A. Back from Baytrees and
I've had to return the pot plants to the spaces in the greenhouse where
they came from as there's no where else for them to go that's under
cover. I would prefer not to put them back with my other plants but
leaving them outside would cause me as many problems as returning them
to the greenhouse. Naturally they won't fit back as they came out as
that would be too easy!! They will add to the colour in the
greenhouse but sadly will have passed their best by the time of the next
available show I could enter.
B. Autumn has arrived and with it those colder temperatures.
C. With the colder, shorter days now beginning the plants are
starting to die back ready for their winter rest.
D. The leaves should be left on the plant until they turn yellow as
the food in them will be transferred by the plant to the tuber where it
is stored ready for the following Spring.
E. Even this late in the
season many plants will show signs of fresh growth in response to having
it's growing tip removed earlier in the season and this should be rubbed
out to encourage the plant to put it's energy into creating a nice plump
F. Human nature being what it is I just can't bring myself to rub
this one out as it is a lovely cutting and just crying out to be kept!!
I'll take it as a cutting and try to keep it growing through the Winter.
G. A tip for you here. It is a good idea whenever you remove
blooms, leaves or stems to make a slanted cut to allow the subsequent
flow of liquid to drain away. A flat cut would allow the liquid to
puddle on the top of the remaining stump which can cause rot to set in.
These two stumps will eventually be ejected by the plant with no
problems occurring, so long as you notice when they are ejected!!
Regular close inspection of your plants at this time is paramount so
that you find these pieces once they have been ejected and before they
possibly set up rot lower down the plant.
H. Note the decay on the end of the stem on the right and also
the decaying stem at the leaf axil. These should be removed along with
the stump that is ready for removal from the centre stem, as witness the
crack at the base of the stump.
I. This stump is
being prevented from falling due to it being tied to the stake. It is
also a good idea to remove all ties where possible as you check your
plants as you won't want decaying stumps held on the plants.
J. Here I am preaching to you about it being paramount to regularly
check your plants and I am ashamed of myself for not noticing this
problem sooner as this plant will require major surgery now if I'm going
to keep the tuber. This is stem rot in the worst possible place as it is
very close to the tuber. I will cut this stem right out and hope that
clean flesh is above the top of the tuber. The cut will be made at an
angle if possible as explained earlier and a dusting of sulphur powder
will be applied to the wound to help dry it and keep out any airborne
diseases that may attack the tuber. I shall also remove some of the
compost from around the stump to enable me to keep a close eye on it. As
there will be no top growth I will not water this plant again. Should
any new growth appear it will be rubbed out as soon as I notice it.
K. This is mildew which is occasionally found on the plants at
this time of year. A proprietary brand of mildew spray should be used on
all plants to eradicate it as soon as it is noticed as the spores can
overwinter in the greenhouse and will undoubtedly attack your plants in
L. Remember my remarks under "K" in my "Consolidating" article
regarding "parents"? Well, here are some of them in flower. The large
central flower is the male which produces the pollen and the smaller
side blooms are the females that will receive the pollen and produce the
BEGONIAS MY HOBBY by DAVE STAINES
INTRODUCTION PREPARATIONS SEED