How to Care for Bushy Types of Begonias

Overview

Begonias are hardy, showy annuals desirable for flowers that come in a wide range of colors, although most of the bushy types are red, pink or white. They can also be grown indoors or in tropical climates as year-round plants. Bushy begonias (Begonia x semperflorens-culturum) have fibrous roots, according to the University of Florida Extension. These are also commonly called "wax" begonias for the waxy appearance of the blossoms. These slow-growing plants grow especially well in containers such as hanging baskets, window boxes or simple pots.

Step 1

Place or plant your bushy begonia in a location where it will receive bright but indirect light for at least six hours per day. Morning sun, followed by afternoon shade, is best. A location that receives dappled shade also works well, as does a window filtered by a curtain.

Step 2

Water when the top few inches of soil are dry. Do not overwater. Begonias are drought-resistant and prefer dry conditions to very wet soil, according to the University of Florida Extension. Overly wet soil can lead to root rot, a fungal disease that will destroy the roots.

Step 3

Plant potted begonias in a high-quality potting soil that contains peat moss or perlite to aid in drainage. Amend poor outdoor soil with 50 percent organic materials such as leaf mold, manure compost or peat moss.

Step 4

Fertilize your begonias once a month during the growing season (spring through summer). Do not fertilize in fall or winter. Use a balanced (10-10-10), water-soluble fertilizer and follow the directions on the label for application.

Tips and Warnings

  • Although begonias are not usually attacked by insects, according to the University of Florida Extension, they can suffer from some common fungal diseases such as powdery mildew. Water at the soil level and in the mornings, so the sun can evaporate any standing water left on the leaves. Building a raised bed for your begonias can also improve soil drainage.

Things You'll Need

  • Balanced (10-10-10), water-soluble fertilizer
  • Potting soil
  • Leaf mold, manure compost or peat moss

References

  • University of Florida: Fibrous-Rooted Begonias for Florida
  • University of Florida: Begonia X Semperflorens-culturom
  • Floridata: Begonia X semperflorens-Culturom

Who Can Help

  • The National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: Begonia x semperflorens, bushy begonia care, fibrous rooted begonias

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.