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My Vertical Garden Wall

My Vertical Garden Wall


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Begonia Updates

I started loving begonias when they seemed to do so well in my garden. The best part of these begonias are the variegated colours on the leaves. Somehow another addition of colours takes place that they can change colours when kept in shade (greener tones) and stronger red tones when place in bright sunlight.

Unlike Cane Begonias - these are Rhizome Begonias - they don't stay planted on the soil, rather crawl on the surface top with the thick stem-like branch. Their roots are too fine - hairy looking stuff appear to be as thin as a coconut husk stands.

The danger is that these rhizome do tend to rot when they are exposed to too much watering. And so they thrive on a rocky, pebbled based surface rather than a soil surface. Its just not worth it to plant this one on a deep based pots as they are surface crawlers.
So when propagating - instead of cutting it and pushing in deep into the soil medium. Place them horizontally planting the rhizome half into the medium and half exposed at the top together with the leaves upwards.

I had a good success with Black Velvet Begonia of which many of my gardener's friends had struggling with it. Now with new additions to add colour to my rhizome collections. I have now 4 different types which I bought each less than RM10.00 a piece.

This one was all in shade for few weeks (or close to a month or so) I bought this from Tesco supermarket about less than RM10.00 - Regardless - I had changed the soil mix just in case if it suddenly dies on me sitting on a cocopeat.

Notice the colour difference in the new leaf.
This happened when I placed in the brighter shaded area.

I got this red centred one (or it appeared to be that way) but when it is in shade - It looked exactly like the first one I bought in Tesco. I got another these for RM8.00 from Sg.Buloh. Currently the standard price is RM10.00 - bargain for less.

Don't buy anything more than RM10.00 - its a rip off.
I saw one sold in another nursery near Batu Caves - selling for RM15.00 and he is not into bargaining the price.
Well - you can see the 3 different colours in row (in pictures below)

This is Martin Mystery Begonia.
I doubt they are selling it like hot cakes in Sg.Buloh.
(not that I had noticed any there)

I suspect that most begonias are sold were the tuberous rose types - the ones that are very much loves cold climate. I had yet to find any lowland gardeners who had successfully kept and propagated in a long time span concerning this type of begonias. And personally - I kept off from purchasing them - they are so temporary with a short lifespan.

 Instead get these types.
There are very hardy and durable.
I suspect that these had become a passed on cutting type of begonia. No longer sold in nurseries as they are considered old fashion and become a glut in the market.

I also realised that most of the common plants are no longer sold in nurseries which reminds me that some plants do go out of fashion. Most new aspiring gardeners do not know the secret of having a begonia for life long term may end up constantly buying them off from the nursery shelves and end up getting frustrated seeing the plant succumb to dead with a month or so.
And mostly what had been purchased were from the highland types - not conditioned for the lowland - over-watering raining wet & sudden hot & dry climate.

 Martin Mystery Begonia gives out a messy vine like stem all around the hanging pot, swirling and twisting with the bronze leaves. They are not easy to consider them as clean & neat plant as they tend to get bushy and leggy in a long-term.

Regardless - they are very hardy and I recommend this for any new beginners who want to try their hands on begonias.

These are Oxalis.
They are not hardy as seemed and do require replanting time to time.
The tricky part is watering. Too much and it rots the bulb - killing the plant. Too less and the leaves get burn and appear to be unattractive. So the key is not too much and just a quick dab.
These are on hanging pots - and so my secret is water them just so lightly as not to let the water drip all the way down to the pot.
That is enough water on the surface to sustain the plant on a daily water routine.

I truly love to have sprays of colours, quite of the same tones to add volume my garden.
These are the results below:
Oxalis, Martin Mystery Begonia & Zebra Tradescandia.


Mystic Dreamer said...

These don't do well with me. Some meet their demise rather quickly. I might try sometime in future though, as I quite like the colourful leaves.

James David said...

If you are planning to get them again.
Change their soil to fast draining type and try Cane Begonias.
They are hardy.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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