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Tuberous Begonias

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 7:00am

With their big, bright blossoms and lush foliage, tuberous begonias are showy stars in shady spots today on Southern Gardening.

Tuberous begonias are a must-have plant for just about every garden. The flowers are huge when compared to other begonias and the blooms come in almost every color except blue.

These plants make good additions to window boxes or in pots on a shaded deck or patio.

In our coastal counties tuberous begonias, if protected, can stay outside year round. Otherwise consider these plants as seasonal color or they can be over wintered indoors. But wait until all chances of frost have passed to bring back out in the spring.

Tuberous begonias need bright but indirect light for best flowering. Partly shady spots are fine, but in deep, dark shade the flowering is reduced.

The potting media or soil must be well-drained to avoid root rots. Tuberous begonias require a little more water than the average garden plant, but don’t overwater. Fertilize every two weeks from late spring to late summer with water soluble 20-20-20. Tuberous begonias are brittle and break easily so use sturdy stakes and gently tie the stems for support.

Tuberous begonias can easily be propagated by cuttings. Select soft stems and stick into moistened vermiculite and peat propagation mix. Create a mini greenhouse by placing a zip bag over the container and place in bright indirect light. Keep the propagation mixture evenly moist and roots should start forming within four weeks.

All begonias have both male and female flowers on the same plant. A quick tip to produce bigger flowers is to pinch off the female flowers which will encourage the male flowers to be bigger. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

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