“Sophia” came to our garden about this time last year in a tiny little pot, through the mail.
I was intrigued by her description at Garden Harvest Supply. I wanted to see the dark purple, almost black leaves, covered in silvery markings; and believed this beautiful Begonia would light up a corner of the patio.
When the little start came, I potted it up with an Alocasia, and set it on the patio as soon as the weather settled. The Begonia grew beautifully all summer, and produced strikingly beautiful foliage. But no matter how well I cared for it, or how often I fed it, no flowers appeared all summer.
B. “Sophia” was one of the first plants we brought in this autumn to over winter, and we gave her a prominent spot in the living room. At nearly 4′ tall now, some of her leaves are a foot long. Other than dropping a few leaves during those first few weeks indoors, which is normal during the adjustment process, B. “Sophia” has kept right on growing. She is in a spot where she gets morning sun. But still no flowers .
So, after Christmas, I decided to encourage her a little. When watering the orchids, with a cocktail of orchid fertilizer, I decided to share a little of that magical elixer with B. “Sophia” as well. Just a few sips from time to time were enough to stimulate her to bloom. And how lovely her blooms are!
This Begonia is beautiful enough to grow just for her foliage, but the soft pink flowers are so worth waiting for, and encouraging.
I’ve begun to cut back some of the longer stems to root. I would like for “Sophia” to branch out a bit more as she grows this coming summer.
Cane Begonias grow extremely large. In fact, another one grew so top heavy that she turned over last week, pot and all. I had resisted giving the needed pruning to B. “Cracklin Rosie,” and ended up with quite a few broken canes and lost leaves, now all rooting. There is a lesson in there for those of us reluctant to cut a a plant back.
And the gifts in the lesson, are all those beautiful new Begonia plants, which will soon be ready to share.
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014
That is a beautiful plant. You’re right about the foliage. I would grow it for that alone. The flowers are a lovely bonus. 🙂
Very much like growing a Rex Begonia, or even a Coleus-
Do you grow any Begonias, Robin?
I had a thought for all your bits of plastic. you’re picking up… They would be an interesting addition to a hypertufa mix to make troughs for planting in the garden. This came to me because I’m planning to experiment with hypertufa over the next few weeks, and have been considering what to add to my mix. I’m going to add some crushed shells and gravel, and do a mosaic effect on some pieces. I bet bits of plastic you’re sifting from the soil would add strength, character, and make for some real conversation pieces in your garden 😉 Warmer today, but our forecast has more snow by next Tuesday… Hope you enjoy today. WG
I’ve been looking into this since reading your comment, and love the idea of making something with these bits of plastic. There are spots where they are so colorful I am reminded of bits and pieces of shells on the beach. Thank you for the suggestion! It will make a good project sometime in the future. As for begonias, I haven’t grown any in a very long time. I used to grown them when we lived in South Carolina and in Georgia, but none since.
What a great conversation piece if you can find a way to use them, Robin. And will keep them out of the landfill. Bits of shells on the beach is a lovely description 😉 Wonder how on Earth they got there in such abundance??