Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The start of the NO mildew campaign!

Table Top Garden with Begonia 'River Nile'

Story # 112,

The start of the NO mildew campaign!

            Begonias are a major plant category.  ‘Rex’ Begonias are very colorful and millions are sold as houseplants and for combination planters in the Summer.  Several major propagators feed the system with an assortment of ‘Rex’ with multicolored leaves.

            What’s the catch?  They will get mildew that makes them ugly and to the extreme --- kills the plant.

            What’s the answer?  Commercial growers spray fungicide and get the ‘Rex’ Begonias through to the retailers.  Unless the homeowner treats for mildew or just gets lucky, all ‘Rex’ Begonias will get mildew.

            The secret that has been known for 50 years is that rhizomatous ‘Eyelash’ Begonias are immune and do not get mildew.

            Why have growers ignored this fact?

            ‘Eyelash’ Begonias are not as showy as ‘Rex’.

            But what has changed is that now there are a complete range of colors and leaf sizes to compete with ‘Rex’

            We have greens in ‘River Nile’ and ‘Party Dress,  yellows in ‘Snoopy’ and ‘Golden Lime’, black in ‘Black Truffles’ and bronze in ‘Marmaduke’ and ‘Dr Block’.
            There are tiny varieties for Miniature Gardens like ‘Little Darling’.

            A new addition, ‘Angel Glow’, gives us a reddish type.  No one will confuse it with the brilliant red ---- ‘Rex’ ‘Red Heart’.  But ‘Angel Glow is red enough.

            If you want a Begonia grown for its interesting colorful leaves that will not get mildew, ask for rhizomatous ‘Eyelash’ Begonias.

            ‘Rex’ gets mildew.  ‘Eyelash’ doesn’t.

            Lead the NO mildew campaign!

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