The Q&A Archives: Growing Begonias

Question: I bought a double begonia from Home depot. It did not have a tag. The girl said that it was in the tropical section. It should be treated as a house plant until the hot weather. I don't know how much water to give and food needs. Any help would be appreciated.

Answer: There are two types of begonias; fibrous and tuberous. Fibrous begonias are tender annuals; tuberous begonias go dormant in the cold weather but return in the spring. The term double begonia refers to the flowers. They have a double row of petals so they are fuller and look like a rose flower when fully opened. The advise you got was right - the flowers and the foliage are tender on a double begonia and need protection from the cold weather. Fibrous begonias perform well in rich, well-drained soil, but the soil must be allowed to dry between waterings. They'll form tight, compact plants in full sun, with increasingly looser form and fewer flowers as you move them deeper into the shade. Most hybrids will grow six to nine inches high and spread as wide. Keep yours in a bright sunny window or as close to bright light as you can until the outdoor temperatures remain above about 45F. Best wishes with your plants!

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