> Volume 72 (March/April 2005, pages 48 - 49)
by Charles Henthorne
Begonia limprichtii is a small species and you
already know how your editor fares with small species. I have tried to
grow it several times to no avail either in out of a terrarium. I believe
my problem with this as with so many of these is that I am unable to give
it the kind of cooler temperatures that it prefers. However, I have seen
this begonia at the various ABS shows in very beautiful growth as the
photos across the page indicate. It was always in a terrarium and I
suspect it would take a very special greenhouse situation to thrive
outside of one. Charles and Leora Henthorne are two terrarium
growers who have spectacular success with many plants of this type. This
one is no exception.
When I grow B. limprichtii in a terrarium, I
have used two different mediums. In Oklahoma, I used a charcoal base,
covered with a layer of perlite, followed with a layer of soilless potting
mix composed of 1/3 sphagum peat moss, 1/3 perlite, and 1/3 vermiculite.
To this mixture, I added just enough water to lightly moisten the growing
medium. Begonia limprichtii did quite well with no water or
additional fertilizer for over a year at a time. I left the container
completely covered so the humidity was quite high at all times. It was
grown in a naturally light room with no additional grow lights added. It
did well and covered the space available in the container. Bloom was very
sparse, sometimes not even once a year.
The other method I have used came when I married Leora
and moved to Plano, Texas just north of Dallas. Natural light was quite
limited for the growing space there and I found that the temperature and
humidity which plays such an important role for this plant were also quite
different than the growing conditions in Oklahoma.
|Begonia limprichtii on display at a show and
below a closeup to show the stiff red hairs. Plants grown by Leora
and Charles and photo below by Charles Henthorne.|
Growing under artificial light there, Leora has found
it much more beneficial to grow this plant in a spaghum peat and perlite
mixture, 1/2 and 1/2 of each, over a charcoal base, keeping the medium
fairly damp and fertilizing every time it is necesssary to water with
fertilizer at 1/4 strength. Even with the artificial light used with this
method, bloom remains sparse, again often not even once a year.
Begonia limprichtii does grow well under
low-medium light conditions and does not like heat. We find that growing
it on the bottom level of the growing cart works