Beautiful flowering begonias - a unique show
Blooming species of begonias arrange a real bright show in the house. Neither in terms of color saturation, nor in catchiness and splendor, not one plant stretches with them. Despite the fact that the flowering varieties of begonias have long become cult plants and far from exotic, it is still appropriate to classify them as not classical, but modern cultures. Impressive and daring, they offer to admire their acrylic colors and perfect forms. And although these are not the simplest plants, they are unique in every sense of the word.
Special begonias with bright flowering
It is not by chance that the flowering species of begonias have become the most popular varieties of these amazing plants and have long overshadowed their leafy and tuberous competitors. The division of begonias of room assortment into two groups, which are considered almost radically different, is not accidental and quite justified. Although decorative leafy begonias are also worth a look, and they are not as simple as it might seem, flowering begonias are still absolute favorites of the Begonia genus in the room format.
Begonias with beautiful flowering have become famous for collected 1-2 loose or denser shields with simple or different terry flowers, the shape of which is often compared with a head of cabbage. True, with the current variety of flowering begonias, one can also find similar in shape to a rose, peony, star-shaped, anemone, clove-shaped or other original flowers. Blooming begonias in height are limited to 20-50 cm, develop in the form of a compact and lush bush or ampelous plant with hanging shoots (in ampelous begonias, flowers are collected in spectacular drooping clusters).
Begonia leaves do not resemble motley decorative-leaf varieties in any way, but upon closer inspection, their similarity is obvious. Like all begonias, in beautifully flowering leaves are asymmetrical, most often heart-shaped, with a jagged edge. Their color ranges from dark to fairly bright medium green and light green, can be grassy or emerald, and in recent years varieties with purple leaves have become more popular.
Varieties and types of flowering begonias
When it comes to species and varietal diversity of flowering begonias, it is worth preparing for uncertainty and confusion. The thing is that all modern begonias with beautiful flowering are hybrids. And even if we are talking about a specific variety, it is still represented on the market by varieties that have gone through a long and difficult selection.
Choosing flowering begonias, it is not necessary to strictly follow the botanical name of plants, because often the same varieties in different catalogs are named differently. The main thing is the decorativeness of the plant. Begonias are chosen with heart and eyes, to your taste and to your interior.
The possibilities for choosing flowering begonias are not limited by any parameter. Only in the color palette do they range from the brightest to brightest and most unusual variations of white, yellow, pink, orange, red, purple tones, not to mention a variety of watercolor and contrasting two-tone combinations that further expand the color palette of beautifully flowering begonias.
The most popular varieties of flowering begonias
Begonia varieties are ever-flowering or always-flowering (today a species name Potato begonia (Begonia cucullata), but it is still better known as Begonia semperflorens) - this is a hybrid type of begonia, which was obtained by crossing more than 5 different Latin American varieties of begonias. These are shrubs with simple ovoid, dark red or green, glossy leaves, located next to succulent shoots. Each plant flaunts loose inflorescences of white, pink or red flowers that appear on long peduncles from the axils of the leaves.
Flowers can be double and simple. Evergreen begonia blooms constantly and tirelessly. Visible differences make it easy to distinguish plants with male four-petalled flowers from specimens with female five-petal flowers. This begonia has a huge number of varieties and series of varieties - from small (up to 20 cm) 'Cocktail', 'Eureka', 'Olimpia', 'Queen' to medium-sized (about 25 cm) 'Ambassador', 'Vision', 'Victory 'to the half-meter begonias of the series' Stara', 'Lotto', 'Baby Wing Pink', 'Inferno'.
Группы Elatior ’Hybrids (they are mistakenly associated with a begonia a tall, species plant, which is most often continued to be distributed under the botanical name Begonia elatior, although according to recent data it has been reclassified as Begonia reniformis; here it is more appropriate to talk about a separate group of varieties, rather than hybrids of the same plants - Begonia x hybrida 'Elatior').
Varieties are required for their popularity with larger flowers resembling anemones and roses, an abundance of colors and the ability to bloom in winter or almost tirelessly (in some catalogs they are even advertised as blooming all year, although they still need a rest period). "Elator" is grown in both room and garden culture. Plants form lush compact bushes with bright flowers that densely cover the entire bush.
