According to the horoscope, the zodiac sign Aries (March 21-April 20) corresponds to plants: ehmeya sparkling and striped, garden geranium (with red and dark pink flowers), fluffy coleria, Indian and Japanese azalea (with red and pink flowers), reed gusmania, dwarf pomegranate, euphorbia brilliant, royal begonia.
Begonias are among the beautiful deciduous plants that are in constant demand in the flower market. Passion for them, like most ancient flowering plants, has experienced several booms over the course of three centuries of cultivation.
Under natural conditions, these plants are common in the tropics and subtropics of America, Africa, on the island of Madagascar, in Southeast Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam). In tropical forests, they cover the ground with almost a solid carpet. The begonias are believed to be from the rainforest of Java. In such forests there are no sunny glades, under the canopy of the foliage of huge plants dusk reigns, the air is saturated with moisture. They live in humid shady places - in forests, in crevices of rocks, on old trees.
For a huge variety of the genus of begonias, their characteristic properties are noted: unisexual, monoecious flowers, collected in inflorescences; asymmetrical leaves and succulent stems. It is the unevenly developed oblique-medullary leaves that gave rise to the apt German name of the genus "clubleaf". By the way, this leaf shape (oblique), if you look closely, really resembles a traditional heart pattern: one half of it is wider, the other narrower: the central vein divides the leaf blade into two rather unequal parts. maple leaves.
It is assumed that the genus begonia (Begonia) comes from the surname of the great lover and collector of flowers, the governor of Haiti M. Begon, who lived in the 17th century. in San Domingo. It contains about 1000 species of annual and perennial grasses, lianas, shrubs and semi-shrubs. Begonias are varied in size, there are even very miniature plants (up to 2-4 cm).
By the way, begonia has an interesting Russian name, indicating that in Russia this plant was already known in 1812. Then, after the French fled Moscow, begonia was named "by Napoleon's ear"Indeed, the contours of the bottom red side of the begonia leaf looks like a large frostbitten ear. Sometimes, because of their shape, begonia leaves are called" elephant ears. "
Depending on the root system, the genus of begonias (includes more than 2000 species and hybrid varieties) is divided into three groups: tuberous (decorative flowering), bush (with a common rhizome), decorative deciduous (with a thickened fleshy rhizome).
Tuberous begoniaspleasing flower growers with magnificent foliage and beautiful summer flowering, rather capricious plants that require a special attitude towards themselves: a lot of light (with its deficit - yellowing and falling leaves); optimal moistening of air and soil (with dry air or excess moisture in the soil - falling buds, damage to the underground part with gray rot); relatively low (7 ... 10 ° C) temperature during winter maintenance (period of deep dormancy); very fertile soil substrate; regular feeding during the growing season, etc.
Shrub (flower) begonias bloom throughout the year (periodically) and require mandatory good lighting, a constant supply of fresh air (drafts are excluded), a certain temperature (15 ... 20 ° C) and extremely moderate (but the soil should not completely dry out) watering throughout the year.
Decorative leafy begonias (with a thickened rhizome), unlike flowering ones, grow throughout the year, but more actively in spring and summer. These include the royal begonia (royal) or rex (rex begonia), whose homeland is believed to be the tropical regions of Vietnam. She has a creeping stem, covered with coarse dense pubescence, and large (up to 30 cm long and 20 cm wide) magnificent patterned leaves, the lower part of which is reddish, and the color of the upper, depending on the varietal characteristics, can be of various original colors (silver, bronze , brown, red - with a metallic, pearlescent and bluish tint), smooth or large-warty, with pubescent or non-pubescent petioles.
Begonia is characterized by the presence of aquiferous tissue in the petiole, making it similar to the aquiferous tissue of succulents. Single flowers in leaf begonias are unassuming: rather small, irregular in shape. It is better to remove the flower arrows, since the leaves of faded begonias often fall off.
Begonia rex (homeland - the Indian state of Assam) is classified as a thermophilic plant, the air temperature during the year should be in the range of 16 ... 22 ° С. It is placed in bright rooms, but carefully protected from direct sunlight (especially on windows of southern and western orientation) - under their influence, the leaves turn pale and lose their decorative effect. The air in the room should be fresh, not too dry, but drafts are undesirable.
