The Garden Waits for No One
Planning for the summer patio now requires our attention. Not to be confused with the begonias we buy for summer bedding our collection, with flowers up to 15cm across, make outstanding plants for the patio, hanging baskets, or impact plants in the border.
These exotic plants provide a cascade of colour and will flourish in partial shade and cool moist conditions. No other plant flowers as profusely, especially in dull weather where traditional summer bedding, such as geraniums, can sometimes be devoid of colour. The double begonias are becoming more and more appreciated as an important plant in our summer planting, either using the traditional vibrant colours or the recently introduced mixed pastel shades. The recently added odorata begonias were one of the first to have a wonderful fragrance. The flowering season is prolonged by a weekly inspection to remove all dead blooms and seed pods.
The tubers should be started from the end of March or early April. Do not be impatient for the first signs of growth, like bulbs, it is important at this stage to encourage the tubers to form a heavy rooting system rather than excessive top growth.
The begonia roots horizontally and should not be moved to larger pots too early. The compost should be kept evenly moist. The heaviest rooting takes place in the upper part of the compost, saturated compost will cause the roots to decay.
By mid-May, the tubers should have made sufficient growth and be ready for hardening off and then planted out once the danger of any frost has passed. Click on this link to follow our step by step guide, which applies equally to plants for the border or containers.