Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dragon Wing Begonia Seedling-From Seedling to Adult Plant

Surfing the web before I started begonia seedlings really helped. I read  over and over recommendations for seed starting on Brads Begonia World. Although I only ended with one adult seedling of 10, I feel successful growing a plant that many say is difficult to grow. Six of ten seedlings did make it to a good size. The other 4 not reaching adulthood was a choice. There was no concern to nurture seedling when my mother died in May. Seedlings were not the priority. Seven months from seedling to a mature sized plant and the first bloom seems like a long time. The seeds were started in December. I will start them earlier in the Fall this year. Who knows? With the cost of the plants in nurseries a little patience is well worth it.

What are some things that worked for me? Keeping a humidity done on the plants is really important. When the seeds come up they are almost microscopic. If you see a green speck on the growing medium that's likely the germinated seedling. Patience is a virtue when growing begonia because they do grow slow. I actually enjoyed getting up every morning and seeing the small changes. Keep the seedlings as close to your light source as possible. When they reach a good size I found that putting them too close to the light can wash out their color and may kill and burn the leaves. Also, begonias are shade plants so keep this in mind when it comes to light. 

The humidity dome was kept on for months and the seedlings spritzed with water when needed. I didn't transplant them until they were a good size. I watered them with a weak solution of Miracle Grow because they needed nutrients still growing in seed starting mix. Keeping them long in seed starting mix was not recommended, this was something I did. If any signs of mold developed on the soil, I watered them less and removed part of the dome to allow for air circulation. A mixture of water and peroxide always works well for me for any growth on the soil and seemed to help me to prevent damping off.

You can find what I did here to start the seeds and where I purchased my seeds. Lets look at the progress from December 28, 2013 till July 30, 2014.

January 8, 2014. Germinated in 11 days. Yes the tiny green specks are the begonia. I was horrified when I saw how small they were and said, "this is not for me", but I had patience with them.
January 28, 2014. Every seedling grew at at different rate.
January 28, 2014. Such progress in 20 days, lol!

February 15, 2014. Still growing at different rates.

February 24, 2014

March 6, 2014

April 15, 2014

May 29, 2014. I planted 2 begonias although they cannot be seen. The other four I threw out. Stupid but they weren't a priority at the time. I kept the 2 healthiest ones.
June 21, 2014. It finally peeked it's head out. The other begonia must have died. I looked but there was no sign it had ever been planted.
July 29, 2014
Didn't think it would ever bloom. Starting from seed is worth it in the end.

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