Houseplant renovation(Begonia Rex?)

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by malcolm197, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. malcolm197

    malcolm197 Active Member

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    Some 4 years ago I purchased an unlabelled plant at a Garden Centre "oddments sale" which was identified to me verbally as a Begonia Rex, and I have always treated it has such with great success, except that I have never been able to propagate it by the classis b.r. method of cutting the veins on leaves and holding them down until roots form.However 2 years ago when it outgrew its pot I succesfully divided it - I have never seen that method of propagation mentioned, and I assumed that this was impossible. I recently purchased a Pepperomia capatata, and was struck by how much this resembled my Begonia rex. The leaves are of the same size and shape though the Begonia has a reddish tinge, and the flowers are borne on long panicles in the same way ( though the shape of the "clump" is slightly different) - so i now have doubts that it is a Begonia.
    However to business. Both my divided plants are now becoming a little "leggy" and I wish to revert to a Clump appearence.
    I had thought of attempting to "drop" one of them in the way that you can propagate lavendula or Erica/Calluna - not necessarily as an exercise in propagation but to bring the foliage back to the soil. However as the plant( whether B or P) is succulent in nature I am worried in case this induces stem rot. As an alternative I had thought of the glass of water method to try to induce roots higher up the stem and then planting in the way one can do with many "normal" hebaceous plants.
    In extremis I am prepared to sacrifice one of my divided plants to improve either it or its mate, but would prefer to keep both.
    Has anyone any experience of either method mentioned above or any other ideas on improving them? I must emphasize that both the plants are healthy in every way despite occasional periods of neglect and the improvement I wish to induce is purely "cosmetic".
    Thanks in advance

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