209 thoughts on “Recent Comments”

      1. The N B S.,Web, continues to evolve and improve.
        We have recently, introduced a Membership on line form that can be completed on line, with several options of payment.
        One of these methods being the ability to pay by PayPal.
        This method was requested by potential Members’, particularly from The U S A., Canada and Australia- with only a £2, administration fee, a substantial saving.
        Also, U K., potential Members’, with a £1, administration fee. Almost cheaper than a 1st., Class stamp and cost of an envelope.
        There is always something New to View.
        Steve and Mike Jones have done a fantastic job on our New Web page, to bring us into the 21st, Century.
        It will continue to develop and improve, when the need arises.

    1. as I will not have to cart heavy pots to a show this year I have potted on 4 rootbound 5 litre pots into 7.5 litre ones
      is this a good idea or is it too late as bud selection will be in a weeks time

    1. Hi All,
      Our new Member’s Web page, has now been upgraded into the modern world, crafted by Steve, assisted by Mike his brother.
      The new site, offers privacy to items such as payments and accounts receipts and N B S., bank ballances etc.. Previously, past non-paying Members’ were able to gain information, without, having re- newed their Membership fees.
      The N B S., Web page, still offers those interested in growing Begonias the opportunity to view certain information on Begonia culture and growing.
      Many thanks Steve for your efforts in bringing the N B S., Website into the modern 21st Century.
      I’m sure, it will continue to grow and improve in your skillful hands, further into the future.

    2. i have several whispers plants which are easily recognisable though i have one that is pure white
      i have only ever grown one white begonia and i have several billy langdons and this white whispers is nothing like them
      is this likely to be what the knowledgeable refer to as a sport and if so how does it happen

      1. Hi Chris. This does happen, when a variety reverts back to one of its parentage.
        Keep growing it and hopefully, the Sport will develop into a new variety. If good enough, you can name it. If cuttings are taken, they will be true to the parent – in your case your white sport. Best of luck.

        1. sorry didnt notice this reply
          i have taken cuttings and see what happens next year
          the early flowers werent good but now they look quite good
          many thanks

          1. Pleased that they are improving. Fingers crossed.
            By the way Chris, you usually have sone cracking foliage plants and hanging baskets. Why not send a few photos of what you’ve got.

          2. i do have a few foliage plants and a couple of hanging baskets but i am the last person on earth without a mobile phone so i have had to rely on a neighbour to take photos for my lockdown entry and i cant really keep asking for her help
            there is a firedance hanging basket in my lockdown entries as well as the white whispers

      2. Hi Chris,
        Take cuttings of this White Sport of Whispers and they will replicate the White flowered parent.
        If you choose and the Sport is a good quality begonia, you will be able to name it.
        There’s a shortage of good white flowered begonias, thus, they will be sort after.
        If you have sufficient cuttings, as security, give some cuttings to a few friends to grow on. That way, they can be tried and tested by several other grower’. Also, should you lose yours, your friends, have the stock, thus not lost forever.

        1. i did give bob bryce a couple of cuttings of white whispers in august and i have 2 or 3 cuttings still growing so hopefully will survive the winter
          fingers crossed

      3. Hi Chris,
        Scrolling through the question and answer on this page, I have recently wrote an article in the Spring 2022, N B S, Web page, on chromosomes, explaining, differences etc.
        Thus, your question has been answered.

        1. many thanks for the reply
          i have read the article and will now reread it
          this winter i appear to have got at least one of my varieties through the winter despite losing at least 100 of my cutting tubers

    3. Mike McGregor



      Dear Members
      I when I came back from holiday last month I was devastated to find that a power failure had resulted in frozen tubers. I have lost 90% of my stock and hope that this does not rise to 100%.
      If any member has spare tubers please email me and I will call you back.
      On the begonia growing front for me not yet a Happy New Year.
      Kind regards

      Sent from NBS Website

  1. I have about 80 begonias that survived the winter having started with probably double that number
    I have 12 DAISY TRINDER 8 ISOBEL KEENAN 7 JENNIFER WILSON 5 WHISPERS and a few other varieties
    I always lose all my stock of several varieties each winter
    are some varieties hardier and more resistant to winter problems than others or is it pure coincidence

    1. Hi Chris I think growing them well throughout the season and letting the tubers ripen in the autumn is important making sure the scab is removed at the correct time. As the tubers get larger with more main stems it is more important to remove all the scabs. Keep the frost away from them while in storage while not keeping them too warm. I keep mine at about 10 deg c. The NBS Handbook has very good information on this along with plenty of really useful methods and techniques to follow. Steve Jones

      1. Hi Chris,
        Certain varieties are easier to keep than others, however, as Steve suggests, good culture, without overwatering, or overfeeding, helps to keep them over Winter.
        At end of August, treat with V/W, Nematoads. Lots of losses occur when V/W,. grubs, eat away the tubers which in turn causes rot.
        Importantly, at end of Show Season, gradually, withold, water, keep pots, on the dry side. Always leave stems and leaves drop away naturally.
        In the Autumn Bulletin, I will be writing about preparing tubers for overwintering.

        1. many thanks for the advice
          i treated for vine weevil yesterday with vine weevil killer from dobbies and will do it again on your advice at end of august
          i look forward to your comments in due course re overwintering
          many thanks

    2. Yes, some varieties are harder to keep than others. However, losing half, indicates that your overwintering, could be improved.
      In September, use V W, Nematodes. These will seek out and destroy V W, grubs. These can decimate tubers.
      You have to keep compost damp after administrating, Nematodes. Then withdraw watering end September. Let stems, and leaves die- back naturally. When stem falls away, leave tuber in pot for five days. Then knock out, carefully removing compost from tuber, using soft brush. Leave tuber on top of pot for two days. The tuber will harden. Brush off, remaining compost.
      Using a mesh, Place tubers on top, spaced apart, for them to completely dry. I put a large old blanket in a spare room and dry tubers in ther, until dry.
      After a week, remove stem scab using knife from tuber.
      Store in plastic meshed fruit /mushroom containers.
      Keep an eye on them, inspect every few weeks. Remove further scabs if necessary. Store in a cool frost free place. Most tubers will survive, if the correct steps are followed.
      See N B S Autumn bulletin and Handbook, which gives advice on how to overwinter tubers.

      1. many thanks for all that
        have always used vine weevil killer from dobbies diluted in water but will try nematodes for a change
        will then closely follow your advice
        many thanks

    3. Thanks for your above reply.
      Believe it or not, my last Mobile phone was at least 12 years old. I needed a phone so that if I was out and about I could be contacted, in case of an emergency and vis versa.
      I only had an iPhone a year or so back. I provided photos for the Web page or bulletin using Fuji camera which sufficed. Good that your neighbour is helping out, I’m sure she’s as pleased as you that she is able to help.

  2. A question for Steve Jones. I notice that you are growing a number of pot plants forward facing. Where do you aim to position the blooms?, and what is your reasoning behind your decision.

    1. Hi id
      I nearly always have the flowers facing the front as on the show bench as in the greenhouse no one sees the rear of the plant. The blooms will be facing forward hopefully across the full width of the plant with good clean unmarked leaves under the blooms covering stems and supports.

      1. Thanks Steve. Do you want the blooms to be at the top of the face of the plant or covering as much of the face (from top to bottom) as possible.
        Sorry to be a pest.

