MEMBER NAME: In Search of Small Things

SPECIES NAME: Begonia vankerckhovenii

[1] SHADE, SEMI-SHADE, SUN, TERRARIUM, FLUORESCENT LIGHTS

This species is suited to terrarium culture, and will go limp in short time if left in open air conditions. I grow mine under Sunlight supply LED’s, which produce 1800 lumens. The plants sit 12-24 inches from the light. I think this species would do just fine in lower light as the plants I have growing that are a bit further (24”) from the light seem to be happier than the ones closer to it. Humidity is near 100% with minimal passive ventilation.

[2] TYPE OF GROWING MEDIUM USED

Even in a terrarium it is prone to drooping if the potting medium is allowed to dry out much between waterings. It seems to like sphagnum moss best, but will also grow in potting mix. It seems happiest also when grown amongst live moss, and will also grow well as a lithophyte provided there is enough moss around the root base to prevent it from drying out. In short, as long as it’s kept moist it doesn’t seem too picky!

Top left clockwise: B. vankerckhovenii| Photo: Wanda Macnair

[3] TYPE OF FERTILIZER AND FREQUENCY OF FEEDING

Once a month 1/8-1/4 strength urea-free orchid fertilizer is used.

[4] MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS AND METHOD OF SUPPLYING APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF WATER

The plant is misted to provide a consistently moist growing medium.

[5] PEST PROBLEMS AND HOW YOU TREATED THESE

None pests thus far.

[6] NOTE YOUR EXPERIENCE OF SETTING SEEDS AND GROWING SEEDS OF YOUR SPECIES

No seeds collected yet.

[7] NOTE YOUR EXPERIENCE OF VEGETATIVE PROPAGATION

This species propagates easily from leaves. Despite their diminutive appearance the leaves are quite resilient provided they are kept evenly moist. I cut leaves off rather aggressively from the mother plant so a bout 1 inch of stem is left, a little less is ok. Then stick directly into the potting mix and keep in a sealed bin under lights until they root. Germination is near 100%.

B. vankerckhovenii