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Tropicals & Tender Perennials: begonias with spiraled leaves

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Forum: Tropicals & Tender PerennialsReplies: 8, Views: 116
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Spring Creek, NV

February 16, 2011
2:45 PM

Post #8375748

Any suggestions on begonias with spiraled leaves that might be easy growers? I live in the high desert...high, dry, and cold; and begonias are houseplants. I have an Escargot that is struggling along in a cookie jar, but would like to find something that might thrive.
College Park, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 19, 2011
5:43 PM

Post #8381404


this site: Usually carries the old time favorite spiral beefsteak

Here is this site:

Scroll down on the page to get this photo and information below on this site.

$10.00 "Whirlpool Begonia" "Ramshorn Beefsteak Begonia" Both ends of the leaf spiral inward to suggest mirrored corkscrews and highlight the red underside; unusual yet vigorous specimen. Heirloom favorite.

Also, EBay will have it on auction.

Spring Creek, NV

February 19, 2011
9:25 PM

Post #8381742

Thank you so much! That Erythrophylla Helix looks like a fun one. Now I just need to wait for the weather to warm up enough for safe shipping.
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2011
3:33 AM

Post #8381872

GHW is notorious for shipping very, very late (3 months or more) unless they've improved recently.
Spring Creek, NV

February 20, 2011
8:09 AM

Post #8382284

Thanks for the heads up on shipping by GHW. I was looking at Taylors and found some of the spiraled beefsteaks on their site. I have about 20 begonias now, and am finding the heirlooms seem happiest. Rhizomes and canes mostly do well. I've lost almost every rex I have tried.
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2011
5:02 PM

Post #8383148

If you could increase your humidity around the rexes then you could probably do okay even in the high desert (that is probably harder than it sounds). They can wilt from no water but if their is no or low humidity then the leaves just dry up to the point of damage. If humidity is high then a good drink often revives them with no damage.

Rexes are maligned IMO - they just need their needs met. Their worst problems are mildew in cool weather and indoors (in my basement) and semi-dormancy.

They do wonderful in summer but are a bit fussy indoors in winter. Maybe if I left them indoors year round then problems could be averted but who has time to water indoors and outdoors in summer?

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Spring Creek, NV

February 21, 2011
10:06 AM

Post #8384440

Those rexes in the photo are so pretty. I love the raspberry color tones. So, leaves with dried up edges may be from too little moisture in the air rather than in the soil? That makes sense now. I will see what I can do with humidity trays.
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 21, 2011
11:13 AM

Post #8384544

For your area you may want to get some of the more succulent type begonias. Thick leaves with hairs or thick waxy leaves may do the best for you. Seems like a lot of those come from the dry areas of Brazil.

B. venosa, episila, and peltata might do well for you despite no curled leaves.

Spring Creek, NV

February 22, 2011
10:25 AM

Post #8386528

Thank you for the further suggestions. Some of my happier begonias, such as bunchii, do have thicker leaves. It makes sense that the ones from Brazil might do better in our dry air here.

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