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Home > Begonian > Volume 68 (July/August 2001, pages 136 - 137)

Another Begonia Project to Try!
by Johanna Kitson

A couple of years ago at a West Palm Beach Garden Club Show, I saw a strawberry pot filled with U002. Last September I finally `got around to it' to try my hand at creating one. However, I put all kinds of begonias in the various openings. First, I poured Fafard 2S into the pot up to the first hole. This was planted and watered in and then it was time to move up to the next level and repeat the process. I tried to choose smaller begonias like B. 'Tiger Kitten' and 'Brown Eyes', but, alas, I had to use other types as I did not have miniature begonias in a great supply. I tried B. soli-mutata, 'Mirage', 'Mem. Bernice Ryan', 'Silver Jewel', 'Streaky Jeans', 'November frost', 'Shiloh', 'Wild Pony', 'Lowe's Pet', 'Jeopardy', 'Python', and 'Black Coffee'. Of course, some of these are bigger growing begonias, but I really didn't care because I just wanted to see what would happen. This small strawberry pot just got prettier and prettier and so I had to have another one - a bigger one! In December the bigger pot was planted and I thought ahead to the Tropical Flower show that is held in February in downtown West Palm Beach along the waterfront of Lake Worth. My planning paid off as this next begonia conglomeration won a blue ribbon in the patio plant division. (The same weekend as the Atlanta Board Meeting).

One evening I was pondering all the plants in these two pots and began thinking of all the work people have put into begonia growing or begonia finding. That's one thing that I enjoy about the conventions. You get to meet some of these people that have hybridized, or sold to you, or given to you, or named these various plants. So when I see my strawberry pots I see Kit Jeans Monger, Tim Anderson, Greg Sytch, Tom Keepin, Paul Lowe, Nancy Cohen, Brad Thompson, and others I don't know about as the plants were bought at convention.

One of the interesting things that has happened in planting these in a strawberry pot is that the roots and rhizomes do not stay in just one spot. They like to visit one another. As the planting gets older, the roots travel to the next opening and then you have two begonias coming out of the same hole once in awhile. I am amazed at how big the plants are getting in the little tiny holes. The rhizomes just keep traveling onto the outside of the pot, too. My next project, in my spare time, is to plant a bird bath that I got at Christmas time. The tall base of the bird bath is designed just like the strawberry pot ...hollow, and full of 3 inch in diameter holes up and down the base. When that spare time up and grabs me sometimes this summer, I will plan and plant another begonia project. Anybody out there have other begonia projects we can try? It is such an adaptable plant.

Johanna's small pot Johanna's new large pot Johanna's small pot -- later

Above with B. soli-mutata

See how full it has become with her new large pot planted with B. 'Streaky Jeans', 'Brown eyes', 'Wild Pony', 'Daisy', 'Tiger Kitten', 'Jeapordy' 

Joanna's small pot planted with B. 'Python', 'Tiger Kitten', 'Shiloh', 'Sierra Mist', 'Aubudabi', and 'Mem. Bernice Ryan'.


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