Begonia is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Begoniaceae. The genus contains 1,795 different plant species. The Begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates. Some species are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants in cooler climates. Tuberous begonias are prima donnas compared to the relatively low key plants, but it is hard to resist them especially if you are coping with a shaded or partly shaded situation. These are not grown as annuals. They grow from little around tubers that persist from year to year if you take care of them properly.

There are several types of tuberous begonias, all of them gorgeous. The most spectacular are the upright forms, which grow a foot or more tall and produce flowers as large as 10 inches across in vivid reds, pinks, salmons, apricots, yellows, oranges and white. Flower forms vary, as some are shaped like roses, camellias, ruffled edges and some have edges in a contrasting color. The multi-flora types are bushy plants about a foot tall with smaller flowers; but they are easier to grow and are more tolerant of sun. The pendula types have long, trailing stems that make them perfect for hanging baskets. All types bloom all summer but are hardy only in frost free zones.

How to Grow Begonia?

Well, if you want to grow begonia, then the stems of all begonias are fragile and will not stand heavy dog and cat traffic, so plant them in a safe spot. They can also be grown in containers, indoors or out. The leaves do not like to get too wet they can mildew or sit in the sun. The worst thing you can do to begonias is to get their leaves wet, then let them sit in the sun (the leaves die). The tubers and stems can both rot if the soil is too wet. The flowers also have a tendency to drop off, like reluctant debutantes, just as they are reaching their peak of exquisite perfection. You can float a dropped off blossom in a bowl of water and it will stay pretty for days.

Moreover, put begonias in a spot, where they will get plenty of bright light to keep them from getting leggy, but don’t put them in direct sun. Give them moist, light soil with plenty of organic matter, and make sure it is well drained. They prefer humid air, but it must circulate freely around the plant. To plant begonias, start the tubers as early as February, setting them in trays of moistened peat moss. You just need to simply press them gently, flat side up and round side down into the surface of the peat.

Pink begonia flower blooming in garden.

Water lightly and wait for them to sprout little pink buds if they have not done so already. Shoots will emerge from the buds and roots will form at the sides of the tubers.. when the tubers have sprouted just put each one in a pot about 5 inches wide on top, filled with a light potting mix such as one part loam, one part peat, and one part sand, with perhaps some compost or rotted manure worked in. As the plant grows be sure it has plenty of light or you will get leggy growth. Stems should not be pinched. Moreover, use fluorescent lights if you haven’t a bright natural source out of direct sun.

Furthermore, a high nitrogen fertilizer such as fish emulsion will give the leaves the rich dark green color you want to see. When frost threatens bring the potted plants indoors, but don’t try to keep them blooming too much longer. Before fall is too far underway you should let them become dormant by withholding water and letting the foliage die. Then store the tubers in dry peat or sawdust until its time to plant them again. Some people divide the tubers by cutting them, making sure there is one eye to each plant. Normally the prefer to let each tuber get bigger and fatter each year, making  larger, more magnificent plants, and then take cutting from these if you want to increase the stock. Cuttings should be rooted in moist sand.

Leave a Reply