Begonias are flamboyant, tender perennials used in bedding, pot and hanging basket displays. There are many types of begonia to grow, from popular tuberous begonias, fibrous-rooted types and hanging begonias, which are ideal for hanging baskets. Larger flowered types are often grown as specimen house plants, as are rex begonias, which have impressive foliage.
All begonia foliage is varied and attractive, and the flowers are long lasting.
Keep plants well watered but allow the soil to dry out between waterings – this is especially important for tuberous begonias, which can rot in waterlogged soil.
Feed tuberous begonias weekly with tomato feed in summer, especially pot-grown plants. Alternatively, add a slow-release fertiliser pellet to the compost when planting. Never feed tuberous begonias into September as plants should be encouraged to slow down for the year. From October, reduce watering and remove flowers so the plants to put energy back into the tuber. Once the foliage has been blackened by frost, life the plants. Remove the compost from each tuber, cut the stem back to about 6cm and store in a dark, cool, frost-free place until March.
Fibrous-rooted and hanging begonias tend to be grown as annuals. Feed weekly in summer and dig them up and compost them when they’ve finished flowering.