Propagating Begonia erythrophylla ‘Beefsteak’

I know Begonias aren’t succulents but there are many varieties that enjoy similar care, propagate like champions, and don’t require as much light as succulents, and we’ll take all the plants we can get, right?

Allow me to introduce you to my beautiful Begonia erythrophylla ‘Beefsteak’ plant! It’s a rhizomatous-type of Begonia which means its stem is different from the cane varieties which would require a node to propagate. Not this gal though!

In September of 2018 my friend Kathy mailed me two leaves with stems from her gorgeous Begonia ‘Beefsteak.’ I had very little experience with Begonias before. I kept the cuttings in water and waited and waited and waited. They finally started putting out roots!

No nodes necessary! There are even little leaves already forming while being water-rooted.

I potted them up in fast draining soil, and slowly at first but then more quickly, they begin to put out more leaves, then more… Well you can see the results now — a big pot full of my own Begonia Beefsteaks that all began with two leaves! I water maybe 2 or 3 times a month and keep them indoors in a bright window. It’s such a great house plant!

The babies are so weird and fuzzy and the stems look like Cinnaburst flavor crystal gum – remember that?

I have since propagated a few more and even had success with another method of propagating Kathy taught me using leaf cuttings. You simply remove a leaf, cut it into several pieces and gently press it into damp soil in a plastic-covered container. Not all Begonias propagate through leaf cuttings like that but this one does since it’s rhizomatous and it is the coolest thing ever!

Leaf cutting putting out new rhizomes – photo taken January 30th
New leaves forming – photo taken February 10th
Getting their reds on! Photo taken March 26th
June 30th
June 30th
The original momma leaf – she was a good momma!
Kathy and I joke they are the Louboutins of Begonias with their distinctive red undersides
We may need a new pot soon!

✿ The Succulent Manual: A Guide to Care and Repair for All Climates – Second Edition Now available as a paperback on Amazon!

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