Red-leaved begonia: useful properties and home care
Due to its decorative appearance, the red-leaved begonia or fista (Begonia erythrophylla (feastii) can serve as a decoration not only for the windowsill, but also for any park or flower garden. In order for the plant to grow and develop harmoniously, it is necessary to know about suitable conditions for its breeding and reproduction, proper care, as well as possible problems that the grower may encounter when growing it.
Useful properties of the plant
Begonia is valuable both for its decorative effect and useful qualities due to the presence of the following substances in it:
- oxalic acid;
- organic acids.
Did you know? Begonia nodules are suitable for eating: they taste good and resemble citruses.
The plant has the following effects:
- contributes to the purification and improvement of indoor air (destroys staphylococcus);
- boosts immunity;
- helps in dealing with stressful situations;
- relieves stress and fatigue;
- increases efficiency;
- improves mood;
- increases mental activity;
- has anti-allergic properties;
- serves as an antiseptic;
- heals wounds;
- relieves spasms;
- absorbs chemicals;
- delays dust particles on sheets;
- increases air humidity;
- reduces the level of electromagnetic radiation from computers and household appliances.
Description and characteristics of the plant
There are more than a thousand subspecies in the begonia family. Plants are suitable for planting in flowerpots and in an open garden bed. Culture blooms in summer and autumn, and indoor plants - almost to the beginning of winter.
Fista grows in various ways:
- like creeping grass;
- in the form of a tall upright bush;
- like a shrub.
|Root system||branched; fibrous; tuberous|
|Stem||prone to lodging, with nodules;|
short, erect, knotty
|Leaf shape||asymmetric; leaves are whole or dissected into several segments, with a jagged or wavy edge|
|Leaf color||in the upper part they are painted in an even green tone, as well as in a variety of colors with geometric patterns, splashes and strokes;|
in the lower part leaves are reddish, brownish or deep purple
|Flower shape||inflorescences, consisting of small, medium or large flowers (simple, terry, camelliform)|
|Flower color||plain (pink, red, yellow, orange, white);|
framed in various shades.
Landing conditions and basic rules
Suitable conditions for planting fist with red leaves depend on the choice of season, suitable soil, as well as acceptable temperature, humidity and sufficient lighting.
The most optimal time of year for planting a fist is the beginning of spring, before flowering or after.
Did you know? In ancient times, leaves of begonia warriors in the field polished the blades of battle swords.
Pot and soil selection
In the care of a fist, the choice of a suitable flowerpot, as well as soil, is very important.
Here are the principles by which flower pots and soil mixture for a flower are chosen:
- a small container is suitable, preferably ceramic;
- the capacity for planting a flower should be 4 cm larger in circumference than its root lump;
- suitable soil is purchased in specialized stores or prepared by hand (2 parts of hardwood + 1 part of compost, +1 part of a peat-sand mixture);
- it is necessary that the acidity of the earth composition corresponds to pH 5.5–6.5.
Optimum temperature and humidity
The red-leafed beauty does not tolerate sharp temperature jumps, as well as differences in moisture indicators.
For begonias, acceptable indicators of comfort are:
- summer temperature should not exceed + 20–23 ° С, and in winter - not lower than +16 ° С;
- year-round indicators of air humidity - 65%.
To maintain the desired level of humidity, containers are placed near the flowerpots where water is poured, or the flowerpots with stands themselves are placed on a tray with wet expanded clay or moss. This is especially true in winter when heating appliances are working.
The fist needs adequate lighting, but direct sunlight should not be allowed, as the leaves can get burned. Flower pots are not placed on the windowsills on the sunny side. If begonia still needs to be placed in such a place, then they create partial shade using blinds. In winter, the lack of sunlight is compensated for by the use of artificial lighting. Also, the plant needs to receive enough air, so it is not recommended that other flowers be placed too close to it.
Did you know? Fist seeds are among the smallest in the world. A small pinch can give life to three million seedlings.
Home begonia care includes regular feeding, optimal watering and timely pruning and transplanting. Particular attention should be paid to the plant in the cold season.
