Layer upon layer of wide white to pink petals, each edged with a deeper, vibrant pink. Tuberous Begonias flowers are real attention getters at up to 10cm across. They are semi double to fully double with petals that glitter in the sunlight.
You can expect a parade of flamboyant flowers throughout summer that march right into autumn, Tuberous Begonias are unsurpassed for their stunning display.
Tuberous Begonias have a misleading reputation of being difficult, but they are easily grown, with a little know how. As a general guide, they are happiest where ferns and orchids grow and like to almost dry out before they are watered again.
Tuberous Begonias grow best in pots, in climates with cool nights. You can easily grow them in the mild areas of NSW, the Qld Tablelands or in Victoria, Tasmania and south of Perth in WA. They won't tolerate high humidity or direct sunlight, place your pot where it receives filtered light such as under a tree, shade cloth, a porch or in a shade house.
It is also important to get the watering right with Tuberous Begonias, they are a bit fussy, but easy to please once you know how.
1. When the Begonia tuber begins to shoot in August/September keep the soil just moist, watering as the soil begins to dry.
2. When the plants are actively growing and flowering, saturate the pot (avoiding the stem and leaves), then allow the soil to dry out before watering again. This is important because if it is kept constantly wet it can breed fungal or bacterial infections and cause tuber rot.
3. When the Begonia tuber is dormant (winter), you need not water at all, until around August/September.
When potting, we recommend adding a handful of perlite or sand to a good quality potting mix. Don't rely on the potting mix for fertiliser, it has a limited amount and should be supplemented with a slow release fertiliser every 3-4 months, and, for best results, add a liquid seaweed tonic during growth and flowering - this will ensure the best blooms.
If you would like larger flowers, you can disbud your Tuberous Begonia plants through December and allow the blooms to begin from January. The flowers will last longer and be bigger. You can choose to stake your Tuberous Begonia when planting, this will help to support the big blooms for show.