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How to Care for a Tuberous Begonia

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How to Care for a Tuberous Begonia

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Overview

Tuberous begonias are perennial plants that are commonly grown for their numerous, colorful flowers. The plants typically reach about 24 inches in height and 12 inches in diameter. Tuberous begonias are hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11, but can easily be grown in cooler climates if the proper winter care is provided. The plants produce flowers during summer that can be red, yellow, orange or pink. Tuberous begonias require constant care to survive and flower in most temperate areas.

Step 1

Plant tuberous begonias during spring after the danger of frost has passed in a location that receives partial or full shade throughout the day. Spread 1 inch of peat moss over the planting site and use a garden tiller to incorporate it into the soil to increase drainage. Space tuberous begonias 12 inches apart.

Step 2

Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding tuberous begonia plants to suppress competitive weeds and increase moisture conservation. Replenish the mulch as often as necessary throughout the year to keep the layer 2 inches deep.

Step 3

Water tuberous begonia plants once every three days to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Apply water directly to the soil to prevent moistening the foliage, as wet leaves are more susceptible to disease.

Step 4

Apply a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer to tuberous begonias once per month beginning in late spring. Water immediately after feeding to release the nutrients into the soil. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer for proper application and dosage.

Step 5

Dig up begonia tubers in late fall, just before the first frost of the season. Allow the tubers to dry at room temperature for 24 hours and then store in peat moss at a constant temperature of 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Replant outdoors after the threat of frost has passed in spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Garden tiller
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer

References

  • "Minnesota Gardener's Guide;" Melinda Myers; 2005
  • Iowa State University Cooperative Extension Horticulture & Home Pest News: Growing Tuberous Begonias in the Home Garden
  • University of Vermont Department of Plant and Soil Sciences: Tuberous Begonias for Every Garden
Keywords: tuberous begonia, tuberous begonia plants, begonia care

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.

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