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Many amateur flower growers throughout the post-Soviet space have long fallen in love with an unpretentious plant to care for - begonia.
Bright multi-colored flowers can become a real decoration of interiors, designs of any terrace or flower bed.
The decision of many just beginning and already experienced florists to purchase a copy of this flower in their collection becomes quite understandable. The basic facts about begonias breeding are outlined in this article.
What is the best time?
The optimal time of the year for begonias to reproduce directly depends on the method of breeding.
If begonia is propagated by seeds, then the best period to start work is January - February, young plants have time to harden well by autumn and easily survive the winter.
If the grower has chosen the method of cuttings, then the most suitable time of the year is spring and summer - periods of active growth of the plant. In spring, reproduction is carried out by dividing the bush.
Preparing for the procedure
The course of the preparatory work also depends on which method of breeding begonias is chosen:
- If you plan to propagate begonias by seeds.
Inspect a flowering plant, pick out dried flower bags, cut them off and put them in some container, for example, a glass. After that, shake out the seeds from each flower bag and store them until January.
- If reproduction is carried out by cuttings.
The “future plant” should be chosen from non-flowering shoots. It should be healthy, without any damage, 8 - 12 cm long. The shoot should be cut below the knot and the lower leaves removed. Necessarily, they should not have less than two or three buds. It is recommended to dry this process a little.
- If begonia will multiply by dividing the bush.
Remove the overgrown plant from the pot, shaking off the roots from the ground, remove old stems and peduncles, cut off the largest leaves. With a sharp knife, you should cut the bush together with the roots into pieces, but so that at least one powerful shoot remains in each. It is recommended to sprinkle the cut with crushed activated carbon.
How and how to propagate - an algorithm of actions
Florists distinguish three main ways of breeding begonias, each of which should be described in more detail.
Cutting is the most popular propagation method among florists., as it is the fastest and most efficient, simple and convenient. This process can be carried out at any time of the year, but in summer and spring the plant is more likely to take root.
- Prepare everything you need for reproduction: a universal substrate from the store (can be replaced with a mixture of peat and vermiculite), a 0.5 liter pot, a jar (if the stalk is immediately rooted in the ground), a spatula.
- At the bottom of the prepared container, it is necessary to lay a layer of substrate (8 cm). Having made a depression with your finger, place the petiole in it, carefully straightening its roots, if rooting was previously carried out in water.
- If rooting is carried out directly into a moistened substrate, then the petiole must be covered with a jar, creating a "greenhouse effect".
- The rooted cutting should be watered regularly and irrigated with a spray bottle.
The root system of begonia propagated in this way is formed in about a month, after which the cuttings can be transplanted into individual pots. When landing on a permanent place of "residence", one should not forget about drainage, as a way to drain excess liquid, and the mandatory presence of drain holes in the bottom of the pot.
You can prepare the soil for begonia yourself: in equal proportions, you need to mix peat, sod soil, humus, vegetable compost and a little river coarse sand.
By dividing the bush
It is considered the easiest way to reproduce begonias, which is subject to even a novice amateur florist.
- For the reproduction of begonia by dividing the bush, you will need: pots, substrate, drainage, begonia, spatula, watering can with water.
- Cover the bottom of the container with a 0.5 - 2 cm layer of drainage (expanded clay, pebbles, broken brick, etc.).
- Pour a low layer of substrate purchased in a store or prepared by hand on top of the drainage (see composition above).
- Place the plant in a pot, fill all the voids that have formed with soil.
- Slightly crush the top layer of the substrate.
- Pour gently with room temperature water from a watering can.
We suggest watching a video on how to propagate begonia by dividing a bush:
Not a very popular breeding method at home, as it is the longest and most unreliable. This method is more suitable for selection work on farms. The sowing and germination process is quite complicated.
Begonia seeds are referred to as fine dust seeds: they are so small that they can be compared to dust. So in 1 gram contains about 60,000 pieces of begonia seeds.
- For sowing, you will need: planting boxes, a substrate (you can prepare it like this: mix soil and peat in a 2: 1 ratio), a spray bottle, glass or plastic wrap, begonia seeds.
- Pour the soil into the planting box.
