June 13, 2024 2:07 am

How to Take Care Of And Grow Begonias

Begonias are ideal if you’re searching for a plant that thrives in pots or shade, yields gorgeously colorful blooms, and is simple to grow. Begonias may grow from 8 inches to over 5 feet tall, depending on the type. They come in annual, perennial, shrub, and climber forms. There are over 2,000 kinds of begonias.

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Flowers can be single or double blossoms with delicate, ruffled, or smooth petals. They can be red, white, pink, or yellow, among other hues. Grow nicely in window boxes, flower beds, or container gardens, begonias.

Begonias are quite easy to cultivate and are best suited for warm regions, especially with thick, fertile soil that drains well. When the earth is warm, plant them after the final spring frost. A few weeks to months are needed for seeds to sprout, while certain begonia cultivars develop fast. When required, remove dead stems, leaves, and blossoms. Above all, begonias are harmful to animals, so bring them inside before the first frost. They also cannot withstand cold conditions. Also, because of their tendency to spread, begonias are regarded as invasive in some areas.

The Begonia Care

Among all the seeds found in flowers, begonias have some of the tiniest. As many as one million seedlings may be produced from one ounce of seed, which can be problematic in some areas because begonias are invasive plants that spread quickly via waste areas, roadsides, old fields, pastures that have been overgrazed, and cut woods. The begonia, a flower that represents “beware,” is connected to melons, cucumbers, gourds, pumpkins, and squash.

When the soil is healthy, begonia maintenance is not too difficult. Begonias may also be grown inside, however it may be more difficult to match their requirements for light and humidity.

Light

Begonias grow well in warm climates, however they may require full or partial sun exposure depending on the cultivar. Planting begonias in areas with morning light and afternoon shade is often preferable. Give the soil adequate sunshine to maintain its health and moisture. Plants in areas with hot summers should not be placed in direct sunlight.

Soil

Begonias can grow in nearly any soil type as long as it drains properly. Maintain a wet soil, but avoid oversaturating it since this might lead to rot. Fertilizer should be added to the flower bed or garden area if the soil is deficient in organic matter. Use a soil mixture of garden loam, coarse sand, and leaf mold for growing begonias in hanging baskets or pots to aid in soil drainage and moisture retention. If leaf mold is not available, potting mix can be used in its place.

Water

Continue to keep the soil moist, but avoid getting it too wet. You can determine whether your begonias require additional water if the top few inches of soil are dry. When watering again, let the soil drain completely since moist or soggy soils can lead to root rot. Additionally, as damp foliage fosters the growth of fungi, water the base of the plant rather than the leaves.

Both Temperature and Humidity are important.

Begonias are native to warm, humid climates, where they flourish. Begonias thrive either indoors in climate-controlled rooms or outside in regions where temperatures remain above 60°F, depending on whether you choose to preserve them as annuals or perennials. Begonias prefer a humid environment, which may be simulated inside with the aid of a humidifier, which will facilitate perpetual growth.

FERTILIZER

Because begonias are big feeders, they require fertilizer. Every two weeks, fertilize plants using a balanced 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 slow-release blend for optimal results. Begonia blooms and stimulates new growth when a 10-10-5 high-nitrogen fertilizer is applied early in the growing season, followed by a monthly fertilizer application during the growing season.

Begonia Types

Begonias of the Cane Type: These plants derive their name from their long, woody stems, which have noticeable joints like bamboo. Angel-wing begonias belong to this group and get its name from their folded, wing-like leaves that are speckled or spotted. Begonias of the cane kind, such “Bubbles” and “Honeysuckle,” have many stems, some of which grow to a height of five feet or more. From early spring through October, the majority produce copious amounts of big clusters of white, pink, orange, or red blooms; some even bloom continuously.

Dragonwing Begonias: This hybrid begonia is a cross between semperflorens and angel-wing (cane-type) begonias. It features beautiful red blooms that bloom from spring till frost and lustrous green foliage. Dragonwing begonias thrive in early sun and little afternoon shade, and they make great container plants or bedding plants. A word of caution: the scorching afternoon sun may burn dragonwings.

Semperflorens Begonias: Known by several names such as fibrous, bedding, or wax begonias, taller and dwarf varieties are cultivated in garden beds or containers every year. They have a large number of small flowers in shades ranging from white to scarlet, and they bloom from spring through October. In the Upper South, they may grow in full sun, but in other places, they require filtered shade.

Hardy Begonias: While there are a number of hardy begonias in the South, B. grandis is the most well-known kind. It has drooping clusters of pink or white summer blooms that grow 2-3 feet tall and broad from a tuber. Hardy begonias grow well in mild shade and damp, woodsy soil. They also make great companion plants for other plants that like shade, such hellebores, ferns, and hostas.

Grown from tubers, tuberous begonias are stunning large-flowered hybrids. They range from plants with a few erect branches and saucer-sized blooms to hanging basket forms with several stalks and small flowers covering them. They bloom in practically every hue except blue in the summer and fall, with the exception of a few uncommon types.

Pruning

Begonias require trimming to keep their healthy stems from becoming lanky if they are not taken care of. As stems develop from the pinched point, trim branches based on your begonias’ growth to promote new growth. Pruners or garden shears are not required since begonia stems break readily. Digging up the tuber to be replanted the next year may help safeguard the roots if you have a tuberous begonia, which dies back every year. Begonias cultivated from rhizomes should be moved indoors for the winter, and they should be routinely deadheaded to keep them looking good and ward off illness.

Sowing Begonia Seeds

Begonias are perennial plants that develop as annuals, but propagating new plants is a simple and efficient way to avoid the shock or lanky growth that occurs when annual plants are transplanted inside. Depending on the variety, begonias reproduce differently, but the easiest approach to get the greatest results is frequently by utilizing cuttings. Here’s how to use stem or leaf cuttings to grow begonias:

In April, start by removing 4-inch stems from the begonia below a node using gardening scissors or a clean knife. To promote new development, select mature stems with a few nodes but avoid fibrous or woody ones.

If desired, remove the bottom leaves and immerse each clipped stem into a rooting hormone.

Using a pencil or your fingers, make deep holes in a container of well-draining soil.

After inserting the stem cuttings into each hole, carefully compact the dirt around them.

Without touching the stems or leaves, cover the entire container with a plastic bag to help maintain moisture and encourage humidity. Permit air to flow through the facility.

During the three to four weeks it takes for the plants to grow roots, keep the soil wet. After six to eight weeks of growth, move the plants to their new location.

If using a big leaf for propagation, trim the mature leaf at the stem’s junction using a sharp knife. After making a pointy incision on the end of the leaf, proceed as directed for stem cuttings.