If you’re afterward plants that have stunning flowers and spectacular leafage, then begonias are difficult to shell. They come in an astounding assortment of shapes, sizes, patterns and colours – with the flowers ranging through white, pink, red, yellow, orange, and many other hues. Find out how to grow begonias, be it a sinuous, statuesque cane begonia or a mass of little waxy wonders that turn your garden beds into blazes of colour.
Sentinel: Charlie makes a window flower box
While many species favour shady parts of the garden, others thrive in direct sun, and others still arrange pots, tubs, garden beds and hanging baskets. Indoors or out, these tropical or subtropical treasures have been bred to suit any environment.
Here’southward how to selection the ones for y’all.
How to grow begonias
Choose somewhere in your garden that suits the detail variety of begonia y’all have chosen – while some love full sun, others prefer full shade, so it’due south important to refer to the found’s characterization, or practise your own research.
Begonias tend to prefer humid, warm climates – tropical or sub-tropical are best. Alternatively, they can perform as annuals in the summer, as a potted house constitute, or in a greenhouse.
These vivid beauties love their nutrients, so when choosing a soil, ensure that you enrich it with organic matter or compost. It’s as well essential to be certain that the soil can bleed well, as a lack of drainage will mean root rot. If you have opted for a pot, give your begonia’s soil a regular mist or light h2o to ensure information technology stays moist.
As begonias enjoy humidity, it’s important to keep them moist. Practise this by regularly lightly watering or misting the soil, but don’t overdo it. Yous tin add mulch to help the procedure.
Feed your begonias throughout growing season (spring and summer). Aim for in one case a week – you can employ a liquid fertiliser.
Before you get planting, you’ll have to choose the right begonia for your garden. Kickoff there’s the showy tuberous begonias or elatior hybrids that rival roses for floral flourish. Then there’s the king with mosaics of intricately patterned and coloured leaves.
Pikestaff stemmed begonias
Tall growing, up to i-2m, these varieties bloom from mid-summer to mid-fall with fleshy flowers like footling chandeliers, in shades of pink, red, orange and white. One of the most popular is B. coccinea, which has pendulous heart-shaped leaves with ruby undersides and margins.
You tin use the tall-growing cane begonia (B. coccinea ‘Alba’) as a screen or even a hedge in your garden. They need stakes and training, as some stems decide to grow horizontally. If so, employ long ties and tighten a little each calendar week so the training is gentle.
They’re stately plants, not bad for filling areas of the garden that demand a vertical element. Or try them every bit specimen plants in large pots, on a verandah or in a courtyard.
These are robust plants; they come in many sizes, colours
and leaf shapes, and bear flowers for many months. They tin can handle being a petty on the dry side and prefer semi-shade.
A few standouts in the group are Begonia venosa, with rounded argent-grey velvety leaves, B. metallica, with regal-veined leaves, and the royal B. luxurians, with leaves that look almost similar a palm frond – green on the topside and red underneath.
Unlike the cane-stemmed varieties, shrub begonias volition branch, so clip in belatedly winter to promote new growth.
Renowned for astonishing glasshouse displays, begonia tuberhybrida, or tuberous begonias, have gorgeous double flowers that appear in late spring and summer. They make delightful pot or window box displays.
All-time in filtered shade, they similar a trivial morning sun in libation climates. Allow the potting mix to dry out betwixt waterings and store the pots somewhere dry over winter.
Eliator begonias make infrequent indoor plants or in hanging baskets, elatior begonias (Begonia 10 hiemalis) are brusque-lived but
flower prolifically and come in fabulous colours, from hot reds and oranges to softer sherbet-like pinks, lemons and apricots.
A group of two or three pots of these little beauties volition burnish whatsoever room. In terms of growing, they like rich, well-drained soil and detest soggy anxiety. Abound them in African violet potting mix and proceed information technology evenly moist. Cutting dorsum spent flower stems to five–10cm long, to revitalise the plant and encourage new growth.
Elatiors love being indoors just prefer to accept a moist surround, and so keep them away from air conditioners. They’ll add together a soft touch to the hard, gleaming surfaces of a bathroom! Merely be certain they have access to brilliant but indirect lite.
Also known equally king begonias, Rex begonias take the proper noun for
good reason. While their flowers are insignificant, their foliage is similar a majestic robe with regal, pink, maroon, pewter, silver and shades of green splashed on the leaf in dazzling combos.
They grow well in pots and hanging baskets in bright filtered calorie-free. They need high humidity but hate soggy roots, then water merely when dry out.
Also known as bedding or wax begonias, these are the hardiest of the bunch, thriving in total sun in libation regions or in shade where it’due south warmer.
Each constitute produces a super abundance of flowers during summertime of single or double, open-faced flowers in exquisite white or many shades of delicious pinks and reds.
They poke out of circles of fat, round, waxy leaves that can exist coloured dramatic black or deep regal, shiny statuary, glistening greys or in many luminous shades of green.
Mass plant them in a garden bed or in a pot you can bring indoors when it gets cold. Clip spent flowers to encourage more of them as the flavour progresses.
Begonias are adequately robust but you will need to expect out for and treat these problems to keep your plants in tip-tiptop shape. The best place to offset is upon purchase – audit the establish carefully for any signs of illness or insect impairment. If it looks weak and leggy, or has whatsoever holes, spots or discolouration on the leaves or stems don’t buy it, as information technology will non thrive.
Another fungal illness that affects begonias is powdery mildew, which leaves a grey/white coating on the undersides of the leaves, eventually causing them to wither and die. To rid your begonia of this, water the soil around the plant in the morn and avoid splashing the leaves. You lot should also remove any afflicted leaves with sterilised precipitous scissors or secateurs. There are commercially available sprays that are useful in treating this disease.
Finally, your begonias may suffer from night brown, crisp-looking marks on leaf edges, which are normally caused by depression humidity. To set the problem, place your potted begonia in a tray with pebbles and water, making sure the pot base doesn’t sit in the water to forbid root rot. Alternatively, you might observe a pale brown or yellow scorch mark on all, or role, of the leafage – this is essentially sunburn. Cut off the leafage and discard and move pots into a more sheltered spot, or requite garden plants a new position that doesn’t get direct midday sun.
Insects such as slugs, snails and green lopper caterpillars like to take a meal on their leaves. Treat the slugs and snails with allurement and pick off the caterpillars. White fly, mites and calibration tin also exist a trouble, but yous tin care for them with an appropriate chemic spray, checking the label for application rates.
How to grow begonias in pots
Begonias are merely as at domicile in a pot as they are in the garden. To grow a begonia in a pot, you lot need to allow for growth, so ensure y’all cull a pot that is twice the width and depth of the plant. Remove the begonia from its container and gently tease the roots apart, position information technology in the pot and backfill effectually it.
How to propagate begonias
Honey begonias? Make more than! You can easily propagate a begonia from cuttings. Piece a leafage into wedges, dip it in a cutting powder and place it on a tray of
moist seed-raising mix. Popular the tray in a spot that receives lots of natural light and keep it moist. The entire procedure should take 6-8 weeks. Alternatively, yous can popular a stem cutting in water to form roots, which you can then establish when they reach 4-5cm long.
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