An Amazing Begonia Development!

pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)June 3, 2011

Hi All,

I recently had a strange thing happen. I suppose I should post it at Begonia Forum too, but check this out.

This was a leaf I got a my local Indoor Gardening Society, which I planned to propagate. Until I could get to pot it up, I popped it into the top of a bottle of water.

A pretty big leaf to start.

Look what's happened:

Can you see it's sprouting leaves sort of 'out the top of its head', in the manner of a Tolmeia?

Who knew Begonias did this? Sort of bizarre & very cool too?

Here's a different angle & maybe better contrast.

I don't even have an ID for the leaves, but think I can go back & get one.

Now I'm wondering how to proceed: either leaving it as it for a while; OR potting it up Hydro, in a netted pot w/ some Leca stones.

Opinions anyone?

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birdsnblooms

Karen, that is unusual.
Only my opinion, but I'd keep in water a couple/few more days. See it roots form.

The new leaves are so cute.

Are you other Begonias in stones or water??

Someone on the Begonia Forum might have an answer...what about the people at the Begonia Society? Think anyone would know?

A similar thing happened with an African Violet leaf rooting in water. I didn't think it was possible since they say AV leaves shouldn't get wet, and here a few leaves grew under water. lol.

I've never had luck rooting Begonia leaves.

Hope you get an answer soon. Toni

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:39AM
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aseedisapromise

I am no authority, but I was given a Beefsteak begonia leaf, and it was easy to root from the petiole just about like an African violet. I have since done this several times. I think a lot of the Rex begonias can be rooted from just the leaf part, which is what you basically have. I think the leaf is cut into sections and laid on top of sterile rooting medium, but you maybe ought to look this up. I think if you have a plantlet, then roots aren't far away.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 2:41PM
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woebegonia

It's not unusual with rhizomatous and rex leaves, it's some form of survival I think. I"m not sure how long to leave it in the water and when to pot it on (with damp sphagnum perhaps taking the place of the stem and a bit of Rootone for luck if the roots don't appear). It's an interesting leaf, looks a bit like B. sizemoreae, a beauty from Vietnam.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 4:27PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Neat, it's getting a head start on your propagation!

I think I've posted in here how back when I was in college I earned extra $$$ by helping one of the research extension specialists in his personal greenhouse business. One of the many propagation chores I did was rex begonia leaf cuttings.

I remember walking into the greenhouse one morning to a big pile of begonia leaves on the table. He had already prepared several flats with potting mix and had them waiting for me. My tools? A paper punch. I punched all along the leaf veins and placed them on top of the potting soil. EVERY little disc turned into a new plant. The smallest leaves were just placed on top of the soil and slits cut into the veins, in the traditional manner of making leaf cuttings, as illustrated in the attached link.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 4:47PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Folks,

In my excitement about the 'top of the head' new leaves, I forgot to mention this leaf's stem HAS put on roots. From the moment I noticed the top leaves, it had started some roots, I lifted it out of the water bottle to check.

I only dabble in Begonias, have some bits in mix in terrariums at the moment. I've also experimented some w/ propagating Begonias from leaves, I know SOME do that, maybe some Rex & Rhizomatous. I believe I've done same w/ Beefsteak & also one called Art Hodes, which I've had & posted about but don't have at the moment.

I'm friends w/ a woman who has headed the NYC Begonia Society (I think they're called the Knickerbocker Society), I'll have to steer her here for a look.

I took more pix this morning, put haven't uploaded them, it's progressing nicely.

Rhizo (Dori?),

That sounds so fun dealing w/ hole-punched bits of Begonia leaves. OR, have I just become too weird?

I'd never seen this system of slitting a leaf as you've shown in the drawing you linked. The larger areas of my leaf are started to deteriorate, am wondering about cutting off some viable leaf sections & then slitting them, like this drawing, very cool! Thank for the link!

I LOVE plant experiments!!!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:45AM
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birdsnblooms

Karen, have you had a chance to talk to the woman from the Begonia Society?
If so, what did she say? Also, how is your Begonia doing? Did you upload the new pics? Toni

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 12:39PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Folks,

Back again w/ more pix, here's some shots of the roots:

another, full plant

nicely establishing roots

My email to my friend (former Begonia Society's President) bounced, so I've got to call her. I also emailed my former Society President & newsletter editor, but that was just today, so I haven't heard back yet.

If anyone reading this knows how to do a link, perhaps they'd consider posting a Link at Begonia Forum to here for me. OR, should I just post there on my own?

I've put it back in the water bottle but today I cut a couple of leaf sections & potted them up in an improvised terrarium. I don't have pix of that yet.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 12:28AM
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birdsnblooms

Hi Karen...the roots have really grown, but if it were my Begonia, I'd wait until they were a little larger/fuller.

Are you going to pot in soil or growy hydroponically? Don't think you mentioned which route you're going.

It's hard to tell. What size is the leaf?
Oh, did you cut up sections on the leaf that is rooting, or a different leaf?

Sorry, don't know how to post the link..Toni

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 4:03PM
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eye_love_begonias(9a)

Your Begonia looks to be the species B. sizemoreae, discovered in Vietnam by Mary Sizemore. The new leaf growth and roots are normal and that is how many of us begoniacs root our rhizomatous leaves.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:57AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I've usually heard the term wedge for growing from part of a leaf.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 12:15PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm glad you potted it up now, while still so little. It will me much less of a difficult transition (water roots and soil roots are different).Begonia leaf cuttings really do so well when rooted on a porous potting mix.

Can't wait to see more pictures.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 1:27PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Oops, I must have been unclear. What I potted up were some leaf sections (into a terrarium). The leaf w/ attached plantlet as shown in the pix has NOT been potted up yet, still living in the top of the water bottle.

I'm still wondering how to proceed, haven't heard back yet from Begonia friends.

Hi Rhizo,

Yes, thanks, I know abt the water roots vs. soil roots. Yet a founding member of my Indoor Gardening group (& published plant writer) said she transitions her water rooted cuttings (when first potted up) by keeping them wetter than one might expect (I guess) approximating more the water rooting conditions & thereby easing the transition.

I'm leaning towards leaving this Hydro w/ Leca stones; it just seems so happy in the water. I think I'd be afraid the leaf would dry out & I'm not great about potting up in plastic bags & HATE how that looks.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 3:35PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Curious, whatever happened with this plant?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:27AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Eeee, ya got me, I don't remember.

I'm guessing it accidentally dried out, as I no longer have it. Bummer, but good reminder, it was pretty cool! Thanks for the memory.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Awww, sorry I brought it up. I was looking for my Begonia threads to add pics and this was in the search results. I admit, sometimes if I get busy during the "off season" I have been known to neglect little projects like that. I always feel at least a little regret about it though.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 10:48AM
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