Begonia Semperflorens Mixed - Seeds
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Common name: Wax Begonia
Color: White, pink, red, orange.
Bloom time: All spring and summer
Height: 15 and 60 cm
Difficulty level: Difficult
Planting & Care
Begonias can be grown from seed, but if you are planning on doing this, you first need to make sure you can provide the correct growing conditions for the seeds to germinate. They can be sown any time between mid-January and mid-March. Begonia seed is as fine as dust and, when opening the packet, care should be taken as it is difficult to see and easily discarded if caught in the seam of the packet. A handy tip is to open the packet over the top of a piece of white paper, so any seed that falls can be easily seen.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Soil: Soil should remain moist, but not too wet.
Water: Keep soil moist throughout the growing season.
Temprature: 70 and 75 F. (21-24 C.)
Fertilizer: Any organic fertilizer can be applied.
- The seed is difficult to sow evenly, but this problem can be overcome by mixing it with silver sand.
- After the seed has been sown it must not be covered by compost.
- The seed will give optimum germination at a constant temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Centigrade).
- After placing the seed tray in the propagator a careful watch should be kept for germination and the sheet of glass wiped each day to prevent a build up of excess condensation.
- Full emergence takes between 14 and 21 days, after which the temperature can be decreased to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and the glass removed.
- The propagator will help keep the humidity high.
- Supplementary lighting is beneficial at this stage to keep seedlings in a vegetative stage.
- Ensure the compost does not dry out and a weak nitrogen liquid feed can be given to encourage rapid growth.
- Roughly five weeks after germination the seedlings are ready for pricking off, about one inch apart, into trays of seed compost.
Harvesting: Step 1: Cut the seed pods from behind the female flower heads when the pods swell and begin to dry, a short time after the flowers expire. Let the seed pods dry as much as possible on the plant, but remove them before they split open and disperse seeds on the ground. Use a pair of scissors or bypass pruners to cut the seed pods off the plant. Step 2: Spread the seed heads and any seeds that have burst from the pods in a single layer in a shallow cardboard box lined with newspaper. Store in a cool, dry place for about one week to ensure the seeds and pods are totally dry. Step 3: Lay a piece of white paper, such as heavy printer paper or cardstock, on a flat work surface. White paper makes it easy to see the small dark begonia seeds. Step 4: Hold a seed pod in your hand over the white paper. Use your thumbs to split the seed pod open and empty the seeds onto the paper. Work with only one or two seed pods at once. Step 5: Fold the paper in half and gently shake the paper over the cardboard box so viable seeds fall into the box. Guide the seeds with a finger to hold back the seed chaff and other plant litter so that only the seeds fall into the box. If necessary, return the seeds to the sheet of paper and sift through the chaff a second time. Step 6: Store the seeds in envelopes or small jars until you re ready to start them in late winter or early spring. Baby food jars work especially well for seed storage. Label each envelope or jar with the year of retrieval and begonia species and cultivar.
- Taking care of begonias once the corms have sprouted is easy.
- When weather permits, begonias can be transplanted to the garden bed, spacing about 10-18 inches apart.
- Likewise, they can be placed in containers spaced approximately 3 to 4 inches apart.
- Leave plenty of room between plants for adequate circulation to prevent the possibility of developing mildew.
- When taking care of begonias, be sure to provide begonias with well-drained, organic soil and place them in a sunny or lightly shaded area.
- While begonias enjoy regular watering, be careful not to let them continually remain saturated, as this can also lead to problems with mildew as well as with fungus.
- Reduce watering once the leaves yellow in the fall.
- In cold climates, begonia corms need to be lifted and stored in a cool, dry area over winter, usually in mid-October.
- During the growing season, begonias may need to be protected from pests such as snails and slugs.
- These pests enjoy eating the young shoots and foliage.
- Caterpillars, thrips, aphids, and mealybugs can also attack begonia plants; however, with routine care, pests rarely become a problem.
- Tuberous begonias can be propagated easily through cuttings in spring or division.
- Divide begonias while dormant or when the shoots are still small.
- To prevent fungal diseases, dust them with sulphur powder and allow them to dry before planting.
- Caring for begonias is well worth the limited effort required, as they do most of the work, providing endless color and beauty in the garden.
These charming plants can be easily started in a shallow tray of compost or damp peat in early spring.
- It is used as tea for colds in West Indies.
- Dried leaves used as flavoring.
- The plant is used for ornamental purpose.
For medicinal use, please consult appropriate doctor / physian befor use.