Begonias produce abundant blossoms that appear in orange, red, yellow, pink and salmon colors. The petals are either single or double, many also appear ruffled. The plant blooms through the summer when many other plants have ceased to produce flowers. It requires a shady location to thrive. The begonia bulbs grow well planted directly into the flower bed, in containers or even in hanging baskets. As begonias are not cold hardy, the bulbs must be lifted each winter, stored and replanted.
Start begonia bulbs from February through April. Place the tubers in a simple start flat. Fill the flat with either vermiculite or peat moss.
Look at the tuberous bulb of the begonia to locate the small depression. The depression needs to be planted upward, as this is where the foliage will sprout. Cover the tubers with 1 inch of peat moss or vermiculite.
Place the starting flats in a location with indirect sunlight. Keep the room temperature around 70 degrees F.
Water the starter flats lightly. The peat moss or vermiculite should feel moist to the touch, but not overly wet.
Repot the begonia bulbs into 5- to 6-inch pots when they have 1 inch of foliage growth. Begonias that will be grown in containers or hanging baskets can be transplanted to their permanent home and do not require the smaller pots.
Place the begonia plants outside for two weeks during warm days prior to the last expected frost. Do not leave the young plants outside during the cold night.
Plant the small begonias outside when all danger of frost has passed. Choose a shady location with well-draining soil.