- Moisten the surface of the substrate well with a spray bottle.
- Seeds that are too small (fine dust) to facilitate the sowing process can be mixed with a small amount of sand, sown in the ground.
Seeds from above should not be covered with earth, as they are very small, and their strength is not enough to "germinate" a layer of earth.
- After sowing, cover the box with glass or foil. It should be placed in a bright place, but not in direct sunlight.
- After the appearance of the first shoots (5 - 20 days), the glass must be removed, systematically moisten the top layer of soil. You should pay attention to the temperature regime: it should not be lower than + 20C.
- When the seedlings get stronger, after the appearance of the third leaf, they need to be dived.
- After 2 months, a second pick is usually made when the sprouts are transplanted into permanent pots, which are kept in a bright place.
- Begonia grown from seeds should be "hardened" for a week before planting in open ground. To do this, pots with seedlings should be taken outside every day, leaving them in a shady place for the whole day.
There are other alternative breeding methods for begonias.... So, this plant can be propagated by dividing the leaf or tubers (for tuberous begonias).
Read more about how to propagate begonias by seed here.
We offer you to watch a video about growing begonias from seeds:
The leaf method of reproduction of begonia consists in cutting the most succulent and largest leaf of the plant into several parts, each of which must necessarily contain a part of the central vein.
Leaf blades are planted in a nutrient substrate in an upright position... They must be buried into the substrate by no more than 1 cm.
Then the pot with "future" begonias is covered with foil or glass, creating an effect close to greenhouse conditions, periodically pouring water at room temperature.
The division of the tuber is done as follows:
- the tuber is cut into several parts, each of which must be with a bud;
- the sections are processed with crushed activated carbon;
- planting material is placed in separate pots filled with nutrient substrate.
We suggest watching a video about begonia breeding using a leaf:
How to root?
There are two ways to root begonia: in water or in a substrate.
- Rooting in water.
- The lower part of the prepared cuttings should be placed in a glass container with water (distilled) at room temperature. For these purposes, the use of crystal dishes will be extremely unsuccessful, since insufficiently transparent vessel walls will not make it possible to track the turbidity and water level.
- The container is placed in a warm place, but not in direct sunlight.
- After the appearance of roots 0.7 - 1.5 cm in length, the plant can be planted in the ground.
- Rooting in the substrate.
For rooting in a substrate, you will need wet soil, purchased from a store, or peat, or sand.
- The cut of the prepared cutting is dipped in water, and then - in a special preparation that stimulates root formation (for example, "Kornevin").
- Next, the cutting is placed in a pot, the bottom of which covers the drainage, and then a moist substrate.
- The cut of the petiole is buried into the ground by 1 -2 cm.
- The pot should be covered with a jar, thus creating the greenhouse effect of the greenhouse.
Experienced florists recommend opening the greenhouse every day, providing oxygen to the plant. With the appearance of the first new leaves, the jar needs to be removed.
If we compare the two above methods, then, unambiguously, the plant takes root faster by rooting in the substrate... Compared to the fragile and brittle roots obtained by the first method, the root system grown by the second method is already adapted to the extraction of moisture and nutrition from the soil. She is stronger and more adaptable to her new habitat. As a result, such a plant will begin to gain strength and growth faster, and will release flower buds faster.
We offer you to watch a video about methods of rooting begonias:
Photo of indoor flower
In the photo below, you can see what a successfully transplanted begonia houseplant looks like.
How to take care after the procedure?
Care for begonia seedlings after planting them in individual pots is the same as for an adult plant.
The container with the plant is placed in a bright place, but without direct sunlight. The optimal temperature regime should not be lower than + 20C - + 22C.
Begonia likes moderate watering, the soil in the pot should not be constantly "sourdough" from excessive moisture. Top dressing is carried out with complex mineral fertilizers purchased in flower shops, from spring to autumn, 1 - 2 times a month.
To propagate begonias, you can use any of the above methods. Which one exactly is a matter of taste, experience, desire. The most important thing is that everything must be done with love and joy, as well as follow all the recommendations for transplanting and caring for this beauty. Then the new plant will be “repaid with the same coin” to its owner: luscious greenery and bright colors of flowers will be remembered for a long time by any guest of your home.