Tuberous Begonias

Few bulbous flowering plants are as dramatic as Begonia tuberhybrida (tuberous begonia). And luckily for shade gardeners, they grow best in light shade. Lively single or double flowers appear all summer until frost in many different colours including vibrant red, fluorescent orange, and brilliant yellowish to pale apricot, pink, and pure-white. They enhance and brighten any shade garden, whether in potted on the veranda, flower bed, window box, or a border. Tuberous begonias are offered in numerous types: multiflora bushy varieties with blossoms that are small erect plants that develop 12 to 18 inches tall; as well as the pendula, or hanging basket, varieties with stems trailing to 18-inches.

Tuberous begonias are not hardy outdoors, and needs to be dug up each autumn and re-planted in the springtime. Plant the tubers outdoors following the last spring freeze in well-drained soil that is kept moist. Fertilize with a complete fertilizer two times per month. To support constant blooms, remove blossoms, and pinch the stalk tips back when the plants become leggy.

Bring some color inside and appreciate begonias as slice the flowers. Cut the flowers when they are fully open and float them in a shallow dish. Lightly sprinkle the petals to make them last longer. The stems are very brittle, so handle them carefully.