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Begonia bogneri is a very odd Begonia, as its leaves are grasslike, and it's a miniature. It's a plant from a warm, wet part of Madagascar. It's tuberous, although it does not have an obligate dormancy, grown indoors. For whatever reason, it's gotten a reputation as a difficult plant, tends to be hard to find, and it often sells for surprising amounts. However, I've found it easy to propagate, and so far, easy to grow. I understand one of the secrets is to propagate it regularly. The plant provides no shortage of material for propagation, as it it is easy to start from leaf cuttings (1 cm or larger, in moist fibrous sphagnum).

Begonia bogneri can be grown in pure sphagnum, or in a conventional light soil mix (such as perlite + peat + ?). I would imagine if one has a mesh pot full of sphagnum (which I imagine a few people do), one could simply insert one of these little guys to grow on the outside of the pot, in addition to the main plant. It could be fun. It can also be grown mounted, and grown epiphytically, although I have not yet tried that.

I only got my first plants last spring, as tiny plants that quickly grew and flowered a few months later. Here are some of the first blooms on one of them:

All plants shown are in 3 inch pots.


(the flower on the left is a female flower)

Another one, blooming today:



Back in September, I removed a bunch of leaves from one plant, and started some more plants:



I cut those leaves up into 100 pieces, and got at least 50 plants out of it. I actually thought the propagation was a partial failure, because I had gotten closer to 100% in smaller scale attempts.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/planetbegonia/search/?query=bogneri propagation tuberous

I have a few extras. I'll offer #2 and #3 for postage, #1 I'm looking for a trade, Nepenthes seeds/seedlings/cuttings/plants, with a preference towards cooler growers (highland) species or hybrids. The difference between #1 and the other two is probably about a month at this point. They do grow fast.

 
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
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That's a little weird and I can't decided if I like it on not!

It does sound like a really good terrarium companion plant and it flowers so I guess I would give it a thumbs up. Certainly interesting to see.
Cheers
Steve
 
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Thanks tje25 and CephFan. I should add that all of the plants pictured have been growing with inverted clear plastic cups over the top of the pot. So the leaves are more curled around than they normally would be.

Here's a great article about the plant, from the guy who first described it:

http://www.begonias.org/Articles/Vol72/Begonia_bogneri.htm

And a nice blog entry from the guy who gave me the plant (actually 10+ small ones):

http://geraniosgarden.blogspot.com/2008/11/amazing-begonia.html
 
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Looks great man, I finally got one after years of hunting and luckily I made cuttings cos I lost the main plant. I now have a propagation that's on it's way to looking like your pot #2 up there but it's still struggling and slow to develop.

I'm not sure what I am doing wrong, it's with my Lowland Nepenthes cuttings so has high humidity and nice warm temps but not too hot, plenty of moisture. It's under 2x 55 watt T5 High Output tubes so like 10,000 lumens.

Do you fertilize yours at all?
 
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Joined
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I'll try to retake a picture of either #2 or #3. I still have one of those around still, soon to be sent out. I think the growth over 1 month is likely to be significant (I'm not at home to look at it). What I find is that they seem to grow a little slowly to the stage of #2 or #3 , although really not incredibly slow, as it only takes a few months from a leaf cutting. Then they "seem" to start growing more quickly.

I don't really fertilize these, so far, but I use a mix of peat:perlite:"potting soil", where the potting soil I believe comes with a little fertilizer. As far as light, I've been sticking these wherever I can find spots--I have quite a few--and so these are growing in varied light levels. They all seem to do fine. I don't give any really high light, though.
 
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I'm hopefull I'll someday be able to put it in a bowl of LFS and have all kinds of leaves and blooms which is how I first saw the plant in that "Begonias" book released by Timber Press. I've wanted it ever since seeing it there.

Seems like it should be easy I have mine growing in pure LFS (just as the original plant came to me) but it just seems very slow to advance past a started cutting compared to other Begonias I've grown.

Growth speed for me is hardly noticeable. This started cutting is six months old and the leaves are only 1/2" long or so. They aren't growing long and getting strappy like the parent plant.
 
