Tuberous Begonias

maplerbirch(4)February 29, 2012

Yesterday we picked up some tuberous begonias and was going to start them in the house. As I researched the web I've gotten conflicting advice.

Some sites say that the tuberous types desire sun, but not HOT sun, some say that all day shade is fine, and only one told me that I plant the bulb only on top of the soil, with no dirt over it at all.

The planting instructions never indicated that, only neglecting to say 'How Deep'.

My desired location may recieve some direct sunlight at various times of the day, as the sun starts moving toward the Southern Horizon after the Solstice.

Does anyone have experience with the sensitivity of tuberous begonias?

I was also curious if they'd survive deep shade?

In fact any insite with these critters, would be appreciated. :)

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They're not that complicated at all. A few tips I learned over the years. There is a concave and convex side to the tuber, concave, the depression, should face up. Roots will develope over the entire bottom of the tuber, the shoots come from the convex depression. Plant them only deep enough so that the soil comes up to the top of the tuber, but not over the top into the depression.

As far as siting, I have them on the north side of the house, they get some morning sun, and some afternoon, but nothing during the heat of the day. They always do quite well here. In my experience, they are heavy feeders, put some Osmocote in the soil when you plant, and then CLF at half strength every time you water. At the end of the season I have had tubers double or even triple in size.

When you plant, put a tall sturdy stake in right away as you will need to tie them up eventually, and this way you won't damage the tuber later in the season. Some of mine were almost 2' tall last summer.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 5:48PM
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Thank you for the response. I've got them in pots now and they are sitting just as you've suggested, but in the hanging basket with the heavily rooted fuschia the tuber seems to be getting pushed upward to the point it has half of it exposed above the soil line.
Are they kind of fussy about the depth, or will it be fine?

I was told to use them in hanging baskets, but your idea of staking, is interesting. :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 8:29AM
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There are two kinds of tuberous begonias, one of which is hanging or trailing. If that is what you have, then you wouldn't want to stake them, as you will want them to trail! I was referring to the regular ones which may grow so tall as to need staking because they tend to flop.

Regarding soil depth, if they are not too heavily rooted, or putting out shoots yet, I would try to seat them a bit lower in the soil.



    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 11:02AM
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Thanks for the info. I think there may still be an opportunity to reseat the tuber.
I'd better double-check the wrap they came in, I'd just assumed they were all for hanging baskets, when I went to the bin. :)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 7:28AM
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Some of mine always end up rotting at the stem. I don't think I overwater them. What is it. Happens too often! I LOVE begonias. A few years ago, Boerner had the most beautiful begonia bed. I was in 7th heaven. I understand they throw all the bulbs away after that. What a waste!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 2:31PM
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I did read that no water is supposed to get into the little dish of the concave top of the bulb. Are you allowing the top of the bulb to get wet, by any chance?

So far, 2 out of 3, that I've started in the hanging basket plantings are growing. It appears that the 'concave' dip at the top of the bulb is now 'rounded' so that water would be repelled away from the surface now.

I wonder if it would be better, to hill them up now, or do they like being that far into the air?

Steelskies, how have you grown most of your tubers in the past? I've only purchased 3 so far. :)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 7:20PM
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