You know when you have that plant that was making you very happy and growing well and then suddenly it decided to just sort of stop. It just sits there looking a bit dull and in fact if you look long enough at it you will start to think it is definitely looking peaky. Well this was the case with my Begonia erythrophylla.
I bought this begonia in March 2019, which when I realise this in itself amazes me this was almost two years ago. It was when I was buying a peperomia or four. I should probably add in here that the watermelon peperomia I was talking about in the post upped and died fairly swiftly. I am still trying to get one to survive and am mid-process killing another. Maybe I shall write more of that another time.... anyhoo... back to the begonia.
I loved this begonia and tried to make sure I put it in a place where it would be happy. Not too much direct light, not overwatered, just being looked after as much as it needed looking after.
It was happy at first, it flowered, it smiled as me when I walked past it and I smiled back. But gradually I noticed that the lovely glossy leaves were looking a bit dull. I stuck my finger in the plant pot which is a tried and tested diagnostic approach and thought it was a bit a dry so gave it some water and some feed. A day or so passed and it looked at me, dully.
I kept an eye on it but it was just looking sickly. I am sure it would have coughed and looked consumptive if it could have. I picked it up and again and poked at it. Us house plant owners know that when in doubt giving a plant a bit of a poke is the equivalent of turning it off and on again. The poke which was not that hard resulted in.......... the plant parting company with its roots and falling off the top of the compost.
Now some of you clever clogs at the back will now be thinking could this be a case of a certain pest called a vine weevil? Yes indeedy, some further poking soon discovered very few roots connected to two lumps (technical term) of plant. I inspected the two pieces carefully and pretty much ran out to the greenhouse. Not quite into the greenhouse though, no one in their right minds takes a plant pot that might contain vine weevil into their greenhouse. The plant pieces I put on the path by the doors and the plant pot itself I took to the compost heap and spread out the compost on the soil. The white maggoty weevil was exposed and I left it for the robins.
Back I went to the plant remains and very carefully checked them up which now meant I potentially had two plants. I could see no further sign of beetling and so potted them up again into fresh compost. A couple of weeks later and they were showing signs of recovery.
The flowers are small and delicate and you might think underwhelming, I however am sticking with seeing them as small and delicate with a fragile beauty. The leaves are glossy and quite leathery. They have the most wonderful red underside. The underside alone is enough to make this plant well worth growing.
Now a couple of months down the line from these dreadful events they are looking very happy and are flowering. I am relieved, they are relieved, we are all happy again.
Stay safe and be kind.