There are many species of begonias that can be grouped into two categories, the annual begonias and the tuberous begonias whose tubers are perennials. Sometimes called hybrids, these are the result of many crosses. It is very interesting to cultivate several of them to take advantage of their flowers with different shapes and a wide range of colors. If the seedlings of annual begonias are very difficult to succeed, it is on the contrary easy to obtain excellent results with those purchased in buckets and tuberoses are also renowned for their ease of cultivation. Let’s take a look at how to care for them so you can enjoy breathtaking, long-lasting flowering.
Whichever Begonia you set your sights on, this flowering plant can be used in the ground in a bed or border, and is just as wonderful in a planter or in a pot, this method of cultivation being perfect for magnifying a terrace. , a window sill or a balcony.
Begonias like soils that have received prior to planting a organic manure of very good quality. These are plants that give a lot of flowers, so they need nutrients. Regarding theexposition of these plants, it varies depending on the variety, namely:
- Sheltered from cold winds, slightly sunny to semi-shaded and warm exposure for annual begonias,
- Well-sunny location for tuberoses of the multiflora type or even B. Bertini,
- Exposure to the North or in a well shaded area for B. pendulum and all varieties of perennial begonias with large or very large flowers.
When buying begonias, people with no gardening experience are best advised to seek advice from a salesperson who specializes in ornamental garden in order to know precisely in what conditions to cultivate each chosen variety.
Planting annual begonias in buckets
It is from the last days of April, even preferably in May that you can plant the begonias purchased in pots, because at this time the earth has been warmed by the sun and there should be no more frosts. It is in any case preferable to guarantee the good recovery of the begonias.
The method is simple since it suffices to moisten the buckets to remove the clods more easily without damaging the roots then:
- Digging holes with a dibble,
- Place one foot per hole,
- Cover with a potting soil for begonias or peator even a well-drained garden soil to which you can add a little sand,
- Tamp down sufficiently, taking care not to injure the roots or break the stems,
The ground must be kept moist afterwards. Vigilance is required during the summer in the event of scorching temperatures, especially if you have opted for a culture in a pot or in a planter because the humidity evaporates very quickly. Also be careful with the pots on the south-facing terrace as it can be much warmer there than what the daily weather report indicates… If necessary, the begonias in pots and planters can be temporarily placed in a more shaded area. .
Planting tuberous begonias or perennial begonias
You can buy begonia tubers with single, double or semi-double flowers from the month of March in garden centers or at producers in order to put them in vegetation sheltered from the frosts still possible at this time of the year. The method consists of:
- Place in a box of wet peat or a mixture of 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 sand,
- Plant the tubers ensuring that the slightly concave side bearing the eyes is facing upwards; it must not be completely buried,
- Place the box in a warm and bright room or room, for example in front of a window,
- Wait a few weeks before seeing the shoots appear,
- Then plant the bulbs in place provided that all risk of frost is ruled out, respecting a depth of only 3 cm and an interval between the plants of about 25 cm.
Caring for Begonias
It is easy to care for begonias.
All begonias need a wet ground from planting until the end of the vegetation period to flower well and withstand summer weather conditions. You don’t have to drown them however, because that would only make them rot.
They need every 7 to 10 days a contribution liquid fertilizer for flower bulbs to be diluted in irrigation water if they are grown in pots. Fertilizing once a month should be sufficient for begonias installed in the ground if it has been well amended with organic fertilizer with the planting. .
Diseases and Parasites
Begonias are sensitive to botrytis more commonly known as the gray rot whose responsible is the fungus Botrytis cinerea. This fungal disease is amply favored by heat associated with humidity. To prevent it, do not plant the plants too close together. It is better to space them far enough apart so that the air can circulate. It is also important not to wet the leaves of begonias when watering. The employment of a fungicide is necessary, and it is better to act as a preventive measure because gray rot can cause serious damage in plantations.
L’powdery mildew is another cryptogamic disease that can be detected by the floury white felt that covers stems, leaves and peduncles. We start by removing all the diseased parts of the begonia then we spray the plant with a sulfur product against powdery mildew. Early treatment is essential, that is to say as soon as the first symptoms appear.
As for the parasite to be feared, it is a beetlel’at least. This weevil in the larval state devours the roots and when it is adult it attacks the foliage. It is therefore necessary to act when the parasite is not yet adult, by resorting to a natural solution. This biological control consists of diluting clay powder containing microscopic worms, nematodes, in water, then spraying the base of the begonias with it. Nematodes destroy weevil larvae.
In autumn, when the first frosts appear, it is high time to dig up the tubers perennial begonias in order to store them during the winter. We start by taking them out of the ground and laying them indoors on cardboard or newspaper so that they dry in the open air.
Finally, after a few days, remove most of the dry soil that has stuck to the bulbs and store them in a local hors gel. They will thus wait all winter and even for a good part of spring since they will only be replanted in the ground or in pots from the end of April or even in May. The risk of frost should no longer be feared. After overwintering, tuberous begonias no longer need to be grown indoors beforehand.
We often read that the begonia blooms in summer. This does not exactly describe the many varieties listed since some are covered with flowers until the first frosts, others even flower in winter… Each gardener has in any case a sufficient range of begonias to be able to enjoy a well-flowered outdoor space for much of the year.
It is even possible to add to its selection the famous Spotted begoniathe only specimen that seems to be considered a true indoor begonia and which flowers from May until October if it is placed in the light but protected from the direct rays of the sun. Very decorative, the one sometimes called bamboo, maculated or Tamaya begonia is covered with delicate flowers.
Anyway, to benefit from a long flowering period, we delete the faded flowers, we keep the soil moist and we make regular fertilizer contributions but with a light hand all the same…