A Very Nifty Begonia

Gryphon Begonia
We grew a new begonia introduction this summer that is pretty wild. Usually garden (wax) or tuberous begonias are more commonly known and appreciated for their flowers in gardens and baskets. This new Begonia will be best known for its amazing foliage. It is named ‘Gryphon’ because according to the breeding company that produces it, “The Gryphon is a mythical creature with the head and wings of an eagle, and the body of a lion. This superb foliage begonia combines the same majestic beauty with strength and durability.”

They certainly weren’t far off base with their description! The leaves are huge, lush and glossy and are held on long, super strong and sturdy stems. You’ll want a large planter to grow it in as a final product. I grew it at home in a big planter with New Guinea Impatiens, and by the end of August you could barely find the Impatiens.  Not that I minded, because Gryphon on its own was just spectacular. It is hard to imagine that one large plant originally came out of a teeny weeny little seed pellet!

Gryphon Begonia Leaf
They take a bit of time to germinate (10-12 days) and note that a saturated media and high relative humidity is critical for seed to germinate successfully. Plan on 13-20 weeks from sowing to point of sale, depending on what size container you’re growing it in. For home gardeners who want to grow their own from seed, figure 8-9 weeks from sow to transplant into a 4-5 inch pot. Grow it on for another 5-6 weeks, and then you’ll want to move it into your large container. (We used whiskey barrels here at the company.) Once the plants are established you’ll find that Gryphon’s water needs are not too demanding and you’ll still get a very vigorous and showy plant. The breeder claims the plants can also be brought indoors, so I’ve already brought my planter at home inside to see how it fares over the winter months.

Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m really sold on this new, novel foliage plant. I’ll be curious to know your thoughts as well. More neat plant varieties coming up - Check back again soon!


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