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(Species: Begonia Tuberosa or Begonia x tuberhybrida - Family: Begoniacee)
Tuberous Begonias and its origins
Large and colourful, Tuberous Begonias produce very decorative flowers. Originating from South America and Africa, there are a multitude of species in the Begoniacee family, due to its ability to hybridise with ease.
The Tuberous Begonia is considered a relatively young flower due to its appearance in the late 1800s and as a result, in the language of flowers, it has no known translation. Most species found on the market are a cross between Begonia Tuberous and species from South America and Africa, imported into Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Seasonality: Tuberous Begonias in flower
A summer bloomer, Tuberous Begonias are in flower from June to October and bring a splash of colour to hanging baskets, or cascading from pots and large tubs. Due to its vibrancy and variety, it is considered a spectacular species.
There are 4 classes of Tuberous Begonias:
Tuberous Begonias vary in size and shape, in colour and formation. From white with picotee petals that have hot pink edges, to vibrant pinks, reds and yellows.
The large flower Begonias are upright flowers and commonly have double blooms packed tight with swirling layers of petals. They have a diameter of 10-15cm and can reach up to 20cm in height. They are available in a wide spectrum of colours from white to pinks and reds.
Medium-sized tuberous begonias are slightly smaller, this upright growing flower is generally 5-7cm in diameter and can typically reach 20-25cm in height.
The small class of Tuberous Begonias reach 15-25cm high and the flower size is an average of 2cm in diameter. Colours range from yellow and orange, to pink and red.
Finally, pendulous begonias are trailing or cascading begonias, and typically have falling leaves and small flowers.
How to Plant Tuberous Begonias
A reasonably hardy perennial, Tuberous Begonias thrive in partially shaded areas or filtered sunlight. Excessive exposure to sunlight or too much shade will result in damaged or poor flower growth. Planting should take place in spring, when temperatures start to reach 18oC and soil should comprise a 1/3 potting compost, a 1/3 sand and 1/3 peat to create excellent drainage and avoid water logging.
Propagation of Tuberous Begonias
Tuberous begonias can be propagated by division, leaf or stem cuttings. The easiest and most common method is division, transplanting a small piece of the tuber.