Too Late to Start Begonias?

nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)April 8, 2013

Veseys has 25% off begonias, but their website says to start them 6-10 weeks ahead.

Maybe I should just head into somewhere like WalMart and get them started right away? Are theirs of decent quality? Or is it too late already?

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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

hola nuts,

That is a good deal. I have no idea on quality but the price seems right. I don't think your too late. You will just have blooms a little later this year but the plus side is you will have the tubers for next year.

My PAD is starting up again as I am thinking of getting the credit card out......

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:19AM
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CLBlakey

I just talked to my greenhouse friend and she said for our zone it is too late to start begonias and get a good flowering out of them.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:31PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

CLB,

By chance do you know if a good flowering affects the tuber? I am tempted to order some just to get the deal on tubers even if this year is so-so. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:12PM
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CLBlakey

I am so not in the know of these things but when I saw the question and I happened to be at the greenhouse today I asked that one. You however are in such a different growing zone than NAF it could be just fine for you.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:34PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

True that, I wonder if it is because your first frost date can be so soon. Thanks anyways I will research this a bit as I love buying flowers (perennials, tubers etc) at the end of the season when they are cheap.

I tried to start begonias from seed this year...key word is tried LOL!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:00PM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

I haven't even taken my tubers out of storage yet. I don't think it's too late. I don't like them to get too big... the stems are quite easily broken off if they're too long.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:15PM
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CLBlakey

I was thinking seed.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:07PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Tuberous begonias are almost impossible to grow from seed, people buy tubers. It's not too late, I'd say go for it. Especially with the horrible slow "spring" we've been having, they're not going out anytime before June anyway.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:17PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Thanks all :)

I think I'll maybe go to a big box store tomorrow and see what I can find.

If they don't grow as well as the ones I got from Botanus last year, then I'll know better from now on.

I know I should have kept mine over the winter, but by the time last fall's cleanup was as finished as the weather permitted, I just didn't have the energy for any more gardening related experiments.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:22PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Marie, here's a trick with begonia tubers that someone told me (you know her - can't remember her name but she was the one who did all the dances!). You fill your container 1/3 with soil and put the tuber in. As it sends out shoots, keep covering it a bit at a time until the container is filled. I've been doing this for several years and it helps with stronger stems.

I just started my tubers a couple of weeks ago.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:04PM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

Thanks Marcia,
I'll give that a try . Of course that depends on how my tubers fared in storage. Maybe that will be today's project.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:19AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Sierra, that was her name! I knew it would come to me...

Some of my tubers seem pretty dry, but i have them going anyway. If there's no activity in a month, well, guess they didn't do so well over the winter. And i'll have to buy new ones!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:40AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

OMG, I forgot to mention the affliction people have with bulbs and tubers.....I am way too busy testing people with CSD and PAD.

Yeahp!!! I got 8 glady bulbs today lol...plus 7 bales of premix...and 150 3" containers for a dime lol

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 5:34PM
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CLBlakey

SGG a strong warning to you not wanting to point out who has certain diseases but I think there are some here that have CIA - Congenital Iris Acquisition and LPI Lilly Procuring Infection- both have shown their symptoms be very cautious who you get seeds from they too may be infected.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 6:13PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Lo CLB thanks for the warning, BUT, I know I am not going to be unable to control myself.

The urge to get dahlia and begonia tubers is close to uncontrollable.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 5:57PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I found out today that our horticulture premiums are begonias! LOL Whew - what a relief.

LPI - yes i definitely have that disease. Where am i going to put the 9 lilies i'm ordering from the Lily Nook???

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:25PM
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runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

I'm not sure if you were talking about fibrous begonias or tuberous begonias, but I use a trick of having way more begonias than I can plant...I always end up with lots to give away. I purchased a dragon wing begonia and a few six packs of fibrous begonias a few years ago and planted them out. Right before the first hard frost I dug up the little ones, which were now gallon sized. I knocked some of the dirt off, cut them into manageable sizes and sent them to bootcamp...I cut all their leaves and stems down to stumps. Then I stuffed (I mean Stuffed!) them all tight together into flats. No extra dirt...just what is clinging to their roots. As many as I could squeeze together into the flat. Watered them good and stuck the flats on a shelf in my shed which I keep at about 35*F all winter...just above freezing. I hung one flourescent light bulb over them, an under-counter type. I watered them about once a month when I noticed their leaves starting to turn transluscent. About Feb they just started to grow by themselves. I didn't add extra light, water, heat, nothing...somehow they just knew it was time to wake up and they started to put out leaves like mad. By the time they were ready to go into the ground in May, I had super-healthy, large vigourous plants 4"-pot-sized, that took me almost no effort. Every year since I do that, my shelf holds 4 flats of them. Plus at first, they grow a little spindly, I cut those off and they root like mad.

For my dragon wing: in fall I sent it to bootcamp too, but then potted it up in a 10" bulb pot. Big around, but not too tall. This is my mother plant that is my permanent houseplant. She grows gangly all winter, and I keep giving her haircuts all winter and rooting the babies. By spring time I have at least 25-30 teenaged dragon wings for almost no effort, ready to go into a flower bed.

So, to make this short story long...for the price of 1 dragon wing, and a few sixpacks of little ones, I've more begonias than I know what to do with, and they are sustainable over the years.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 9:35PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

RWS

That sounds awesome at you're able to do that. I have zone envy.

No way in my zone that I could keep things above freezing all winter :(

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 2:00PM
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runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

oh I can't without a heater, either. (hey! I'm a poet and don't know it.)

Right after the shed was build I completely insulated it. It was more money, and a hassle because I had to do it by myself...but man, I'm so glad I did. A portable oil funace kept on the very lowest setting keeps everything from freezing. Perhaps for your zone would make it too cost prohibitive tho, to run a heater non-stop. [rats]

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 12:52AM
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