Our Program this month will be presented by Greg Stych . there will be plant sale featuring lots of begonias that he has registered and grown in New Port Richy, Fl. If you purchased plants from Greg last year, please feel free to bring them with you for a show and tell to the members. Perhaps you could bring cuttings and seedlings of the plants you purchased at our recent plant to share with other members. We will have pots, soil and labels available for this. We will also have our regular Raffle and We are looking forward to seeing all of you and chatting about begonias. There was some conversation about those fabulous B. Boomers that were sold at the last meeting, look further in this news letter for my comments about begonias that resemble each other. I planted B. Black Jack in our clubs garden and really liked all those companion shade plants that Rita Gardino had for sale at the meeting.
By the time you read this newsletter, we will have completed the first begonia workshop. The BSPB will have a monthly workshop on the Saturday following our monthly meeting. First we will tend to the garden by staking, weeding, fertilizing, adjusting plants for seasonal changes in light intensity and watering. Then we will adjourn to the screen enclosure or back to the guild and pot our cuttings to create landscape pots to sell at the next plant sale. Please bring any of your plants that need re-potting, dividing, or that seem to have problems, and we can help you fix them! SEE YOU THERE!
Florida Hybrid Begonias
June is when Greg, a Pasco County middle school reading teacher, heads to West Palm Beach each year to give us another interesting and informative program on begonias, packing as many begonias as he can “carry”! In his “spare” time, Greg is also the ABS Horticultural Correspondant and founder and president of the Florida West Coast Branch of ABS. This year he will be focusing on Florida hybrids - those begonias that have proven to do well in our climate. He will have some of the “parents” along as well. Greg will also talk about amendments that we can use to help our begonias grow to their best and will, of course, answer any of your begonia questions!
Human sisters have similar qualities and characteristics, but are also distinctly different. Such is also true of "sister seedlings" in horticutlture.
Cases in point are two "sister seedlings"; B. 'Caribbean Prince' and B. 'Caribbean Princess'. Tim Anderson of Palm Harmnock Orchid Estate developed both of these beautiful hybrids.
Both hybrids were a result of a selfing of B. 'Boomer' in 1998. These hybrids would be considered grex, which is a group name for all plants derived from the same cross and means "seedling batch". A cultivar is an individual that has been selected from a grex because of a particular attribute or combination of attributes. It is clearly distinct, uniform and stable in its characteristics, and when propagated retains these characteristics because it is of identical genetic makeup.
B. 'Boomer' was developed by Mabel Corwin and is a cross between B. soli-mutata and B. rem B. 'Boomer' is classified as thick-stemmed; flowers are white and has ABS registration number 919.
B. 'Caribbean Prince' has coloration that is closer to B. 'Boomer' and that of B. soli-mutata although much lighter. The growth habit is that of a rhizomatous vice a thick-stemmed which is the B. solimutata characteristics showing. It is an easy, vigorous grower and is propagated by either leaf or stem cuttings. It makes an outstanding hanging basket.
B. 'Caribbean Princess' on the other hand has coloration that resembles that of B. reniformis andis a lovely bright green. The growth habit is also rhizomatous vice a thick-stemmed. Makes an outstanding hanging basket like its "sister" and is also propagated by either a leaf or stem cutting.
I obtained these two "sister seedlings from two leaves given to me by Tim Anderson. I use the "Tim Anderson Method" of rooting leaves. This is done by removing the petiole of the leaf to just below where it is attached to the leaf. Using my regular potting mix, Fafard 2, I then place the leaf into the mix and with my thumb press it down into the medium. The medium is moistened before placing the leaf in. Pressing the leaf into the medium breaks some of the leaf veins and plantlets appear from these areas.
Both rooted quickly and soon I had a nice 6" container of both. I continued to move them up in container size until I had them planted in 22" hanging baskets. Both make full compact plants without constant pinching and pruning.
It is fun growing "sister seedlings" and seeing how both different and similar they can be.
Above is B. 'Caribbean Prince' and below is B. 'Caribbean princess'. Both traveled all the way from Florida with Charles to be exhibited in Houston in May. You know these have to be sturdy plants!
BRING A FRIEND TO THE NEXT MEETING