Ег Lorraine ’Begonias - winter-flowering varieties of begonias, which are one of the most striking decorations of the winter interior. The color palette of these begonias is limited only by white and pink hues, but the bushes resemble blooming clouds.
Begonias of ‘Belleconia’, ‘Pendula’ and other ampelic begonias - ampelous plants with luxurious watercolor terry flowers that look like drooping roses. Bunches of drooping flowers are combined with an interesting pattern of hanging shoots.
As a flowering plant at room conditions, it is possible to grow both bush and ampelous varieties of tuberous begonias (Begonia x tuberhybrida). These plants, familiar mainly from potted and container garden crops, can bloom in open soil.
Tuberous begonias feel great in the same conditions as traditional indoor, flowering begonias. After flowering, the aerial part completely dies, and the tubers are kept in cool conditions for about three months (12-15 degrees) almost dry, after which they are transplanted and returned to the usual environment to stimulate flowering, gently renewing watering and feeding.
Care for beautiful flowering begonias at home
Beautifully flowering begonias cannot be called complex and demanding plants. To maintain constant flowering and enjoy it almost the whole year, plants still have to provide thorough, intensive care. But there are no special difficulties in growing beautiful flowering beauties; they are suitable even for beginner gardeners. The only drawback is the fragility of plants, the need for rejuvenation every few years.
Lighting for flowering begonias
Like almost all begonias, beautifully flowering hybrids adapt well to different lighting conditions, but only within light scattered and slightly penumbral locations. Plants cannot stand direct sunlight, especially in the summer. Ideal for these begonias are considered western and eastern window sills. The daylight hours for beautifully flowering begonias should optimally be 16 hours. In winter, plants at the flowering stage are recommended to illuminate or rearrange to more illuminated places.
Throughout the flowering stage, begonia should not be rotated and it is better not to move it. Begonia can respond to a sharp change in lighting, especially to a shift in relation to the light source, by dropping buds or flowers.
Begonias with luxurious flowering are relatively unpretentious to temperatures. The main thing to take care of is to limit the minimum allowable temperature in winter to 18-20 degrees Celsius. But the rest of the year, beautiful flowering begonias adapt well to normal room conditions. Any indicators in the range from 20 to 25 degrees of heat are considered optimal.
Begonias love stability, they must be protected from sharp jumps in temperature, especially in the phase of budding and flowering, as well as from excessive heat, which reduces the flowering period.
Most new begonias are not purely indoor plants. They feel no worse both in the quality of the balcony and in the role of a potted garden plant. But they can not stand drafts and a sharp difference in conditions, they need a gradual adaptation to fresh air and new rooms. Plants should be protected from drafts, as well as to ensure that the earthen lump is not supercooled in the cold season.
Watering and humidity
To succeed in growing begonias and admire the abundant flowering for months, you need to carefully control the humidity of the substrate. For flowering begonias, moderate watering is needed to maintain light, stable humidity. These procedures are carried out, allowing the upper soil to dry out.
Begonias do not like not only stagnation of water, but also excessive humidity during heavy irrigation, sharp fluctuations in the moisture content of the substrate. Overflows are very dangerous for them. In winter, watering is reduced to a minimum, maintaining only light soil moisture and letting it dry out almost completely between treatments.
For flowering begonias, only soft, settled water is used. You should monitor its temperature, which should correspond to the temperature of the air in the room.
High air humidity is an important measure to achieve particularly spectacular flowering and to extend its duration. But, like for any other plants of this genus, spraying for begonias is prohibited. You can increase the air humidity indicators for these plants by other methods - placing them on a pallet with wet pebbles or expanded clay, installing humidifiers, etc. Beautifully flowering begonias do not need “tropical” humidity; average values and protection against dry air in the summer and during the heating season are enough for them.
Top dressing for flowering begonias
Despite its abundant and prolonged flowering, begonias do not need abundant top dressing. These plants are sensitive to an excess of mineral salts, therefore fertilizers are applied restrainedly and with a standard frequency. The optimal frequency of procedures is 1 time in 14-15 days when using a full dose of fertilizers or weekly top dressing with a half-reduced amount of fertilizers. Feeding is carried out throughout the flowering period and active vegetation.
