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Vegatative Propagation
of Begonias

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Vegetative propagation of Begonias


Begonias can easily be propagated using plant parts to produce new plants


Stem cuttings.  Several classes of begonias must be vegetatively propagated using stem cuttings.  These are the cane-like, the thick-stem, the trailing/scandent, the shrub-like plants, and some of the tuberous begonias.  Sometimes these leaves will root, but they will rarely produce a plantlet.


To propagate using a stem cutting, a piece of the stem is selected, usually four or five nodes long.  The stem is cut off just below a node and inserted into the potting mix, covering at least two nodes.  It is best to leave a small leaf at the top of the cutting; or cut  a large top leaf in half, or even smaller.  



Leaf cuttings.  The rhizomatous and the rex cultorum (also rhizomatous) begonias are best vegetatively propagated by leaf cuttings.  There are three major methods of propagating from leaves, as described below:

Leaf stem in water:  a rhizomatous leaf stem will develop roots when placed in water.  After roots develop, in two to four weeks, the leaf can be placed in potting medium and the plantlet will develop.

Leaf stem in medium: a rhizomatous leaf stem will develop roots and plantlets when placed into wet potting medium, or better yet, in wet perlite.

Leaf parts: leaves, cut  into pieces containing  main veins will root and form plantlets. The rex cultorum plants in particular, are easily propagated in this manner. The sinus area, where the leaf and the leaf stem meet is especially active.


Rhizome cuttings.  Rhizomatous begonias can also be propagated by using pieces of the rhizome.  A rhizome is just cut off, placed on wet medium, and many times the rhizome will root, followed by stems and leaves. This technique may seem to be an easy method of propagation, but the rhizome will often rot before roots form. Further, I believe a plant started from a leaf will be more attractive than one started from a rhizome.