Saturday, March 29, 2014
Signs of life
Begonia pedatifida (late March 2014)
After our coldest winter and latest spring in many years, I went out in the garden this morning and pushed away the mulch from some of my plants, and this is one of the things I found. This unimpressive-looking little sprout has me excited, because it's a begonia, and it survived my area's coldest winter in 20 years. This is Begonia pedatifida, a Chinese species that already has a reputation for being fairly hardy but this winter was the real test. What I find interesting is that the rhizome creeps along the surface of the soil; aside from a bit of mulch this plant had virtually no protection all winter, yet still made it through several nights in the 9-12 degree (F) range and several extended periods with temperatures well below freezing. This thing is pretty darn hardy. With any luck I'll have it blooming in a couple of months, when I can attempt some crosses with other begonias.
Begonia pedatifida, leaf (September 2011)
Begonia pedatifida, flowers (June 2012)
And as for my indoor plants, spring can't come soon enough. I am up to my ears in plants that are ready to go out, and they are overflowing into places where I don't usually grow plants. Here are some of my begonias, waiting under a table by the back door for a bit of warmer weather when I can finally put them outdoors!