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Begonia Tuberhybrida hybrids

The Plant: Tuberous Begonias have fleshy green or bronze-green leaves, with lighter, fleshy stems giving rise to striking, colourful flowers ranging from subtle pale pink through yellow, orange, to sunset scarlet.

Male flowers, (the more showy), and female flowers, (the single type), occur on the same plant.

Its needs: Use a loam/compost potting mix, with 1 teaspoon/5ml bone meal added. Press the tuber down, (concave side up), on top of the compost until half buried. Good light, including some morning sun. Warmth and humidity promote good growth.

Tuberous Begonias

Tuber begonias as indoor plantsBegonia tuberhybrida - seen here with both single and double flowers. You should just pinch the single flowers off. They normally grow in pairs right behind the main double flower.

Care: Keep compost just moist until the tuber has produced new leaves. Throughout growing season water very consistently and well, including a weekly feed. Provide extra humidity in dry summers. Once flowering period is over, allow leaves to die back. Tubers can be stored over winter in a cool dry place, or grown on in sand trays to produce cuttings. Plants soon become top-heavy, so additional support needed, e.g. slender canes. Susceptible to powdery mildew.

Good for: Tuberous begonias are good showy plants, cheerful, popular, and excellent for giving or receiving.

Caring for Begonia Tuberhybrida Hybrids

Begonia Tuberhybrida hybrids, often known as tuberous begonias, are popular and vibrant plants that can add a splash of color to your home or garden. Here are some best practices for caring for these beauties:

Watering: Tuberous begonias prefer their soil to be consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid watering the foliage, as this can lead to mildew and other fungal diseases.

Fertilizing: Feed your begonia every two weeks during the growing season (spring to fall) with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. This will provide the nutrients it needs to produce its stunning flowers.

Pruning: Pruning is generally not necessary for tuberous begonias, but you should remove dead or dying flowers and leaves to promote new growth and keep the plant healthy.

Environment and Sunlight Conditions: Tuberous begonias thrive in part shade to full shade conditions. They prefer temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Too much sun can cause the leaves to scorch, while too little can result in fewer flowers.

As for specific care for different varieties, it's worth noting that trailing or climbing varieties might need support structures like trellises.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:
  • Overwatering: This can lead to root rot, which is a common issue with tuberous begonias. Make sure your pot has adequate drainage and don't let the plant sit in water.
  • Planting in full sun: These plants prefer shade, so avoid placing them in direct sunlight.
  • Neglecting to fertilize: Regular feeding is important for ensuring plentiful blooms.
Tips for Success:
  • Provide good air circulation: This helps prevent disease and encourages healthy growth.
  • Watch out for pests: Aphids, thrips, and slugs can sometimes be a problem. If you notice any, treat immediately with an appropriate insecticide or pest control method.
  • Winter care: In colder climates, dig up the tubers in fall before frost hits and store them in a cool, dry place over winter. Replant in spring after the danger of frost has passed.

With the right care, your Begonia Tuberhybrida hybrid can flourish and become a beautiful addition to your home or garden. Happy gardening!

Growing Begonia Tuberhybrida Hybrids from Seed: A Comprehensive Guide

Begonia Tuberhybrida, or tuberous begonias, are a joy to grow from seed and offer a rewarding gardening experience. Here's how you can do it:

Equipment Needed:
  • Begonia seeds
  • Seed-starting tray or small pots
  • Seed starting mix
  • Grow light (optional)
  • Heating mat (optional)
Soil Requirements:

Begonias prefer a well-draining soil that's rich in organic matter. A good seed starting mix, which is usually sterile and free from disease, is ideal.

When to Sow Seeds:

The best time to sow begonia seeds is 12-14 weeks before the last expected frost date in your area. This gives them plenty of time to germinate and grow strong before being transplanted outdoors.

Optimal Temperatures for Growth:

Begonias prefer temperatures between 72°F and 75°F for germination. A heating mat can help maintain this temperature range.

Growing Process:
  1. Sowing the Seeds: Fill your tray or pots with the seed starting mix and water it thoroughly. Sprinkle the begonia seeds on the surface, but don't cover them—they need light to germinate.
  2. Germination: Place the tray in a warm location with indirect light. Cover the tray with a plastic lid or bag to retain moisture, ensuring it's not in direct sunlight as this could overheat the seeds.
  3. Watering and Light Levels: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Expose the seeds to bright but indirect light until they germinate.
  4. Transplanting: When seedlings have at least two sets of true leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots. Maintain a temperature of around 65-70°F during the day and 60-65°F at night.
Common Problems and Troubleshooting:
  1. Poor Germination: If your seeds fail to germinate, it may be due to incorrect temperature, inadequate light, or overwatering. Ensure conditions are optimal for germination.
  2. Leggy Seedlings: If your seedlings are tall and spindly, they're not getting enough light. Consider using a grow light to provide additional illumination.
  3. Disease and Pests: Watch out for signs of disease and pests, like discolored leaves or visible insects. Use appropriate treatments as necessary.
Hybrid Cross-Pollinations:

Given the numerous varieties of tuberous begonias, cross-pollination can result in interesting hybrids. This is an advanced horticultural technique that involves transferring pollen from the anther of one flower to the stigma of another. If you're interested in creating your own hybrids, research the specific characteristics of different begonia varieties to determine compatible pairs.

Remember, patience is key when growing Begonia Tuberhybrida from seed. With careful attention and care, you'll be rewarded with beautiful blooms. Happy gardening!


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