All About Growing Begonia Tuberhybrida
Begonia tuberhybrida flowers can help you to enjoy a tropical paradise no matter where you live. The tropics are known for their rich foliage and colorful blossoms, but even if you don’t live in a warm, tropical haven you can have some of that color right in your own garden.
Originating in the high Andes Mountains of South American, begonia tuberhybrida often grow in regions that are above the 10,000 to 12,000 feet level. In this region the daytime temperatures are moderate and the nights are cool. To grow these flowers it is necessary to start them indoors; you will need to use UV lamps to begin the growing process but can transplant them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
Begonia tuberhybrida flowers were first discovered in the late 17th century by a monk; this monk named the plant after a French botanist, who also happened to be the Governor of the Dominican Republic. For the next two hundred years these flowers slowly made their way into gardens all over the world; eventually they would be cultivated in California to create hybrids that thrives in cooler climates.
You can grow begonia tuberhybrida flowers from seeds, as well as from tubers. To grow these flowers from seeds is much more difficult so unless you are very experienced in growing exotic plants it is best to begin them from tubers. Although many people believe that you can get better quality flowers from large tubers, this is untrue. The size of the tuber will have little to do with the quality of the flowers that they produce. Larger tubers do have a tendency to produce larger flowers.
To start growing begonia tuberhybrida flowers with tubers you will want to begin in mid February. You will want to start them in a shallow seed flat that contains sand and peat moss, or you can use rotted leaf mold. The main thing is to ensure that what you use will drain well to avoid rotting the tubers. You should not use any type of fertilizer when starting the tubers.
Place the begonia tuberhybrida tubers in the flat about three inches apart, ensuring that they are completely covered. They will need to be well watered so that they stay moist during the starting phase, but be careful not to over water or this could drown the tubers just as they are getting started. You will want to keep the starts under a UV light for at least 16 hours each day to ensure they are getting enough light.
Once the begonia tuberhybrida sprouts have reached about 3-inchs you can then plant them in a pot. The soil you use will have to be rich, high-grade soil with some sand and peat moss mixed in with it. You can use fertilizer at this point but you will want a natural fertilizer that will release nutrients over time. Once you have replanted the sprouts you should place the pots in a cool area of your home. They will need a lot of light but do not place them in direct sunlight.
While growing indoors you will need to keep the soil moist and feed them with liquid Miracle Grow at least once a week. As these flowers are a tropical plant they will be very susceptible to cold temperatures so you cannot replant them outdoors until well after the frost has disappeared. Try planting them outside about a week after you would normally plant tomatoes, usually late spring.
To ensure that your begonia tuberhybrida flowers do not go into shock you may want to try adjusting them to the temperature a couple of weeks ahead of time by putting them outside during the day.