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How to Grow and Care for Begonia Flowers

Begonia flower. Grow plants as a houseplant.

Perennial, Begoniaceae

Now here's one of America's favorite flowers. With lots of variety, Begonias are popular in flowerbeds, hanging baskets, as container plants, and as indoor house plants. That's one versatile plant!

Begonia plants are native to Central and South America.

Begonias are prized equally for their flower, as well as their showy leaves. When they are not in bloom, which is infrequent once established, their attractive, waxy green or chocolate colored leaves show themselves off wherever you have placed them.

Growing Begonias is easy. They make a good indoor houseplants as they tolerate shade well.

Number of Varieties: over 6,000!

Types of Begonias:

There are three types of Begonias: Tuberous, Semperflorens, and the uncommon Perennials. The Semperflorens are by far the most common. They include Fibrous Begonias, Wax Begonias and Everblooming Begonias.

Depending upon type, you can find red, white, pink, or yellow varieties. All flowers have a bright yellow eye(center).

All varieties will grow compact, dense foliage, and grow about 6-9 inches tall..

Plant Propagation:

Begonias are propagated from seed or cuttings. Seeds are very fine, dust-like, and take two to three weeks to germinate. Many people will buy seedlings rather than try to start these tiny seeds. Cuttings are much easier, if you want to propagate a few plants and already have one.

Tuberous varieties are commonly propagated by separating and replanting the tuberous roots.

More on rooting cuttings

Begonia flower houseplant

How to Grow Begonias:

Begonias are annuals and do not like frost in the spring or fall. Set them out in containers, hanging baskets ,or your flowerbed after all risk of frost has past.

Begonias thrive in a range of sunlight from full sun to shade.

They like rich, loose and fertile soil which drains well. Water thoroughly, then allow the soil to dry before the next watering.

Begonias like attention. Remove dead flowers, leaves, and stems. Trim off long stems to help retain it's compact shape. A little care will pay you back with lusher foliage and more blooms.

Add a general purpose fertilizer once a month. For houseplants and container plants, give them a dose of liquid fertilizer once a month instead dry fertilizer.

Insect and Disease:

There's great news here! Your begonias should have few if any problems with insects or disease.

Bring 'Em Indoors:

Your Begonias can be brought indoors before frost. Remember, they will die in a light frost, so if one threatens your area, don't wait!

Re-pot the plants if they appear crowded. Use rich potting soil. Help them in their transition indoors. When first brought inside, keep them near a sunny window, gradually, reducing the sunlight. This will help them to adjust indoors. Significant leaf drop is common at this point. But, in a week or two, they will be well acclimated to lower light levels and dry conditions in your home. They will brighten up your home all winter!

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