  3. very nice to see the Begonia Society has now joined the 21st century, lots of useful information on it, look forward to reading more tips from all you experienced growers to help us poor growers, thank you for all your help in helping me to grow my favorite flower, I’m looking forward to seeing that basket that Phil Champion mentioned, I have winter moon hanging outside in full flower now, looking nice. keep up the good work everyone.

    1. That’s what we’re here for, assisting others, who ask.
      Even the experienced growers’ can learn from the Novice. It’s always good to be reminded of good practice.

  4. Hi I am a novice growing begonias and this year I am growing my first basket, the variety is Isabella. I noticed on Facebook that when it is grown outside that the flower is a deeper yellow with red on rather than the paler yellow when it is grown in the greenhouse. I was wondering which would be considered more culturally proficient by a judge if you exhibited the basket and which would be considered the true colour?

    1. Isabella and Fire dance, are two of my favourites, although other varieties are very good too.
      The best natural colours, come from those grown outdoors, in dappled shade. The drawback though, of growing outside, is that blooms get marked due to excessive rain and wind. If possible, grow on stands outdoors, but keep an eye on the forecast. When rain or high winds are forecast, move indoors. Thus you’ll have the best of two worlds, perfectly coloured blooms without being marked, if taken indoors, when the weather isn’t favourable.

  5. Most varieties in my experience be they basket types or cut/pot tuberous ones do exhibit differences when grown outside. The judge would take into consideration the quality of the plant and its blooms and not necessarily the colour variance. Most of the Isabella’s I’ve seen at the National tend to be without the red on the guard petals. Chances are that for a top quality show plant they will be grown under cover so be very much the yellow colour that Bill Squibb introduced. I saw both colours at his home when he was alive

  6. Hi Devonmike, thanks for the advice. I put my basket outside, although it was under 50% shading I felt the rain and wind was having it’s adverse effect so I put it back inside the greenhouse.

      1. Hi Derek and all members, you can now watch the video as the password is included on the page. The page being only visible to paid up members.
        The reason for having a password is that ‘Vimeo’ the service we are trying out, is a public service whereby all videos published on their platform are visible to anyone on the internet. Until we finally decide on a video service or system the only way we can protect our copyrighted video is to have a password. I hope this will help members understand a little more about this feature.

  7. We have a comment and question from Derek Skinner I think congratulations need to be given to the person who posted the varieties in book for , as I use my iPad or iPhone to view is there anyway to enlarge as every time I touch it I turn the page

  8. There have been several questions asked from numerous Members’ regarding what constitutes the perfect bloom.
    The late National Begonia Society Bulletin Editor, Derek Telford in my opinion was one of the best Judges in the rounds. He could detect hidden faults and his eagle eyed vision telescoped in on faults, that others may have missed.
    He always promoted the perfect begonia for exhibiting, as being fresh, symetrically formed, clean with no bruising or travel marks, good petal formation and layering, with no warts or inverted petals, with good depth and his ideal centre was a rosebud centre.
    I had the privilege on numerous occasions, to accompany D L T, during and after judging. He’d point out the merits of why one bloom was better than another.
    His skillful judging methodology, will forever, be etched in my psyche.

    1. the new website suggests that authors of articles would appreciate feedback but email addresses are not available for any of them
      the begonia society magazine has them for the officers but having just read all tony shepherdsons most detailed and interesting comments it is frustrating not being able to pass on the feedback to him
      hopefully this can be rectified
      mine is christopher1walker@btinternet.com

      1. Hi Chris.
        This has been broached numerous times. The problem we have is the Data Protection Act.
        Personal information, can’t be shared electronically.
        By storing personal information on anyone, is a minefield of potentially, being sued, if that information is leaked, or gets into the hands of fraudsters.
        With all the security in the world, if the N B S, database is hacked and personal details obtained by unscrupulous undesirables, we could be liable.
        It really is a minefield.
        Why not use the bulletin, or Facebook as a tool to contact an individual, or indeed, go through one of the Officials, who can pass any messages on to another Member, giving your contact details.
        If they choose, they can contact you.
        Just a thought.

        1. i have used the bulletin for the contacts of the officers but for example it didnt include tony sheperdsons email
          he has though responded to my posting and we have been in touch which is great
          i understand the issues involved but just wish the world wasnt so restrictive in these things
          many thanks

  9. Hello, My wife is Susan Chart McKernan, In 1975 (?) there was a begonia named after her father Guy Chart who was a keen begonia grower back then. My wife is now 75 and quite poorly and I would dearly love to buy her a Guy Chart begonia for her upcoming birthday. We live in North Devon, UK. Can you please assist me in my quest please? Best regards, Russell C McKernan M.I.P.A. rtd.

    1. We have a good result for this request well done all who helped trace this plant down.
      Dear Ian,
      Well miracles do happen! I am just so delighted with your news and look forward to next Spring.
      I rang Gary today. Amazingly he was not of the Dando family that Guy Chart was friends with in Surrey many years ago and he was not aware of any relatives in the Surrey area! The Mr Dando who Guy Chart knew was the head gardener to a large house in Bushy Park. Obviously gardening is in the Dando genes!.
      However it proved an intriguing conversation and he will set his son on to this who is into family genealogy.
      Gary is also popping into Blackmore and Langdon to see if they have a brochure from the 1970s with the Guy Chart in it.
      Thank you so much for taking the trouble and getting such a quick result!
      Best regards,

  10. As someone who enjoys reading and looking at photos to learn more about our hobby yesterday I spent some time going through the section members articles and cultural diaries on reaching Ian Donaldson name imagine my surprise when it was a blank , I’m sure he has written something in the past for the website,.

    On another note I fully enjoyed the video that Bob Bryce and Mike Richardson posted it complements the others that have been posted I’m sure more will follow

  11. having stopped my cuttings in late summer by removing the top growth i now have several of them that have grown a callous where the cut was made and these have grown reasonably large in some cases
    they appear to be mini tubers as some of them have mini red eyes appearing
    i have chopped them off and planted them in fresh compost on my heated bed and am intrigued to see if they will grow
    does anyone know if they will?

    1. Hi Chris.
      If you go into the Begonias for All Facebook site and the posts dated 2nd January, 2021 you will see the posts that I have submitted. They will show some photographs and text re the above.

      Ian Donaldson.

      1. many thanks for the reply
        having been watching facebook entries over last couple of weeks am intrigued
        i have also reread your article in the 2017 handbook
        there are obviously many ways to propagate begonias that i have been overlooking
        having recently bought a hydropod propagator i have taken about 30 leaf cuttings and look forward to seeing if they take
        one of the callouses i refer to above seems to be growing new growth from the callous and hopefully roots might follow
        i didnt wait for them to fall off the stem and remove the scab as you suggest so not sure what will happen
        many thanks for the article which is most thought provoking

      2. i have also just gone through your growing diary on the old website regarding multiple tubers in one pot etc.all really interesting and food for thought for sure.
        many thanks

  12. As one of the top growers within our society please send any information to the WEB site as many people do not look at face book and it would be a pity that all the useful information is being missed.

