Begonia has been one of the most popular indoor plants for many years. They love her for her unpretentious care and long flowering period. In this article we will tell you all about the ampelous begonia, planting and care at home of which are quite easy and pleasant processes. Knowing all the intricacies of growing this plant, you will definitely be able to get a lush flowering bush with incredibly beautiful flowers.
Begonia is a perennial flowering plant that grows well both in open ground and at home. In Europe, this plant appeared in the eighteenth century, moreover, it was grown as a deciduous plant. Only many years later, flowering varieties of begonias, which are still grown, came into fashion. As shown in the photo of ampelous begonia, its flowers cascade on long shoots with bright leaves. Their coloration is quite diverse, but the main colors are red, pink and white. There are two varieties of this plant: male and female. Men are considered especially beautiful. Each flower blooms during10 days, the entire flowering period lasts at least 4 months.
Selection of location and organization of lighting
For ampelous begonia, it is important to create the most comfortable growing conditions, and it will delight you with its amazing flowering for a long time.
Begonia is a very photophilous plant, however, direct sunlight can burn delicate leaves and flower petals. Therefore, it is important to give preference to a well-lit place with diffused and soft light. The best time period for the plant to stay in the light is from sunrise to 11 am and from 3 pm to sunset. At the same time, the optimum temperature is maintained within the range from +20°С to +25°С.
For growing begonias, it is preferable to choose a neutral soil, it is permissible to use slightly acidic. The substrate can be either prepared independently or purchased ready-made.
For self-preparation of the soil mixture, you will need four parts of sod land, four parts of leafy soil and part of sand. Whatever soil you use, the most important stage of preparation is its disinfection. This procedure will protect the plant from the development of diseases and mold. There are four ways to till the soil:
- freezing - the soil is kept at sub-zero temperatures until it freezes completely;
- warming up - the soil is watered with boiling water;
- disinfection with manganese solution;
- steaming - a container with soil for a longtime kept in a water bath.
Growing from tubers
The care and planting of ampelous begonias from tubers begins, first of all, with the selection and preparation of planting material.
Tubers should not be too large - 3-4 centimeters in diameter is enough. They must be clean, free of signs of damage and mold contamination. The more bumpy the tuber, the better. Tubercles are future buds that provide the plant with growth. A good quality tuber has at least 7 such tubercles-buds. For germination, planting material is wrapped with a damp cloth and placed in a well-lit place. The tuber is ready for planting the moment it sprouts roots.
A pot for planting ampelous begonias should have a large diameter and medium depth. A layer of drainage must be poured at the bottom of the container, after which the prepared soil is poured. The tubers are planted with the convex part down, and so that it is not completely immersed in the ground. The tuber falls asleep only after the appearance of three or four leaves.
Scheme of sowing seeds
Begonia seeds are very small - one gram contains at least 50 thousand pieces. It is best to give preference to granulated seeds, which have a nutritious shell, and also have a higher germination rate. If using these pellets, purchase peat pellets.
First, they prepare the substrate for planting: the tablets are well soaked in water. After their complete soaking in eachthe tablet is inserted one seed granule at a time. After that, the landings are moistened with water from the sprayer and covered with a film. Watering is carried out only through the pallet, without removing the film, maintaining the greenhouse effect.
If you plan to use ordinary seeds, then prepare seedling boxes in advance. A layer of drainage is poured onto the bottom of the tank, after which soil is introduced. Seeds are sown on the soil surface, without deepening, after which the container is covered with glass or film. If the temperature is maintained at least + 25 ° C, the first shoots will appear within a couple of weeks after sowing.
The main care for young shoots is constant watering, maintaining temperature and providing lighting. Water the seedlings exclusively from below, that is, by placing containers with seedlings in a pan with water. Watering plants from above is strictly prohibited, as it leads to their death. It is very important to prevent the soil from drying out.
At the seedling stage, begonias require quite a lot of sunlight, but it should be diffused. In winter, seedlings require additional lighting from artificial sources. In addition, before transplanting seedlings into open ground, they must be hardened off. This procedure is carried out by removing the film from the box, first for 10-15 minutes, then for 30 and so on, gradually increasing the time period.
Two months after sowing the seeds, the seedlings are picked. Sprouts are planted in separate containers with the same composition of the soil mixture and the presencedrainage. Transplanted sprouts are placed in a well-lit place, periodically turning the container for better coverage of the plant by the sun. The use of any growth stimulants at this stage is not necessary, as the stems of the plant grow perfectly on their own. Two to three weeks after picking, you can apply a little fertilizer. After that, top dressing is applied twice a month. Only five months after picking, seedlings can be transferred to open ground.
That is, when shoots appear in early January, planting in open ground should be carried out no earlier than May. In this case, flowering will begin at the end of June and will continue until the end of autumn.
Propagation by cuttings
This method of growing ampelous begonias is quite simple and fast. Usually, the preparation of planting material is carried out in the spring, when the plant has already come out of dormancy. The cuttings are cut from 8 to 10 centimeters long, after which they are cleaned and dried. The prepared cutting is placed in a glass of warm water and left until the first roots appear. Remove the cutting from the water at the moment when the cut begins to rot a little. The rotten part is cut off, and the stalk is again immersed in clean water. Ready for transplanting should have two centimeter roots. Watering with lukewarm water helps to improve the survival rate and rooting of the cutting in the soil.
To get a more lush plant, several cuttings are planted in one pot at once, each of which is pinched after 4 internodes. Thisprocedure will strengthen branching.
Ampelous begonia: care for young and adult plants
This plant requires a special watering regimen. Ampelous begonia tubers should not be watered directly - a flower pot is placed in a pan with water, or water is introduced around the circumference of the pot without touching the plant itself. It is also important to observe the measure when watering - you should not allow the soil to dry out, but excessive moisture also threatens the development of diseases. In winter, watering is reduced several times.
To organize stable growth and lush flowering at home, ampelous begonias require regular top dressing. To increase the density of greenery, nitrogenous fertilizers are applied, for example, a solution of urea. Later, during the period of bud formation, phosphorus and potassium preparations are introduced into the soil. There are good complex preparations, such as "Kemira Lux", which have a balanced composition of trace elements.
Since begonia is considered to be a long-flowering plant, the removal of wilted flowers is one of the mandatory procedures. By removing faded flowers, you not only improve the appearance of the plant, but also make room for new flowers.
The occurrence of various diseases, most often, occurs when the basic rules of care are not followed. Ampelous begonia at home may suffer from powdery mildew and gray rot.
Complete removal of infected leaves and treatment of the plant with a fungicidal preparation will help to cope with powdery mildew. The "Topaz" tool has proven itself well.
Grey rot canoccur due to the long stay of the plant in the open air, for example, on a veranda or unglazed balcony. The disease manifests itself in the form of whitish spots on the stems and leaves, which gradually turn into rot or mucus.
If the air in the room where ampelous begonia is grown is too dry, then the risk of infecting the plant with a spider mite sharply increases. You can recognize its appearance by yellow spots on the leaves and a thin cobweb on the stems. At the slightest sign of the appearance of this pest, treat the plant with the Bi-58 insecticide.
Sometimes begonias are attacked by aphids. In addition to spots of various shades that appear on begonia leaves, aphids are detrimental to plants because of their ability to carry ring spot. Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely get rid of this harmful insect, so the infected plant must be destroyed. Be sure to conduct a preventive inspection of the plants closest to the begonia for aphids or ring spot infestation. If signs of disease are found, destroy the plants.