The Bonfire Begonia is a perennial plant that grows low to the ground with thick green leaves. It produces flower buds at the top of each stem that are dark red. Like other begonia varieties, the Bonfire is propagated by cuttings and by seed. When growing the plant from seed, it’s best to start the seed indoors in the late winter so that the plant will be ready for outdoor planting as soon as the temperatures warm.
Fill a bucket with a mixture of one part peat moss and one part Perlite. Mix the two together until evenly combined.
Fill 1 1/2-inch diameter plant pots with the soil mixture until it reaches 1/4 inch from the top of the rims.
Place a clear, rectangular plastic storage container and the lid into a sink filled with hot water. Add 1/8 cup of bleach to the water and let the container sit for one hour.
Pour the water out of the storage container and rinse it with clean water to remove the bleach residue from the surface.
Set the pots inside the storage container. The rims of the pots can touch, if needed, to make them all fit.
Place a balanced liquid plant fertilizer into a pitcher, using 1/4 the amount the bottle recommends. Boil the amount of water instructed on the bottle and add it to the fertilizer. Mix the solution and pour it equally into each of the pots until the soil is soaked.
Allow the pots to cool to room temperature and open the Bonfire Begonia seed package. Tap the package gently to disperse the seed evenly onto the surface of the soil in the pots. Use 50 to 100 seeds per pot, since the seed germination rate is not high.
Remove all of the pots from the storage container and set them on paper towels to drain for two to three minutes. Pour any excess water out of the container and place the pots back into it.
Set the box under fluorescent lights that are 6 inches above the pots. Leave the lights on for 14 hours per day to simulate sunlight until the seeds germinate, which occurs in four to 30 days.
Wait until the first leaf on the seedlings reaches 1/2 inch in length and transplant them to individual 1 1/2-inch pots with the same type of soil mixture originally used.Tips & Warnings
Once the Bonfire Begonia stems cover the edges of the 1 1/2-inch pots, it is safe to transplant them outdoors in the spring.