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Dexenthes

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Thanks again for the two plants Randy -

I have been finding these plants to be rather slow growing. I have, however, noticed that the plant that is in my sealed germination chamber seems to be growing a little faster and is making more elongated leaves this would make sense because it gets less light as well. The plant that I have in a lower humidity/higher light environment is taking it's time, but is just starting to put out some noticeable growth.
 
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This photo is kind of crummy, but the one I have left is #2, seen (coincidentally) from almost exactly the same angle. I was only able to convince myself it's the same by looking at the same features on the soil (there are many that can be matched up.). So this should be close to one month's growth. The long skinny things are new leaves which will soon become full-sized. Growth is rapid once those appear. This plant was started in September, I think.



Swords, if your plant doesn't make it, let me know. I have plenty, and I'm propagating more.
 
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Thanks Randy, perhaps mine is in too bright of light, the leaves are very very pale, yellow almost really.

If they get some longer leaves I will try and re-propagate and try a planting on some peaty mix similar to yours.
 
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I was finally motivated to deal with some more of my propagation attempts. From cuttings I started in September, I finally gave individual pots to 19 plants. These were the tail end of my big propagation that started with 100 cuttings, and were those cuttings that initially had roots, but not new plantlets. Basically, the leftovers. All of these were together in a single 3 inch square pot before I split them up.



And these I had started two months ago, as cuttings in sphagnum. All had roots, and most had some sign of leaves, although often tiny:



Between the two containers there were about 32 cuttings. I think I started with about 40. I split them, 10 on left with the biggest plantlets, and about 22 more with roots and smaller or no plantlets visible. I bet all turn in to plants.



Randy
 
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Wow, don't need much material to start out with, eh ? I might have to bug you for a trade on one of these at some point. I used to grow it in some of my frog tanks. Someone gave me a tiny plant that I stuffed into a crevice in some wood with a little sphagnum. I had no idea it was even a Begonia until it flowered. Very cool plant.
 
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Swords, I do have a humidity dome over the pots, and over everything else. For the 3 inch pots, I normally put an inverted 10 oz. cup over the top, taped down. The fit is perfect. However, I ran out of 10 oz. cups, and I didn't want to put off the repotting any longer.

Cthulhu138/Johnny, let me know--I have tons. including the 19 that just got their own 3 inch pots, I have about 41 of those... Actually I'll message you now--I'll explain why.
 
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I'm looking for someone who is going to the American Begonia Society meeting near Boston, end of July, beginning of August, who might be interested in a few Begonia bogneri plantlets. I have heard that sometimes they have them at those meetings, sometimes not, and my impression is that they are in high demand. I'd be happy to send 20 or so little plantlets to someone in 2-3 months. At that stage they should be ready for individual pots, and they should be blooming size, or even blooming by the time of the meeting.

I don't know what the rules are for individuals bringing plants into such meetings, but I assume that considerable trading (and selling) goes on at some point. I wouldn't care what the recipient of the plant does with them (give away, trade, sell), as long as they are made available. In return, I would ask for an interesting plant from the meeting (from any source).

Small plantlets would be easy to ship in 2-3 months. However, once given individual pots, 20 or so plants would be bulky. So this probably makes the most sense for someone who lives near the meeting, or plans to drive there.
 
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Don't have pics currently, but Randy, the cuttings you sent me have sprouted. There are 5 or 6 little plants, all growing slowly. I'm hoping they pick up as my room returns to warm summer conditions....
 
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Hawken, great to hear that. They seem to put out little leaves for the first couple months (juvenile leaves?), and then they start putting out much longer leaves all at once. At that stage the increase in size is pretty fast. There are some nice examples in the two photos below.

So to update the photos above--it should be clear which started as which just over 2 months ago:



The missing ones above were given away or sold.

Below: The plant in the lower left is starting to make the longer leaves, and the one just above center on the right appears to be doing so. There are plenty of examples in the plants in the individual pots, but those may be harder to see.



And here is the next batch: started from leaf cuttings on Feb. 13, potted up (like the ones just above) on April 17.



So I don't have a exact dates for everything, but here's a rough guide to what's going on:

Month 0: cuttings taken (sphagnum)

Month 2: tiny plantlets moved to soil (peat:perlite, etc.)

Month 4: larger plantlets moved to individual pots

Month 6: plants in individual pots, large enough to sell.

~ month 8 or 9, blooming size.
 
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