  13. I have just read that Chris has a hydropod propagator just a heads up if you are using without the mini pots with peat or coir in the first roots that form is water roots , when potting on it takes ages to see any growth .while waiting for growing roots to form

    1. thanks for the advice
      am just using the rubber discs to hold the cuttings in place
      no roots seen yet as only went in 3 days ago
      fingers crossed

      1. Hi Chris.
        A couple of comments to make which may be of interest. Firstly, by using the Hydropod as you do and for that matter how it was intended to be used then the plant material will produce “water roots” which is not really the type of root system that you are after. What most growers have found is that the transition period between that type of root and the root which you are after (one that will thrive in compost) will take about 14 days. It is quite simple to alter the way that you use the Hydropod in order to obtain the desired root system. Both Phil Champion and I have covered this in the Begonias for All Facebook site and a little time spent researching the site will reveal all.
        In relation the stem tubers, these will not fall from the stem. The way that I have harvested them is that once the stem has become detached from the plant I simply cut the stem above and below the stem tuber and allow what is left of the main stem to dry. Then about 7 to 10 days prior to planting the tuber I remove the scab (dried section of stem). The wound is then allowed to dry.

        1. sorry i have only this morning spotted your comments re the hydropod
          i have now got a few in the hydropod which have started to root so will leave them in there for another week or two
          had no idea that they were the wrong roots so will look for your facebook discussion to see what i should do
          i am fascinated by this new concept of propagating from stem tubers and i do have some bits of growth now starting despite me not having dried them out as you suggest
          think i will leave them as they are for now
          many thanks again for the handholding

          1. Hi Chris.
            No problem. The reason that I “post” replies is that it is then accessible to all rather than an e-mail which is only on a one to one basis. What you are doing at this moment in time is allowing the plant/material to do what it wants, when it wants but as you obtain a better understanding of the plant then you will be able to control what it does and for that matter when it does it by forcing it to do what you what. That is when it starts to become more satisfying
            Good luck with what you are doing

        2. having gone over thousands of entries on facebook and having gone back to october last year where there is a discussion on hydropod growing i am most frustrated that for some reason i cant see all the comments despite clicking on the replies button
          i think i get the gist so have cut up some old plastic small containers and have put a few cuttings in them with a cutting compost and vermiculite and perlite mix and dangled them from the foam discs in the hydropod
          will be interesting if this gives me the right sort of root
          thanks again

          1. Chris.
            If you go into the Begonias for All Facebook and scroll down to 29th October 2020 you will see several posts within that section dated 28th October 2020. There are pictures within showing the Hydropod being used with net pots and peat/compost. Below are my comments on it. The net pots mentioned within can be obtained from the same supplier as the Hydropod. If you are going to try this method then I would suggest that you use plain peat. Provided that you can view the pictures then all will become clear. If not then possibly Steve can copy them onto this page. I have reproduced my comments on this subject below. Hope this helps. If there is a problem then message me.

            Interesting comments above. In particular that you still use the word “Hydropod” when in fact the alterations that you have made or for that matter about to make have converted it into a “first class” conventional propagation system. If we were to break it down into segments you will find that you have a heating element, moist compost/peat (all required for the type of root production that you are after) and a top section containing moist heated air (required to keep the vegetative material in good condition until it can sustain itself). The water contained within the lower section is the key or vital part of this system. If for example we were to look at a standard “open root run system” then you would find that after a period of time the compost nearest to the heating element will become dry and in turn cause damage to any developing root structure. Likewise, the same can be said of a standard propagation system both of which will require you at some time to again moisten the compost or peat. The “converted” system does that for you provided that there is water within the reservoir (the heated water forms moisture in the air which in turn attaches itself to the peat/compost within the net pot keeping it moist). When you have a number of net pots not in use then as Phil does you can seal that void by the use of a net pot with a disc or simply by filling a net pot with peat/compost and using that to fill the void. Immediately root can be seen then that is the time to remove the plant from that environment as it is now ready to be potted up. Any delay will be detrimental to the newly formed root structure. What you will find is that once you have mastered the system the whole rooting process will be shortened by several days.

    2. i have now got a few cuttings with roots but as you and ian donaldson have made me aware these arent yet proper roots so i have made my own mini pots from old garden centre plastic pots and put the cuttings in some of these filled with cutting compost vermiculite and perlite and dangled them into the hydropod spray
      i dont really see the point of using a hydropod as all this could be achieved by putting the cutting into the compost in a normal pot in a normal propagator
      perhaps someone could enlighten me
      many thanks

  14. Hi Steve.
    It is becoming quite difficult for an “author” to know what is required of them. There are two Facebook sites (Begonias for All and The National site). I did at one time place posts on both sites but if I am to be honest I found it quite frustrating in respect that having placed a post on the National site there was very little response if any. I have now sadly adopted the attitude that why should I bother continuing to post on a site that the membership is not prepared to participate in. In my opinion that site should be discontinued and should revert back to what it once was. As you can see I have responded to a message from Chris Walker. I normally type a response in word and then cut and past in into the appropriate site, however for some reason it would not allow me to do so and I ended up having to retype it within the reply post (maybe some advise from you in order that I can overcome this). I have no problem in trying to assist any of our membership but they must first ask questions or alternatively someone must ask for a subject to be covered. I do know where you are coming from and I am fully aware that it is very difficult to obtain “type” but at the end of the day it is up to the membership to also participate. I at one time thought that we could combine what was taking place within the National site with Facebook with some Q and A. As you are aware in 2019 I did a growing season and in 2020 Phil did one. Not one question was ever asked. I will continue to do what I can to assist but the membership must accept that it is a two way process.

    1. Hello Ian
      I feel you can only do your best by writing your articles and let the memberships read. Many I expect perhaps the majority will take what information they want and that will be the end of it but with the web site they can easily find the article to refer back to very easily just by going to your articles on our site . If you do get a question you then can then refer to whichever article it was covered in which then can easily be found.
      The old web site only had the articles with no feed back what so ever but the information was there for all to enjoy and learn and I know many people refer back to the old site each day. Perhaps when the article and topics are covered well and clear no questions are required and only time will produce a question on various methods tried .When I first started growing and attended a meeting the speaker was quite rude I thought when no question were raised after his talk by saying you are all experts then as you are not asking questions. My thoughts were I didn’t know enough about growing without asking questions but did learn something from his talk as did other members attending .If you have any information you would like others to see please send it in for all to enjoy for years to come.
      Best wishes for the new year.
      Editor Steve Jones

    2. i have thoroughly enjoyed your 2019 diary in recent days and i can also say i have read all of phil champions tony shepherdsons and ron aldous diaries
      the reason you havent had any response is email addresses arent easily available but take it from me the entries are much appreciated
      this forum does give everybody a chance to make contact which is great
      having reread your stuff re air tubers i am intrigued by whether you can propagate from the bits of stem that gradually drop off the tubers as it dies down for winter
      i have put a couple of hardened bottom bits of stem in the propagator to see if they will grow
      you may have talked about this somewhere but i dont recall seeing it
      many thanks again

    3. many thanks again for all your help re the hydropod
      i have now been able to access the facebook comments so all becomes clear
      i will get hold of the little nets and some peat today
      your handholding is much appreciated

    4. just read your tips re propagation on the website
      i understand your comment re the last bit of stem on the plant has been rejected so is unlikely to be viable and that healthy growing cuttings are a far better option
      also leaf cutting explanation is very clear
      many thanks for all your assistance

  15. I think I should come to Ian defence I and many others have posted on begonias for all on Facebook some of the posts are quite trivial but you can be sure Ian will reply in great detail whatever the question in a very easy to understand way and you can get back to him and he will reply many people don’t like to be contacted by email

  16. Having seen comments it does appear an article on our WEB site is by far the best way for members to gain knowledge that experienced growers have written about. Thoughts and comments are OK for face book but members should be able to access good detailed articles on this site without having to troll through weeks of comments.
    Please send information to this site if you have any information for our membership.

