Begonias

This post, “Begonias” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

Living in the hot, humid South, it is sometimes difficult to grow begonias.  Forget the tuberous ones. Unfortunately, they survive only as indoor plants and even then have a short life.  With our high rains and hot, humid temperatures, even wax leaf begonias often succumb to fungus diseases, or as I call it, “the rot.”

Three years ago, my mother gave me a hanging basket of variegated pink begonia for my birthday in March.  I have successfully overwintered it, and  it has survived our summers.  It even survived Hurricane Katrina & the lack of any care for about two weeks after.  I keep it hanging in a small tree on the north side of the house.  It receives about one hour of direct sun in late morning and filtered sun the rest of the day.  I have found that many plants that can take more sun in the North need to have a lot less down here.  I do fertilize about once a month starting in late March.  And, of course, I water it daily in the summer.  If temperatures get into the mid to high 90’s, I usually water twice a day.  I am planning on trying to propagate some of the long stems that are hanging down.  I have read that to do this, there needs to be at least two leaf nodes below the soil.  If I am successful, I will start another basket.  So I am looking forward to another year with this plant. 

                           2008-112-pink-begonia-reduced-v2-040.jpg

Last spring I planted three white wax leaf begonias in a container.  I placed these in the white garden that I started in memory of my father.  At first the begonias did not do well.  I think it was too chilly and damp, but they did survive.  Finally, they seemed to do better as the summer went on.  This fall they really put on a show.  They, too, have overwintered and will do better this spring.  At least I have my fingers crossed that they will. 

                        2008-112-white-begonia-reduced-v2-036.jpg

In the past when I have tried wax leaf begonias, they did not do well at all, and I became discouraged with this plant.  But, now, with the success I have had with these two, I think I may try to plant some in the garden this year.

I have had great success with Rex begonias and the angel wing ones, and when I have some pictures of those I will post them.

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1 Comment

  1. Patricia Louque said,

    January 17, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Love your begonias. I have rooted cuttings of these in just a glass of water. I live where they will not overwinter, but can usually save a few in a glass of water till spring. They really put out the roots, then I pot them up and hope for spring. I live in Virginia and of course they do well up here even in full sun, although they seem to like it in the shade. Of course the tuberous ones do well here.

    Thanks for commenting. I may try rooting them in water. I wish I could grow the tuberous ones – they are so pretty.


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