With Valentine’s Day but a few days away and everyone around us going a bit fluffy and gooey, we decided it was high time we lavished a bit of much needed love and TLC on our gardens – particularly our flower beds which, after all, have not seen any action in months.
The brilliant thing about Begonias is that they put on a colourful performance all season long and, like last week’s focus flower the Dahlia, they are also fairly easy to care for.
Suitable for and most commonly grown in containers and hanging baskets, Begonias can make a colourful addition to the flower bed as well, which means you can pick a colour and continue it throughout your garden – a simple but effective floral theme and a great way of updating your garden relatively quickly.
Begonias in detail:
Plant type: Tender perennial.
Grow them for: Bold containers, lavish hanging basket displays or colourful beds.
The perfect conditions: Begonias vary between varieties but generally they will do well in both sun and partially shaded positions. The important thing to remember is that they need very fertile soil and should be planted only just below soil level for best results. See our growing tip for more information.
When to plant: Order now to ensure you get the best bulbs and then grow indoors from mid-March onwards. Move outside late spring and when we are safely out of frost risk.
Can be planted earlier indoors? Yes. You will usually get bigger, stronger blooms from begonias that have begun their life planted in the warmth of either a greenhouse or on a windowsill. This can be done from March onwards to give you a head start on growing season so now is the time to think about buying. Transfer to the garden from early May, by which time you should have some very healthy looking shoots.
When to expect a full bloom: Begonias were made for summer, it’s when they are at their happiest, and after all, it’s easy to forget that the adaptable begonia originated in tropical rainforests! Expect them to come into bloom from June onwards.
Best for beginners: Begonia Flamboyant produces a mass of small cherry red flowers and will free-flower throughout the summer when given enough water and exposed to a few hours of sunshine a day – don’t over-heat but do move to partial shade in high temperatures to avoid excess heat from drying the soil out.
A show-stopper for the expert: There are too many begonia cultivars to name and each has its own simple yet fairly strict growing instructions. Rather than suggest a particular variety for the more experienced horticulturalist we would suggest you look at growing an assortment of begonias around your garden and try being a little experimental with size and colour.
Of course if you really want a challenge, try growing begonias from seed!
Order today: We stock a wide variety of Begonias at Mail Garden Shop. Click here to browse the range.
Our best in show: We love Mixed Cascading Begonias here at Mail Garden Shop; they give an avalanche of rainbow colour throughout the summer and well into autumn. Alternatively try Begonia Splendide in Apricot for a softer but no less impressive double cascading display – perfect for hanging baskets or containers.
Our Top Growing Tip:
The most important thing to remember when growing begonias is that they like moisture – though don’t be tempted to over-water. Make it habit to water your begonias in the early morning and, for best results, plant in peat moss soil.