Eternal flowering begonia is one of the most beautiful and unpretentious plants that can be grown both on the windowsill and in the open ground. High decorativeness allows it to be widely used in landscape design. You can learn about the methods of breeding evergreen begonias, planting and caring for it from this article.
The family to which this plant belongs has about one thousand species. In nature, it can be found in forests and rock crevices throughout South America, as well as in tropical regions of Africa and Asia. The ever-flowering perennial variety was first bred in Brazil in 1821. Literally a few years later he was already in Europe, or rather in Germany.
Eternally flowering begonia, the photo of which is located below, is a small plant with a naked and smooth fleshy stem, the average length of which is 40 cm. It consists of many knees, ending in glossy shiny leaves that have a slightly curved shape. The color of the leaves can be different: brown-red, bright green, and also havebronze shade.
This plant has small flowers that can be either single or double. They are collected in neat brushes, slightly hanging from the shoots. The color of the petals varies from white-pink to rich red, there are also two-tone and with a contrasting border around the edges. An interesting fact is that male and female flowers simultaneously exist on the same plant. The first has four, and the second has five petals.
This method of propagation of evergreen begonia is quite common. It is cut from cuttings in the summer, if it grows in the open field, and in early spring, if at home on the windowsill. For this purpose, young leaves of the plant are selected and carefully cut from the stem with a sharp knife, and then placed in a container of water.
You can also place the cuttings in a pre-moistened substrate and cover with polyethylene on top. In this case, it is necessary to provide ventilation in the mini-greenhouse by making holes in the film. The substrate can be moss or a special mixture, which should include components such as expanded clay with perlite and sand. Provided there is enough moisture, after 14 days the cuttings will have roots. After another two weeks, the begonia can be transplanted into individual pots.
This propagation method is simple, but it will take more time than cuttings. Sowing begonias can be done within a month, starting from mid-December andending in the second half of January. The seeds of the plant are very small - 1,000 pieces weigh no more than 0.02 grams. They are available in specialized outlets in granular form, which makes sowing more convenient.
The process should start with the preparation of containers and soil. For this, shallow boxes are suitable, which are filled with a special mixture consisting of leafy soil, humus and sand. You can also use a ready-made soil called "Begonia". During planting, the seeds do not need to be sprinkled with earth, it is enough just to evenly distribute them over the entire surface of well-moistened soil. Experienced gardeners often sprinkle the soil with a layer of calcined sand, while its thickness should not exceed 3 mm.
After that, the sown seeds are covered with film or glass. For their speedy germination, the temperature in the room should be kept at + 20 … 22 ⁰C. In this case, seedlings will begin to appear after 10, maximum 14 days. If condensation appears on the glass, it must be removed for a while and the seedlings ventilated. Do not forget that excessive moisture is harmful to begonias.
After the emergence of shoots, the shelter is immediately removed. Now the optimum temperature for young plants should be + 17 … 19 ⁰C. When at least three true leaves are formed, the time will come for picking. Each plant is placed in small containers with a diameter of at least 5 cm or an area equal to 5 cm² is left in the box. After two months, the flowers can be transplanted into larger pots.
Using and landing insoil
Everblooming begonia is often used for landscaping home gardens and city flower beds. She prefers sunny, but slightly shaded places. However, it must be remembered that a lack of light can lead to stretching of the stems of the plant, which can cause it to lose its decorative properties, and in particular the color of the flowers. One-year-old seedlings are planted in open ground only when the threat of frost has passed. Most often this is the end of May - the beginning of June.
Begonia grows well in loose, fertile soil enriched with humus. Planting flowers in soil with a high alkali content can lead to various diseases, such as chlorosis. This plant has a superficial root system, which penetrates only 15-20 cm deep into the substrate. Therefore, it is necessary to pre-treat the soil for planting begonias to such a depth. The quality of the soil can be improved by adding peat, well-rotted manure or compost to it. Heavy soils can be corrected with sand at the rate of 2.5 kg per 1 m².
This plant does not require any special care. The ever-flowering begonia is unpretentious, but despite this, you need to know some subtleties that will allow you to fully enjoy its beauty throughout the summer and until the autumn frosts.
Water plants should be systematic, especially during hot and dry summers. In this case, the main thing is to strike a balance between overdried and waterloggedsoil. For irrigation, use only settled soft water. The best time for this is early morning or evening, when the sun has already set below the horizon.
This event must be held every 14 days. But before that, you need to loosen the ground and remove all the weeds. For flowering plants, it is very important to get all the necessary substances and minerals in sufficient quantities. Top dressing begins to be carried out immediately after the appearance of the first buds. For this, either mineral complex fertilizers or organic infusions are used.
Growing at home
Everblooming begonias have long been very popular with those who like to grow flowers on their windowsills. It is due largely to the ease of care and excellent decorative qualities of this plant, which blooms almost all year round. In order for begonia to decorate your apartment, you need to create comfortable conditions for it: carry out periodic pruning, observe feeding and watering regimes, and also protect it from various pests and diseases.
For flowers, you need to select a window sill well lit by the sun, but their direct hit on the plant at noon is highly undesirable. The ever-flowering begonia easily tolerates high temperatures, but lowering them to +13-15 ⁰C can lead to various diseases and even death.
Optimal humidity for a flower is 50%. Its lowered or overestimated level actsextremely unfavorable for the plant. In the first case, this leads to the withering of the plant, and in the second - to the decay of the root system. The optimal level of humidity can be created if you place a pot of begonias on a tray filled with wet pebbles.
Water, fertilize and pruning
Everblooming begonia belongs to moisture-loving plants, so on hot summer days you need to water it at least twice a week. In this case, water at room temperature should be settled. In the cold months, watering is relatively rare. As for top dressing, in spring and summer it is produced with full-fledged mineral fertilizers every two weeks. In autumn and winter, the need for such a procedure is completely eliminated.
In order for the plant to bloom profusely and for a long time, it is necessary to prune it in a timely manner. Such an event, among other things, allows you to rejuvenate indoor begonia, as well as collect planting material that will be needed to propagate the plant. All overly elongated shoots should be shortened. In addition, be sure to remove all damaged, dry and diseased leaves.
How to plant and transplant at home
Begonia prefers a fairly loose and nutritious soil, which can fully ensure its full development and good growth. In order to independently prepare the soil for planting a flower, take two partsleafy earth and one each - peat chips and black soil. In this case, a prerequisite is the presence of a drainage layer located at the bottom of the pot with the plant.
When planting evergreen begonias, it is necessary to fill the container in layers. The lower layer of the substrate is coarse-grained river sand. From above it is covered with a pre-prepared soil mixture. By the way, it can be purchased at any specialized outlet. The plant is transplanted only when necessary. For this procedure, the best way is to transfer the root system along with an earthen clod.