Begonia Bonsai Propagation at Logee’s

Begonia Richardsiana forms a bulbous trunk in a short time, is easy to grow and makes an attractive miniature-like tree. Its leaves are delicate and pointed with white flowers appearing from spring through fall.

Begonia Richardsiana

Begonia Richardsiana as a three-year old bonsai.

Another plus for Richardsiana is its ability to thrive under dry conditions. I was in our propagation range the other day and caught up with Laurie, our Begonia grower. We propagate Begonia Richardsiana two ways at Logee’s. The first method is by cutting and the second method is by seed.

Here is how we do leaf cutting propagation. Although this way is quicker for the begonia to take root, it takes longer to form the nice bulbous trunk.

Begonia Richardsiana

Overgrown trays of Richardsiana used for cuttings.

Sheered for cuttings

Sheered for cuttings

Sheering the present crop has two purposes. First, we harvest cuttings for the next crop. Second,  the crop underneath becomes a much healthier, fuller multi-branched specimen.

Pile of cuttings

Pile of cuttings for propagation

Begonia cutting

Begonia cutting with several leaf nodes.

Choosing a cutting with more than one leaf nodes gives the cutting a greater chance for successful propagation.

Oasis tray for cuttings

An oasis tray for the multi-node cutting.

Stick the cutting in far enough to hold the cutting upright. The node is typically above the medium. Some varieties of plants that we propagate,  the leaf node is planted below the soil or medium.

Margaret and Laurie, Logee's growers

Begonia Grower, Laurie (on the right) and assistant grower, Margaret.

Begonia Twiddledee with Richardsiana

Twiddledee,the variegated leaf, grew in the same batch with Richardsiana and gets weeded out.

Sometimes, Twiddledee, another Begonia that we grow, shows itself in a flat of Richardsiana. Once the cuttings have roots, they get moved into a 2  1/2 inch pot.

Here is how we do propagation by seed:

Male Flower

Female Flower of Richardsiana has the extra flower flap

Female Flower of Richardsiana

The Male Flower of Richardsiana has two opposing leaf petals.

The male and female flowers have to pollinate. This happens by air movement in the greenhouse. However, if you were doing this at home, you may have to brush your hand over the flowers every day to ensure pollination.

Seed Pod

The seed pod grows out and down.

Inside the seed pod are hundreds of small seeds, much like cayenne pepper. Simply put the seeds on a creased piece of paper to gather the seeds in a channel. Then sprinkle them in a seed tray.

Seed Tray

Seed Tray ready with potting soil  for seeds from Begonia Richardsiana.

Seed tray fully grown

Seed tray with Richardsiana plants ready to be separated.

Bulbous roots

Notice the bulbous roots which formed after only three-four weeks.

Each one of these are separated and put into their own bonsai pot where they will grow for nearly a year before they are sold. When they are released, they will  have nicely formed bulbous trunks.

Begonia Bench

Begonia Bench in our Propagation Greenhouse

The Richardsiana begonias propagated from cuttings sold in  2  1/2 inch pots are released after 6-8 weeks. They make wonderful houseplants because they can tolerate extreme periods of dryness. However, if it is the bonsai-type look you are after, it will take 2-3 years to form a bonsai-type bulb from a cutting.

Begonia Partita

Begonia Partita is another favorite semi-tuberous begonia that makes an excellent bonsai.

Begonia Partita is propagated the same way. The only difference is that Partita is a little more sprawling and spreading in habit and takes a little more attention for shaping.

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4 Comments

Filed under Begonia Richardsiana, Begonia Richardsiana bonsai, begonias, propagation, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Begonia Bonsai Propagation at Logee’s

  1. Those look amazing! Do you offer the seeds for sale? I’d love to start some from seed.

  2. My relatives every time say that I am killing my time here at
    web, however I know I am getting experience daily by reading these nice posts.

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