With over 1,500 species, the begonia is a beautiful and easy-to-grow flowering plant. Read to know more.
Botanically, these plants are divided into three groups ― species having fibrous roots, tuberous roots, and the ones with rhizomes. Flowers vary according to height, color, habitat, and sizes and shape of the leaves.
It is one of the largest flowering genera. The leaves of the plant are asymmetrical and the flowers are unisexual. Male and female flowers grow on the same plant.
Caring Instructions for Indoor Varieties
Begonia plants do not need full and direct sun, they need plenty of sunlight that is filtered. If they get insufficient sunlight, their stems grow slowly leading to fungal growth.
So, it is necessary to keep them near the windows so that they receive adequate sunlight. Though the flowering varieties need sunlight for a couple of hours in the day, the ones that are grown for their foliage should not receive direct sunlight.
These plants need soil that is rich in nutrients. Acidic soil with lower pH levels is ideal. A mixture of heavy soil, peat moss, manure, can also be an option.
Some people prefer adding light medium of soil such as sand to their potted mixture. One thing that should be kept in mind is while choosing the type of soil it is important to take into consideration the surrounding environmental conditions.
You should water once a week. Excess watering will make the plant and the roots rot, whereas shortage of water will leave it dry and wither it. So it is necessary to monitor the dampness of the potted plant. These plants should be kept moist. You can do this by sticking your finger in the soil and if there is no dampness felt, it is time to water the plant.
Roots of these plants are very sensitive to salts, so adding excess chemical fertilizers is not recommended. If you have decided to add inorganic fertilizers, ensure you mixed them with the soil properly. Begonias that are grown for their bright big blooms require fertilizers that have adequate amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
Caring for Tuberous Begonia
This variety is known for its use as a bedding and a greenhouse plant. This plant is mostly grown for its beautiful flowers. The size of these flowers can range from 1/2 inch to the actual size of a dinner plate. They come in all shades but blue.
Tuberous begonia care in summers includes providing consistent moisture, while taking care that the roots are not too wet. People tend to water plants continuously in the summers, but it is really not required.
The tuberous variety loves light shades especially when there is enough air circulation around, so, always keep them indoors.
These plants should be fertilized once a month and the spent blooms should be removed. Check that the yellow leaves are clipped. After the flowering season, these plants might die of frost, so, it is recommended to keep them indoors.
When the stems of the plant become brittle, dig out the tubers from the soil and place them in peat moss. Store them in a place that is dry with temperature about 45 to 50 degrees. After a month if you decide to replant these tubers, do it by placing them in pots till they sprout by watering.