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Begonias: Need advice dividing rex begonia

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Forum: BegoniasReplies: 19, Views: 181
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CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

January 9, 2011
1:04 PM

Post #8300914

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.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2011
6:27 PM

Post #8301529

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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CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

January 10, 2011
2:06 PM

Post #8303010

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!
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 10, 2011
3:39 PM

Post #8303166

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.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

January 10, 2011
3:55 PM

Post #8303205

Thanks so much!
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 10, 2011
4:19 PM

Post #8303265

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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CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

January 10, 2011
5:28 PM

Post #8303413

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?
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 10, 2011
5:46 PM

Post #8303451

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.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

January 11, 2011
7:47 AM

Post #8304316

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.
killdawabbit
Christiana, TN
(Zone 6b)

January 18, 2011
8:37 AM

Post #8317059

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.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 18, 2011
9:14 AM

Post #8317115

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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hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 18, 2011
9:18 AM

Post #8317124

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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hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 18, 2011
9:35 AM

Post #8317160

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

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hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 18, 2011
9:37 AM

Post #8317163

And some apple green ones to boot.

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CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

January 18, 2011
2:29 PM

Post #8317612

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.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 18, 2011
3:14 PM

Post #8317693

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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CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

January 18, 2011
3:55 PM

Post #8317749

Will do. Thanks for the advice.
killdawabbit
Christiana, TN
(Zone 6b)

January 19, 2011
1:17 PM

Post #8319212

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.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

January 19, 2011
3:25 PM

Post #8319456

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.
killdawabbit
Christiana, TN
(Zone 6b)

January 19, 2011
3:35 PM

Post #8319480

Thanks, Cindy. :-)

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