  17. My apologies.
    How on earth I’d missed this debate on taking cuttings , between Ian D and Chris, I don’t know.
    I’d seen the article Ian had posted earlier next to mine on the new articles section, above,but hadn’t scrolled down, until now.
    Very interesting points about rooting in water.
    I know Ralph Trinder rooted most of his cuttings in water , before transferring them into pots of Perlite and Multipurpose.
    Ralph was happy with his methods it worked for him,but I believed and still do, that rooting in a solid based medium including peat, develops a sturdier/ healthier, stronger root system, than just from water.
    The stem tuber Ian mentioned, likewise, I have used by cutting above and below the stem leaving the formed tuber in place, then rooting.
    I have used this method for a few years.
    Although not necessary I like to retain an eye if possible on my leaf cuttings.This is how my Father, taught me, when taking leaf cuttings. Old habits stay with you, however, cuttings without an eye are equally as successful.
    Good articles on taking cutting, well explained by Ian D.

    1. hardly a debate
      more the maestro trying to help a student along for which this student is very grateful
      still not quite sure what to do with the water rooted cuttings which i have pending receipt of peat and hydropod baskets
      should they continue growing roots in the hydropod or when there is a good selection of roots put them straight into compost and then onto a heated mat

        1. following ians advice i removed 3 or 4 water rooted cuttings from the hydropod on the 18th jan and i thought i would check if anything had happened to them having been on the heat pad for a fortnight.i was amazed and delighted to see that they had all filled their first pots with proper roots so i have potted them into m2 compost with grit in 1 litre pots
          the year is underway

    2. This is in my mind a misconception. In order to take a “leaf “cutting with an eye you have to remove a small part of the main stem with the leaf stem whether that be from the initial basal shoot or any subsequent side shoot in which is located one or more eyes. The very fact that when taking the cutting you have removed part of that stem (albeit small) you have effectively taken a stem cutting and not a leaf cutting. There is a massive difference between a true leaf cutting and that described above. The type of cutting that you have taken has very little work to do, it only has to continue to develop the eye into a stem and it is up and running. A true leaf cutting is removed from the parent plant by cutting through the leaf stem away from the main stem in order to harvest the material. It then has to go through the various stages as described within my previous correspondence. The type of cutting that you are taking will start to grow a main stem within about 10 to 14 days (sooner if the eye has already started to grow before harvesting) whilst a true leaf cutting will take about 8 weeks.
      Hope that this helps to clarify things.

      1. The debate on taking cuttings gives alternative methods of taking various types of cuttings.
        It comes down to habitual methods/ preferences used by different people, which has been successful for them over time.
        I have used several methods with equal results. The first shown to me by my Father , which I still use and other methods, which I’d learned from by trial and error, also articles written by Ian D, using only a leaf stem.
        The word survival has been used by Ian D, numerous times.
        Plant material, will always do its best to stay alive and produce new growth. Thus, presented with the opportunity, will survive.
        We learn something new every day.

  18. Hi Everyone – this commenting feature is undergoing trials so please bear with us as we iron out the bugs and tune the features to suit the NBS needs. You now have the ability to jump to the latest post without scrolling down the pages. Many more features will be enabled in time. You may notice the little green box in the right hand corner of your screen where you can just click and then post replies. You can also rate posts by what you think by clicking the little plus or minus. You can also subscribe to the comments tag and get an email when new posts or comments are made. You also have the ability to upload images direct into the chat conversation.

    1. well actually i certainly do not know everything about leaf cuttings.
      if i am lucky enough to have a leaf cutting that takes and makes a plate and then grows a few new plantlets what is the procedure for separating them from the leaf cutting and at what stage of their development is this done
      what happens to the original leaf cutting when it is separated from its plantlets
      does it carry on growing and make another plate and more cuttings etc or is it sacrificed at the removal of plantlets stage
      i have so much to learn from the experts so i dont think this topic has yet been flogged to death

      1. Hi Chris.
        You, like many others ask questions, as you are relatively new to the growing of begonias. Thus, by asking, helps your understanding.
        Not only that, we have recently had several new Members’ join the N B S, thus, any questions /debate on begonia cultivation will benefit their knowledge too.
        A leaf cutting, can throw numerous new growth/ stems.
        Each of these stems, including the original cutting, can/ will produce an individual small tuber/s.
        Each, small tuber, will/can make a larger tuber, producing a quality plant and flower.
        Sometimes, these tubers can fuse together.
        They can be separated successfully, using a sharp knife, however, I have left smaller fused tubers attached to grow into one larger tubers.
        The best way to learn is to experiment yourself.
        By all means, if you have a question ask.
        Your question may also help others.
        That’s how we all learn.

          1. We try our best to help when others ask.
            Hope my simple explanation, gave you and others the answer.
            Everyone’s opinion , needs to be respected though, even those whose opinions differ.
            Shared ways of doing things,, points of views too , helps broadens everyone’s knowledge.

        1. in january when the last bits of stem were falling off my late cutting tubers i chucked them in a pile on the floor of the greenhouse and a week or so later was sweeping the floor and thought in would be interesting to see if they would grow so i put half a dozen into compost in my heated mat and to my great surprise and delight 3 are shooting with new growth from the end and the lower leaf axils
          will try again next winter
          nice bonus

          1. It’s called survival.
            Any plant material will take every opportunity to grow and survive.
            Good to see you are increasing stock, even though more by luck than design, I’m sure you’ll agree.

          2. 2 of them have gone on to be good plants though one has succumbed
            i have had great success rooting basal cuttings in the hydropod for the first time this year
            so far 100 pc success rate of rooting within 2 to 3 weeks
            bit of a revelation for me and thanks to phil champion for his advice re growing them in peat in the little baskets

        2. i took dozens of leaf cuttings in january and they nearly all rooted.they have been put into bigger pots as they have got good root systems but as of now only half a dozen or so have gone on to produce new growing points.am i wasting my time or do i persevere with the slower ones because i am running out of space

          1. Chris. See page 43 of the NBS handbook. It will explain the process for you.

            Terry Tasker is doing a good article on this subject also of interest he mentioned runts that came good in the end. Editor

          2. many thanks and will do
            look forward to terrys article

            I am following Terry’s tips and have several new foliage begonias propagated as shown in the article. Editor.

  19. On Thursday 11 March 2021 Bill Dodds the SBS Honorary President has died. He was a former British Champion and raised Isobel Keenan, Kirsty Wade, Margaret Eveleigh amongst others. He leaves behind wife Rose and family, condolences from all the within the National Begonia Society.
    Robert Bryce.

    1. there is a tessa robinson for sale on fibrex nurseries website so i would assume it is the same.
      Editor We are looking for the person who sent what is thought to be Tessa Robinson out to Chad Stone a raffle winner. …Helen Lewis is the Begonia we are looking for.
      It would be a good idea to put a note in with all the raffle prizes sent out from the senders so this sort of problem could be avoided in the future, also some members like to write a thank you note to the sender of the tubers received.

      1. Hi Chad, hope you are well.
        I’ve asked for the name of the Member who sent you the tuber of Tessa Robinson.
        When I get an answer, I’ll get back to you.

        1. Hi.
          Steve,sorry if I have caused a fuss over a part label name
          The tuber itself is pipping nicely. As i had not heard of the name
          Tessa Robinson and could not find it listed ,I wrote to you and a member suggested
          FIBREX it is listed with them.
          I have a name of the donor but no contact regards chad stone

  20. Subject Helen Lewis Begonia.
    Do any of our members know of where to purchase one of the above Begonia . The request came from John Lewis to purchase for his sister’s Helen 50th birthday. I will pass any information you may have for John.

