Begonias are some of the prettiest flowers to bring beauty to any area and caring for them is fairly easy. There are quite a few varieties to choose from and all of them are very colorful and full when given the proper care.
There are perennial and annual begonias of many varieties that can be shrubs, climbers or trailers. The most common are the wax and tuberous begonia.
Wax begonias are considered perennials in the warmer climate as they cannot handle any frost but they will keep growing if brought inside and given bright, indirect light. They come in colors of pink, red and white and make beautiful ground cover or bedding flowers.
The tuberous begonia has large blossoms that come in a large variety of colors and make great hanging basket flowers. Healthy ones will be firm and have no rotted or spongy areas on them.
Pick an area with slightly acidic, rich, well draining soil for your begonias to bloom and stay healthy.
Both wax and tuberous begonias need to be planted outside when all danger of frost is gone and the tuberous may need stakes to protect them from the wind until they grow bigger. They need an area where there is morning and late afternoon sun with shade during the hottest part of the day.
Both types can be purchased in flats or pots and the wax begonia should have about 6 inches space between them while the tuberous need around 12 inches.
Water them well but do not saturate them and make sure that hanging begonias drain well. Use a natural fertilizer regularly or some of the convenient fertilizer packets.
When the plant is young you should pinch off some of the stems and flowers to make them more flowery and full. As they mature, remove the faded flowers to help them produce more.
Trim back and bring your begonia in for the colder months and place under a plant light or in a south window. You may take cuttings off it to put in a rooting jar of water to make starters for friends or family or for early starters for the spring!
Ingesting any part of the begonia can cause burning of the lips, mouth and tongue but they are considered low toxicity.