How to Grow Begonia Plants

easy care instructions for growing begonias

Here are some easy tips on how to grow Begonia plants.

Begonias grow from fleshy stems called tubers. Fill a starter pot 3/4 full of loose potting soil. Place the tuber in the pot, with the hollow side pointing up. Cover lightly with 1 in. potting soil. Water well; do not let soil dry out. Move into a permanent pot when plant sprouts to 1-2 in. tall. Fill pot 3/4 with a potting soil/vermiculite mix. Make a hole big enough to fit the roots; gently put Begonia plant in pot. Cover with 2 in. of soil. Water lightly. Once danger of frost is over, move plant outdoors.

Common Name: Begonia

Propagation: Stem cuttings made in the spring

Description: Begonia plants are flowering tubers. They grow both indoors and out. In hot, humid areas, they make good houseplants. These annual plants have long-lasting blooms from summer up to first frost. They are heat and drought tolerant. Begonias grow from 6 to 18 in. tall.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-11

Companion Plants: Lobelia, Impatiens, Fuchsia

Fertilizer Needs: For flowerbeds, add fertilizer to the soil in the bed before spring planting. Use 1 lb. of 10-10-10 fertilizer for every 100 sq. ft. in the flowerbed. Do not get any fertilizer on the plant stems or leaves. Water flowerbeds after each feeding. Poke your finger into the soil; it should feel damp as deep as 6 in. down. Stop fertilizing in late summer or early fall (about 8 wks. before the first fall frost) to stop any late-season growth.

For container-grown Begonias, fertilize in spring when plants send up the first shoots. Use a balanced liquid houseplant food at half the rate given on the package. Feed every 2 wks. all spring and summer.

Maintenance: Low; these annual plants are easy to grow and care for. Just keep watered in hot weather.

Display Tips: Begonias grow well in flowerbeds under trees and near shrubs. They look nice in containers like window boxes and hanging baskets. They can grow in sun, partial sun, or shade.

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