Maintenance Tips for Tuberous Begonias - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
How to grow successfully, tuberous begonias. First of all, let's think of the name. Tuberous means that they do in the wintertime when they sleep, you can start it right a way. This here is a little storage unit, there is a little tiny one there, but by wintertime that will have grown to be almost the size of a small potato, and when the tuberous begonia rests in the wintertime it is storing its energy in that tuber. So that is what makes it a tuberous begonia.
Tuberous begonias as opposed to other begonias have great, big, beautiful flowers. So this is a giant, flowered, tuberous begonia that Mary went out and dug in our dig your own field here, where people get to go choose from thousands of them. And, this is a boy flower, and this is the girl flower. So the boy has all the prettiness and the girl just tags along to be important. Tuberous begonias like it cool and with some shade and they do not really like to go in where it is really hot or down in humid country, so Florida, some of those hot states, you cannot do them. Just enjoy them, but you cannot really do them. But here they grow easy, they begin to bloom in early summer, and they will bloom all the way through until it gets cold later on in November, and then they go into that tuberous stage and they sit and rest for the wintertime.
You do not want to overwater tuberous begonias, you want to keep them moist but not soggy, and they come as both hanging baskets and uprights. Mary showed you an upright there and up back here are some uprights that we put in a basket, shows you all the different color ranges how pretty they come. They come in yellows and pinks and whites and reds, everything except greens and blues, nothing like that in a tuberous begonia. One of the new ones - hold this red one up again, Mary - one of the new red, on the non-stop hanging basket series, its called illumination. This is the new red that has a real frilly center on it, and it is a dark, deep red that we did not have before.
The non-stops are easier to grow, they are a little more heat-tolerant, and they get the name non-stop because tuberous begonias are what they call day-length influenced, and if you had a greenhouse and if you lived let's say, any place, Colorado, wherever, California, and you put on the lights in the wintertime and it stayed warm, you could make the non-stop tuberous begonias bloom all year non-stop, comes from Germany but that is how they got the name and people often wonder that. That is a non-stop hanging basket, and, oh, another little growing tip. When you have a nice begonia, of course we know they come both boys and girls, when you see the brown edges on the flower, that means that flower is about done and it is time for you to, if you are going to be perfect, just pinch it off, so it does not fall down inside the plant and rot there.
Tuberous begonias of course like to have some fertilizer just like the others, water, not too much water, so you are going to keep it just not all then, and they like good air circulation so you do not get mildew. So just find a spot where, we do not want you to crowd them together, and we want a spot where there is a nice breeze and a cool coastal climate. Then you are very successful and your Tuberous begonias, you just ignore in the winter time and it will come back year after year, we hope! You usually wonder in an year or so.