by Fred Roundstone
(Angmering, West Sussex, UK)
A tuberous-rooted begonia is a beautiful plant to grow. It has lovely double-flowers as well as textured foliage. They make excellent potted plants as well as bringing color to summer gardens.
In order to get the earliest flowers, you should start your tubers off by letting them sprout in a seed tray or in a box of damp potting soil in the months of February or March.
Space them approximately two inches apart, and do not bury them too deeply. The top side should just be covered by a surface layer of potting soil.
The begonias like to be put in a temperature of about 64 degreesFahrenheit. However, they do not seem to mind higher temperatures.
After the tubers have sprouted and you can see small leaves, transfer the tubers to a five inch pot and cover them with compost. Since you will probably be using the begonias in an outdoor garden, begin getting your begonias acclimated to the temperature outdoors in stages.
This process should probably begin towards the end of May. After a week, if the threat of frost has passed, you may leave your begonia plants outside all night.
Begonias like a place that is moist and partially shaded. If they happen to be in the sun for most of the day, then you should water your begonias frequently in order to prevent bud drop.
As the plants continue to grow and buds begin to form, the begonias should be given a regular liquid feed every ten days or so. This will help to promote good growth as well as an abundance of flowers!