Opinions Needed: What would you do?

birdsnbloomsJune 10, 2011

Howdy. There's a certain Begonia I've wanted from the first time I saw it.

It's rare and expensive.

I found 'X' Begonia online, but shipping is 29.99 for one 4" plant..The Begonia is 12.99, which is acceptable, but shipping is absurd.

I also found 'X' Begonia on Ebay..an auction. There's 3 or so hours left. So far, the price is or was 26.00..Shipping 7.00. BTW, only one seller in US has 'X' Begonia available.

We are NOT Bill Gates, nor do we have similar bank accounts..His pocket change equals our account. Possibly..lol.

If I bought this Begonia, it'd be on credit, like most other purchases.

Anyway, my point is, would you spend that much money for one plant..Begonias aren't the easiest plants to over-winter. I've never had this type of Begonia nor do I know anyone who has. Not in IL or warmer climate states.

The shipping at the nursery is high. I even emailed the nursery, thinking/hoping I made a mistake, but no such luck.

The owner? explained why shipping prices were so dear..which honestly, didn't satisfy me.

I checked Gardenwatchdog, and for the most part, the nursery has mostly positive feedback. Most neutrals and negatives were because of shipping prices. But IMO, people who willingly purchased a plant, knowing the charge before they clicked to buy, knew what they were doing. It wasn't a mystery charge..therefore, they're wrong complaining, let alone leaving neutral/negative feedback because of shipping.

What would you do? Would you purchase 'X' Begonia? If so, which place would you order from? Would you forget shopping at the online nursery because of high shipping costs? Hoping, if enough people stopped ordering from them, they'd eventually lower shipping? Or over-look it, and expect to receive a new Begonia?

I'm interested in opinions..Thanks, Toni

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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Hi Toni... I would try the Ebay bidding first, set your limit to less than the nursery price.. I don't have any problems with buying on ebay since most ebayers are honest people (check their ratings first, though).

If the bidding war got out of control, you could email the seller to see if they offer the buy-it-now option :).

If I need to buy at the nursery, i would buy 2 instead of 1. Take pictures when you plant(s) arrive! :)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 6:41PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

I've bought lots of aroids and even more carnavoirs from eBay sellers and rarely have had any issues. If the seller has a good feedback rating than I would buy from them.

But don't hold it against me if you do, your experience may vary.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 6:42PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Toni, You could buy either one and start a bunch of cuttings and ebay them yourself to cover your costs.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 7:47PM
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Kemistry..the bid has 10 mins left..it's up to 31.00. lol.
I trust Ebay sellers, or 98%. Ebay is one of my favorite plant stores..lol..
But, you've given me two good ideas...email the seller..I've shopped with him quite a bit. If he has any Begonias left, he might do a Buy Now.
The second idea is buying two if I have to shop at the Nursery..But that's going to be EXPENSIVE. LOL. Thanks.

Danny. I wouldn't hold it against you..lol..Ebay is great! I've been a member since 1999, and only once did I leave Neg feedback..it wasn't a plant. The purchase was for my brother who paid w/a cc..back then, there was no Paypal, or I wasn't aware. A month later and the item still hadn't come in. Here I'm boasting to my brother how terrific Ebay was..lol..talk about embarrassed. lol.

Thanks to you both..I'll get to the emails now..Toni

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 7:52PM
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Danny, you and I were writing the same time. When I clicked submit, you added a second reply..lol

I think 'X' Begonia roots by divisions and seeds..don't think leaves/stems root. However, I contacted the Ebay seller asking if he had another Begonia, and how it was propagated. There's a seller in Australia who has seeds, but I don't know if they'll take. Toni

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 8:45PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

My opinion? Robert and I live 'below our means'....and nothing is purchased on credit. I'd not even consider adding another plant to an already bursting at the seams collection. I think that you already know that you shouldn't buy this plant, my friend. Right?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 12:16AM
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Rhizo, actually, I don't know that..lol..

My 'weakness/vice:' plants..As far as other materialistic items, 'clothes, shoes, etc,' I do not go overboard. In fact, I'm in need of new clothing, but unless there's a big sale, I won't shop.
I'm driving a 1994 Toyota..it's clean, runs well, 'needs brakes.' Don't have or want expensive jewelry, buy medium priced perfume once a year, 'if that' and use coupons when grocery shopping.
I normally buy inexpensive plants; there's always room for 'one more.' lol.

So far, I haven't splurged and bought the Begonia at the nursery where shipping is close to 30.00. 99% chance I won't. It's way too much money, and I feel the owners are ripping people off.
However, I will wait to see if other nurseries have this Begonia available at a much more affordable price even it if means waiting.

