Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Accidental side passage success

One of the harder places to find a plant for is the side passageway between a house and a fence. By pure luck, about two years ago, I came across an ideal choice for my temperate climate zone: the angel wing begonia, also called a cane begonia.
It has always been grown in a pot, but for the first few years I had it in too much sun, without realising it. The plant didn't grow or flower a lot, but it never looked particularly sick, either. It was just hanging in there.
I was on the point of getting rid of it, when, purely to make room for a potted frangipani that needed lots of sunshine, I moved the begonia out of the sun and down to the side passage along my eastern boundary.
It immediately thrived there, growing and flowering profusely over the next couple of months. It flowers mostly in spring and summer, but it usually has one or two blooms even in winter.
It was growing so well that I decided to re-pot it last spring, to keep it going happily. I accidentally broke off a few canes (they are a bit brittle to handle repotting) in the process. Instead of tossing away the broken canes, I just stuck them into a spare pot, put them beside the parent plant in the same side passage, and they took no time at all to sprout new leaves. This second begonia is now well over 50cm tall after just nine months' growth.
I mostly feed the plants with a slow-release fertiliser, which seem to be ideally suited to potted plants' need of a steady trickle of nutrients. They get regular water, but never seem to wilt if they're neglected for a few days. They're just tough plants.

1 comment:

greengardener said...

This was a lovely story Jamie about your struggling Angel Wing Begonia, finding a new beginning in the right situation and conditions. Gardening always provides opportunities to learn new things, and when we do we sometimes get to experience these kinds of rewards.