The Q&A Archives: Tuberous Begonia

Question: I just bought a tuberous begononia. I know it likes shade but don't know anything else. How much water and what other care is needed to keep it looking beautiful?

Answer: Tuberous begonias perform best in moist, well-drained soils in partial shade. Choose a site sheltered from strong winds. In your garden, sites that receive morning sun and afternoon shade would be excellent planting sites. I keep mine in containers because they need to be lifted and stored after the first frost of the season. Use a well-drained potting mix when planting tuberous begonias in window boxes, hanging baskets, and other containers. When planting tuberous begonias, place the plants at the same depth they grew in the container. Planting them deeper than previously grown may encourage the buried portion of the stem to rot.

Once planted, watering, fertilizing, and deadheading are the primary maintenance practices. Tuberous begonias should be watered weekly in beds and borders in dry weather. Plants in containers will have to be watered more often. Check container-grown plants regularly (daily or every other day) and water as needed. Fertilize tuberous begonias every 2 weeks with a diluted fertilizer solution. Remove spent flowers to improve their appearance and encourage additional blooms. Most of all, enjoy your beautiful new plant!

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