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Large begonia tuber and citrus cuttings – June update

My large begonia tuber has finally got going:


I’ve moved it on into a 24cm glazed pot of free-draining multi-purpose compost and it’s looking pretty healthy at the moment. I have a hazy idea that this might be the one that unaccountably died back early last summer then spent the rest of the season recovering and never produced any flowers, but I hope not!

As for my citrus cuttings, it seems I was a little hasty in giving them a so-so appraisal, because they’ve sprung into action this past few weeks. I’ve outlined all the new growth in pink as it’s a bit hard to pick out from the background:

citrus-cuttings-9th-june-1 citrus-cuttings-june-9th-2 citrus-cuttings-june-9th-3


They’re looking much less sickly and the new growth seems strong and vibrant, so I’m really pleased with how they’ve come on, though I don’t know whether to attribute it to the iron treatment, the weekly feeding with citrus food or the arrival of summer – it’s probably a combination of all three. I’m also trying to remember to water them with rain water rather than my rock-hard tap water, so that may be helping too.

I won’t pot them on until they’re obviously pot-bound, and I’m keeping them indoors for now so that I can better monitor them for pest attack.


Tuberous begonia cuttings – May update

Back at the end of July last year I took a couple of cuttings of a large-flowered tuberous begonia on the off chance that they might root

They duly did – which is just as well, because I think I’ve managed to lose the parent over the winter! – and have been steadily growing ever since.

Here is a side-by-side pic to show the development in the last couple of months:


Both flowering and healthy-looking, but both as leggy as can be.

Perhaps this is why they should be encouraged to go dormant in the winter (I didn’t do that because I felt they were too under-developed to survive), because if they don’t, they end up making one very long stem and nothing else!

Oh well. I’ll keep them going and see what happens. I have two of them, so I can experiment a bit, maybe prune the top off the taller one (when those flowers are spent) and see if it makes some sideshoots?

I refuse to see them as a lost cause quite yet…

Begonia tubers – three weeks further on

Really getting a shift on now:



All doing well now, even the one on the left whose main leaf I knocked off by accident (oops!). I’m still keeping them indoors at the moment because the weather has been very up and down and I’m not wanting to cause any checks to growth. I’ll give it another few days then start the hardening off process ready for planting outside in containers at the beginning of June.

As for my large tuber, it is finally getting going:


I was beginning to think that nothing was going to happen because the shoots that had started into growth seemed to have simply stopped in their tracks, but I potted it up anyway and that appears to have given it a shove. Mind you, at the rate it’s going I’m not expecting flowers any time soon – November, probably!

Begonias – one week on from potting up

Like so:


Two out of the three are doing very well; the third I had a little accident with (broke off the biggest leaf!) and I don’t think it’s quite forgiven me yet! Ho hum – I’m sure it’ll catch up eventually.

My large tuber still isn’t really doing a lot, but it isn’t rotting so I suppose that’s something. Do larger tubers take longer to get going than smaller ones for some reason? Wish I knew!

I’m still keeping them inside for the moment as I don’t feel it’s warm enough yet to keep them growing well if I were to put them out during daytime. Give it another week or so and I’ll probably start putting them out to join the fuchsias:


My collection of 48 cuttings taken last autumn through to December. They need better light now than I can give them indoors, so I put them out on the patio during the day and bring them in at night. I’ve been pinching them out now and then for the last couple of months to make them branch out into bushier plants and will select the best of them to grow on for summer display.

The varieties I have are:





Dark Eyes

Marcus Graham

Seventh Heaven



I’m also desperately hanging on to two tiny, rather sad cuttings of Deep Purple and Orange King, but I don’t think they’ll come to anything – I’m a sucker for a lost cause, though, what can I say?!

Begonia tubers – rooted!

A few days ago I felt it was time to move my begonia tubers into individual pots, so I dug them up to find this:


This one was the best of them, but they all had promising root growth so I’m hopeful that they will grow on well.

I potted them into plastic pots of Miracle Gro multi-purpose compost, the pots being just wide enough to contain the tuber + roots. I swithered about adding anything into the mix for extra drainage, but in the end decided not to because this compost seems pretty free-draining as it is – time will tell whether that was the right decision!

I’ve placed them by my north-facing patio door so they’re getting reasonable albeit indirect light. Daytime temperature is in the mid-to-high teens centigrade at the moment so I may consider putting them outside during the day in a little while: I find that once they get going my tuberous begonias soon outgrow my tiddly little windowsills and are better off going outdoors as soon as temperature allows. I do have to lug them back in again over night of course – there can be frosts right into May around here – but with no greenhouse or conservatory I have limited options and need to make the effort.

I haven’t potted up the single big tuber yet because that seems to be moving very slowly. Perhaps in another week’s time it will start to take off, we’ll see!

Starting begonia tubers – update

Well, here we are 3 weeks on. First, the single large tuber, sporting at least 7 shoots that I can see:



then the 3 smaller ones:


By the looks of it, the top one of the group of 3 is pretty much ready for potting into a properly-drained pot as there are roots appearing above soil level that ought to be covered (when the tubers are potted up they should be covered with a little compost because they apparently root from the top as well as the base).

This is the point at which I usually manage to get things wrong and end up with tubers that simply sulk and refuse to grow any further, so I shall have my fingers firmly crossed from now on!

Propagating a tuberous begonia from cuttings

A whim; no more, no less.

I spotted some nice, low-growing side shoots on one of my tuberous begonias, so of course I have to see if I can get them to root.

This is the parent:


…and here are the cuttings:


I’ve probably done it all wrong because I only went and read up on the procedure after I’d taken the cuttings, so I didn’t know about including a heel of stem and an undamaged “eye” (still not sure what that is, but apparently it needs an eye to be able to shoot from the new tuber once it’s formed).

All I did, in my ignorance, was lop off the cuttings and poke them into a mix of seed and cuttings compost with some sand for extra drainage, water them in and put them in a covered tray in the coldframe*.

They probably need heat, mist, rooting hormone etc. etc., but eh. I’m not going to be heartbroken if they fail; as usual, I’ll just cross my fingers and hope for the best!

* I’ve since thought better of that and brought them inside. They’re now in a covered tray (cut-off clear plastic bottle as a cover) by my north-facing patio door, where they should get decent enough indirect light and night-time temperatures will be rather higher than outside. ¬†They probably still won’t root, but they’ve got a slightly better chance, I reckon!