Begonia is an easy to grow annual that does well in all kinds of conditions and needs little to thrive. Provide it with light shade, well drained and rich soil, plenty of water and fertilizer- and you’ll be able to see stunning flowers and foliage soon.
Begonias are found in all shapes and sizes. The most popular variety, Wax begonia, can be found in sizes to fit any space. The larger varieties are perfect for landscaping and when planted together create a very dramatic effect. Smaller kinds are better for containers and won’t crowd out other plants. The shapes of the flowers are also very diverse. Some plants have single flowers with only one row of petals while others have double blooms with many layers of petals.
A full spectrum of colors can be found in the begonia species today. Many colors can be seen including warm yellows, reds, oranges, whites and pinks. Due to this, begonias look beautiful in window boxes.
Growing and Maintenance
Begonias are versatile in their requirements. Older wax varieties generally do well in the shade but newer kinds can thrive in full shade to full sun. Regular dosages of fertilizer should be given to these plants to allow them to grow to their full potential. When it comes to watering begonias, it is crucial to maintain a balance. Most begonia varieties need to be watered consistently but care should be taken to not let them get too wet. Otherwise, they could die. So, the best practice is to let the plants dry out a bit after each watering. Most begonias grow upright, although they are also available in cascading varieties.
Begonias are better suited to warm temperatures, so it is better to plant them when there is no chance of spring frost. You will need to be patient after planting, as begonias take some time to grow and blooms won’t be visible until after the summer heat kicks in. This plant self cleans as there is no need to deadhead or remove old blooms from the plants throughout the growing season.
Begonias propagation is very easy and the same technique is followed with almost all varieties. To propagate from stem cuttings, trim begonia stems four inches and insert into a growth medium directly.
To propagate begonia from seed, you’ll start with seeds, seed starting pots and seed starting mix. Fill the pots with seed starting mix and mist lightly with a spray bottle. Place the seeds in the pot and cover with a plastic wrap to maintain humidity and warmth. Let the seedlings grow in a warm spot in direct sunlight.