Favourite Begonias

mctavish6August 26, 2007

I'm not sure if Begonias even have names?

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mary52zn8tx

Wow, pretty! Begonias stand up to our heat so they are some of my favorites.
Mary

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 7:52AM
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bean_counter_z4(Zone 4, Rkfd,IL)

Never had luck getting them to bloom all summer. Tell me your secrets for growing and overwintering. I have a perfect location by the back door for a couple of these. The pink and white is stunning!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 9:14AM
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bunnycat(z6 NY)

Love your begonias, McT!
I buy them in hanging basket at Home Depot, so just basic colors, no picotees. Boo hoo.
Bean, the trick is not overwatering them. And they bloom better with some early light, just not midday scorching sun. A million years ago, before children, I used to buy fancy ones. I dug them in the fall, cleaned and dried them for 2 days on the deck. Then I sored them in sawdust in a box in the cellar.
Now I do it the really lazy way. I let the hanging baskets dry out, then store them as is, still in the baskets. In March, I put them into a sunny window, give a tiny amount of water. As they start to sprout, I keep giving tiny amounts of water, just so they are barely damp. Use weak Miracle-Gro also. As the days get longer they start to jump. Any warm day they get hauled outside to harden up, but only in filtered light. They won't get as big as the ones you buy ready-to-go, since thy were started later, but I don't care. I take the hangars off the pots and use them as potted plants, not hanging baskets. I buy a few big gorgeous baskets each year for the lamppost and hangars on the house. I'm sure anyone with a light set-up could get them to full size by starting earlier.
~Bunnycat

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 12:22PM
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mctavish6

I agree with Bunnycat's advice. I put them away in the pot they are in (dry) whenever possible. I had a friend out on the coast that saved her begonias in the wiskey barrels they were planted in. She never dug them up, just pulled the barrels under the house where they wouldn't freeze. It was a much warmer winter than here so it always worked. The tubers (or corms?) just got bigger and bigger every year. Some were the size of a saucer. The plants were gigantic. I've found my experience is that the "non stop" begonias that flower all summer and are sold in such quantities in the spring by just about every nursery will come back but they don't seem to increase like the ones you buy individually as a corm in the spring. Those are the ones with picotee or ruffels etc. They do get bigger and bigger each year. The other thing this friend taught me was that they should sit almost on top of the soil. She never burried hers because too much wet where the stem joins the bulb can make it rot. I have the dirt about halfway up the side of the corm. McT

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 12:34PM
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