  21. Last year I along with many others entered the virtual show despite spending some time looking I’m unable to find any of the photos or results I’ve found the schedule rules etc have they been deleted thanks in anticipation.
    Click on shows then lockdown competition then entrants or results..

  22. After reading Ian Rhys Williams article on growing using lights and my name being used in several places I feel I should correct some of it
    I visited Holland and Belgium with Phil Damp the general Secretary of the National dahlia society on a dahlia growing mission we visited the baurm brothers nursery were on a bench they had several thousand Dahlia cuttings, over the top they had a black plastic tunnel with mist spray this moved along every few days,
    the nursery man that was looking after us said begonias and geraniums could be done the same no were did I see or say bigger begonia tubers could be grown by restricting light

  23. Hello. I am a new member of the NBS. I have a question about indoor begonias. Does anyone from the NBS members sell cutting or plug plants? It is about cane types, rhizomatous, shrub. What are the terms of the sale, if any. In the photo gallery in the old version of the webpage, I saw that someone is dealing with this type of begonias. Greetings.

        1. Hi Kiki976
          Further to your enquiry, I have found a Member, who has some spare plants for sale, priced very reasonably.
          As requested, please message me.

          1. Hi. Thank you. I’m not sure how pm working here.. anyway if could you tell me what begonias are for sale.
            I have around 50 begonias, in this winter I lost maybe 10 different and I try to find those that I lost.
            or maybe other new

          2. Hi Kikk1976.
            I don’t know what varieties are available, that’s why I asked you to message me, so I can give you the contact details of the Member who has them.
            He can tell you what is available.
            Look in the N B S, Bulletin for my contact details, I’m Ian Rhys Williams.
            Hope that helps?

          3. can anybody explain what ihave done wrong as i have some varieties such as colin hamilton tigger and fay lindsay with little white marks on the petals
            is it too late to save them for this year

          4. unfortunately i am the last person in the world without a mobile phone so would have to use my camera and take the film to boots to be developed

          5. Hi Chris,
            Colin Hamilton has a characteristic of producing ‘ light coloured spots ‘as you describe them.
            However, some blooms produce them, while others don’t.
            Two pots can be growing next to each other, in the glasshouse, potted up at the same time in stages, fed and watered exactly the same time etc.. One will be void of spots the other with spots.
            Those with spots will mostly disappear, as the bloom ages.
            In 2019 at the Welsh Championship Show,
            My bloom of Colin Hamilton was superb, probably the best I’d grown.
            I wouldn’t be without it, as banker.
            Thus, I don’t believe, you’re doing anything wrong, it’s just a characteristic trait of Colin Hamilton.

          6. Picture of Colin Hamilton
            Colin Hamilton, has a characteristic of light coloured spots on the bud petals when young.
            However, as the flower ages, in most instances, they will fade and disappear.  

          7. again many thanks to steve and ian re little white spots which will hopefully disappear
            will report back in a couple of weeks whether they have disappeared in time for the chorley flower show

  24. I have been growing the SOLENIA BEGONIAS for a number of years and they make excellent bedding plants even though they are fairly expensive to buy in the Spring. Does anyone have any knowledge of propagating these plants which they can share?

    1. Hi Peardrop.
      Sorry for the delay in answering, been on Babysitting duties last few weeks.
      It has been some years since I grew Solenia Begonias, however I agree, like many other begonias they provide a long flowering life.
      What better to brighten up your garden.
      I grew mine in the front garden, in borders and large pots, planting out in late May, after starting in a propagator, in deep trays, to get them established.
      You state that they can be expensive, which is also true for many other types of Begonias, expecially the named varieties.
      Growers ‘ with glasshouses, containing a propagator/hotbed can propagate their own cuttings.
      When placed in the propagator, cuttings can be taken, thus, cheaper plants of your own can be produced.
      An inside window propagator would suffice to start them off too, if someone didn’t have a glasshouse.
      I know that a local Garden Club Secretary and her Husband propagated many Solenia Begonias, took cuttings, potted them up into three and a half inch square pots and gave them to Members’, at their 1st meeting in April, on condition they grew them for their local village Show in August ( that shows cuttings can be propagated easily).
      That worked wonders, as so many grew them on successfully , that they needed to provide more space.
      The displays, were very impressive with so many different colours of Solenia Begonias.
      Generally, like all gardening, you need to have good soil , prepared with good organic matter when dug in the winter and a week or so, prior to planting, a handful of Blood Fish and Bone fertiliser, sprinkled in the bed.
      After planting, when established, feed with a general feed, using a watering can once weekly.
      When it bloom feed with a High Potash feed, such as Champagne-Ardenne no., 4, or a Tomato feed.
      Please, can you provide a few photos to the Administrator, in the Summer months, when your Solenia Begonias are blooming.
      This may very well, give others ideas to grow Solenia Begonias.
      Hope that helps?

      1. Hi Tadcu,
        Thank you for your response. I understand that Solenias are not tuberous rooted and more like the Semperfloren types and flower well into Autumn. I will try taking autumn cuttings, overwinter them in a propagator giving as much good daylight as possible. I will try to take a few photos for the web.

        1. Hi Peardrop.
          Initially, I too thought that Solenias were fibrous rooted .
          However, the TUBEROUS Begonia ‘Solenia Cherry ‘ and others are advertised as Tuberous.
          Google Tuberous Begonia Solenia and there’s info there.
          I don’t disturbing the root system when pots are established, however, if done carefully, you’ll be able to see if there’s a tuber underneath.
          A site I found was http://www.pinterest.com
          Also, just type in ‘ are Begonia Solenias Tuberous.
          Best regards,
          Ian Rhys Williams.

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    1. Hi Peardrop.
      Like all other types of Tuberous begonias, as they age, vigour can begin to wane.
      However, I have some large tubers of Flamboyant that are at least five, possibly eight years old, that continue to flower profusely.
      The best thing about the larger tubers, is that they give lots of cuttings in Spring, that are easy to root and will flower in the same year, if taken early.
      Equally, like many other Multifloras,
      expecially Flamboyant, produce small mini tubers, when harvested.
      Keep these overwinter , in pots covered with spent compost. This helps them from drying out.
      These can be started up in Spring too, a few in a three and a half square pot.
      These, can then be planted when the roots fill the pot as one plant.

  26. as discussion here seems to have ground to a halt i thought i would add something.i have taken delivery of a second greenhouse and have installed two home made wooden boxes 6 foot by 2 foot 6 for propagation and these have been filled with insulation board then 2 inches of grit sand then heating cables then topped with another inch of grit sand.this is all wrapped in black polythene to stop the dampness drying out.i have filled one of these with all my cuttings taken in september october and even november in square pots as recommended by our scottish friends.these have been rooted in my hydropod which even today is full of cuttings and will be transferred when they have rooted.the thermostat is set at 25 degrees and each morning i am lifting the bubble wrap cover to see what is happening and so far so good.it will be interesting to see whether they survive.it would appear cuttings can be successfully grown every day of the year fingers crossed

    1. Hi Chris,
      In late October this year I took 20 cuttings of Richard Galle, this being an experiment as I’m fairly new to begonias. Cuttings were taken with peat inside hydropod net pots, thermostat set at 20 degrees. After 4 weeks roots could be seen emerging from the net pots, everyone had rooted then potted on with multipurpose compost and placed inside a prpogator set at 15 degrees. They are looking nice and healthy at the moment and will be interesting to see how they develop. Don’t know how light levels will affect the plants…..if you don’t try you will not know.

