I start ‘Dragon Wing’ begonia from seed under grow lights. What other begonias can I use to cross-pollinate with the ‘Dragon Wing’ so I can collect my own seeds?
‘Dragon Wing’ is a unique hybrid type of begonia named to reflect the shape of its leaves. It is created by interspecific crosses of two different begonia species and can lead to interesting new plants, but they are sterile.
It is impossible to say exactly which species will cross and which will not cross. You can try crossing angel wing begonia, a common houseplant, with another species. There is a good chance viable seed will be produced, according to Brian E. Corr, new crops development manager at Ball Horticultural Company, West Chicago.
The American Begonia Society (begonias.org) is a resource for information on hybridizing. The archives of the bi-monthly journal The Begonian would also be helpful.
Now that bedding impatiens (I. walleriana) are not recommended because of impatiens downy mildew, what are three good annuals for shade?
Is it possible to plant and grow Italian cypress in the Chicago area? Are our winters too severe for it? If they are, is there an alternative conifer that will provide a similar look?
What does it take to make a climbing hydrangea flower? Ours was planted 3 years ago and is growing energetically. It’s in a protected nook near the patio and gets very little direct sunlight, but doesn’t act sun starved. We gave it a shot of slow release fertilizer on planting, and once since. Somewhat inadvertently it gets plenty of water, since the hose spigot is nearby and leaks, but drainage does not seem to be the problem. It now fully occupies an 8-foot trellis but shows no interest in flowering. Is it youth, lack of sun, too much or too little fertilizer, bugs, lack of pruning or what? When do these plants bloom and what conditions do they like?