Elatior Begonia – Begonia X hiemalis

Common Name: Reiger Begonia, Elatior Begonia, Begonia

Botanical Name: Begonia X hiemalis, bay-GO-nee-a hi-e-MAH-lis

Decorative Life: Weeks to months, depending on environment.

Flower Color: , , ,

Availability:

Harvest Instructions:

David et al. (1998) showed that at high nitrogen fertilization rates, potassium levels had no effect on powdery mildew development where at lower nitrogen rates, increasing the potassium levels decreased the incident of disease. Nell et al. (2000) showed that growing plants using 150 ppm nitrogen produced longer lasting plants after harvest than those grown using 200-300 ppm. Plants grown under high relative humidity (90-95%) produced more dry weight than when grown under lower humidity (55-60%).

Storage Specifics:

Chill sensitive, store above 55 degrees F but can be shipped at 50F for up to 3 days without harm.

Tidbits:
  • The specific epithet name “hiemalis” means of the Himalayan. The “X” indicates that it is a cross between different species of the same genus.
  • Begonia: after Michel Begon, 1638-1710, promoter of botany at St. Domingo.
  • A close relative, B. semperflorens or wax begonia, is a common bedding and house plant. It is easy to grow and as the specific epithet name semperflorens implies, ever flowering.
  • One favorite cultivar is ‘Barkos’ (red flowers). Will generally do well in light levels at least bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort.
  • Rex and tuberous rooted begonias are other classes. Rex are generally grown for their foliage and tuberous rooted types are often used in hanging baskets and are known for their brilliant flowers.
Recent Research Findings:

Elsgaard and Andersen (1998) showed that the ethylene removal capabilities of naturally occurring microbes in growing media were not sufficient to extend the postharvest life. However, this concept deserves further study as a natural way to help control ethylene-induced problems with potted crops.

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