Overwintering wax begonia - in the ground!

southernlilyOctober 6, 2009

Spring of 2008, I was visiting the garden dept. at Home Depot when the manager announced that shoppers could load a cart with flats of annuals and the whole cart load would only cost $1.00. Not a dollar per flat of 24, but one dollar for as many as you could fit in your cart!

This is how I ended up with 2 dozen white wax begonia. In the fall, I let the frost kill them off, then stomped the leaves down into the ground. Then I covered them with mulch to hide the mess.

would you believe that by May of 2009, begonia plants were peeking up through the dirt? I was redoing the front bed, so ripped many of them out and threw them away, and then moved 6 of the new little plants to the side of the house. They have been very beautiful all summer, snuggled up in front of the Beautyberry, rubbing elbows with a pink carpet rose. Of course I'm going to try this again to see if they will come up a second time.

Has anyone else in zone 7 had this experience? I thought to try this because I have had annual periwinkle (also labeled as vinca) also reappear. After letting the frost kill it back, stomp it into the ground and plants will come up the next June. They won't do this two years in a row for me.

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I had one semp come back for me this year but I only grow a few that have extra appeal such as double blossoms, variegated foliage, or extra large blooms. It is a lot safer for me to bring them indoors or take cuttings and bring those indoors.

Periwinkle seeds itself about so I always have those coming up the next year - a lot of times where I don't want them.

On the same note, some begonia semps readily seed themselves as well and I am pulling them out of pots with more desirable begonias.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 7:00AM
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I have a tall, white wax begonia (it's being sold now as "Barbara Rogers", but I inherited it from my grandmother, who grew it for over 50 years in a slightly colder area than this) which winters over successfully every year. I've also had the odd wax begonia return the following year, but I'm not sure the "stomping" part of the process is necessary. Mulching helps, though.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 3:41PM
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