B. “Gryphon” Blooms

Begonia, "Gryphon" in August of 2013

Begonia, “Gryphon” in August of 2012

Begonia “Gryphon,” a fairly recent introduction to the market, grows quickly into a large, tropical looking plant.

I purchased my first one several years ago in a tiny 4″ pot.  That first summer I planted it up with a Clematis in a medium sized pot and plunked it down in a shady corner of the patio.

It wowed me as few plants will with its prodigious growth that first year.

August 28 2013 garden 037

B. Gryphon in summer 2013, before the deer discovered its leaves are tasty.

B. “Gryphon” is one plant I happily bring  inside over the winter.

But last summer I grew too trusting. 

I put several plants in a shady sitting area in the back,  among ferns where they looked wonderful.

June 23 2012 dusk 010

But they were too accessible.  The Bambis decided they really love munching  B. “Gryphon” leaves, and my plants were ravaged.

And all this while, I never saw a single flower.

This B. Gryphon begins its third season outside.  Re-potted several times now, it has finally bloomed.

This B. Gryphon begins its third season outside. Re-potted several times now, it has finally bloomed in May of 2014.

I had decided the Gryphon must be some sort of rare cultivar of Begonia which remains bloomless…

And then, before I could even move it out of the garage, one of the little Gryphon plants I had kept on life support after the deer attack, and kept alive all winter long, rewarded me with flowers.

May 29 2014 after the rain 007

Imagine that!

And so this little guy was given a new, bigger pot this season, put back into a “safe” spot on the front patio in partial shade, and it is covered in flowers.

Such a beauty!

June 1, 2014 002

If you find B. “Gryphon” at your garden center, know that it is easy to grow in partial shade.  Keep it moist, and feed it from time to time with dilute fish emulsion or with a sprinkle of Osmocote.

I’ve learned that when it grows leggy, it is easy to start new plants form cuttings.

Simply cut off the actively growing stem, about 5″ from the growing tip.  Dip in rooting hormone powder and push it into a pot of moist potting soil.

Within a few weeks it will grow new roots and take off growing.  While you’re waiting, keep the cutting in the shade and keep the soil moist.  It should do just fine in moist soil, without being covered,  while it is generating its new roots.

A B. “Gryphon” may grow from a little cutting to over 2′ high in a single season.  Its leaves can grow as large as a plate.  With beautiful silvery markings, it is gorgeous grown for its foliage alone.

Oh, but B. “Gryphon” has finally bloomed!


Photos by Woodland Gnome 2012-2014

May 29 2014 after the rain 006

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

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