      1. glad to see somebody else is out there
        delighted you have had such success with the hydropod and like you i have a very good success rate with cuttings rooting though i have been just using water.I
        find using peat it falls into the water and clogs up the filter on the pump nearly every day.
        like you my rooted cuttings are now in the home made propagators set at 25 degrees and seem to be quite happy even with no extra light.We will see how they look in the spring

        1. Very pleased with my hydropod. Most cuttings are taken in early spring and just not begonias. Using peat in net type pots I get a much sturdier plants compared with those rooted in water only, rooted straight into a medium I find better than the brittle water roots. Having said that I have also had success with the water only rooted plants.
          I very gently firm the peat around the edge of the net pots and find only a small amount of peat falls and settles on the bottom away from the pump intake. After the hydropod was running for 4 weeks I found the peat on the bottom was only a insignificant amount. The propagator is at 15degrees just enough to keep them ticking over at this time of year and increase it slowly as the days lengthen.
          I’m not trying to grow prize winning plants, I just want to enjoy growing them.

          1. i should probably turn the heat down in the propagators as they dont seem to be doing much growing with the low light levels
            i will try the peat again
            and follow your advice
            i also enjoy growing them but winning prizes is also very rewarding
            all the best and compliments of the season to anybody reading this

  27. Hi all we have a question from
    Mike Smith

    Good afternoon, I’m preparing to start my tubers into growth and following advice in your Handbook I intend to soak the tubers in a solution of fungicide and cold water. You suggest Benlate in your handbook but I’m having difficulty locating it in a form in which I can mix with water. Have you any suggestions ?
    Many thanks,
    Mike Smith

    1. Hi Mike,
      On a personal note, experience has shown me that you do not need to soak your tubers before starting them off in early March.
      In any case, Benefited is no longer available.
      What I do, is make sure the stem is cut right back to the tuber. If a scab appears, take that off too.
      Wipe the tuber where the scab came off with kitchen tissue and brush with methylated or surgical spirit.
      This dries the wound and kills any bacteria spores.
      To start the tubers off, I put them on top of the compost, waiting for them to pip and later throw cutting stems.
      This way you can keep an eye on the tuber, for any potential bacterial rot. However, if you buried them the rot would not be visable.
      When pips are an eighth high, cover up to halfway, with the top half not covered.
      Then, when the cuttings stems reach a half inch, cover the tuber completely with half an inch of compost.
      By doing it this way, you keep an eye on the tuber and the roots will still develop into the compost while on top and as more compost is added, roots will grow all around.
      Hope that answers you question?
      Best regards,
      Ian Rhys Williams.

    1. Hi Steve,
      Yes, you can pick compost from B & L., nursery.
      Give them a ring 1st, to arrange a day/ time and date however, there is always someone on hand, from 8:00 A M ish, & 5:00, PM., Monday to Friday , Saturday A M, I believe, particularly, when plants are on sale.
      You can find tel., no on the Web.
      Beast regards,
      Ian Rhys Williams.
      Thank you for your response that is why I tried to contact them Steve

  28. Hi, I would just like to say a big thank you to all the members who have contributed tubers to this year’s raffle. I was fortunate enough to receive mine this morning and I’m already looking forward to starting them off next month. Many thanks Steve Collins.

    1. Hi Stephen,
      Thanks for the kind words.
      The free raffle can only be done, through the kindness and generousity of our Members’.
      The prizes – more than pays for a Members’ yearly subscriptions.
      Two tubers, if bought commercially, would cost, twice the Membership fee.
      Many thanks for your response, it’s nice to hear.

  29. We have been asked a question by Chad Stone
    I purchased a bag of levington multi purpose compost with added John innes I placed a layer in a heated tray and started some of my tubers .the tubers started to pip well and strongly my question is should I
    Continue grow though the season with this compost . I usually use much more expensive one
    Any one tried it

    1. Hi Chad,
      I haven’t used Levington with added JI, however, the feedback from other Members’, is that they have found it O K.
      I know several growers’ who use a fifty/ fifty mix- JI2/ Multipurpose, with good results for pot plants.
      The above mix, with JI, helps retain moisture and feed for longer.
      It also adds weight to the pot, increasing stability.

  30. We have a question from a new member Betha Harvey-Cook
    I’m new membership wise but noticed there are only tuberous begonias listed under “Listing of all known Begonia Varieties” and I’m mostly interested in rhizomatous, rex, cane etc. Is there anyone listing other types within the genus or if there was space for someone to start a list on the site for others who might be interested in those types?
    Let me know,

    1. Hi Betha,
      Welcome on Board.
      As you state, we have a register of most Double Tuberous Begonias, that is very extensive.
      The list took years to compile.
      Although we have a number of growers’ who have grown and exhibited Rex, Cane and Bush type Foliage Begonias, no one has ever compiled a list of the Foliage types.
      If you research the N B S, Web pages, show results, you will find records/ photos, of those types of Foliage Begonias you mentioned, listed in the shows that have been used over the years.
      This may assist, in identifying many types of Foliage Begonias.

  31. Brilliant to hear Peter and very pleased that your and other new Members’ received their free tubers safely .
    Many thanks for your kind words.
    Enjoy then.

  32. Subject
    New member question

    Hello. I just joined as a U.S. member. Simon Langdon told me about you. I have a tuberous begonia group on Facebook with about 70 members around the world, and told them to check you out too. I understand that you can’t mail tubers to the U.S. but if new members are still receiving tubers, could you mail what would have been mine to a gardening friend in London? This Address removed admin Thanks, and so happy to be a member! Thanks for your work, Will Meredith

    This offer ended on the 28th Feb
    Regards Admin

  33. Hi Will.
    I’ve sent you an email explaining the reasons why we were unable to send free tubers to those joining after 28th, February, in the U K.
    So that others know, these are the reasons.
    N B S., Members’ kindly donated tubers to New U k, Members’.
    The cut off date for receiving free tubers, was the end of February, was because the majority of Members’ would have placed tubers in propagators the 1st, week in March. Thus, any tubers, set aside, would not have been available after the end of February.
    Please be sure to join our N B S, Facebook page too, by following the link.
    You will be able to ask questions and receive answers within a short time.
    Once again, many thanks for joining The N B S.
    Welcome on board.

  34. Is there a definition for a cutting tuber? I’m sure many newer members along with myself will not really quite understand this term. Almost all tuberous begonias grown today will have been grown from cuttings, so strictly speaking they can all be called cutting tubers.
    More than likely, right or wrong, I assume they are first year cuttings and at what time of the year would they have been taken? Are they allowed to flower and are they kept growing overwinter, what feeding programme is followed?
    Most people will call propagated plants as first year cuttings, second year plants and so on. An article in one of the NBS Bulletin’s would be very informative to the newer member.

