Know Before You Grow: Begonias

salmon colored begonia flowers
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Know Before You Grow: Begonias

Begonias Are Tropical and Subtropical Plants

There are more than 2,000 species in the genus Begonia and easily 10,000 cultivated varieties. Begonias are killed by even light frosts and must be grown as annuals or brought in during the winter.  

Begonias will grow from seed to flowering in 3 to 4 months, then bloom constantly.

Planting Begonias

Begonias are readily grown from seeds. Start seeds any time to grow indoors as houseplants. To grow outside, sow 3 to 3 ½ months before last frost date. 

The seeds are tiny and often pelleted (coated with clay) or sold in a capsule to make them easier to handle. They require light for germination so press them into the soil but do not spread soil over them. 

Cover the pot with clear plastic or a transparent lid to hold in humidity while they germinate. 

Tips for Growing Begonias

  • Gradually introduce seedlings to more intense light.
  • Begonias grow well from partial sunlight to deep shade.
  • They like a rich, moist soil but are tolerant of poorer soils.
  • They like humidity. In dry periods add supplemental water.
  • Protect them from strong winds.
  • Grow begonias outdoors until fall, then cut them back, put them into flower pots, and overwinter them indoors.  

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