Tuberous begonia

Tuberous begonia

Generality tuberous begonia

Belonging to the Begoniaceae family, the tuberous begonia is an annual plant, native to tropical and subtropical areas, which takes its name from the type of root that distinguishes it, a large blackish tuber. The tuberous begonia has a fleshy and gnarled stem and large flowers of different colors and morphologies. Distinctive signs of this plant are a strongly asymmetrical growth and the fact of being a monoecious plant, i.e. with male and female flowers, different from each other, present on the same plant: the male flowers are more striking and are formed by 4 oval petals, two of which are smaller; in female flowers, on the other hand, the 4 petals appear the same and from them a winged capsular fruit is born, containing very small seeds.

Tuberous begonia - Yellow tuberous begonia">Cultivation tuberous begonia

It is an easy to grow plant: it loves bright positions, but not direct sunlight. Its ideal temperature is around 15 ° C; if, in the warmer seasons, the ambient temperature exceeds 18 ° C, it will be good to place a layer of gravel with a little water under the pot. With the arrival of the first colds, the leaves of the begonia will begin to fall: at that point, the tuber can be left in the pot, dry, at a temperature around 7/10 ° C; in spring, then, the tuber will be planted, with the concave part upwards, in a mixture of peat and slightly acid soil, at a minimum depth of 3 cm. At the birth of the first shoots, the seedlings will be transferred to peaty soil.

Tuberous begonia - Tuberous begonias">Watering and fertilizing tuberous begonia

The begonia needs regular watering, especially from March to October; however, it will be essential to let the surface layer of the soil dry out completely between one irrigation and the next. In winter, however, the tubers can remain in the pot, but they must remain dry. Particular attention must then be paid to drainage, as these plants fear stagnation of water, which could cause the tuber to rot, or cause it to be attacked by molds. As for fertilization, like all plants that produce many flowers, it needs a liquid fertilizer, rich in a greater amount of potassium, but also nitrogen and phosphorus. The fertilizer will be administered in spring / summer, approximately every 2 weeks.

Tuberous begonia: Pests and diseases tuberous begonia

Exposure to direct sunlight can cause obvious burns on the leaves; in this case, it will immediately be moved to another location. Excessive irrigation or too high temperatures can cause the plant to sag: it will therefore be necessary to change its location or reduce watering. The presence of gray mold on leaves and flowers will signal an attack of Botrytis cinerea, a fungus: it will be necessary to let the soil dry, treat the begonia with a specific fungicide and move it to an airy position, but away from drafts. The same operations must be carried out in case of a white powdery mold on the leaves, which will indicate the attack of powdery mildew, or bad white, a very harmful fungus.

Video: Begonia Propagation. How to Root Cuttings of Begonia and Grow them Through the Winter