Like all other species, royal begonia is watered abundantly in summer, at this time, it does not tolerate dry air, so containers with water or wet moss are placed near the plant for moistening. Experts do not advise waiting for the topsoil to dry out. Therefore, air humidification is additionally carried out using a spray bottle. But this kind of begonia itself, which has pubescence, is not sprayed in order to prevent the appearance of brown spots on the leaves.
Since large begonia leaves collect a lot of dust, in the summer it is desirable (at least once every 3-4 weeks) wipe them with a dry cloth, as a damp cloth will only smear the dirt on the surface. During wintering, she needs a temperature of 16 ... 19 ° C (but not lower than 12 ° C); watered very carefully, as it sheds leaves from excess moisture during this period.
Soil substrate for begonias made up of a mixture of leaf (humus) and sod soil with the addition of peat and necessarily coarse sand (1-2: 2: 1: 1). Leafy soil (in the form of decomposed leaves) is taken from under a linden or birch, sod soil is prepared from the upper layer (10-12 cm) of meadow sod. High-moor peat is used as peat land (after weathering for 2-3 years).
During the period of active growth, the vital activity of plants is favorably reflected top dressing with a solution of complete mineral fertilizer (once a month). But the fertilizing solution is not applied with dry soil, so as not to burn the root system, but only after abundant watering with warm water.
Here it is worth following the recommendation: it is better to "underfeed" the plant, since "overfeeding" can salt the soil. Manure is considered the best organic fertilizer, but it must be allowed to ferment for about two weeks; while cow or horse - diluted 5 times, bird droppings - 10-15 times. In the spring, an annual transplant into a container that is slightly larger in size is advisable. Usually, this plant is not kept for more than 3-4 years. If you notice signs of oppression, it is best to replace the mother plant with a new one.
Royal begonia is very easy to propagate vegetatively., i.e. growing parts of the plant (leaves, leaf parts and even parts of the stem). It is possible to carry out a rather interesting reproduction of Rex begonias, receiving at the same time a very large number of "children".
To do this, a fully developed leaf is separated with a part of the petiole, put on glass and cut with a sharp knife all the main veins (every 1-1.5 cm), directly above the places where they bifurcate. The leaf cut in this way is placed on the surface of the earth in a bowl so that the part of the petiole with it is immersed in the ground. To prevent the leaf from wrapping itself up and adhering to the ground with its entire lower surface, small pebbles are placed on it in the intervals between the veins.
Cover the dish with glass (ie make a "microstep"), and keep the ground evenly moist. Water from the edge of the bowl so as not to soak the leaf, which can rot from this. To breed begonias in this way, it is necessary to maintain a sufficiently high temperature for plant development.
A few weeks later, from almost all the incisions, as well as from the petiole, in the place where the veins depart, lovely young begonias will rise - copies of an adult begonia with miniature leaves. In this manner, from one sheet, you can get a lot of tiny plants, which you just have to separate and plant. Propagation of begonias is possible even in separate pieces of a leaf, or you can simply put a begonia leaf on wet sand and press on top with large pebbles.
There is a huge number of varieties of royal begonia, and their number is replenished every year. The trade network is now dominated by plants from Holland. When purchasing a plant for yourself, carefully inspect it while still in the store, while paying attention to the normal turgor of the leaves, their healthy and bright color, to the absence of bloom and dry spots, to the presence of pests (especially on the underside of the leaves).
A. Lazarev candidate of biological sciences
When choosing planting material, it is necessary to pay attention to the presence of live eyes on the tubers and its size. The diameter of a tuber suitable for planting is 4-6 cm. In winter, it is recommended to store the tubers in a container with moderately damp sand, which will be located in the cellar or basement, or on the bottom shelf of an ordinary refrigerator. The sand must be watered as needed, but do not allow excess water, as rotting of the tubers may begin.
Planting is carried out in early March in special planting containers or in mid-May in open flower beds. Before planting, the tubers need to be well examined, old roots removed and soaked in a weak manganese solution or in a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution for 30-40 minutes (for disinfection). If, upon examination, mold is found on the surface of the tubers, then such soaking is mandatory. The mold is pre-cleaned with a soft brush. In specialized stores, you can purchase a product that is recommended specifically for garden begonia tubers and protects the crop from pests and diseases.
