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Total newbie- help with a sentimental begonia

Posted by BuggalinaJuJuBee z9 CA Bay Area (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 7, 05 at 11:24

We received two potted tuberous begonias. They were used as decorations for my husband's grandfather's memorial service. Since they are sentimental I'd like to do my best to keep them alive. Should I keep them in pots, probably repotting them in something more permanent? Or would they be better in the ground? I have an area with the right exposure. But then I really don't understand all this digging up the tubers and storing them thing. I don't usually go to all that trouble with the plants I grow. If they were in pots, would I need to do anything special during the winter? How much does my zone (9, or Sunset 14) affect their growth? Thanks for the help!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Total newbie- help with a sentimental begonia

Correction: Just figured out that they are Rieger Begonias. Same question though. Thanks.

RE: Total newbie- help with a sentimental begonia

  • Posted by perLite z5, southern IN (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 12, 05 at 11:57

Hi Julie,
I'm not sure if the Riegers need a winter rest period, but I don't think they'd survive winter in an outdoor garden in zone 9. (I lived in the Bay Area for many years.) I hope you get someone with more specific information responding.
... ah-HA, here's a listing in an old copy of the Western Garden book... describes them as houseplants..."Flowers ...appear over a long season that includes winter...give plenty of light in winter. In summer, keep out of hot noonday sun. Water thoroughly when top inch of soil is dry. Don't sprinkle leaves. If powdery mildew appears, control with benomyl. [personally, I'd try neem first.] Plant may get rangy, an indication of approaching dormancy. In this case, cut stems to 4-in. stubs. [book does not say how long dormancy lasts or if it's total dormancy]
Hope this helps...

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