Eunice Begonia: A Delicate Beauty

Begonia lloydii, also known as Eunice Begonia, is a captivating plant that will add a touch of elegance to any garden. With its weeping habit and showers of apple-blossom pink flowers, this cultivar is a true marvel. The attractive foliage, characterized by wide, hairy leaves, adds to its charm. The flowers range from pink to white, creating a delightful contrast against the leaves. The stems of this begonia are upright and zig-zag between the nodes, giving it a unique and intriguing appearance.

Characteristics

  • Cultivar: Eunice
  • Family: Begoniaceae
  • Size: Height: 0 ft. to 0 ft. Width: 0 ft. to 0 ft.
  • Plant Category: Houseplants, perennials
  • Plant Characteristics: High maintenance, seed start, weeping
  • Foliage Characteristics: Evergreen
  • Flower Characteristics: Long-lasting, pendent, showy
  • Flower Color: Pinks
  • Tolerances: Heat & humidity

Requirements

  • Bloomtime Range: Not applicable
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 10 to 10
  • AHS Heat Zone: Not defined for this plant
  • Light Range: Shade to dappled
  • pH Range: 6 to 7
  • Soil Range: Some sand to clay loam
  • Water Range: Moist to moist

Plant Care

Fertilizing

Young plants require extra phosphorus to encourage healthy root development. Look for a fertilizer that contains phosphorus (P) and apply the recommended amount according to the label instructions. Established plants also benefit from fertilization. Assess your landscape and fertilize trees every few years, while shrubs and other plants should be fertilized yearly. A soil test can determine if specific nutrients are lacking, and a targeted fertilizer may be required. Be cautious with nitrogen-rich fertilizers, as excessive nitrogen can promote leafy growth at the expense of flower bud development. Avoid fertilizing late in the growing season to prevent lush growth that won’t have time to harden off before colder weather sets in. For houseplants, choose a water-soluble, quick-release fertilizer, temperature-controlled slow-release fertilizers, or organic options like fish emulsion. Adjust the frequency based on the instructions provided. Remember to allow your houseplants to rest during the winter months and restart fertilizing in late February.

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Light

Begonia lloydii thrives in partial shade, where filtered light is abundant. This makes it a great choice for gardens with high tree canopies that provide dappled light. The northern and eastern sides of a house generally receive the least amount of light, while the western and southern sides are exposed to more intense afternoon sun. It’s important to observe the changing sun and shade patterns throughout the day and throughout the year, as shade can shift due to neighboring trees or structures. If you’re gardening in a new or older home, take the time to map the sun and shade conditions in your garden to ensure your plants receive the appropriate light.

Watering

For outdoor plants, water when rainfall is insufficient to provide the preferred 1 inch of moisture. It’s crucial to establish a consistent watering schedule when planting new specimens, especially during the first two years. Weekly deep watering is preferable to frequent shallow watering. During dry seasons, outdoor plants should receive average water. Indoor plants have different watering requirements, with moisture-loving houseplants needing to be thoroughly watered until the soil is saturated and drains freely. Re-water when the potting soil becomes dry to the touch, around an inch below the soil surface.

Planting

Before planting any garden bed, it’s important to test the soil’s pH and drainage. Clear the area of weeds and debris, and continue to remove any weeds that appear. A week to 10 days before planting, work 2 to 4 inches of aged manure or compost into the soil to improve fertility and water retention. If the soil quality is poor, consider adding a layer of topsoil. When preparing beds for perennials, aim for a depth of 18 inches to allow for proper root development. This initial effort might seem extensive, but the long-term benefits will outweigh the initial labor.

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Pruning

Pruning is an essential part of perennial care. It encourages growth and rejuvenation, ensuring a healthy and vibrant plant. Several types of pruning can be applied: pinching, thinning, shearing, and rejuvenating. Pinching involves removing the stem tips of young plants to promote branching, eliminating the need for more drastic pruning later on. Thinning entails removing whole branches back to the trunk to improve air circulation and reduce the risk of disease. Shearing is the leveling of the shrub’s surface using hand or electric shears, which helps maintain the desired shape. Finally, rejuvenating involves removing old branches or reducing the overall size of the shrub to restore its original form. When practicing rejuvenation, avoid removing more than one-third of the plant at a time, and remember to remove branches from the inside as well as the outside of the plant.

Other Considerations

When selecting plants, it is crucial to match the available light conditions with the plant’s requirements. Insufficient light can cause pale colors, fewer leaves, and stretched-out growth. On the other hand, excessive light can lead to wilting and sunburned leaves. For best results, provide the appropriate amount of light for each plant.

As with any gardening endeavor, it’s important to be attentive to your plants’ needs. Regular inspection for pests, diseases, and weeds will help maintain your begonia’s health and beauty. Additionally, consider incorporating natural pest control methods, such as attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, to minimize the need for chemical interventions.

Ames Farm Center

Eunice Begonia

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