They feed the fist according to the following rules:
- make fertilizing in the form of liquid complex mineral fertilizers twice a month - they are added during irrigation (the drug must be mixed with warm water);
- it is permissible to feed with chicken droppings (0.5 kg per bucket of water), manure (500 g per 5 liters of water);
- in the cold period, the flower is fed 1 time per month.
Watering the red-leafed fist is carried out with softened sludge water, removing after each excess fluid from the pallets.
We recommend that you learn more about the features of growing these types of begonias: cleopatra, royal, evergreen, coral, mason.
Moisturizing the plant is important according to the following principles:
- in summer, watering is carried out four times a month;
- during high temperatures, the soil in the pot is moistened every day;
- from mid-autumn, watering is carried out after drying of the upper layer of soil in the pot;
- in the cold, begonia is not recommended to be watered often, giving it rest;
- in March, the frequency of watering is gradually increasing.
How to trim and transplant
Since begonias grow very quickly, their stems are able to stretch very much, as a result of which the leaves become smaller, flowering stops and the plants lose their decorative effect. To avoid this, it is recommended that the flowers be trimmed in a timely manner.
Important! It is not recommended to use scissors during trimming of the fist, as this tool severely injures the plant. Trim the fist according to the following rules:
- the first pruning is carried out when the stalks reach 8 cm, giving the plant a bush, stump, spherical or pyramidal shape;
- after pruning, it is necessary to reduce watering until the plant begins to actively grow again;
- the next pruning is carried out at the tops of the side shoots when they reach 12 cm in length (the procedure awakens the side buds);
- subsequently monitor the condition of the bush, removing dried leaves or branches, as well as shoots that germinate inside the flower;
- pruning should be carried out exclusively with a sharp tool (knife, scalpel);
- the place of each cut should be treated with charcoal dust or wood ash (to avoid rotting and to speed up the healing process).
Video: Why crop indoor plants
To carry out the transplant, the following steps are required:
- transplantation is carried out in March, every 3-4 years;
- flowerpots choose not deep, 3 cm more than the previous ones;
- plants are carefully removed from flowerpots along with an earthen lump;
- a layer of expanded clay and coarse sand (2 cm) is poured into a new pot;
- the bush is placed in the center of the flowerpot and sprinkled with an earthen mixture;
- after transplanting, the flower is abundantly watered.
The described plants are bred in several ways:
- separation of bushes or rhizomes.
The plant is divided into cuttings according to the following technology:
- Cuttings (10 cm) are cut with a sharp knife from the roots, leaving 2-3 buds on each. Excess sheets are removed, too large are cut in half.
- Slices at each of the cuttings are allowed to dry slightly, after which they are treated with a rooting agent (for example, “Kornevin”).
- Preparations are rooted in vermiculite or sand-peat mixture, and a transparent cap in the form of a greenhouse is put on top.
- Cuttings are kept in a warm place, in the light, they organize regular watering.
- After 2 weeks, watering is combined with fertilizer.
- Within a month, the cuttings take root, and then they remove the caps from them and provide them with abundant watering.
Begonia seed propagation technology:
- Planting material is sown on February days in a prepared container for planting. Use a soil mixture consisting of peat, sand and sheet land.
- Glass is placed on top of the seed container, after which it is placed in a warm room.
- Seeds are watered dropwise.
- After a week, sprouts appear, which gradually temper in the environment, briefly removing the glass.
- After two weeks, all the sprouts are planted in separate cups.
- After 3-4 weeks, each seedling is transplanted into a separate pot.
Division of a bush or rhizomes
Reproduction of fists by dividing bushes or roots is carried out in the following way:
- In the first spring days, the flowers are removed from the pots, with a sharp knife, carefully divide the bushes or their root system into separate parts.
- Remove old shoots and flowers, as well as large leaves.
- Each division must have at least one kidney.
- Each slice is treated with wood ash.
- All dividers are planted in a prepared soil mixture and well watered.
- They have flowerpots with young plants in a well-lit room with a temperature of +20 ° С.
During the cultivation of red-leaved begonia, there is the possibility of some problems with its health.
Begonia bushes are sometimes exposed to various contagious and non-contagious diseases.
