Begonia is a tropical flower with graceful motley leaves. In the wild, found in meadows and forests of Asia, Africa and South America. Not without the efforts of breeders, some of the more than one and a half thousand species are bred in home flower gardens. The most captivating and spectacular look is Mason's begonia.
Begonia Mason is a representative of the Begonia family. She has large emerald green heart-shaped with a pointed tip leaves, having in the center a large brown pattern in the form of a five-fingered cross. On a cross and distinguish this type of begonia from others. The length of the sheet plate is up to 20 centimeters. The older the plant becomes, the more distinctly silvery ebbs are visible on it.
With their appearance, he is even more fascinating with his beauty, despite the lack of buds.
With the onset of the spring-summer period, Mason's begonia blooms. Tiny light green flowers collected in inflorescences are lost against the background of elegant leaves. Experienced flower growers cut them off, not considering them attractive and knowing that they weaken the plant. Flowers are dioecious. They can be either masculine with four sepals and stamens, or feminine with five sepals and a column.
The following varieties of Mason begonia are distinguished.
- Variegated begonia (Begonia masoniana var. Maculata). She has hard and smooth leaves. Unlike the ordinary Mason begonia, this flower has a different pattern on the leaves: it is outlined in dark color.
- Tricolor begonia (Begonia masoniana Tricolor). In this variety, the chocolate pattern in the form of a cross is outlined by a dark strip, different from the color of the leaf itself.
Florists usually do not neglect the rules of home care for begonias. If it is careless and incomplete, then the normal development of the plant will be in jeopardy. The flower itself is not particularly capricious, but only with strict adherence to the recommendations of professionals can it be kept captivating.
This type of begonia is afraid of frost. If the temperature drops below + 13 ° C, its development may stop due to damage. To avoid consequences, the room is maintained at a temperature of 18-24 ° C.
You can not put a flower pot away from the window. Otherwise, he is capricious. Nothing will happen to the old leaves, and the new ones will grow pale green with dull brown spots. Having noticed changes in time, flower growers rearrange the flower pot on the windowsill and it is transformed.
In summer they do not put it under direct rays of the sun without dimming, and in winter they illuminate the plant with fluorescent lamps.
Mason's begonia is unpretentious to the level of humidity. It grows in both moderate and high humidity. In the latter case, an air humidifier is placed near it or a pot with it is placed on a pallet with wet pebbles.
The state of health of the described species is watered by the water it depends on. Before irrigation, water from the water supply system is defended for at least 24 hours in an open container, since the tap water is hard and saturated with chlorine. Water purification with a filter or boiling will not harm. Experienced gardeners soften it and increase acidity using garden peat. To do this, 1 kilogram of peat is placed in a permeable bag and placed in a container with water for irrigation. Water should be approximately 10 liters.
Since Mason's begonia is a rhizome culture, a considerable supply of water is stored in its roots. Before watering it, wait until the soil dries out a little. Watering is carried out at the same time, preferably in the morning. If there is not enough moisture, the leaves will fade. The frequency of watering depends on the air temperature in the room. Some water it once every two days, while others - twice a week.
In winter, watering is reduced and carried out once a week. To do this, always use warm water. When it is slightly absorbed into the soil, the top layer is loosened to maintain moisture inside the pot.
When using the submersible irrigation method, the pot with begonia is placed in a basin with warm water for 15–20 minutes. After this time, put the pot on a pallet, and after another hour check how much water came out of the pot. If it is too much, then pour it.
In winter, Mason begonia can dry leaves. Noticing this, novice growers think that the whole thing is the lack of moisture, they fill the plant and this harms it. In fact, the flower hibernated. Therefore, reduce watering, maintaining the soil in a slightly wet state. To prevent moisture from evaporating quickly, put a plastic cap or plastic bag on the pot. It is better to remove it in a cool place (the optimum temperature is 16 degrees Celsius) for 6–8 weeks and return it to the windowsill with the appearance of new leaves.
Every month, regardless of the season, they feed plants in half concentration. Feeding is not needed if it has hibernated. Fertilizers must be applied after watering so that the begonia does not get burns.
Mason's begonia is poorly developed in hard earth. Her leaves fade and fade. This leads to her premature aging. To prevent this, transplant the flower into loose soil. To do this, mix in a separate container pine soil and turf meadow in equal parts. The duration of decay of pine needles is about 2 years. The substrate will retain friability during this time.
Once every two years, the flower is transplanted into a pot, the size of which is slightly larger than the previous one. A drainage layer is laid at the bottom. It is best to use large chunks of coal and ash for drainage. Then they take it out of the old pot, slightly shake off the roots and place it in a new container, trying to keep the roots closer to the wood ash. Pour fresh substrate and crush it with your fingers.
Mason Begonia does not produce seeds. For reproduction, vegetative methods are used. In spring, propagate it by leaves or by dividing the tuber.
In the first case, a large and strong leaf with a small stalk is cut. It makes incisions along the veins. Then prepare the soil mixture. It should be loose, and the thickness of the layer should not exceed two centimeters. Instead of ordinary garden soil, sand, perlite, sawdust or vermiculite are used.
The cut sheet is pressed to the ground, dug up or tacked with a hairpin. Then the container selected for propagation is covered with a plastic bag. Tara is placed on a well-lit window sill, but darkened by direct sunlight. Every day, such a mini-greenhouse is ventilated, and a spray is used to moisten the soil. After two weeks, sprouts appear. When they are noticed, the plant is transplanted into prepared containers.
The second method of reproduction - tuber division - is used if the begonia is already old. Using this method of reproduction, a rejuvenation process takes place. To do this, choose a tuber with a kidney. The plots are cut with a sharp knife, and the cut is treated with chopped charcoal.
Further actions are the same as when reproducing with a leaf. The plant is planted in moist and loose soil, covered with plastic wrap and placed on the windowsill, darkened by the bright rays of the sun. The greenhouse is also aired, and the soil is moistened with spray water.
When sprouts appear, begonias are planted in separate pots.
Diseases and Pests
Mason's begonia sometimes gets a fungal disease called powdery mildew. This is noticed by the leucorrhoea that appeared on the green parts of the plant. Powdery mildew develops due to poor circulation and high humidity. The infected parts of the flower are cut off, and then fungicides are treated.
The plant is susceptible to rot and bacterial leaf spots. As for pests, the juicy bright leaves of this plant are chosen by a spider mite, mealybugs and aphids. To cure the flower, use insecticides or folk remedies (infusions of tobacco and garlic).
Mason Begonia is one of the favorite plants of true gardeners. If you properly care for her, she will grow, develop and decorate her window sill.
See how to transplant and propagate Mason begonia in the video below.