The tuberous begonia is a warm season blooming plant that prefers shade and thrives in well-drained moist garden soil. It is also a great plant for pots or hanging baskets. Tuberous begonias can be propagated by splitting apart the roots, from stem cuttings or from leaf cuttings. Propagating tuberous begonias by leaf cuttings can be done successfully as long as there is a main vein included in the cutting.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Sharp knife or razor blade
- Sterile potting medium or perlite
- Small flower pot
- Rooting hormone (optional)
- Misting bottle
Fill a small pot with sterile planting medium that contains sand and peat, or use newly purchased potting mix. If the planting mixture is not sterile it can be sterilised by putting it in a coffee filter and pouring boiling water through the mixture, exercising caution. Wait until it cools before placing the mixture in the pot. Also, pure perlite can be used in place of other planting mediums. Soak the planting mixture in the pot with water and let it drain so it remains damp.
Find a leaf on the tuberous begonia that you would like to propagate. Look for a healthy young leaf with good colour and no damage.
Slice the leaf stem where it is attached to the plant. Cut the stem again if there is more than one-half inch of stem attached to the leaf.
Dip the stem attached to the leaf in rooting hormone; then insert the stem into the planting medium.
Keep the soil around the stem moist by misting until a new plant appears where the leaf was inserted into the planting medium.
Tips and warnings
- Other methods include taking any portion of the leaf as long as it contains a main stem and placing it in a moist medium until rooting occurs.
- For a nice full reproduction, try taking an entire leaf and cutting a hole in the middle of the leaf. Lay the leaf flat in the potting medium and lightly cover the area around the inside of the hole with soil. Several young plants will grow from the cut-out area and create the appearance of a fuller plant. This is called a cone cutting.
- Covering small pots that contain cuttings with plastic bags or wrap will keep them moist, but watch for mildew problems if you use this method.
- If mildew or fungus appears while you are waiting for a cutting to sprout, throw out the entire planting and start over.
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