How to Care for a Tuberous Begonia
Tuberous begonias produce showy bloom that measure 8 inches across, and they are available in a wide range of colors. The tender perennials are also prized for their green foliage, which dies in the winter. The tubers will remain viable underground unless you live in an area with freezing winter temperatures. The showy flowers grow year-round in tropical areas, and they are grown as annuals in cooler climates.
- Moderately Easy
things you’ll need:
- Peat moss
- Water-soluble fertilizer
- Brown paper bag
- Plant tuberous begonias in an area where they will receive indirect sunlight. Avoid locations with direct sunlight because it will burn the foliage. The plants will grow best in morning sunlight with afternoon shade.
- Grow the begonias in rich and loamy soil. The begonias also need well-draining soil and protection from wind. Space the begonias 9 inches apart to ensure that the air circulates. If the air does not circulate around the plants, fungal diseases may develop.
- Apply 1 inch of peat moss around the begonias. Work the peat moss into the soil to help increase drainage.
- Water the tuberous begonias when the top 1 inch feels dry. Do not allow the soil to dry completely, and avoid overwatering the soil because the tubers will rot. Keep the soil moist by watering the plants at the soil level instead of wetting the leaves.
- Apply a water-soluble fertilizer twice a month to the begonias in the summer. Select a fertilizer for flowering plants, and follow the dosage on the fertilizer package.
- Spread a 2-inch mulch layer over the plants to keep the weeds away. The mulch will also aid in keeping the soil moist. Add more mulch when it deteriorates.
- Deadhead the flowers to encourage them to bloom. Place the cut foliage in a compost pile, or throw it away to prevent diseases from forming.
- Remove the begonia tubers from the ground in the fall before the frost arrives. Let the tubers dry for 24 hours at room temperature. Store the tubers in a brown paper bag with peat moss. Keep the temperature range between 45 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and transfer them outdoors when the frost passes.