Tuberous Begonias - Knowledgebase Question

Warsaw, MO
Question by doublel
June 27, 2000
I have planted tuberous begonias for centerpieces for my daughter's wedding. The leaves are looking great and buds are forming. In order to keep them blooming should I deadhead the blossoms after they have faded and should the foliage be cut back in any way. The wedding is Aug. 26th and I would like for them to be as much in bloom as possible. I am fertilizing them weekly with a liquid fertilizer and have not been misting them. Should I do this?
They are in a protected area. Thank you for your information.


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Answer from NGA
June 27, 2000

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In general, tuberous begonias blossom all summer long as long as they receive the light shade and regular watering that helps them thrive. It isn't necessary to deadhead begonias; the petals fall off, all on their own. You can feed weekly with a quarter strength dilution of liquid fertilizer. Don't mist the leaves - you might be encouraging fungal diseases. Make sure the pots drain freely and are large enough for the tubers to grow over the season. Also, make sure that a full-grown plant won't topple the pot (according to Burpee's catalog, their habit is to spread, and the mound can reach 12" in height). They'll make beautiful centerpeices, I'm sure. Plant a few extra pots as insurance against loss, and if hail or other "heavy weather" threatens while they're growing outside this summer, make provisions to move them to a sheltered place. Growing them on a wheeled platform may be a good idea, so that you can easily move them into a garage or outbuilding. Finally, since nothing is completely predictable, have a florist ready to serve as your back up just in case. Best wishes!

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