'Hardy' begonias from Plant Delights Nursery
Has anybody else tried the "hardy" begonias from PDN? I visited there last summer and brought back B. chitoensis (formerly sold as B. ravenii) and B. 'Metallic Mist'. The former is supposedly hardy to zone 7b, the latter to zone 6 (!). Let's just say I'm skeptical. Even with our mild winter (low around 17 degrees) and a light mulch, B. chitoensis looks pretty dead. Maybe some of the deeper rhizomes survived, but the ones at the surface are just mush. 'Metallic Mist' had more of a subterranean rhizome, so maybe it will make it.
I also bought B. boliviensis, which grew a bit (especially when the weather turned cooler in the fall) but never bloomed. When I unpotted it after it went dormant, it had a tiny tuber, maybe the size of a pea, which went on to rot within a few weeks.