  35. Hi Peardrop.
    Your assumptions are correct.
    Cutting tubers are usually from the previous year’s cuttings that form a cutting, that is usually harvested as late in the Autumn as possible/ to early Spring the following year. Thus the term Cutting Tubers- tubers harvested from cuttings.
    In order to get larger tubers, cuttings are usually stopped after two sets of leaves are produced ( growing tips are removed).
    Thus all the energy of the plant is concentrated into the tuber.
    Thus, this explanation answers your second question.
    It is better not to leave them flower, although, early cuttings can produce good sized flowers in the same year AND, produce a reasonable tuber for harvesting.
    This can be achieved, as if the flower for example is cut for a Show in August, the plant then has sufficient time from when the flower is removed, until the end of the season to concentrate its energy into the tuber.
    Of course, all side shoots should be removed and no further flowers allowed to develop.
    My preference, is not to flower cuttings in the 1st year.
    You ask about feeding.
    Periodically, feed half strength with a balanced feed, ensuring the pot is always kept moist.
    As Novices, keep things simple.

  36. Rod


    I have been unable to find an email address for Keith Gold to thank him for the donation of Tubers to the Raffle which I was fortunate enough to win. Would somebody please pass on my thanks to him for what was a lovely surprise.
    Many thanks
    Rod Teagle

    1. Many thanks for your message to Keith Gould.
      I will pass on your thanks to Keith Gould, via our Vice Chairman, Peter Sourbutts.
      Peter is friendly with Keith.
      Rod, a suggestion, if you are on Facebook, why not enroll onto the N B S, Facebook page.
      Just send a request to join and you will be enlisted.
      You will be able to receive and send messages to Members’ on there.

  37. Hi Tony Kirk,
    Looking good Tony.
    Good clean foliage and strong stems.
    You’ve given plenty of space, between plants.
    Thanks for sharing your photos.

  38. A question for Steve Jones
    Hi Steve
    You have mentioned that you use a 10″ pot for your final potting of multi stemmed pot plants. If you don’t mind me asking, what is the volume of the pot, is it a 7.5 litre pot or is it 10 litre pot?

  39. Re the question submitted by Keith on 10th May re “large Pots”. If I were to have a final pot size which did not exceed 10 litres but which exceeded 3oomm would that be marked as NAS.

    1. Hi Ian D,
      Thanks for your question, regarding pot size.
      The Show schedule dictates pot sizes.
      E g., The N B S British Seven Pot Championship states
      ‘ Maximum pot size 10 litres/ 300mm’.
      Thus, if the pot size held up to 10 lts, but exceeded 300 mm, it would be deemed not to comply with the schedule, thus would be liable to be N A S.

      1. Sorry Ian but are you saying that the wording shown in the Show schedule is different from the wording within the judges rules which clearly states under the heading “Pot Plants – Tuberous Doubles” Plants may be staged in a maximum size container up to 10 litres, or 300mm, except in restricted stem classes”, the word OR is the important word. If that is the case then you are restricting the championship class to a standard 7.5 litre pot!! and any person judging that class is doing so against the NBS judges rules. If the exhibitor has a reasonable sized tuber to start with by the time that the plant is ready to be flowered a 7.5 litre pot will be seriously deformed. Just asking for clarification.

        1. The pot size of 10ltr or 300mm max is consistent with standard commercial pots and in fact 300mm is greater than the standard pots which generally are stated as 25cm to 29cm so the 30cm/300mm does allow for some distortion of the pot. Over 300mm would be NAS in my book but then I’m only the show manager not the judge. The whole reason for a pot size comes down to the staging facility and the size of exhibit that can be safely accomodated on the upper level of the show bench. That was the sole reason for those it being 10ltr/300mm

          1. You are quite correct. My apologies, I have been measuring a non standard pot. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

        2. Hi Ian D.
          Further to your enquiry regarding volume and diameter size of unrestricted – 10 lts/300 mm, I circulated your commemts to our National Show Manager and Senior Show Judges. They were asked to read the Show schedule and Judges’ rule book, that you referred to.
          They all responded unanimously, that the Schedule and Judges’ rule book states adequately, that in the unrestricted Pot class you mention-
          No greater than 10lts/ 300 mm diameter.
          I trust this response answers your query.

  40. No inconvenience caused Ian D.
    If a Member/ Exhibitor asks a plausable question we try to answer as best as we can.
    Glad this has been resolved.

  41. Ian. You already have my post responding to Devonmike’s response which is immediately below it and thank him for taking the time to compile it. In respect of the wording within the schedule I have not read it but I am more than happy that it states 10 litres/300mm. I am in agreement with both the National Show Manager and your Senior Judges, as my interpretation of that wording is that the pots must not exceed either measurement. I would however suggest that should you wish to respond to this comment that you publish the exact wording shown within the NBS Judges Rules and not try to imply by “cherry picking” your words that both are the same. In fact I will make it easy for you, the Judges Rules clearly use the word “OR” and when I was at school and for that matter even today, I find that within my copy of the Collins English Dictionary the word “OR” is shown as being used to join alternatives (one or the other but not both). Notwithstanding the above I now have clarity and can move forward.

  42. Hi Ian D.
    Mike and I responded literally within second of each other.
    I’m happy that the situation has been resolved with the input of Senior Judges and the Show Manager.

  43. I have read Tony Shepherdson article with great interest a grower at the top of his game , One thing that does cause me some concern there is no Dates on the post, I’m sure when it was posted on the website there would have been dates have they been removed as on looking at other posts dates are there
    Thanks in anticipation
    The article was posted as given to me nothing altered nothing removed . Not to sure what you are on about. Steve Admin.

    1. As someone who takes begonia growing very serious I find your comment very unhelpful with I don’t know what you are talking about.
      Good begonia growers work back from the show dates to get the best results and I assume you do the same or is it pot luck
      I find Tony Shepherdson post very informative from a top grower but sadly there are no dates attached to the post and I’m sure you as an expert grower ? would like that information
      My post was made on may 19 at 8-58 am which is on the website page so I assume there would or should be a date that Tony’s post was add to the page that is why I asked

      1. Hi Derek.
        This may help, regarding dates.
        The copy Tony sends, is what we see the date it appears on the Web is the date Steve receives it.
        If you look at Episode 2, Tony gives an approximation of dates:-
        1. Start up- 6wks.
        2. 1st, pot- 6wks.
        3. Final pot up to bud -6wks.
        4. Bud to bloom -6wks.
        From that, we can work back, to when Tony states he places tubers onto hotbed, first pot/ forward, from show-dates.
        That’s how I work out Tony’s dates.

        1. Thank you Ian for going into detail I know that, what I’m saying is when you or I put a post up beside the post comes a date and time ie yours was posted on may 20 2022 at 9-36 am
          Looking at Tony’s article there is no date stated that is my query
          I must say I find Tony’s article extremely interesting a grower at the top of his subject and as another grower always put food for thought

          1. Ah, I understand what you were enquiring about.
            I don’t know why the date didn’t come up automatically as you state.
            Hopefully,it will next article Tony writes.

          2. Derek,
            You are getting confused with ‘Comments’ posts and articles being published. Articles don’t usually have a date against them.
            Just for your benefit I’ve added the publication dates at the bottom of each page of Tony’s articles. The date bares no association to when Tony actually did the works involved in the production of his plants it only relates to when Steve managed to find time to publish it.
            I hope this answers your query.

        2. Tony states his adult tubers were started on the 15th March which makes his growing is in fact a 22 weeks & 3 days from starting to bloom selection.
          Many of the top growers use the date of the show & work backwards to give them their starting time which on average works out at 23 weeks prior to the show date this is then your time to start your tubers.

  44. Yes Derek each diary piece or episode are normally dated or given the month it’s published so that in the future new members can relate to to each article at where in the season they should be (UK based). This could be a miss by Tony who I’m sure will soon rectify & give the dates or months he is at for each episode in the future.

