If you've been looking for a plant that will add a splash of color to the shady parts of your garden, consider the tuberous begonia. Offering blooms that are large or small, and in a wide choice of colors, this plant brings color to the garden for up to four months. Tuberous begonias can be planted in the ground or grown in containers. Plant in February to have blooms by June.
Grow your tuberous begonia in lots of light but no direct sun. It requires well-draining soil and shelter from the wind. If being grown indoors, replace half of the potting mix with organic matter, such as vermiculite, and place it in an area that gets filtered light.
Water your tuberous begonia when the top inch of soil is dry. A plant grown in a lighter, airier soil needs to be watered more often than one grown in a heavier soil. Those grown in containers require a more frequent soaking.
Apply the first application of fertilizer when the plant is 3 inches tall. Then, apply every 2 weeks during the growing season. The best fertilizer for the tuberous begonia is a balanced liquid such as Algoflash, diluted to half strength.
Protect the begonia from powdery mildew, a white or gray fungus, by making sure that no water gets on the leaves. Powdery mildew infestations can be treated with a fungicide, such as Greencure.
Dig up and store the begonia tubers in the fall. Place them in a cool area until the the plant is dry and can be easily removed from the tuber. Set the tubers out in the sun for a few days, then clean them off and store them under a layer of peat moss or sand in a cool location.