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Growing Tuberous Begonias, a floral bonanza for shady areas. (See Combination Photo below.) Many gardeners consider these flowers the true aristocrats of the plant world. Once the treasured playthings of the very rich, these beauties are now easily available, and like most flowers with bulbous roots, are easy to grow. The bulbs are round and flat, sort of like a thickened cookie with a depression in the top.
One of the great advantages of tuberous begonias is that they do best in the shade. Like our garden impatiens, tuberous begonias can add lavish color in shady spots under trees or in pots on the patio. They require rich soil and regular feeding, so if you plant them in the ground, be sure to prepare the soil carefully.
Flower form. The most famous tuberous begonias, and certainly the most beautiful, are the camellia-flowered ones. One of the incredible bi-colored blooms plus a luscious white are shown in the large photo.
Photo A shows how many people plant several bulbs in a large pot.
Photo B shows the spectacular result with a similar pot in full bloom. In fact, these 'bulbs' are perfect for containers and window boxes, as long as they're protected from the blazing sun.
Photo C shows how beautifully they perform in low, shady borders.
As you can see, the plants stay small, but the flowers are very large. In fact, your blooms may reach a spectacular 5" across with regular feeding. About 3-4" is the norm.
|Common Name||Tuberous Begonia|
|Botanical Name||Begonia Splendide Ballerina|
|Zones||2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10|
|Ships As||Bulb, Rhizome, Tuber|
|Light Requirements||Half Sun / Half Shade, Full Shade|
|Mature Height||10-12" tall|
|Bulb Size||5-6 cm|
|Bulb Spacing||3 bulbs per sq. ft.|
|Planting Depth||Plant 2" deep|
|Bloom Time||All summer|
|Plant Type / Life Cycle||Annual|
|Planting Time||Spring / Summer|
|Soil Type||Sandy Soil, Loamy Soil, Clay Soil|
|Soil Moisture||Average, Well Draining|
|Advantages||Attract Hummingbirds, Containers, Extended Blooms|
|Additional Information||Hardy in zones 8-10|
|Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada||No|
We recommend starting begonia tubers indoors in the late winter, around February or March. If starting indoors, place planted begonias in a warm location with indirect sunlight, preferably an eastern, western, or south facing window. If you don't have an indoor window space, you will need a heat lamp to allow some light for growth. However, tubers can be planted from February to June depending on your region. In areas with hot summer temperatures, it's best to have begonias established earlier in the season. In colder zones, tuberous begonias are tender and cannot be placed outdoors during frost. Come spring, once the ground warms and the chance of frost is over, bring your begonias outdoors and either keep them in containers or transplant into the garden.
After planting tubers water slightly every few days or when the soil dries out. Begonias will rot if over watered, it's best to keep their soil just barely moist. Always water around the tuber, not directly on it. Fertilize every other week with a 20-20-20 organic fertilizer.
In the fall after the leaves turn yellow, and or temperatures reach below 40 degrees at night, bring your begonias inside and use as a house plant or save for next spring. Begonias will naturally begin to slip into dormancy by themselves. In colder zones dig up tubers once the foliage has passed and store in a cool, dry, non-freezing place until spring. Allow tubers to dry out for 5-7 days before storing to reduce mold and rot. It is best to place tubers in a cardboard box or paper bag full of peat moss. Make sure to label the tuberous begonias for the following season.
Shipping begins in late March based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first.
As soon as your order is placed you will receive an order confirmation email that will include your shipping information. We ship perennials and spring-planted bulbs at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennials and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.
You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Your order is scheduled to arrive at your door, fresh and ready to plant, usually within 3-5 days of leaving our warehouse, depending on your shipping address. We pack our plants to withstand up to 10 days in transit, in the event transit is delayed. We cannot guarantee arrival on a specific day. Please make sure to open your package upon receipt and follow the instructions included.
To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
Enter your Zip Code to find your USDA Planting Zone
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