Rachel Darlington is an avid plantsperson and writer who lives in Ireland.
How to Propagate Begonias From Cuttings and Leaves
Learn how to propagate begonias using three different methods. Begonias make fantastic houseplants with their large, ornamental leaves, and it's very easy to propagate them and get lots of baby plants that are identical to the parent. Different varieties require different propagation methods, but I will show you three of those.
When Is the Best Time to Propagate Begonias?
Spring is the best time to propagate begonias, although certain varieties can be done at any time of year.
What Potting Mix Do You Need?
For all propagation methods, we'll need a mix of 50% potting compost, 25% perlite, and 25% vermiculite.
1. The Stem-Cutting Method
The first and easiest propagation method is stem-cutting. You will get one plant for each successful cutting:
- Cut off a youngish leaf with a good stem.
- Put the stem in a glass of water.
- Don't change the water, as this will get rid of any rooting hormone your cutting has built up in the liquid, but do top off the water as needed.
2. The Begonia Rhizome Method
Our second propagation method involves a piece of begonia rhizome. You'll get one plant from each successful cutting:
- Cut a length of rhizome that includes a growth node.
- Lay the rhizome piece horizontally on the soil and cover it about halfway.
- Water your cutting and cover it with an airtight lid or clingfilm. You shouldn't need to water again until you remove the lid.
3. The Leaf-Propagation Method
Our third and final propagation method involves a leaf, and it's the most fun. It will produce masses of baby plants:
- Place your mix in a shallow dish, tamp it down, and moisten it well.
- Choose a youngish, fresh leaf.
- Remove the leaf stem and with a sharp, sterilized knife, slit the veins on your leaf horizontally, trying to damage the soft leaf tissue as little as possible.
- Lay your leaf on the mix, cut-side down, and weigh it down so the cuts come into intimate contact with the mix; cover with a lid or clingfilm.
In six weeks, you should see the leaves develop. From the cut points, the parent leaf will then begin to disintegrate.
Additional Tips for Successful Begonia Propagation
For all three propagation methods, keep your cuttings in a bright position out of direct sun at room temperature. With the water method, when the roots are many and strong, then you can put on your cutting. With the other two methods when leaves appear, remove the lid and start watering. Pay particular attention to watering until your cuttings have hardened and can be potted on.
If you want more begonias, you know what to do! One of these three methods is bound to suit you, but why not have fun and try all three? Happy growing!
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Rachel Darlington
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 23, 2021:
These are all easy methods in which to propagate begonias. It is nice to be able to share plants with others in that manner.