  45. I have read the replies to me were it stated articles have never had dates added to articles,
    Just look at the old website layout excellent
    Tony’s article is very enjoyable to read and some of us that grow begonias find it informative but it seems to get lost in the jumble of the rest of the website
    I find your comments just for me you will add dates at the end of the article quite hurtful and totally uncalled for

  46. I would like to thank Tony Shepherdson for a very detailed reply to post I started on dates etc .
    While I fully agree you have to know how your plants grow to your conditions etc it’s always good to check against the top growers to see if you are in the ballpark talking to another top growers he told me he often checks back on his diary that he posted some years ago to see how his plants compare
    Thank you again Tony

  47. A very well written account Tony.
    You clearly state that there can be many variants in the growing season and your methodologies work for you in your particular growing environment.
    The dates, timing you mention are slightly different in the South, indeed in several other regions too.
    Far North, Borders, North West, Midlands, Southern regions, are all different, in timing for cut blooms.
    I’ve really enjoyed your articles very much appreciated.

  48. Tony Shepherdson, your ‘episodes’, have been informative, interesting and detailed.
    A very pleasing and enjoyable read, that has helped many understand the amount of work, time and dedication required to produce quality, Championship blooms.
    We all enjoyed both your and Pauline’s company.
    Many thanks indeed, for a superb, quality read.

    1. Takes years of growing experience Chris, plus dedication and patience and the correct growing environment, plus the understanding of what your plants require to grow healthy.
      Looking at your plants this year, particularly due to the excessive heat we all experienced, you didn’t do a bad job exhibiting at both Chorley and Southport Shows, where others were unable to due to the heat.
      I think you did pretty well.

  49. We have a question from new member Garry
    First Name

    Last Name


    How to successfully grow leaf cuttings of tuberous begonias

    I live in Winnipeg, Canada. I’ve been growing begonias outdoors for many years. I purchase seed from Blackmore and Langdon and have wonderful success. I’m at a point now where I’d like to propagate some leaf cuttings from some of the plants that I find particularly appealing. Is there any place on the NBS website I can find helpful tips and information on growing leaf cuttings? Or, perhaps there is another resource you can point me to. Thanks, it’s greatly appreciated.

  50. Hi Gary, welcome on board.
    If you haven’t received your N B S. Handbook yet, there will be a section in it on taking cuttings.
    There will also be articles on the N B S., Web too.
    1. Firstly, there are numerous types of cuttings.
    A. Basal, taken from the tuber.
    A basal cutting ,when two and a half/ three inches long, is rocked back and forth gently until it comes away from the tuber, often it will have formed roots already.
    B. Axil cuttings taken from the leaf axil.
    An axil cutting is taken from the leaf axil, where the leaf stem is attached to the main stem, a cutting will grow from there. Again rock it back and forth until it detaches, there will be an eye present a little way up from where it detaches.
    Some growers’ carefully use a sharp knife and cut a ‘v’ shape either side of the cutting at the bottom of the axil cutting to remove, leaving part of the stem in place, rather than rocking it free.
    3. Leaf cuttings- meaning that you have a stem with no eye, with a leaf.
    Simply/ basically, we call the eye, the swollen circle around the stem. The eye when placed in a cutting compost develops roots. However, a leaf cutting, can also produce roots from the base of the stem, when it has calloused over.
    Cuttings, should be two and a half to three inches long.
    A good, low nutriant fibrous seed/cutting compost should be used.
    Keep cool but never over water, as this can cause rotting.
    During hot weather, mist spray the leaves in the shade.
    The best way to learn is to experiment with the above guidelines.
    Peat and Choir plugs, Perlite, Vermiculite and the general open fibrous rooting compounds can be used successfully.
    Hope that helps.
    Please log on request to the N B S., Members’ Facebook , where you will be accepted after requesting to join.
    Any questions, will be seen straight away.
    Hope that helps.

    1. P S. Gary.
      I omitted to mention the log cutting.
      4. A log cutting is just that.
      Part of stem with a a leaf stem growing from an eye.
      Cut a quarter of an inch each side of the leaf stem, so that you have a log with a stem attached to the leaf.
      As previously, plant the log cutting in the rooting medium, with the log buried and the stem with leaf upwards.
      Roots will emerge and you’ll find that the log will form a part of the tuber for next year.

        1. Yes Chris, begonias will always strive to survive.
          The cutting tubers will have received their nourishment from the cutting tuber, especially that the compost was dry.
          You will recall, some time ago, I found a tuber of Tequilla Sunrise that had fallen from the meshed container, where I overwinter my tubers at the back of my garage and had rolled under the bench and laid there for many months. By luck, I dropped a label and while retrieving it, found the tuber.
          It had started to sprout, I potted it up and it grew away, produced a late flower and will be harvested this year.
          Your cutting tubers will produce roots and the tuber will grow faster this time of the year, now daylight hours are less than twelve hours and falling daily.
          I’d leave four sets of leaves grow, then pinch the growing tip out. Don’t leave it flower. All the plants energy, will go into producing a larger tuber, in order to survive the Winter.
          Keep it growing for as long as possible.
          Good to hear you’ve had success with your cuttings using the hydropod.

  51. as every time i try to comment on facebook i seem to get banned for some unknown reason i thought i would mention here that i looked in the propagator this week which had been abandoned under the staging in may still full of peat which was bone dry and a load of cutting tubers that hadnt started.i was amazed to find that 5 more had started up even at this very late stage of the season so i have potted them up and will see how they get on.begonias never cease to amaze

    1. Yes Chris, begonias will always strive to survive.
      The cutting tubers will have received their nourishment from the cutting tuber, especially that the compost was dry.
      You will recall, some time ago, I found a tuber of Tequilla Sunrise that had fallen from the meshed container, where I overwinter my tubers at the back of my garage and had rolled under the bench and laid there for many months. By luck, I dropped a label and while retrieving it, found the tuber.
      It had started to sprout, I potted it up and it grew away, produced a late flower and will be harvested this year.
      Your cutting tubers will produce roots and the tuber will grow faster this time of the year, now daylight hours are less than twelve hours and falling daily.
      I’d leave four sets of leaves grow, then pinch the growing tip out. Don’t leave it flower. All the plants energy, will go into producing a larger tuber, in order to survive the Winter.
      Keep it growing for as long as possible.

  52. very useful tips on the website re winter care of tubers
    many thanks
    hopefully i have done mine correctly but still have about 25 that wont completely die down despite this being 18 december

  53. Tuesday, 20th., December, 2022.
    Yesterday,the very cold snap of cold weather, with severe frosts, snow and ice, ended and heavy rain and cloudy days, began.
    I removed all fleece, turned my propagators off and opened doors to allow fresh to circulate. This is important to prevent mildew and rot to take hold.
    I cleared all left debris and removed any stems, from my cutting tubers, that are now beginning to die back.
    I always attempt to keep my cutting tubers growing until Christmas. I leave them in their pots, to overwinter, but check the tops , for any rot.
    The tubers, will have grown most, since daylight hours have been reduced.
    Today length of day was less than seven hours and forty seven minutes.
    They will be kept, just above freezing until the spring.

  54. Mike McGregor


    Losses of Begonias

    Dear Members
    I when I came back from holiday last month I was devastated to find that a power failure had resulted in frozen tubers. I have lost 90% of my stock and hope that this does not rise to 100%.
    If any member has spare tubers please email me and I will call you back.
    On the begonia growing front for me not yet a Happy New Year.
    Kind regards
    Mike McGregor

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