How to Raise Begonias

Overview

Begonias thrive in many soil types and make for a low-maintenance ornamental flower plant. Its various flower colors and sometimes variegated foliage add color and texture to any backyard. Provide your begonias the basic growing environment they need to thrive in your landscape and to remain both disease- and pest-free.

Step 1

Choose a gardening site. All begonias thrive in well-drained soil. Typically, nonhybrid varieties require partial shade while modern hybrids can grow in full sun, according to the University of Florida. Consult the seed packet or the label on the potted begonia transplant for more information on how much sun it needs.

Step 2

Prepare the gardening site. Use a spade or a mechanical tiller and loosen the soil to a depth of 1/2 to 1 foot. Stir in 3 to 4 inches of aged compost. This will sufficiently fertilize the flower plants, since begonias have relatively low nutrient needs, according to the University of Florida.

Step 3

Plant the begonias. If sowing seeds, bury each seed 1/4 to 1/2 inch below the soil surface. If transplanting started begonias, bury the transplant up to its crown, which is the part of the plant where the root ball meets the stem. Whatever your method of propagation, Clemson University recommends spacing them apart by approximately 1 foot.

Step 4

Water the begonias. If sowing seeds, irrigate twice daily until the seeds germinate, typically within two to three weeks. After this, or if you're growing started transplants, irrigate every three to four days. Use enough moisture to wet the soil at a depth of 6 inches.

Step 5

Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the begonias to help conserve soil moisture.

Step 6

Maintain the begonias. Pinch back the growing tips of the plant to keep them growing bushy. Clip off dead and wilted flowers to help encourage continuous blossom production. Watch for insect pests--begonias have few insect problems but may occasionally be attacked by mites or mealy bugs, according to Clemson University--and treat with an insecticide or horticultural oil spray as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Begonia seeds or transplants
  • Spade or mechanical tiller
  • Aged manure
  • Water
  • Mulch

References

  • "Taylor's Guide to Annuals"; Barbara Ellis; 2000
  • Clemson University: Begonias
  • University of Florida: Begonias
Keywords: growing begonias, raising begonias, planting begonias, raise begonia, plant begonia, grow begonia

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.