Planting Begonias Planting Begonias
Begonias make a spectacular addition to any home garden, but many gardeners overlook this plant because they think it's too difficult to grow. Follow these steps to plant begonias.
Note: Different Types of Begonias
Basic begonia classifications include cane-like, shrub, rhizomatous, semperflorens or “wax type,” tuberous, rex, trailing-scandant and thick-stemmed. This article concentrates on how to plant tuberous begonias, which are popular in the U.S. as a bedding and greenhouse plant. You can leave tuberous begonias in the ground in non-freeze areas, but in other areas, you should dig them up and store them in a cool, dry place for the winter.
Step 1 – Prepare the Soil
Begonias will grow in many different kinds of soil, but good drainage is essential. Good potting soil from the nursery will do. You can also prepare a mix of four parts well-decayed mulch, one part garden loam, and one part course sand. For planting outdoors, mix the soil well with sand, humus or both if the soil is a clay type. For breaking up the soil, use a rake or hoe.
Step 2 – Be Sure Tubers Sprout before Planting
Tubers should have sprouts before you plant them. If you find yours slow to sprout, you can move them to a warmer place until the sprouts appear.
Step 3 – Place Tubers In Flat or Outdoors
To get tubers ready for outdoor planting, begin them in a flat filled with the planting mixture. Or plant them directly outdoors if the weather is accommodating. When planting, be sure to space them evenly in the flat or ground, a good 4 to 6 inches between each.
Cover them completely with the planting mixture. You cover them completely because the roots grow from the top and sides of the tuber.
Step 4 – Water Well and Place in Filtered Sunlight
After planting, water the tubers well but be careful not to overwater. Move the flat to an area that receives filtered sunlight and has a temperature of 60 to 70 degrees F on a constant basis.
Only water when the soil becomes dry, until the plants begin to grow. At this point, they’ll need more frequent watering. When plants display about 4 to 5 inches of growth, transplant into their permanent position in pots or the garden.
Planting Begonias from Seed
You can also grow tuberous begonias from seed, but you should start in December or January to get them ready for transplanting later and displaying summer blooms. Start by dropping a few seeds in a 1/4-inch hole in containers filled with a fine-textured medium.
Smooth soil over the seeds and cover them lightly with sphagnum moss. Mist them with a sprayer and cover the container with glass or plastic. Keep it at a constant 70-degree temperature. Germination takes from 10 days to 3 weeks. Transplant the seedlings to larger pots and later plant outdoors.