Friday, May 28, 2010
Begonias! YES, another favorite of mine because they're easy to grow, they provide texture and a variety of colors in the garden.
Come along with me as we visit mine...notice the first three photos? These were hanging baskets but with the temps in the mid 90's and no rain for awhile...they were starting to become leggy. Leggy means that the stems elongate and the leaves and blossoms are well scant.
My solution every year is to remove the basket chains and place the baskets among the existing plants under my Mama Crepe Myrtle...there they receive morning sun and shade from 11 am till the next morning....
Now I have one solution for correcting the "legginess"...it's not for the faint of heart...and honestly the baskets will not look happy for a few days. In the shade of late afternoon, I water the baskets thoroughly, then I pinch off at least half the length of each stem. Then out comes the trusty "Rooting Hormone"...dip the pinched off end of the stems into the hormone...now I use a pencil and poke a 3" hole in the empty portions of the basket or another container and then put the pinched stem into that little hole. I carefully pat the soil around the "Cutting" and now comes the easy part. Just check on the soil daily...not dry...but not mushy wet...just a touch of water and soon you notice the cuttings are growing!
This process allows for easy propagation of your favorite begonias and the Mama plant will thicken up and the blooms will just keep on coming!
Here is a website that defines many alternative methods of propagating begonias!