Proagation of Bill Byron

Big Flats, NY(Zone 5b)

I have grown to really enjoy Begonia Bill Biron and sadly I broke a leaf and petiole off today, by being lazy changing a florescent bulb. The petiole is 80% torn off of the leaf so I made a cutting with the shortened petiole and a very small roughly triangular piece of the leaf attached and it currently in a small glass in an aquarium along with other begonias in various stages of propagation. I want to make a few wedge cutting with the remainder of poor Bills leaf. the remainder is in fine shape with no bruising of tares.I just don't know if I will get plants with stems this way, as I have read some Rhizomatis need a section of stem and leaf or they will only root and not produce top growth. I will try to root Bill's wedges in a closed environment wetted with 20% Physon amd dusted with r.h.. Please tell me what to expect for plant development and if you see me on the street kick me for being lazy! Lee Sherwood McDonald

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Not sure if you can propagate Bill Byron by leaf (it is considered a shrub). It is worth a try though. Report back on your progress though to either encourage or discourage folks from propagating Bill Byron by leaf.

Big Flats, NY(Zone 5b)

Hello, I e-mailed Bradly Thompson with my attempts to propagate b. Bill Byron and here is a copy of the conversation.

[me] I would like to propagate a few spare B. Bill Byron. I dropped a fluorescent tube on the plant!. I trimmed the detached leaf to a petiole with a small but intact and bruise free section of leaf blade still attached which I placed in a small jar of water. I made two funnel cuttings and four triangular cuttings, these leaf cuttings were treated with ‘Rootone’. All seven cuttings were and will be sprayed weekly with Physan 20. I put all the cuttings except the petiole cutting in a prepared covered tray filled an inch deep with Perlite. The cuttings are under lights. Can you tell me about how to best propagate this plant.

I am following up a posting on my mishap thru Dave's G.W. and a few people are interested in how this attempt turns out. If you wish I will include a reminder on propagating restrictions of registered plants.

Thank you so much for hybridizing and introducing this wonderful begonia, it is certainly a big favorite of mine and others that see it are really excited it is a beautiful creation sir and I thank you!

Lee Sherwood McDonald

[Bradly] Lee,
Thanks for your nice comments. Although you can certainly attempt to root Begonia 'Bill Byron' from leaf parts, the attempt will probably be in vane. As far as I know neither parent starts from leaf cuttings but then again you never know for sure unless someone attempts it. Bill starts very easily from stem cuttings. Bill isn't registered or patented so there is no restriction on propagation. Like I stated before, stem cuttings are the best way. There is are two types of leaf cuttings that are rarely used unless one has a lot of patience and really needs to propagate as many plants as possible. These are heal and mallet cuttings. A heal involves removing a leaf with the leaf axil and bud, and small portion of the stem of the plant and a mallet cutting is similar except you just cut out the section of stem with each leaf. I use rootone for all my cuttings because it contains a fungicide but from what I understand you may not be able to buy that product any longer. All the nurseries are selling a substitute rooting hormone that doesn't have a fungicide but I don't recall the name. I do also use a spray fungicide, although not Physan, to stop rotting type diseases such as bortrytis and downy mildew. Since I do cuttings on a much larger scale, I root all stem cuttings in plug trays in a peat and perlite mix that is allowed to dry slightly between watering. They are in a warm greenhouse but not under mist. If you root cuttings under lights in sealed containers, you don't usually have to reapply fungicide after the initial application unless you see active disease or unless you open them for inspection too frequently. You should continue with your current experiment just to see what happens. If they do progress past just rooting, let me know I would be grateful for the information. Sorry about your tube accident, thanks for writing.............brad thompson

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks Lee. I never knew Brad went by Bradly (Bradley) though. I think he meant heel cutting instead of heal though.

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