves are brighter.
We will not assure you of this, and we will not deny the influence of the moon on plants. Such information is not scientifically substantiated, and is based only on long-term experiments of gardener-lovers and astrologers' calculations. You can make a contribution by conducting practical experience in growing your begonias. Share the results and conclusions with family and friends, even if they are interested in this scientific process. Someday your contribution may affect agronomist scientists, they will finally create a scientific base on the topic: "Does the Moon and Constellations Affect Plant Development and Growth?" Good luck.