Begonia tubers are available in many colours, flowers and shapes. They are also very versatile and can be planted in balconies, hanging baskets, patio containers and flower beds, (once established they also require minimum maintenance).
The double begonias are very suitable for flower beds and containers, whilst the pendula begonias are ideal in hanging baskets but also provide a magnificent display in containers when planted with other cascading plants.
Begonia tubers purchased from February to April can be started off indoors in a light room, conservatory or greenhouse. The tubers need to be planted in trays or pots with the hollow side up and covered with no more than 1cm of potting compost. The compost should be kept moist but not too wet. After the threat of all frost has gone (late April, early May) the tubers can be planted outside. When planting directly outside, ensure that the soil is light and free draining, if this is not the case add some sand (for drainage) or some compost (helps with aeration) to the soil before planting.
Begonias prefer partial shade but do ensure they have plenty of light and air. The soil should be kept moist and regular watering in the evening is recommended. Removing flowers once they have wilted will encourage new flowers to growing and thus increase flowering time. During and after flowering (before the foliage has died down) begonias should be regularly fed with a high potash feed, such as Tomorite. This will encourage the tuber to bulk up for the following year’s growth.
Begonias in Pots:
Begonia tubers whether double or pendula are very suited to containers and hanging baskets. The large variations of colours will provide a focal point on decks, patios and hanging baskets around your property. When growing in pots/containers the begonias can either be planted into the containers after starting off indoors or planted straight into containers and taken outside after chances of frosts have passed. We would recommend multi-purpose compost.
A guideline for planting quantities:
- 3 tubers for a 12″ basket / pot
- 5 tubers for a 14″ basket / pot
- 7 tubers for a 16″ basket / pot
After flowering allow the stems to die back, remove the dead foliage from the tuber and then remove the tuber from the soil and place into a light airy frost free room, conservatory or greenhouse. Allow the soil to drop off around the base of the tuber and once this has happened clean up the tuber and store in a cool, frost free area for the winter.
To see a full list of all our handy fact sheets click here