Begonia Gryphon is a rhizomatous begonia hybrid that honestly, can get rather huge, with leaves up to 10″ across, heights of 18″ or more, and very thick cane-like rhizomes that easily can be 1″ in diameter as the plant matures! Thankfully, it takes time to get there in vivarium culture where it is not fertilized, and can easily be pruned back to whatever size you prefer.
NOTE – 2″ cups will be 1 rhizome generally with 2-4 leaves. The large plant shown in the teal pot is representative of a two-year-old plant in a 12″ (1-foot!) pot, heavily fertilized, and is NOT what will be sent!
General Care Information
Gryphon is an interesting Begonia for vivariums. It appreciates humidity, but also like excellent drainage and seem to not be fans of wet leaves (so air circulation is a big plus). This begonia will drop old leaves, with new leaves coming in only at the tips of the rhizomes. Cutting back the rhizome, you can usually plant the growing tip to keep height in check, and other new starts may appear from the base of an old “stump”.
Leaf color is highly variable; high light tends to push the plant towards reddish or brownish leaves, while low light will bring out deeper greens. Silver patterning is also highly variable; leaves produced indoors appear very different than on the same plant grown outdoors.
This plant is more generally offered for garden use, and it truly does well in that setting. It is reportedly hardy to zone 10. It excels as a houseplant as well. The large specimen shown here was less than 2 years old at the time of being photographed. It was grown from one small 2″ cup, but is heavily fertilized (20:20:20 nearly weekly) and grown outdoors in part shade in the summer months when overnight low temps are above 50F. These plants are returned indoors in the fall, but only after two treatments with Neem Oil sprays (one week apart) and visual inspection to ensure we’re not bringing pests indoors. A word to the wise, if growing begonias like this as “summer outside, winter inside” plants, be sure to move them outdoors and at first only into shade; believe it or not, I fried the large Gryphon in the photos, causing it to drop all its leaves…but within about 2 months you could never tell it had been damaged.
At times, Begonias do not ship well and can drop leaves in different conditions. So, be sure to save any dropped or broken leaves upon arrival and attempt to propagate them in case the original plant fails – we *instantly* create “insurance frags” of any new Begonia we receive here!
About MiniWaters Vivarium Plants
Any plant whose cultivation condition is denoted as “sanitized” has been put through MiniWater’s bleach treatment and have been held in animal-free conditions following this treatment. While we do not guarantee our plants to be disease and pest free, we believe we are offering the lowest-risk plants possible. We encourage all customers to sanitize any plants they purchase from us, or any other vendor or hobbyist, prior to their use with your animals.
Visit www.MiniWaters.fish/vivplants for further details about how we grow our plants animal-free with organic methodologies while integrated pest management protocols, as well as detailed instructions for our bleach-sanitizing process.