Lemon drop yellow flowers. The ruffled edging of the petals creates a stunning display.
Ruffled Tuberous Begonias sprout in spring and repeat flower for several weeks with the large (10cm), colourful, semi to fully double blooms continuing into autumn. The petals are soft and seem to glitter in the sunlight.
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 or hanging baskets, 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 because drainage is important. 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 help to ensure the best blooms.