From one tuber germinated before planting, several plants can be grown at once (about 5-6). To do this, you need to carefully remove the shoots from it and plant them in the soil separately, you can in different small pots. Each sprout should be at such a depth that its tip remains 2-3 mm above the soil surface. After rapid rooting, young plants can be transplanted into the ground.
In the autumn-winter period, the flower rests - you will also have a rest: watering and feeding will be reduced to a minimum.
The best feeding for royal begonia is fertilizer for ornamental foliage plants.
Begonia very actively grows leaves and therefore it needs to be discharged over time, otherwise you will not get all the brightness of flowering. This can be done from the second half of April.Begonia royal, transplant
If you don't want to dig up and transplant the begonia, and the pot still allows the flower to grow further, then you can simply cut off the old large shading leaves, leaving about a third of the leaves, cut off with a sharp paper knife.
Cut leaves are a good planting material to propagate a bush. A stalk of a leaf, or even a part of it, is usually placed in a light substrate of earth and sand and covered with polyethylene after about a month, stem cuttings can take root, but part of the leaf takes roots much longer.
Watering begonias... Begonia is a southern, exotic plant that should be taken seriously to moisturize, since its beauty and health depend on it. In the summer, it is necessary to water it every few days, with water at room temperature. In winter, minimal watering is needed, about once every 7 days (the bush is resting).
In the photo a stalk of begonia
Irrigation should be in the morning or evening, you cannot do this in the afternoon (this is a general rule that applies to all plants). Begonias need high air humidity, but you cannot spray it with water - this will lead to leaf disease.
Possible methods of humidifying the air near the plant:
- irrigation around the flower (without getting on it)
- if the bush grows on the windowsill, then in winter it is useful to put a damp cloth on the battery, the fumes from which will humidify the air)
- put an open container of water near the begonia.
A good watering method is to place the flower in a container of water that is larger in diameter than the pot until the soil absorbs water through the holes at the bottom of the pot.
Begonia in landscape design
Unlike zoned geraniums, royal pelargonium prefers stability. She will react badly to a transplant in a flower bed in the summer. The plant will hurt, with a high probability it will be attacked by insects and fungi. In the summertime, you can put pots and pots with royal pelargonium outside in a place hidden from direct sunlight. A beautiful subspecies of Pelargonium Angel has an interesting feature: in case of insufficient lighting, it acquires an ampelous shape. It is ideal for vertical landscaping and hanging planters. Under strong enough light, the shape of this miniature plant becomes erect, like that of the zonal species. Pelargonium in flowerpots is a wonderful decoration for balconies and terraces.
Begonia is a wonderful plant that can successfully decorate any garden or home.
Distinguish between decorative leafy and decorative flowering begonia. She is able to attract us with her gorgeous appearance and unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention.
For growing begonias, it is better to choose loose soil rich in organic matter. If the soil is not fertile enough, then it can be fertilized with rotted manure and peat. To make it more drained, you can mix it with some of the clean river sand. The place must be sufficiently lit. Windows that face west or east will be well suited. The room temperature should be moderate. It is enough if it reaches 19-22 degrees Celsius. Begonia propagates with the help of stem and leaf cuttings. The best breeding season is April or May. Shoots are cut from the plant and placed in a nutrient substrate. To prevent the cuttings from rotting, watering should be moderate. It is better to water the plant with soft water, since hard water affects begonias negatively. In summer, it is necessary to water the begonia 2 times a week. From the middle of autumn, watering is reduced. In winter, the plant will need rest, so watering should be minimal. A large amount of moisture in the soil can lead to rotting. Begonia needs to be fed only from May to October. To do this, you can use fertilizer for flowering plants.
Sometimes the stalks or leaves of begonia can be attacked by powdery mildew. This may be a sign that the soil is very waterlogged. Watering must be reduced and the affected leaves removed. A remedy such as insecticides will help against spider mites.With proper care, all these diseases will pass away, and begonia will delight you for a very long time.
Depending on the species, begonias can be propagated:
Seed propagation is the longest and most unreliable method. It is suitable when there is no material for vegetative propagation or when a large number of plants need to be obtained. Due to the peculiarities of the plant, the process of sowing and germination is rather complicated.
Vegetative reproduction guarantees the preservation of all the characteristics of the mother specimen.
When using leaf cuttings of begonia or parts of its leaf, babies are formed that develop as slowly as sown ones.