Archive | August 2012

Begonias, Cotyledons and Transplanting

The Green Thumb 2.0

The begonias that I planted in February are ready to transplant into individual pot. They’ve had some time to grow and they now have two true leaves. I say “true leaves” because the first “leaves” that you see when plants germinate are usually cotyledons or “seed leaves.” Cotyledons are structures in the seed that store food reserves. When many seeds germinate, the cotyledons emerge from the soil and become photosynthetic. They look like leaves but they’re not leaves; they’re seed structures. The true leaves of the plant are what grow after the cotyledons have emerged and have the characteristics of the mature  plant. For example, newly germinated radish and cabbage seedlings are impossible to tell apart because the plants are related, have similar seed morphology and the cotyledons are identical. Only when the true leaves develop can you distinguish between a radish and a cabbage.

The begonia I’m growing, is a bronze-leaved plant and the true leaves show the…

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All oranged out – a Begonia in bloom


The many faces of a valued friend

We’ve had this plant for over 10 years and in the same pot.  Unlike her friends and family which rotted off, this one just keeps going.  It has a tendency to hide the buds under its firmly held leaves and they only come forth at the final opening.  Each year it dies back to nothing and sits apparently quite happily up on its shelf in the greenhouse through snow and ice (and that includes inside) and out it pops again the following April/May.  That’s what I call good value.

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