Begonia is a plant from tropical regions in Asia, Africa and South America. They are plants that have colorful and very showy flowers, which is why they are widely used in gardening. Approximately 1,500 species are known in the genus of begonias. In addition, the cultivation and care of begonia does not pose great difficulties.
If you like these plants, keep reading this Green Ecologist article because in it we tell you what the cultivation and care of begonia with this simple and practical guide. In addition, you will be able to know the different types of begonias. Pay attention!
Begonias are shade plants with very striking colors. Besides, his easy maintenance, makes them one of the plants preferred by the general public. Despite this, due to their biological characteristics, it is necessary to follow an appropriate care guide and pay attention to changes in the climate, since they bloom in early summer and end their cycle with the first frosts.
As we said, there are some 1,500 different species of begonia, but only 150 species are commonly used in gardening. These can be classified into 3 classes, according to its roots:
This class of begonias is characterized by having an underground stem that also acts as a reserve organ. Among the best known are the begonias Rex, the Crispulas, the Masonian, the hispidas and the variety Imperialis.
These begonia specimens require a average temperature above 15ºC, indirect light and should be watered only if the surface layer of the Earth is dry.
The root of this type of begonias is a tuber similar to a potato. Among the most used are Evasian, Clarkei, Elatior, Tuberhybrida Y Pearcei.
These varieties require temperatures of approximately 13ºC and 5ºC more during flowering. During times of higher temperature, the tubers tend to lose their leaves, which grow back in autumn. In addition, it is important that they have good aeration, to avoid the development of fungi. Thus, in summer we will keep the tubers in a dry environment with a moderate temperature, sowing them at the end of this season. During winter, these varieties need a high amount of light, but never exposure to direct sunlight.
In these varieties, the secondary roots develop at the same rate as the main root. Among the most used are the Begonia semperflorens, Incan, Fuchsioides, Venous or Maculata.
These varieties need a temperature above 10º C. Just the variety Semperflorens (sugar flower) is able to withstand sun exposure. The remaining varieties should be kept in good light and only exposed to direct sunlight in fall and winter. Also, it is recommended to water potted begonias once a week in winter and summer, keep them with good humidity. Also, they need a constant flow of air.
In this other EcologíaVede post we will tell you when to water the plants.
With regard to cultivation, there are begonias that are planted from seeds and others that are planted from tubers. Begonias that are grown from seed are usually smaller and need more care than those from tubers.
Begonias are indoor plants, since it is not recommended to expose them to direct sun, and they need temperatures of around 20ºC. The ideal location is next to a window or a place with good ventilation and where they receive indirect natural light. In addition, these plants need a certain degree of humidity, so it is necessary to water them properly. However, also it is possible to grow them outside, but under suitable conditions, such as placing them near large plants that provide shade.
The best time to grow them is spring, two to three weeks after winter ends, because at this time there are no more frosts and temperatures are usually warm. Regarding the substrate, they need approximately 2/3 of peat and 1/3 of potting mix without soil, since the peat provides the necessary acidity for the plant and facilitates drainage, and add a liquid fertilizer. If grown outdoors, they need peat or organic matter added to the soil.
In this other Green Ecologist article you can see How to reproduce a begonia.
Finally, we tell you how to care for begonias in your home. Take note of these basic care tips.
The land on which the plant is grown must be cleaned of weeds or prevent them from developing by covering with mulch, but reducing watering, since the mulch retains moisture. Once a month, a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer should be applied, use compost or peat to improve performance.
When the flowers start to wilt or turn brown, it will be time to prune the begonias to encourage the development of new flowers and redirect nutrients to these healthy parts. When the flowering season is over, it will be left without any bad flowers, so that the bulb accumulates the nutrients for the next season.
Outdoors you should be careful with pests in begoniasEspecially with slugs and snails, one method to avoid them is to crush egg shells and spread them around the plant. Indoors, it will be necessary to avoid mealybugs, beetles or spiders, spraying the plant with a little spray alcohol.
If you want to read more articles similar to Growing and caring for begoniaWe recommend that you enter our Indoor Plants category.