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Tuberous begonias are the can-can girls of the large and varied begonia clan; showing up with layers of crenulated ruffles, vibrant colors and robust flouncy performances for months. Theses showy summer flowers are glorious and if you haven’t grown them, here’s your chance to correct that.
That said, not all tuberous begonias are equal. The ones here are the result of over 100 years of careful breeding, efforts by two different companies that are now one. These are Amerihybrids and we’ll throw down against any other varieties. Nonstops, individual named varieties and others – we’ve tried them all and stand by the Amerihybrids. Bigger flowers, stronger plants, richer color choices, much longer blooming periods – the Amerihybrids have it all. And as with most other bulbs, size matters; ours are the big 2-2.5” tubers because those produce larger plants and will have you smiling ear to ear. Really.
Begonias prefer bright shade. They’ll do well in sites with a few hours of morning sun but will burn in scorching afternoon sun. Hanging baskets on porch edges and pots on shady patios are ideal. The hotter the region, the less direct sun your begonias will do well to receive.
Begonias are usually planted in containers, allowing you to choose your soil rather than amend an existing planting area. Choose a commercial planting mix. Consider adding slow release fertilizer pellets.
To get a jump on the season, start your bulbs indoors. Begonia bulbs need warmth to encourage sprouting and room temperature are usually sufficient. Cool temperatures delay initial bulb activity. Bulbs can take 2-5 weeks to sprout.
Plant outdoors when frost danger has past and nighttime lows are at least in the 60s. Begonias are tender and need to avoid freezes.
Examine the bulb and find the side with the slight indentation. This is where the new growth will sprout. Place the concave side facing upwards. Tuck the bulb in and cover with ½” of soil. Roots will develop from the bottom, sides and even the top of the bulb. Water sparingly until top growth develops; you're just trying to nudge the bulb out of dormancy. Too much water can encourage bulb rot.
Begonias prefer soil that’s slightly moist but not wet. Consistent wetness can results in rot. For nutrients, water with half strength liquid fertilizer monthly if slow release fertilizer was not added to the soil at planting time. Feel free to pick flowers. Float a giant bloom in a low bowl for a simple, but stunning, centerpiece.
Begonia tuber can be lifted, overwintered indoors and saved for next year. As the season winds down and your begonias prepare for dormancy their leaves will yellow and flower production will cease. This usually occurs between October and December depending on your climate. When you see this, stop watering.
For begonias that are in pots, feel free to leave them in place. Tip the pot on its side and overwinter in a cool (not freezing) dark place, like a garage where temperatures remain in the 40s and 50s.
If you are lifting your bulbs for indoor storage, wash off soil and allow to completely air dry. Given them a week for moisture to evaporate. Then store dry bulbs in single layers place in shallow boxes filled with dry peat. Good holding temperatures are 40-50 degrees.
Light: Half day shade or dappled shade
Soil: Fertile and well drained
Depth: Cover bulbs with 1/2" soil
Water: Moist, but not wet, soil
Uses: Beds, borders, hanging baskets & windowboxes
Tips: Start indoors for longest season of bloom
They Start Out looking Like This:
How Many Bulbs per Pot?
Note: this info is for extra large (2-2.5") Amerihybrid begonia bulbs and the bigger plants these produce.
Rose Form, Ruffled and Picotee Begonias
|Pot size – 8"||Tuber - 1|
|Pot size – 10"||Tuber - 1|
|Pot size – 12"||Tubers - 2|
|Pot size – 14"||Tubers - 2|
|Pot size – 6"||Tuber - 1|
|Pot size – 8-10"||Tuber - 3|
Hanging Basket Begonias
|Pot size – 8"||Tuber - 2|
|Pot size – 10"||Tuber - 2|
|Pot size – 12"||Tubers - 3|
|Pot size – 14"||Tubers - 3|
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