Wondering how to grow begonia plants? Join the club! These popular plants are blooming in gardens across the country, and it’s not hard to see why. Easy to grow, wildly adaptable and sporting an incredible number of interesting colors and varieties, begonia take one of the top spots on any gardener’s list of all around favorite plants. And if you need easy tips on how to grow begonias, you’ve come to the right place.
What’s a Begonia?
Begonia plants are annual, flowering tubers that grow between 6 – 18 inches tall, depending on the variety you choose. People love them for their ability to grow both indoors and out. Their ability to adapt to different conditions means that you can grow begonias in any climate. And you can move them in and out as the seasons change. In zones 9-11, begonia will survive the winter. And in places where they won’t do well outdoors, you can rely on the fact that they make great houseplants. Once your begonia is established, you can expect long-lasting blooms from summer up to first frost.
Planting Your Begonia
Begonias grow from fleshy stems called tubers. To plant it, begin by filling a starter pot 3/4 full of loose potting soil. Place the tuber in the pot, with the hollow side pointing up. Cover with about 1 inch of potting soil. Water well. You don’t want the soil to dry out. You can move your starter begonia into a permanent pot when the plant sprout is 1 – 2 inches tall. For the permanent pot, you want to fill it 3/4 full with a potting soil/vermiculite mix. Make a hole big enough to fit the roots. Then gently put your starter begonia plant in pot. Cover with 2 inches of soil. Give it a little bit of water. Once all danger of frost is over for your area, you can move it outdoors.
How to Grow Begonia Plants: Fertilizer Tips
If you’ve planting your begonia in flowerbeds, add fertilizer to the soil in the bed before spring planting. Use 1 l. of 10-10-10 fertilizer for every 100 square feet of area in the flowerbed. Be sure not to get any fertilizer on the plant stems or leaves. Water flowerbeds after each feeding. When to know if you’ve watered it enough? Poke your finger into the soil–it should feel damp as deep as 6 inches down. Stop fertilizing in late summer or early fall (about 8 weeks before the first fall frost) to stop any late-season growth.
For container grown begonias, fertilize in the spring when your plants send up their first shoots. Use a balanced liquid houseplant food at half the rate given on the package. Feed every 2 weeks all spring and summer.
How to Grow Begonia Plants: Style Tips
Begonia are incredibly versatile and can grow in sun, partial sun, or shade. This means you have free reign on where to plant them. Try pairing them with lobelia, impatiens or fuchsia for an eye catching, interesting display. They really shine for adding bright pops of color in flowerbeds under trees and near shrubs. And they also are perfect for containers like window boxes and hanging baskets.