Mystery Begonia

June 5, 2015 flowers 008

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Do you know her name?

I would love to know, although she is wonderful whether named or not.

I found this lovely Begonia in a farmer’s market plant stall nearly 10 years ago, and bought her on sight… as a gift for my dad.

He loved her, and kept her over winter in his solarium.  He gave me cuttings, and he and I have both grown those cuttings on and taken more ever since.

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June 11, 2015 garden 020~

We both grow this lovely Begonia now,  and I’ve passed on cuttings to many Begonia loving friends over the years.

This cane Begonia can grow fairly tall; to at least 3′.    Both stems and leaves are sumptuous red, and the generous bracts of  flowers rose pink.  She blooms year round, taking short breaks between outbreaks of loveliness.

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May 25, 2015 foliage 019

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I keep this cane Begonia watered but not wet, and feed with dilute fertilizer monthly.  Cane Begonias have harder, waxier stems than the tuberous Begonias, and so don’t rot easily at the soil line when the soil is too wet.  These are sturdy, forgiving plants.

I  also sprinkle Osmocote on the soil two or three times each year, and trim back long canes from time to time when they get too lanky.   I always plop those pruned canes into a jar of water to allow them to root.

Cane Begonias prefer partial shade, but appreciate time out of doors in the summer.  When we first move them out, they often lose leaves for a few weeks.  These are quickly replaced with sturdier, brighter leaves ready to process the stronger light available in summer.

They don’t like cold or drafts and so come back inside before the weather turns cold.

Deer normally leave cane Begonias alone.  However, they will nibble leaves from time to time when especially hungry.  We’ve had deer somehow sneaking into our garden too frequently in recent weeks.  And they have grazed some of our cane Begonias.  Such a waste….

The remedy is to throw a few whole cloves of garlic into each pot.  Deer hate the aroma of garlic.  Although unsightly, the garlic will protect the plants from grazing.

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This is one of my favorite Begonias from cuttings.  I bought one plant a decade ago, and continue to start new ones from it.  I've given cuttings from this special Begonia to many friends.

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My father asked me to re-pot his red Begonia last weekend.  I think it might be the original plant…

We moved her up to a 14″ coir lined basket, gave her some fresh soil and a sprinkle of Osmocote; and hung her back in her shady summer spot.

Oh, the joy of a basket of cane Begonias in the summer.

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August 2, 2014 010

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She will cover herself in flowers through all of the warm months to come.

Do you know her name?  After many attempts to find this plant online, I’m finally asking for help.  Surely someone else has grown her, too, and can add a bit of information to aid my quest.

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May 25, 2015 foliage 049

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

8 responses to “Mystery Begonia

  1. DS

    Begonia ‘Arabian Sunset’ is my guess!

    • That certainly is a beautiful and evocative name! I searched for photos under that name, and sure enough, photos of this beautiful Begonia popped up! A few other Begonias were pictured in the returns, too; but this is the closest I’ve come to a name. Thank you!

  2. Lucky friends! My gram used to have one that looked like that. She called it an angel-wing begonia (very un-scientific, but works for me).

  3. I can’t help, I’m afraid, but beautiful whatever the name!

  4. A beauty for sure. Why not email a photo to some begonia growers, like Logees.com? They or any other specialist might have an answer for you. Good luck!

    • Great idea, Eliza. If no one sends me an answer by morning, I’ll do that. I didn’t think of emailing Logees, though I’ve scanned their site for her in the past.
      Your cuttings are ALL still looking good! There should be roots in another week or so 😉

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