Here are some of them:
- Real or false powdery mildew. A disease in which the leaves and stems are covered with small specks, powdery whitish powdery powder. During the progression of the disease, the spots increase, become brownish, parts of the plants dry out when large areas are affected, the leaves fall off, the whole plant becomes inconspicuous. Powdery mildews become the cause of the disease. Methods of control: regular watering, airing, adequate lighting, avoiding sudden temperature changes; the destruction of all diseased and dried parts of the plant; spraying with potassium permanganate (2.5 g per 10 l of water), soda ash with soap (50 g of soda + 40 g of soap + 10 l of water), a mixture of antibiotics (100 units / ml of terramycin + 100 units / ml of penicillin + 250 u / ml streptomycin); the use of fungicides (Topaz 100 KE 0.03%, Anvil 5 SK 0.06%, Folicur 250 KE 0.05%, Rubigan 12 KE 0.03%, etc.).
- Gray rot. The disease begins with covering the leaves with grayish sticky spots. Progressing, the spots increase in size, after which the leaves and shoots rot. The cause of the disease is excessive humidity. To save plants, you must: adjust the level of moisture in the room; establish optimal watering; Remove diseased leaflets; spray healthy leaves with Euparen (0.1%) or Fundazol (0.1%) solutions.
- Black root rot. The roots of begonias are affected - they acquire a brown or burgundy color. Shoots and leaves are affected, after which they begin to blacken. The disease appears due to excessive moisture and poor drainage, resulting in stagnation of moisture in the pot. Fista can be saved only by removing its affected roots.
- Bacterial spotting. The inner part of the leaves is affected by small, glassy and watery spotting. In the future, the spots acquire a brownish tint, and spread to the entire bush, why it dies. This violation is not treated - the bushes are destroyed, and the earthen mixture is disinfected. To prevent damage, the bushes are periodically irrigated with a 0.5% suspension of copper oxychloride.
- Ring spotting. The disease is characterized by the appearance of concentric stripes and spots, necrotic zones throughout the bush. The reason is the presence of a tomato virus carried by flukes. Any treatment of the disorder is ineffective, since it has the ability to manifest itself in the future. Therefore, the diseased plant is destroyed in order to avoid the spread of infection to other flowers.
Various parasites often attack the red-leafed fist, which is why the culture develops poorly and loses its decorative effect.
- Greenhouse aphid. Yellow, sometimes green wingless parasites up to 2.5 mm in length. The damage is caused by adult insects and their larvae: sucking juices from the bottom of the leaves, they contribute to their yellowing, suspension in the development of buds and shedding flowers. Control measures: in an apartment, plants are sprayed with a 4% soap solution of laundry soap, in the greenhouse the same solution and a 0.15% solution of benzophosphate are used; Actellic insecticides (0.1%), benzophosphate (0.1%) and 0.05% Selekron solution will give a good effect.
- Greenhouse thrips. Thrips is a dark brown sucking parasite 1.5 mm long. By striking a flower, the pest makes it colorless, with yellowed leaves, deforms, and contributes to a halt in development. They fight it in this way: they irrigate the bushes with a disinfectant (100 g of celandine broth or tobacco per 1 liter of water) or spray with a soap solution; in the greenhouse, plants are pollinated with pyrethrum, irrigated with 0.1% solution of benzophosphate or hostaquik 0.1–0.15%.
- Nematode sheet. The worm parasitizes on leaves, stems and kidneys. It contributes to the appearance of greenish spots on the leaves, which subsequently become brownish. The shoots at the top undergo deformation, and the flower dies. Favorable conditions for parasites are warm and rainy times, as well as light soil. Control measures: with a small lesion, a solution of "Heterophos" 0.2% is used, with an extensive - plants are destroyed.
- The nematode is gall. The described nematode parasitizes in the root system and at the bottom of the shoots, forming swellings and growths containing larvae on them. Subsequently, the growths burst, and the larvae affect the entire root system, because of which it begins to rot. Control measures: remove affected roots and stems; water with a solution of "Heterophos" 0.2% under the root (1 liter of solution per 1 sq. m).
Thus, the decorative appearance of begonia depends solely on the skillful actions of the grower: moderate watering, complex dressing, timely pruning, as well as the correct measures to combat diseases and pests. Subject to all the necessary recommendations described above, a red-leafed flower will harmoniously decorate the interior of any room.