These are the fibrous-rooted, winter-flowering begonias and they are delightful plants. They are more graceful than the tuberous begonias and the stems are more wiry. A minimum temperature of 16°C. (60°F.) is needed to grow them well.
To obtain young basal growths for cuttings the stems of the plants are cut back to within a few inches of their base after flowering. Kept in warm conditions new shoots soon develop and these can be removed in February as cuttings. A suitable rooting mixture consists of 1 part loam. 2 parts moist peat and 3 parts coarse sand, well mixed together. Each cutting is prepared by trimming the base just below a leaf joint with a sharp knife or razor blade. Several cuttings can be placed round the edge of a 3-in. pot using a dibber. After a good watering the pots should be placed in a propagating frame with a temperature of 18°C. (65°F.).
The rooted cuttings are first put in 3-in. pots using John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost and firming thelightly. With a temperature of 16 to 18°C. (60 to 65°F.) and a moist atmosphere, growth is rapid. Shade must be given from strong sunshine in spring and summer. A further move into the 5-in. pots in which the plants will flower follows when this becomes necessary.
The fragile stems must be sup-ported by thin canes inserted in the pots. These are held loosely to the canes with fine pieces of raffia. This can be done in such a way that eventually the canes are hidden and the plant is a well-arranged mass ofand foliage.