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Monday, July 25, 2022

How to Safe a Dying Cane Begonia / Repot Rooted Cuttings (Video)

In today's video, I would like to talk about a situation where you would find a cane begonia suddenly dying away. I have experienced many times in a situation where it appears to be a little bit of a mystery to me where a healthy begonia; Cane begonia and that seems to be a little bit like leggy and the leaves tend to drop off and don't look so healthy looking, something similar like the earlier Cane. 

Now if you notice that some of it seems to be very uh robust and healthy looking and eventually over time it appears to be maturing and the whole leaf will just drop away. In this context if you look over here, this appears to be very healthy looking and seems to be very much robust and strong. So in a way there's nothing to be worried about and this is how Can begonia should look like, where they appear to be very vibrant and strong, like in most cases like all these cane begonias if you notice. 

Over here, you see I've actually trimmed some of it and I've actually used for propagation and I'll show you how I actually propagate them so but anyway just for a viewing pleasure this is how they are supposed to be uh vibrant, strong, a little bit more like a vegetable plant' where it is strong and sturdy. Now I must say that and I will make a very strong emphasis to always keep spare begonia plants because these begonias especially actually all Canes including cane begonia and rhizome begonias; the lifespans are very short and sometimes you may not even know what happens to them and suddenly they may just rot away and just die and when that situation arises it's just too late to save anything.

 Now looking over here as I was mentioning, this appears to be a little bit like in a dying stage but it's not dead yet so i can save it if you look over here uh if I were to leave it for chance and just uh continue to cultivate it eventually all these leaves will drop away and the whole thing will rot away and it's dead. So instead of leaving it for chances uh what I have decided here is, I've actually trimmed it and I'm planning to propagate it and one of the higher chances of propagation here is to propagate them using water; and I find that it's far more successful than cutting it and placing them straight into the media. Now looking at this if you were to see how I actually prepare it. 

Actually take a plastic bottle and cut into half and actually place it like this and over a week or two these will start to grow uh water roots on them and with these roots they has a higher chances of survival rather than uh leaving them be as it is or trimming and placing them straight into the soil medium. Another thing here is that I am not actually using any rooting hormone or anything of that kind, just fresh water in this and occasionally about three or four days' time I will change the water and I'll check on it just to make sure that everything is in good condition. 

Another factor about leaving uh water in this kind of situation is that they can breed mosquitoes so you may have to keep an eye on that just to make sure there is no mosquito larvae in it and if you do just make sure that you responsibly get rid of them, before they turn into a breeding ground. So this is how I actually prepare it if you notice that I will always make sure that there are no leaves touching the water because I find that when they do they tend to rot and the whole thing can be a waste. 

So make sure that placing them in a condition where none of the water is touching the leaves but it is well hydrated where the stem is actually uh into the water at least one or two nodes but these are the things that you have to take note of. I am actually taking chances on this because, as I mentioned earlier if I were to leave it as it is growing on the flower pot, chances are this is actually a goner but doing this there's a higher chance of this to survive and I'm actually able to propagate and grow it. 

So the earlier part there when I actually trimmed off those stem that you have actually noticed this is actually those stem cutting which I placed them this about two to three weeks in water and if you can actually notice it there are some uh root growth on this uh stem. if you can see it clearly also if you notice that I hope you can see there's some whiskers kind of roots, that is actually appearing on the uh nodes especially these the leaf nodes, so this is this this appears to be very healthy looking and and I'm actually planning to propagate them in soil medium which I will show to you on how I actually do it later at the end of this video. 

now some thoughts about this is that I'm actually actually kept this indoors uh away from direct hot sun but however it is actually underneath a bright fluorescent light and this seems to do fine as I mentioned earlier occasionally I'll check on them about three or four days uh once and to make sure there is no leaf uh no leaf drop into it or anything or rot into it. okay, the other thing that I want to mention to you that if you do find one stem appears to be rotting, do remove it immediately because if you don't the whole thing can rot away. So that could be a major waste on that. 

This is a different type of begonia also a stem cutting which I placed it in water and you can see clearly the roots have established itself very much matured and many roots have actually developed in this condition and I find that doing this seems to be far more effective in keeping the cane begonia species in your garden. you know in a way that this style of propagation seems to work best in my garden condition. 

The other factor that I would like to share here is that if you keep the container where the water is just a quarter, you don't have to really fill it up and I find that the water the higher the chances of success. In a way, I find that uh these cuttings do give out some pheromone or hormones to it, for it to grow. okay this particular one, I've actually cut them too late and it was about to die and as you guys see it's already dead and rotten away. 

