Begonia tuberhybrida - Tuberous Begonia

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Begonia tuberhybrida - Tuberous Begonia

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Tuberous begonias grow in partial shade but usually not so well in deep shade or full sun. Provide a well drained soil. The plants need frequent watering and fertilization but excess of either causes flower bud drop. The plants are quite brittle and staking helps them tolerate violent weather. The single female flowers are removed before seed forms to keep the plant blooming. The females are on either side of the double male flowers.

Tubers are started in February or March at temperatures of 65 to 68 degrees. Start tubers, indented side up, on a layer of peat. When new growth is 3 to 4 inches tall, repot and cover the tuber.

The tubers are dug when the leaves and stems fall off. This is preceded by reduced blooming and leaf yellowing. Do not break off the stems but wait until they fall off naturally. Injured bulbs are exposed to air to allow healing. Wash tubers and allow them to dry before storing. Dried tubers are covered with peat or sand and stored at 45 to 60 degrees.

Propagation is by stem cuttings and by tuber division. Stem cuttings are made from surplus shoots which arise from the tuber. Stem tips may also be used. The cuttings are 3 inches long and are cut off just below a node. Sand may be used as the rooting media. Keep cuttings out of direct sun and in temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees. Rooting occurs in 5 weeks. Tuber division is the other way to propagate the plants. Divide the tuber so each division has a bud and use a fungicide to prevent rot. Allow the pieces to dry several days then place them one-half inch deep in sand. The new plants develop more rapidly with bottom heat. Pinch off the first flower buds.

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Begonia tuberhybrida - 70K
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