Besides, I have a b-day coming up. Dh might decide to surprise me..lol..Toni

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 4:16PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Birthdays are for splurging, lol.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 4:54PM
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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Yea, that's also my weakness. I'm eyeing the jasminum molle at Kartuz at the moment, but if I do order that'll be a $34 purchase (hmm..)

What's this X Begonia, Toni? (If you don't mind telling us
:o) ..)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 9:10PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I just read this Toni, I am happy to see you were not weak enough to let them rip you off for shipping. I wish greed would stop. A fair shipping price is very possible if they wanted to share the price they pay to ship the item.

Why not price the plant appropriately and charge the correct shipping price.

I do not order from companies that will not give you the price until you provide all your credit card info.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 10:22PM
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Kemistry. I beliee Kartuz has a minimum charge nowadays..something they didn't before.
They had a Ficus I liked, but didn't want to spend, 40.00?? because of one plant. So many nice plants were out of stock. But Kartuz has nice plants....

The Begonia is B. luxurians. It's an upright grower, can reach 8'..The leaves are large, narrow and fern-like..Most unusual.

Marquest..thanks...I decided to wait and pass up the over-priced nursery.. Can you imagine buying a plant at that price, then watch it die!! Especially since it's a Begonia. Some live, some don't.
There's little info on its care and needs.

There's a seller on Ebay from Australia who has B. luxurian seeds. But who knows what if they're real..they're not expensive, less than the plant. But there's no info on germination time or care. Also, I don't know how to convert cost. Wonder if Ebay/Paypal converts?? And what happens if Customs confiscates them?? lol. Toni

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 1:56PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

eBay shows you the US price under the Australian price. You're looking at about $6.25 for 20 seeds, Price + postage. If I was into Begonias I would buy it. Seeds are almost never stopped by customs.

Info on germination is really no farther away then a google search

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 9:28PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

"Marquest..thanks...I decided to wait and pass up the over-priced nursery.. Can you imagine buying a plant at that price, then watch it die!!"

Toni I would put my head in the oven if I paid someone 30 bucs for delivery and it up and died. LOL

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 10:25PM
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Danny...6.25 is a fair price..However, I found another nursery who will have B luxurians in stock in a few weeks.
I've never ordered from this nursery, and they're feedback on GWD isn't the best. The last buyer gave 'X' nursery 'neutral' feedback because they said shipping was too high..I checked the shipping..6.00 for the first plant..HA! That buyer should check out the nursery that charges almost 30 for the first plant..lol..

BTW, I'm not really into Begonias..I only have 5 or 6..it's just the luxurians is special, unusual. I've never heard of a Begonia that can get 8' tall..'if it lives, lol.'

Thanks for the conversion.

Marquest. WOW, so drastic..lol..I'd rather put the seller who charged 30.00 head in the oven. lol. Toni

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:40PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Growing from adds to the fun of indoor gardening. When that thing reaches the celing and you can tell some you grew it from seed you'll feel it's worth it.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 4:46PM
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odyssey3(7 noVA)

Toni, Toni, Toni, I have b. luxurians! I bought it in March at a nursery in Portland when I was there for a conference. Should have seen me with it (and other plants!) coming back on the plane. I can't resist a new nursery run. If you'd be OK with cuttings, want to trade?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 11:11PM
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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Ack.. 8' tall? Take pictures please! :)

Toni - Kartuz lifted its minumum order requirement, i just ordered the jas molle. yay! ;)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 11:59PM
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Danny. I lost my 'sowing' touch..lol. In the past, I sowed annuals, perrenials, tropicals and succulents.
I even have a Clivia started from seed in 1982.
For some reason, I lost my touch..lol..
You are 100% correct. A plant started from seed has much more meaning than store-bought. I feel the same buying baby plants. They have sentimental value. Actually, the only plants I have that were over a foot tall are grafted Citrus and one Hibiscus tree. I don't know how to graft.

Oddsey!! You're kidding??? No, you're not..lol. You brought plants on a plane? lol..Wow, I didn't think they'd allow plants. Amazing.
That had to be a funny sight. lolol.

When you have time, please tell me about luxurians needs. What's their height? How tall were they when you got them? Are they slow or fast-growers? Do they need a lot of humidity? Sun, etc..Sorry for all the questions, but you're the first person I've talked to who has B. luxurians.

