Begonia Rex 'Black Velvet'
BEGONIA 'BLACK VELVET'
USDA Zones 10-11
This stunning begonia has medium sized star shaped cleft foliage black, almost dark purple in color with bright green veins running throughout. The underside of the leaves are a bright red which contrast beautifully against their darker upside. The attractive foliage make a beautiful background to it's bright rose pink flowers that bloom on stalks from winter to spring. It grows to be 1 foot at it's tallest with a .75 to 1 foot spread.
This begonia enjoys dappled, partial sun or partial shade. Keep away from direct sun as it will burn your begonia's leaves. Often morning sun, because it is not as strong is beneficial. If you live in areas, such as the Pacific Northwest, that doesn't get much intense sun full exposure may be fine. Areas such as Florida, you will want to plant in a location where afternoon shade will be received.
INDOORS: Bright light -- your plant should be placed within 2 feet of an eastern or western exposure window or within 2-5 feet of a southern exposed window.
The 'Black Velvet' begonia likes normal to moist well drained soil. Avoid standing water on it's foliage as the tiny white hairs that adorn each leaf will rot if left wet for too long. House plants that require ample water, or those labeled as moisture loving plants require they be watered thoroughly until soil is saturated & then drained freely through drainage holes. Terracotta pots are best for plants like these as water is able to escape (or breathe) through it's walls, rather than solely through the drainage hole at the bottom. Re-water when potting soil becomes dry to the touch an inch or so below the soil surface.
Some sand to clay loam.
Containers are excellent for plants when used as an ornamental feature, a planting option where there is little or no soil to plant in, or for plants that require a soil type not found in a garden or when soil drainage in a garden is inferior. The 'Black Magic' fits all of these characteristics. Choose a container that is deep & large enough to allow root development & growth as well as proportional balance between the fully developed plant & the container. If your container is too small for a full grown plant be prepared to repot into one that's larger as your plant grows. Your container should have a drainage hole.
As we send our plants bare root, make sure you plant your begonia as soon as possible. Prepare suitable planting holes, spread roots, & work soil among roots as you fill in. Water well & protect from direct sun until stable.
When potting indoor plats make sure you have chosen an area suitable for the conditionals you are able to provide it. This means enough light, space, & a temperature it will like. For this begonia that means indirect sunlight or partial shade & a warm temperature. During the winter months an area close to the window will be colder than the rest of the room.
Indoor plants will need to be transplanted into a larger container periodically or they will become pot/root bound & their growth will be stunted. Water the plant well before starting your transplant so the soil will hold the root ball together when you remove it from the pot. If you are having trouble getting the plant out of the pot, try running a blade around the edges of the pot & gently knock the sides to loosen the soil.
Always use fresh soil when transplanting your indoor plant. Fill around the plant gently with soil, being careful not to pack too tightly. Packing the soil will prevent air from being able to get to the roots.
After the plant is in the new pot refrain from fertilizing immediately -- this will encourage the roots to fill your plant's new home.
We will ship a bare root 1 gallon size well established Begonia without a pot.
AVAILABLE SOON IN 8" HANGING BASKET!
POTENTIAL PROBLEMS FOR YOUR BEGONIA
Rhizoctonia is a fungus that is found in most soils & enters the plant through the roots or stem at soil level. To prevent this from happening, do your best to not overwater your plant. If you suspect Rhizoctonia may be your issue, decrease watering. If all of the leaves from the bottom up are wilted, your plant may be too far gone & you will want to remove it from the container & discard the soil. Wash the pot with 1 part bleach & 9 parts water. You can also use fungicides, although you should probably consult a professional before taking this measure in order for a legal recommendation of what fungicide to use.
THRIPS -- Thrips are minute sized winged insects that attack many types of plants & thrive in hot, dry conditions. They can multiply quickly & most damage to the plant is done to tender leaf & flower tissue. This may lead to distorted growth, injured flower petals, & premature flower drop. Thrips can also transmit harmful plant viruses. In order to prevent & control Thrips keep weeds down & use screening on windows to keep them out. Remove & discard infested plants, keeping them away from non-infested plants. A good steady shower of water will wash them off your plant.
SPIDER MITES -- These small, 8 legged spider-like creatures thrive in hot, dry conditions (such as heated houses). These pests will feed by piercing your plant causing yellow & stippled foliage. Leaf drop & plant death can occur with heavy infestations. The appearance of light spider webs covering infested leaves & flowers is the most obvious way to tell if you have them. To prevent spider mites keep weeds down & remove infested plants. Dry air worsens the problem, so make sure your plants are regularly watered.
MEALY BUGS -- Mealy bugs are small, dull white, soft bodied insects that produce a waxy powdery covering. They will suck the sap out of plant tissue & attach a wide variety of plants. The will weaken a plant leading to yellow foliage & leaf drop. To prevent & control infestations isolate your infected plant. As mentioned before, they will feast on a number of different plants.