Need advice dividing rex begonia

I have a dark-leaved rex begonia - a pretty vigorous grower - that is crowding itself out of the pot I put it in last year. It has 3 distinct crowns, all along the outside rim of the pot. Is it possible to separate the crowns and replant them in individual pots? Is there a special technique or special care required? Of the 4 that I've had, this one is the most care-free and I would hate to damage it through ignorance. Many thanks for any advice.

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Simply break off rhizomes that have grown outside the pot and start them in a small pot. Straight perlite is very easy for starting new rhizomes.

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Should I try to evenly divide the roots so that all of the clumps have some roots? Haven't taken it out of the pot yet so I'm not sure about the size of the root system. And, if there are enough roots for each division, should I still plant in perlite or go right to potting soil?
Thanks for your advice!

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Roots are always nice but not necessary. Each rhizome will make its own roots. As long as the rhizome is long enough it should do fine.

Thanks so much!

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

It is a lot easier to get it to root in summer than winter but it can be done at any time of year if you have the right conditions - light, warmth, and humidity are very important. Perlite helps keep the moisture up without keeping too much water around the cut which can cause rot.

Here are some trays I have going in the basement with no humidity domes. I water them almost every day with drainage holes punched in the bottom of the trays.

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Nice collection there.
I normally run a cool (55 to 60 deg) little greenhouse in the winter but I use heat mats as well for rooting other cuttings as well as fluorescent lights. It does get warmer during the day if the sun is out. Would this be acceptable, assuming that I do have some roots to start with?

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

It's probably okay. I have the heat set to come on at 62 in the basement.

If you aren't comfortable doing it in winter, just wait till spring to divide or take cuttings.

I have one spot in the laundry area that might work since I don't have a basement. I'll probably forge ahead with it now since I'll be too busy in the spring to give them TLC.

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Butch, I would like to know the names of the Cryptanthus in your photo. Is the large one a Cryptanthus also?
Thanks, for the advice on Rexes.

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

I don't know all the names of cryptanthus. One I believe is Elaine (pinkish).

Here are some of my earth stars. Easy growers and multipliers.

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Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

One more pan (I have cheap aluminum pans filled with either perlite or potting mix and then stick in babies of earth stars and keep watered. Even if they dry out they don't dry up and blow away (right away so do keep them watered).


The top left corner I believe is Elaine and the black ones may be Black Mystic..

Here is an excellent place for bromeliads.

http://www.birdrocktropicals.com/Cryptanthus.asp

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Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Some more being rooted along with small aloes, Eucomis (purple pineapple lily) and Callisia (basket plant).

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Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

And some apple green ones to boot.

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Butch - I did forge ahead and divided my rex. I ended up with 4 crowns, all potted separately, all with roots of varying degrees. The one division with the smallest number of roots is really drooping even though the soil is moist. Should I cut off some of the leaves so that the water demand isn't so great for the size of the root ball? The others are doing great so far. And I did move the 3 smaller divisions indoors with a more constant temp and indirect light.
Thanks for the info - it really enabled me.

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

You can cut the older larger leaves off and propagate those as well. Eventually they would fall off anyway.

The other thing you can do is put a plastic lid over the pot to keep humidity high if you haven't done it already. It does make a huge difference.


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Will do. Thanks for the advice.

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Butch, I posted my Crypt pics here so as not to hijack Cindy's thread.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1150246/

Your crypt pics are beautiful.

killd - don't worry about hijacking - I (carried away) do it myself. Those are some beautiful pics so they deserve attention.
I did put a plastic bowl over the drooping begonia division yesterday and cut off some of the older leaves and it's perked up quite a bit. Thanks again.

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Thanks, Cindy. :-)

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