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My Vertical Garden Wall

My Vertical Garden Wall


Monday, September 16, 2019

Begonia 'U192' / Martin's Mystery Begonia


Have you experienced a moment where once a begonia plant were thriving so well and suddenly without any warning, the leaves started to drop and they whole thing rotting and you try your best to salvage what there is left (dried twigs and all)

And then you have to start all over again with a singular leaf - and hope it will pick up into a new plant?
Yeah.. this it that story.

(Suddenly I realized that all of my begonias behave like that without exception - thus its important to always have spare plants planted in case the main one goes kaput)  Finally its slowly picking up after a long ordeal of neglect. I was totally took this one for granted that it will be able to handle neglect.

On the scale of 1 - 10, 1 being the easiest - Martin Mystery will definitely be that #1.
I would suggest anyone into begonias to start with this one first.
It is not fussy - it can handle wet feet or long dry neglect.

One the other beauty about this one is the cascading effect with the twisting shaped cascading stalk that coils with the leaves. You need to watch out carefully that it doesn't twist too much and snap without your notice or you had lost a nice long stalk.


Initially it is known as Begonia 'U192' and later identified as Martin's Mystery Begonia, native to Bicol, Philippines and brought into cultivation supposedly by Martin Johnson, a begonia grower. Nothing much of information is available on this one.

The foliage appears to have a metallic pink notes with slightly darker green at main veins with burgundy underside with furry petioles. This appears to be a Trailing Begonia and so they will eventually form long twisting vining stem and may snap under it's own weight when it spans too long.

Excellent to cultivate as a Hanging Basket Plant - they appear to become bushy and have cascading effect.

Another factor about this begonia is that it does so well as in combo arrangements.
They don't take too much space in a pot and thus it does a good combination with deep rooted plants.

Another special factor about this particular begonia is that it has the copper colored foliage when its exposed more to sun. The shaded ones are more silver. The coined shaped flowers are like fairy lights -cascading spray of flowers.

These are recently updated pictures from my garden.
I had find that they change color when they are in different areas.
More of a silver when in shade and more metallic pink hues when exposed to strong light areas.

They also have this cascading vine type branches which is quite impossible to constantly check on them as they this behavior that these grows leggy and suddenly snap without warning.

You will not had noticed it had happened until it's too late to safe the broken piece.
My advise to keep it neatly trimmed and groomed.
And the pruned ones used for propagation.

I had also realized that I have been constantly resetting and replanting them every year.
Something to note that I need to reset it on annual basis as they are not long-term plants.

Failure to do can be detrimental as the stem are fragile and the roots don't go deep 
- root/stem rot can easily take place and this particular begonia can easily be lost due to negligence.

I had placed this with the bromeliads on the vertical Garden setting and it grows beautifully in the cascading effect. The graceful foliage landscape just gives a perfect pink contrast with the lime green foliage at the background.

Recently I had an idea of cultivating this Martin Mystery Begonia as hanging basket plant on my gate and also cultivate different types of colored foliage plants together with it and found that it does so well in that combination set-up.

Here is the link where I had put together a list of all the begonias that I had come across. A database of all the different types & their characteristics. Please click on the link on the title above for the post.


Joanna said...

Very beautiful begonia plant you have there. Thanks for the information and sharing your experience!

James David said...

You are most welcome Joanna. Thanks for visiting and your lovely comment.

About Me

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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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