It is best to choose fertilizers specially designed for begonias for beautifully flowering begonias, but complex mixtures designed for flowering plants with a full representation of trace elements are also suitable. Pay attention to the fact that flowering begonias do not tolerate sulfur, but they respond positively to the introduction of manganese and boron (additional fertilizing with boric acid and potassium permanganate can be carried out in a proportion of 0.1 g per 1 liter of water).
Trimming, rejuvenating and supporting begonias
Beautifully flowering begonias are usually pruned immediately after flowering. About the need for pruning and its features is to clarify the information when buying. In evergreen begonias, the elongated shoots are usually simply shortened and the damaged and weak ones are removed. The rest of the pruning is reduced to the removal of peduncles.
Due to prolonged and lush flowering, flowering begonias lose both plentiful color and compactness with age. If the bushes lose their decorative effect, they are recommended to be resumed by the cuttings method. Cardinal pruning as a method of rejuvenation of flowering begonias is not suitable. The standard frequency of rejuvenation is 1 time in 2-3 years.
Beautifully flowering begonias are not only compact, but also very massive, and ampelous plants can even grow to enormous size. Because of their fragility, the shoots are not always able to withstand the weight of huge inflorescences, and the most lush and massive abundantly flowering begonias may need support in the form of a short flight of stairs or a circular “loop” to prevent breaking of juicy shoots.
Transplant and substrate
Beautifully flowering begonias are transplanted immediately after flowering or before the start of growth, very early in February. A safer strategy is a transplant after flowering. Pruning is carried out on the plant, after which it is transferred to a fresh substrate. Very mature plants can be transplanted with a frequency of 1 time in 2 years, but usually carry out an annual transplant.
The selection of substrate for begonias is very important. Beautifully flowering begonias cannot tolerate soil compaction, and the soil mixture should be loose, breathable and light. There are special substrates for begonias on sale, but a mixture with a sufficiently fibrous structure is also suitable (a combination of heather and garden soil with manure in a ratio of 5: 5: 1, turf soil with peat, humus and sand in equal proportions, etc.).
Mildly acidic substrates with pH values of 5.5 to 6.5 are preferred. Perlite or vermiculite can be added to the soil to improve breathability.
Transplantation of flowering begonias is carried out carefully, removing free soil at the bottom of an earthen coma, but trying to avoid contact with the superficial root system. The main task is to lay a high, powerful drainage at the bottom of the tank.
For flowering begonias, wide containers are preferred whose depth is less than the diameter. To reduce the risk of soil swamping and optimize air exchange in the substrate, it is better to choose fairly compact containers (traditionally even large flowering begonias are grown in containers with a diameter of about 14 cm).
Diseases and pests
Powdery mildew poses the greatest danger to flowering begonias. Most often, they recommend immediately destroying the infected plant, since the fight even with the use of fungicides rarely brings positive results, and begonia almost always dies or loses its decorative effect so much that it is more expedient to save it by propagating from the cuttings. It is found on flowering begonias and gray rot (with waterlogging of the soil), and aphids, which it is better to fight with insecticides immediately.
Common growing problems:
- the appearance of spots on the leaves when water drops fall;
- dropping buds in drafts or with a sharp temperature difference;
- dropping leaves in the cold;
- blanching of leaves and elongation of shoots with strong shading;
- drying of the edges of leaves and browning of leaves in direct sunlight or in extremely dry air.
Propagation of flowering begonias
The best method for propagating luxurious hybrid begonias is cuttings. In these plants, leafy cuttings can be used to obtain new plants. But the easiest way is to root the apical cuttings of a standard 7-10 cm length, cut from vegetative (non-flowering) shoots. The best time is spring or summer. Cuttings are rooted in wet sand under a hood.
In large tall specimens, the simplest method, separation of bushes, can be used as a propagation method. But it does not lead to rejuvenation, and the plant will still have to be renewed at the same frequency, so it is better to immediately choose cuttings.
Non-hybrid begonias with simple rather than double flowers are propagated by seeds. They are scattered on the surface of the soil in early spring or immediately after harvest, without covering with soil and germinated under a film or glass in bright light and warm. Shoots develop rapidly, they are dived at the stage of the second leaf. Young plants must be protected from waterlogging.