What type of plants are you seeking?? How does one root a B. luxurian? A seller told me it can be done, but he didn't explain how. Or what percentage survives.
Other than succulents, I root most plants in water. The last few years, 'like sowing seeds,' I haven't had any luck rooting tropicals in soil.

Perhaps you didn't see what I wrote up above. I found a seller who will have B. luxurians ready in a couple weeks. I'd prefer an established plant since sowing and cuttings have been a challenge...
Still, it never hurts to try. Let me know what type of plants you're looking for.

Kemistry...Thanks...Did they lift the minimum charge because of the time of year? That's great news..Every so often they have a plant I like, but to order 40.00 worth of plants, plus shipping, well, it's a little expensive. This time of year, most Kartuz plants are out of stock. lol. However, I will check their site. Thanks.

What type of plant did you order? Toni

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 2:02PM
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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Hi Toni, I'm not quite sure if the lift is permanent or temporary. The min order requirement was there when I ordered from them a few months ago.

Got a jasminum molle; it's said to be very fragrant, with a strong, musky gardenia scent. :)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 5:04PM
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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

OOh Toni, if you are rooting cuttings, try this easy propagating method (see link).

I've had great success with it and it seems to work with most cuttings.

Here is a link that might be useful: rooting method

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 5:10PM
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odyssey3(7 noVA)

Toni, I got a nice big speciman for $16. It was in an 8 inch pot, and close to a foot tall. I have it on a kitchen counter near a west window and it is fine, though a couple edges have gotten slightly crispy (ever so slightly) so I'm sure it would benefit from more humidity. I'd say it is neither slow or fast growing--just average. The coolest thing about this plant to me is how new leaves emerge from the center of an established leaf. Neat! I also picked up a b. listada in Portland, and that one is definitely slower-growing and pickier. I have not tried rooting luxurians, but I think it would be simple in water, like most begonias, and Brad Thompson says this is one is also unusual in that it can be propagated by leaf too, like a rhizomatous begonia.
As for what plants I like, I like anything unusual, especially if there are pink flowers or pink leaves involved. (What can I say, I like pink.) Luxurians was so unusual I wanted it even though it blooms white. It was in bloom when I bought it. The blooms are insignificant. This plant is all about the foliage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Begonia propagation

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 2:44PM
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If you want the begonia, go for it!

I'm happy there are people that live below their means and won't add another plant to their collection, to each their own!

Do what makes you happy!


    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 4:41PM
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Howdy...After yesterdays T-storms, today temp was warm and very sunny. Outdoor gardening is done, 'except for plucking weeds,' and I'm almost finished hauling out indoor plants.

Kemistry...you received the Jasmine? What size pot was it in, or did it come bare-root?
Is it budding/flowering?

Perhaps you can post a picture?

Don't worry about the minimum fee. Kartuz runs out of plants, FAST. The other day after visiting their site, most plants were sold out or out of stock.

Rooting cuttings? Unless a plant is really rare, I don't take cuttings. Don't have room for duplicates, lol. One reason I dislike pruning, lol.

Did you check the Rooting Method site? Did they want you to download a file?

Odyssey, you really lucked out. 16.00!! And tall, too.
Did the edges crisp slighly during winter? Is it possible a west window is too bright for a Begonia?
You did say it was near a west..I'm sure you know what you're doing.

B. listada is quite pretty. The silver steak does it justice, especially since it contrasts dark leaves.

Have you ever tried a Wax Begonias? The type sold in garden centers as Accent or Edging plants? They're inexpensive and easy to keep. Leaves are green or purple and flowers are white or 'pink.'

I once placed a Wax Begonia in a 10-gallon aquarium. The aquarium had a hood with a light, the back opened. It got watered whenever I thought about it. The aquarium was low to the ground in a north window.
One night, while walking outside, I happened to look in the window. The Wax Begonia grew through the back of the tank, stood at least 3' tall. It was packed with pink flowers.
It was potted directly in soil without drainage. It lived for years..until I painted the room, took the Begonia out of the tank...Good bye plant.

I also had a Wax Begonia, 'about a year after getting into plants,' hanging in a window. It'd bloom year round.

If there are any garden centers or stores that sell outdoor plants nearby, maybe you can find one. If any are left, it should be half-price since it's June.

Susan..lol..I'll find one. I've got a few prospects now..Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 2:30AM
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I think people overlook those garden center begonias that are sold as annuals but they can be just as much a houseplant as any plant. They actually thrive out of sun and into lower light and their foliage becomes very beautiful.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 5:38PM
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Susan...Exactly. There are a good number of so-called Accent Plants, that can be grown as house plants. Home Depot even sells Purple Heart, 'Setcreasea pallida, Ivy/Hedera, Asparagus Fern, Cordyline/Dracaena, etc.

