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Saturday, July 23, 2022

Black Velvet Begonia - Green Cloud Variety - PART 2



One of the interesting features about black begonias that amazes me are the deep coloration that doesn't require green pigmentation on them. I must say, sadly these are not hardy begonias which I discovered that they can easily die for no apparent reason - in my case, very much like lacking humidity and dead but maturity.

I find it hard to propagate them when they are slowly succumb to its demise - any methods of trying to keep them alive -either by cuttings or leaf propagation proofed futile. Hence -  I had totally lost this particular breed.

However, this is not a rare and difficult begonia to find. I'm still figuring out my mistakes and the reasons for them to kaput suddenly - most likely the culprit may be the change of fertilizer - I was changing to a different regime of feeding system which I may suspect they doesn't like new changes.

Also, I found that these are not easy to cultivate in comparison to Cane Begonias. I'm slowly losing patience with begonias and perhaps switch to a different types of begonias or might even revert to other hardy and easier plants that may work well in my garden conditions. 
Let's see what may survive in my garden in the long span of time to begin with. 
The insanity of continuous purchase and introductions of begonias upon trials and errors seemed not to work as I'm only facing a lot of failures and each lesson learned along the way - appears to be a long journey to attain this success story.


In comparison to Bethlehem Star, this particular one is more larger and more broader. 
The leaves seemed to be more clouded looking - something of like a watercolor featured paint on the center with some green tones.  At first, I just brushed off thinking that it is just a singular instability factor - happens sometimes when begonia are in state of morph when they are in different conditions - however, I had noticed that this occurrence are quite stable and also noticed these features are quite prominent among other begonia collectors around my region.

However, this particular ID is unknown. 
Similar characteristics denote that it could be a hybrid between another Black colored Star Begonia
/ Begonia heracleifolia - 'U578'  or another close breed with Begonia Chivalry. 

1) Bigger leaf formation in comparison to Bethlehem Star (7 pointed Star)
2) Leaf Center Coloration is Cloudy Green like a Watercolor effect.
3) Leaf Lobes are much larger and visible compared to the Common Black Velvet Begonia
4) Leaf Stem appears very long in yellow color with Red Furry Hairs (not compacted rhizome type)


However not all foliage have this Clouded Green Features - as this appears only in 1-2 leaves in the whole plant, sort of the begonia is pushing off the variegation away from it's system as some plants do when they try to revert to their origin parent plant. 

I had seen this effect appearing on the Variegated Creeping Fig - where once they started to creep on a wall - it had started to push all the variegated colored parts into a singular trailing branch and the rest reverted back to full green and with vigorous growth while the variegated branch remained stunted and appeared all white, eventually that part slowly withered away and the whole creeping fig turned into a monster growing plant and the variegated colored part totally vanished from the whole plant structure. I had also seen these same characteristics appearing on Variegated Philodendron - Pink Princess and Variegated Alocasia Macrorrhiza.

Begonias does morph and try to push away their variegated or parent hybrid colors and may accomplish doing so when the plant had grown into stability but at times, these abnormally still appear in variants and can be seen in these conditions - also these also happens when this begonias are cultivated using seed propagation where there are some new variations appears among cross pollination.

Also growing conditions matters - Begonias are known to change colors when receive too much bright indirect light in comparison to medium with heavy shade, especially the coloration of Begonia Martin Mystery where it may turn to fully reddish burgundy tones in bright light to more silvery pink notes when in full shade. Similar characteristics appears to some Cane Begonia Maculata Albo Picta Hybrids when their dots and speckles disappear when they receive bright indirect sunlight.

I had once experienced a Black Velvet Begonia gone totally dormant and when it came back - it started to have green colored variegation pups on the leaves when it started growing from the dormant rhizomes. This may happen when the plant would had gone through some stress factor and may change its growing conditions - as the green coloration denotes its need to photosynthesis.

However, not all begonias are hardy and able to morph to such conditions - Begonia Iron Cross are not so forgiving - the dark pigmentation slowly disappearing into a thin line with the edges appearing burned and eventually succumbs to its death if they are overwatered or lacking humidity. These strong furry types requires special conditions but some can be acclimatized when the right conditions are met:
(medium / watering / humidity / shade factor)

And so, I would say to each begonia type is unique by itself, not all begonias are the same - do cultivate the ones that does well in your own garden conditions and specifically in the areas where it is ideal conditions are met where it is airy, humid, receive bright shade and protected from direct hot sun and rain.


Plant Care is very similar like most Rhizome Begonia Care & Cultivation Needs. This depends in different garden or indoor conditions - its all depending on getting the right balanced conditions.

Depending on the Begonia adaptation and its ability to handle hardy conditions - if the plant is stress it may drop all it's leaves before regeneration - hence more care is required to ensure the right balance of watering and humidity verse root and stem rot. 

Fast Draining - Soil Based / Sometimes Sphagnum Moss with Perlite is used.

Water only when the Medium is Dry

Foliar Fertilizer - Once a Week with 1/2 Dilution Strength. 

(Depending on what works best in your garden conditions - some gardeners use chicken/goat manure, 
coffee based fertilizer, organic fertilizer - test out and see on a trial basis to see what works best in your garden conditions)

Place in Bright, Indirect Light - Shaded from direct hot sun areas - Ideal like a Balcony Plants.

Begonia Common Names and Images

Do click on the Link Above ☝

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.

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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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