Cottage Gardening forum: Begonias

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Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
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PollyK
Mar 12, 2011 9:27 AM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

I know this is cottage gardening, but planters and hanging baskets are part of that, right?

I am trying to order some begonias from Glasshouse Works and am just overwhelmed. I want some for hanging baskets and containers. I love the angel wings and the Rex types.

From reading Glasshouse Works, the Rex types are hard to grow. But all I want them for is an annual. I will try to overwinter, but won't be upset if they don't make it. So, is the Escargot, for example, going to be easy enough for me to put in a container and grow over the summer?

Any recommendations for some easy ones for containers and hanging baskets?
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Mar 12, 2011 10:35 PM CST
Never triede those,sorry. I do see that some people add coleus to flowering plants.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Mar 13, 2011 7:12 AM CST
Polly, container culture is certainly at home in the Cottage Garden! Part of the draw to the cottage style is that burgeoning, lush look, whether there is available earth to plant something or not. Begonias are among my favorites for my shady deck area, and for a few years I had great luck with Rex types. Last year our summer was extra hot and humid, and the heat came earlier than usual, so the Rex begonias didn't fare as well as in previous years for me. But I don't believe that will be such an issue in your part of the country. Most that I had were no id plants from box stores, but I do recall one I received from a friend called 'Color Guard' that performed particularly well. During the growing season they were easy to care for, I just kept them moist and fed them every couple of weeks, about the same as the rest of the potted plants.

For a couple of years I had good luck overwintering them too. They were particularly happy under fluorescent lights in a cool room with humidity trays under them. Some allow them to go dormant, and keep them on the dry side during winter. They survive that treatment without issue, but I found them very slow to rebound in spring.

I've been considering getting a few more this year. One of the problems I had was "the great cat explosion of 2009", when I had 3 females give birth! Let's just say that 18 kittens peeing in the pots is not good for Rex Begonias, LOL. I'm down to 2 spayed adult cats now, so it should be fine.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
Image
PollyK
Mar 13, 2011 7:43 AM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

Thanks Neal, I'm going to make an order then. I'll post on here how they do for me.

Holy kittens! But what fun.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Mar 13, 2011 3:14 PM CST
Facebook has changed their picture settings so that I can't figure out how to snag the pic and post it here, but I just tagged myself in a pic of 10 of the kittens on the steps to the deck. It'll probably show up on your news feed, but it gives you a good idea of what it was like around here at the time. OMG, I always thought I'd end up being one of those crazy old people with a bunch of cats, but that experience cured me forever, LOL.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
Image
PollyK
Mar 13, 2011 4:53 PM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

I'll look for it. I don't see it yet, but Facebook totally confuses me.

I do see some pictures of absolutely fantastic flower arrangements, though! Wow!
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Mar 28, 2011 6:25 AM CST
I'm almost ready to return to my favorit forums.Spring is in the air this week.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Mar 28, 2011 6:48 AM CST
Winter temps came back for a visit the last few days, but it's looking like spring again today. Doesn't look like it was cold enough to hurt anything, but we did have a shallow blanket of snow yesterday morning. Seeing all the sprouts has had me browsing my favorite Cubits and forums too, it's great to share the excitement!

Polly, I forgot to mention earlier, something that I think may be preferential for Rex Begonias. The year than mine were happiest was the year I had them potted in homemade potting compost. It was made mostly of mulched leaf mold that had aged for about 6 months and was full of worm castings. It only lasted for the season, as it compressed and decreased in volume by fall, but those Begonias loved it. The next spring I repotted them in a mix of Miracle Gro potting soil and fine textured mulch and they were pretty happy with that, but when I potted them into pure MG potting soil they were not nearly as happy. I have a feeling they like airy, well drained medium, that can still hold moisture well.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
Image
ge1836
Mar 28, 2011 9:29 AM CST
Good tip Neal
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
Image
PollyK
Mar 28, 2011 1:27 PM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

Great, thanks Neal!
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Mar 28, 2011 1:51 PM CST
Jo Ann, am I recalling correctly that you grow several Begonias? How do you use them in summer?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
Image
ge1836
Mar 28, 2011 3:33 PM CST
Its not me. I'm a coleus person.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Mar 28, 2011 6:11 PM CST
Oh, well then you should! LOL I do love combining Coleus and Begonias on my shady deck.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
Image
irisarian
Mar 28, 2011 9:41 PM CST
We seem to have more predicted cold air coming from Canada. Keep it there, people.

Hope to remember to plant the California poppy seed this year. Packet has been sitting around on the shelf.

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