The National Begonia Society



Michael Richardson's Diary  2016

National Society Cut bloom Champion 2014

Michael's 2015 Diary


2016 Diary Episode  15 - Hybridising  End of Season

Wednesday 28th September
Today I went through all the seedlings –

Taking off any flowers and pinching the top of the flower stems so they crystallise and fall off instead off rotting back.
Rubbing off any side shoots.
Pinching out all growing tips.
As you can see by picture to the left of the Moira Callan & Nicola Coates cross and the picture on the right showing the Joan Bryce over Tequila Sunrise crosses.
Then I gave them a feed of Chempak 3 to aid the production of the “cutting tuber”, I have also turned on the hotboxes to give the seedlings a little bottom heat as well to help them along.
As you can see by the picture to the left I have not given up on any of seedlings, no matter how small and far behind they are as shown in the picture to the right as they can always be flowered next year.


October 2016
I am now fighting mother-nature, as the seedling wants to go down and I want to keep it growing to give me a better chance of producing a cutting tuber.
I am going through them every couple of days as leafs and the pinched out stems are falling back into the seedling and if I leave them too long they will start to cause rot on “sound” parts of the seedlings.
At night it’s getting close to freezing and during the day it’s cold and damp – mother nature is certainly fighting me at every chance she can to prevent my seedlings producing the goods underneath.

Saturday 21st October
Had a visit from Dave Weatherby today, he had very kindly picked up and brought me 2 bags of M2 Pot and Bedding Compost ready for starting to get my seedling cutting tubers going again next year. So we had a good chat and put “the world to rights” as the saying goes.  

Sunday 22 October -
This may sound extreme but I went through all my seedlings today collecting any fallen leaves or parts of the stem that were turning mushy.
What I have noticed is that a quite a number of my seedlings at the base of the stem looked as if they were turning “woody” as you can see by the picture to the left – so I got the Rovral out and painted the base of the stems with it as per the picture to the right. Trying my hardest to keep them going as long as possible.


Saturday 29 October
I went through all my seedlings and they looked ok towards the base of the stem but the last bits of the pinched out flower stems are falling off now and leaves that have fallen seem to be turning to mush pretty quickly.

Tuesday 1st November
Woke up to a blanket of frost this morning. 

Sunday 6th November -
Over the last 5 days it has either dropped under or hovered above 0oc at night and during the day stayed pretty much in single figures.
So the seasons have now changed and my seedlings want to go down – however I do not want them to just yet. I want to get them to the end of the month and give them the chance to produce a cutting tuber.

Sunday 13th November
I have put my Parwin heater into my propagating greenhouse to keep the temperature up a little to keep my seedlings going.
Most of them have got green leaves on however I have a few with just 3 or 4 inches of stem left and the odd green leaf clinging on for dear life.
I am seeing signs of cutting tuber production under my seedlings as you can see by the picture to the left.


December 3rd December
All my seedlings are still growing with regards both stem and a greenish leaf as you can see by the picture to the left. To the right you can see a picture showing more signs of cutting tuber production on my seedlings.


So to summarise my first foray into hybridisation so far -

·         Well during mid 2015 I explained my thought process and what I wanted to try and achieve with hybridising.
During late 2015 I went through my failures & triumphs whilst trying my hand at hybridising.
Early in 2016 I shared my trials & tribulations with you all with regards germination and the problems I encountered pricking out the seedlings.
Then shared the issues I encountered with my seedlings through the middle of 2016.
And to finish 2016 I have explained how I tried to keep them going as long as possible to produce a seedling cutting tuber.

And who knows if you are lucky enough I might show you the results of this 3 year journey when I flower them properly in 2017 to see which to keep or consigned to the recycling bin.  

Until next time….


Michael's 2016 Diary