Culture tips for ‘ESCARGOT’ By Ryan Case

Not only does it finish quickly, this Begonia rex variety also resists diseases and insects

The leaves of this Begonia rex variety twist and curl in aspiral reminiscent of a snail’s shell — thus the name’Escargot’. It has a small, white flower but is mainly grown forits outstanding foliage. The plant was hybridized in The Netherlands and was introducedinto the United States at The Ohio Short Course in 2000.

Escargot is versatile, attractive and tough and washybridized to resist diseases. It has been used in hanging baskets, in 8- and10-inch pots and in combination planters to add a bold texture with season-longinterest. But the primary use seems to be in 4 1/2- to 6-inch pots grown as animpulse or gift item. Escargot is available year-round and sells at upscaleflorists, garden centers and supermarkets.



Use a well-drained soil and maintain a pH at approximately6.8. Optimum light levels should be 1,500-2,500 foot candles, with extra shadeprovided during the summer. Fertilize with 20-10-20 on a weekly basis. Escargotis sensitive to accumulations of salts in the substrate, so you should leachsalts periodically or maintain an EC below 2.0. Optimum temperature should be64° F at night and 75° F during the day. When temperatures are higher,reduce the amount of nitrogen. Escargot can tolerate ammonium forms ofnitrogen, with total nitrogen not to exceed 240 ppm. In locations with adequatelight, growth regulators are not necessary. However, in low-light locations,spray Cycocel weekly at a very low concentration, starting at 4 oz. per 100gallons.



A 4 1/2-inch pot with one liner per pot or a 6-inch pot withtwo liners per pot each take approximately 6-8 weeks to finish. If you want tostay at one liner per pot, start the liner in a 4- to 4 1/2-inch pot spaced potto pot. When the leaves reach the edge of the pot, transplant into a 6-inchpot. The total finishing time with this method is 12-14 weeks.

For 10-inch pots, start liners in 4- to 4 1/2-inch potsspaced pot to pot. When the leaves reach the edge of the pot, transplant threeplants into a 10-inch pot. Finishing time is 10–12 weeks.

Ryan Case

Ryan Case is product manager for McHutchison, LLC, Ridgefield, N.J. For more information, you may contact McHutchison by phone at (800) 943-2230 or E-mail at

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