Begonia gracilis var martiana

Johannes-Ulrich Urban
Thu, 15 Dec 2011 14:45:00 PST
Hello Jim,

The correct name of this Begonia is B. gracilis var martiana. Sorry
about the abbreviation I used, I was in a hurry when I wrote this. It is
a very graceful plant from Mexico with vertically aligned fragrant
flowers. All the photos I saw do not do it justice. My aim is to grow it
as a multi-tuber specimen. I got my plant in spring 2010 from England,
it was in a very small pot and in very old compost and as a consequence
very starved. Even repotting did not help in 2010 and the plant did not
grow much, barely a flower and it went dormant fairly early. I was about
to throw it away.... but then I kept the pot in my greenhouse, just
frost free and never totally dry and in spring it sprouted. This year it
grew well, formed two shoots that both flowered nicely and produced a
lot of bulbili of which I sent most to the BX. These bulbili were much
smaller than the ones I know from B. evansiana which I also posted.
To be honest I have never grown Begonias from bulbili. But I have lost
adult Begonia tubers from drought in winter. Therefore I never keep mine
totally dry, never outside their containers but I leave them in their
pots after they have gone dormant naturally without forcing them to go
dormant. I do not like my Begonias to get frosted in autumn because I
feel this is too brutal.
I kept some of these bulbili for myself and put them on the surface of
the compost, perhaps lightly covered, watered once and now  I keep this
pot cool and just barely moist. I would worry that these tiny bulbils
might dry out completely if kept too dry over any length of time. Also,
I remember  many years ago I had Begonia sutherlandii bulbili. I lost
both the mother tuber and all the bulbili because I kept them too dry
over winter and they never resprouted. Perhaps our South African members
can tell more about its natural habitat? Now I keep this plant the  same
was as above: cool, frost free and just a little moisture.

Bye for today,   Uli

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