So what I'm sharing here is that it's not all together with everything a success rate, there will be a chance and this is one of the things that I've taken a chance to save it and it didn't work. okay this particular cane begonia is actually from the "maculata wrightii" species and I find that some are a little bit more sensitive and difficult and some are very hardy. And so this particular one I find that the "Albo picta" type, seems to be very hardy and able to handle my garden condition, where it is almost wet and humid and sometimes it's very hot so very unpredictable weather conditions. 

Now these are the materials that I use for my propagation. I think these are the basic things that you actually need a plastic pot or you can use any pots that you have. I use this, this is a cotton fiber which I use as a drainage piece for the propagation because I find that anything else that seems to block the drainage hole and may cause root rot problem. so in a way do find something you can also use netting or uh even pebbles. 

Okay, the next thing that I actually use this is actually coconut chips which actually cut them on my own; I collected them around my garden area in my region and I find that this is far more economical and practical for me. you can actually buy them online but however I find that it's very expensive, so do check around a neighborhood or any of your friends who do have a coconut tree and if they were to or open up their coconut shells and I think this is one of the best mediums that I find that work best in my garden. So apart from coconut chips, I also use sand uh this is a little bit of a coarse sand, you can see a little bit of pebble like kind of a situation here. 

Also again it's a little bit difficult to get this online or but if you can get your hands on it uh do find them uh I get my sand around abandoned construction areas where the leftover sand and I use that. Okay, this is a container where I keep my compost and I find that this is one of the most important mediums that I use for my uh propagation. 

So again, compost is is nothing of an expensive type something that they can actually buy very cheaply from any of the garden centers; so these are the three main ingredients that I use for my propagation. now coming to how I do it uh what I do is after putting the the cotton fiber, I just place a little bit of these coconut chips in it and I find that coconut chips actually aids stronger root growth, so in a way that this is how I do it's very much like layering a little bit of coconut chips followed by the sand and then uh I use a lot of compost; as you can see here uh it's sort of like one layer of it uh you not to put too much of it but just uh adequately. 

then another set of coconut chips, followed by sand and just to see that it the whole thing sits on it and these are the cuttings that are actually used. so you can see clearly here uh I hope the camera is able to zoom in this uh microscopic root ball here, so this is actually adequate and good enough for the plant to to survive in and this is very important because the lack of which chances are this can rot away. 

now I also notice that this one particular one did not root and uh i think uh the whole thing and there's a slight rot taking place here so I had to put back into the water I may have to trim this off and restart again and see how it fast later but i see that this plant is a little bit uh how do you say healthy so nothing to worry about. 

I'll deal with that later so I think this tree uh cuttings is good to go in this flower pot. so you can actually plant one uh plant in a one small pot but I find that this is good enough to hold three, so I'm just showing how I'm doing it here. now the other hand is actually holding my camera so a little bit difficult so I'm just showing to you how I'm going to do it shortly, so I've rearranged it here you can see it here that uh I just lightly has placed the coconut chips so just to hold it and I will be topping up with more of this planting material here, 

the medium here, to how do you say to hold them. okay the other thing here is this uh you can bunch them all together and plant it but I find that doing so they may uh become how do you say uh fight with each other for nutrients; so placing them apart seems to work best or if you have the space and the and the means to do so; plant one cutting each in a separate tiny pot. 

okay, the other thing here is this; do not over pot this begonias and i find that a lot of gardeners make a mistake of repotting them to a bigger pot and only find that the begonia seems to die away; so if any means are always under pot then don't over pot them. I think this particular set can actually last for a year plus if I'm not wrong and so this is how I actually do it. you can notice that they are not compressed and pressed hard but just nicely done so uh there's enough room for the roots to grow and

okay the other thing that I want to mention to you is I also use chopsticks to straighten the plant, so that it doesn't bend or fall or lose its balance. Eventually these canes will actually grow taller and you can actually replace these bamboo sticks chopsticks with stronger, sturdier sticks for them to take support. Other than that the basic care is very much simple, bright indirect light, uh also watering them with cautions because too much if they are too wet the whole thing can rot away; so just lightly watering them when the medium is slightly dry uh other than that occasionally I would say about once a week a foliar fertilizer on them so that they have enough nutrients and other than that I find that they are actually hardy plants. Another factor that I notice is that they do not have so much of a pest problem, unless uh if they are not placed in an adequate location. 

Sometimes I find that if they are placed in a too dark uh in a place uh two shaded in environment this tends to attract pests on them, especially mealy bug or scale insect. so bright indirect light: also I would like to see at least one to two hours or three hours of sunlight on them seems to do good in a longer run. 

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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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