Purchasing an Accent Plant from a garden center is less expensive than buying as a House Plant. Toni

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 12:53PM
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I hadn't realized B. luxurians was rare, I have seen it photographed several times over the years, but never saw it in person. So I looked it up in the Chevalier book and in the Thompson book. It was introduced into cultivation in l858 from Brazil, can get to 30 feet high,listed as one for the ADVANCED grower, reportedly fragrant.I wouldn't pay $30, I bet you can find it for less.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 3:14PM
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Oh dear, how careless I am. I should have said 'can get to 30 inches high' above. Coincidentally, the current begonia magazine arrived yesterday, there is a color photo of B. luxurians therein and a small color photo of it in bloom. It has many sprays of small blossoms, the owner can probably set a ton of seeds on this. Many So. American begonias prouce these sprays, indoors it is a pain to pick up those tiny things from the carpet when in bloom.I traded seeds for years with an Australian friend, mailing to me never a problem with customs or Post Office. The same with Mauro's Brazilian seeds, they come just like ordinary mail. Same with Canadian shipments.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 9:21AM
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Hi Woebegonia. Believe me, I've emailed and called every nursery around the USA..lol..

Most nurseries don't have Begonia luxurians period. A couple/few are sold out..the last Begonia luxurians on Ebay went for 36 and change, plus shipping. One nursery, Annie's, has it available, but wants 12.50 in a 4" pot, shipping nearly 30.00. 12.50 isn't bad but nearly 30.00 for shipping is unheard of.

About height. Everything I've read on luxurians says it 'can' get 8' tall..lol.. 'Can,' if it lives over-winter, here in dry, IL.
It's very humid in summer, but once Dec hits, humidity decreases.

Of course, with your screen name, you would know a zillion times more about Begonias than I. lol..
You must have a a good number?

Might as well confess. I ordered the seeds from Austrailia. What's do I have to lose? And a lot less expensive than 42.50 for a plant that could die. I'd cry.

Oh, I bought a B. luxurians 'Stewart' on Ebay...What a disappointment! It looks NOTHING like ordinary, B. luxurians. It's pretty, but not what I wanted..Still, the price was right..It's basically a cutting, so not expensive. One stem, 7-8" tall.

Begonia, I've ordered from China and Thailand half a dozen times..Only once were there problems. One seller made a mistake with the certificate, placing inside the box..The order was made in summer, arrived Dec 24th, lol. What a Christmas surprise..Dead plants..I couldn't ID them if my life depended on it..lol..

There's a B. luxurians on Ebay now..I should check, but it had several bidders last time I looked and the price was growing like a weed.

Begonia, I'm not worried about the carpet..lol..if I can find this Begonia, and it flowers and seeds, I'll be so happy.. That's what the vacuum cleaner is for. lol.

I have a Murraya that flowers all year including winter,,,especially winter...After flowers fade, they're all over the place..but the scent is worth it.

Hopefully, the seeds will germinate. Wish me luck, Toni

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 12:09PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Hey Toni, they're probably selling out everywhere because you've gotten so many people interested in them with this thread. Ya shot yourself in the foot this time.

Good luck with the seeds

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 1:50PM
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Danny, lol...
That's the reason I typed in Begonia 'X' instead of adding the species.
Someone asked which Begonia it was, so I gave the name.

But truthfully, before posting here, B. luxurians was hard to find.

You're funny, lol. Toni

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 2:13PM
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Like you ,kiddo, I have more plants/begonias than I want to take time to count. But that does't mean they are all 'well grown' or even attractive. Good luck with the searching and seeds if there are any left.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 12:32PM
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Begonia, I bet you do. 'Have a lot of Begonias.' lol.
Are all yours compact, or do you grow uprights, too?

If you don't mind, can I trouble you with a few Q&A's?

Begonias: How much light/sun, how often are they fertilized, and what brand? Soil type? Pot material and size, 'size opposed to rootball.'

As soon as the seeds arrive, I'm getting out the mini green house w/heating pad. I also have palm seeds and a special hot pepper that needs sowing.

Anyway, I found a Begonia 'Vista Quest' at Kartuz. It's not a luxurians, but foliage is pretty, and in a way, resembles luxurians. Although luxurians leaves are narrower than Vista.

It arrived today..Pics

I ordered two, just in case. I d idn't know if both Begonias should be planted together..think I'll keep them separate. Toni

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 3:33PM
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