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Starting Tuberous Begonia Seeds

August 21 2014 | Posted in Growing Begonias, Growing Begonias From Seed, News

Starting Tuberous Begonia Seeds

Starting Tuberous Begonia Seeds

Begonia Seed Germination 

Sowing Media: Standard plug mix of 60% peat 20% perlite 20% vermiculite. Adjusted to pH 5.5-6.0. Wet thoroughly before Sowing Begonia sowing seed.

Sowed: Single or double in a plug flat or lightly and evenly in an open flat. Temperature: 73-77° F

Light: Begonia seeds germinate in light; do not cover seed with media. Provide 14+ hours of light. Ten foot candles are sufficient to germinate but 350 candles are necessary for growing on.

Humidity: During germination of seeds 100% humidity is required. This can be done on a small scale by covering the flats with translucent plastic or other covering, such as glass, that will retain humidity while allowing some light to pass through. If media is sufficiently wet, additional watering should not be needed during germination.

Germination Time: At 7-10 days the radical emerges and the flats should be removed from the 100% humidity environment. After 2 weeks, germination should be complete.

Fertilizer: Feed early with 50ppm N to encourage seed germination (studies  how KNOmay work better than other fertilizers). Avoid high EC. Begin feeding with balanced fertilizer after germination.

After Germination Is Complete

  • After germination is complete, the growing temperature can be reduced to 64-70° F.
  • Fertilizer should be increased to regular feeding with 100ppm N from a balanced fertilizer source such as 20-10-20 or 15-5-15. Fertilizer can be increased to as high as 200ppm to promote growth but watch for high EC.
  • Begonia seedlings like to be kept evenly moist, however, during later seedling stages water can be cut back somewhat to encourage root growth and develop a sturdier plant.
  • If germinating begonia seed in open flats, the seedlings will need to be pricked out after 5-6 weeks and grown on in another container until transferring to pots 4-5 weeks later. Growing in open flats will cause the time to bloom to be longer because of the additional transplant step.
  • If germination in a plug flat, transplant to the final container after 9-10 weeks.
  • Media for the pot should be a loose, well drained mix that stays uniformly moist and contains a lot of organic material with a pH 5.5-6.0.
  • Feeding for the pot should be constant at 100ppm N or occasionally at 200ppm.
  • Feeding in the pot with a high phosphate fertilizer, such as a 12-55-6, will cause the leaves of the finished pot to be smaller. The plant will be shorter and stouter than with a 20-10-20 type material. The time to flower will not be lengthened.
  • Lighting during seedling and pot stages should be minimum 12 hours. However, we grow under 20 hours per day and find this gives us a sturdy, well-formed plant.
  • Picotee On Top® should have 20-50% of the plants in flower 15 weeks after seeding when sown in a plug flat. This is 5-6 weeks after transplanting.

Starting Tuberous Begonia Seed

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