Yes, begonias make great ground cover. They provide lush green foliage that is attractive in its own right and is perfect for adding texture to a garden. In addition, they are relatively low maintenance and can be left to their own devices to spread naturally.
They are happy in either full sun or partial shade, and create a pleasing contrast to other foliage and flower colors. Begonias are also rather hardy and can tolerate a variety of soil types, allowing them to spread into areas that other plants may struggle in.
They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and vibrant colors as well, from the semi-double white ‘Cliff Nemo’ to the vivid pink ‘Calderone Rose’. All in all, begonias are well worth considering when looking for an attractive, practical, and low-maintenance ground cover.
Where is the place to put a begonia?
The best place to put a begonia is in a area with partial shade or part sun. The area should get some direct sunlight, but should be shaded slightly so the sun isn’t too intense. You should choose a spot with good air circulation, as begonias can get easily infected by fungal and bacterial disease if they are too humid.
The soil should be well-draining, and you can use a soil mix specifically formulated for begonias. It should be kept moist, but not wet, and fertilized at least once a month. If the plant becomes leggy, pinch back the stems to promote more lateral growth.
Begonias are not frost-tolerant, so if you live in an area with cold winters, you should bring your begonia indoors for the winter months.
Do begonias come back year after year?
Begonias are perennials, meaning they come back year after year depending on their growing conditions and the species. In most cases, this is from their underground root structure and parts of the stem that remain alive and protected during the winter months.
Some species of begonia may not be hardy enough to survive cold winter temperatures, so in those cases, they will grow as annuals, meaning they will only last for one season. With the proper care, good soil, full sun, and minimal winter protection, Begonia plants can be expected to last for years and return each spring.
When Begonias die back to the ground during winter, they will come back healthy and beautiful in the spring.
Do begonias spread out?
Yes, begonias can spread out. In general, begonias are considered a clumping or mounding plant, but some varieties can spread more aggressively. Wax begonias for example will gradually multiply and spread, though more slowly than other rhizomatous begonias like rhizomatous or rex begonias, which will rapidly spread either through their underground stems or through the offsets produced, forming a dense mat.
However, even with the spreading varieties, control can usually be accomplished by removing the offsets before they establish roots, or by cutting off the rhizomes when they emerge outside of the desired area.
Additionally, deadheading spent blooms helps to maintain a relatively even spread instead of a clumpy look.
Do begonias do better in pots or in the ground?
It depends on the type of begonia and your individual climate. Begonias are generally adaptable, but some species prefer to be grown in pots while others fare better when planted in the ground. Teddy-Bear begonias and fibrous begonias should be grown in pots, while other types, such as Rex and tuberous begonias, do best in the ground.
Your climate conditions are also important to consider. If your climate is particularly cold or wet, then growing in a pot will provide better insulation for the roots of the begonia. If your climate is hot, then planting in the ground can help to provide the roots with cooler temperatures.
Having said that, many begonia varieties flourish in both containers as well as in the garden. Experiment with a variety of placement to find out which one suits your begonias best!.
Can you leave begonias in the ground over winter?
Yes, begonias can be left in the ground over winter in most climates. As long as the temperature does not dip too low or the ground does not freeze, the plant should fare well in cold weather, as it is an evergreen perennial.
However, it is wise to take some additional precautions to help protect the plant during the winter season. Mulch should be applied to the soil and around the base of the plants as an extra layer of insulation and protection from the cold.
Additionally, a small greenhouse or cold frame can be used to cover the plants and help keep them warm, allowing them to survive even in below-freezing temperatures. It is also important to be aware of and monitor any signs of disease, since cold weather can cause the roots to rot if kept too wet.
With the right preparation and protection, begonias can easily survive a winter outdoors.
What month do you plant begonias?
Begonias can be planted in the spring or summer months, but they do best when planted in early spring so they have time to establish a strong root system before the summer heat begins. To prepare the soil and encourage strong root growth, it is important to work in plenty of organic matter, such as compost, before planting the begonias.
Plant the begonias in a well-draining potting soil and make sure they have at least four to six hours of sunlight a day. Depending on the variety of begonia, they may need to be protected from temperatures below 55ºF.
When planting begonias, make sure to set the crown of the plant just above the soil surface, gently firm around the roots, water regularly and apply fertilizer to keep them growing strong.
How long do begonias last in pots?
The lifespan of begonias in pots will depend on several factors, including the type of begonia, the amount and type of care they receive, and the climate they’re in. In general, most tuberous and annual begonias can last in their pots for 1-2 seasons while many of the popular wax Begonia varieties can last for up to 4-5 seasons.
It’s important to check the soil moisture, fertilize regularly and ensure the pot is large enough to accommodate the plant’s growth to maximize the lifespan of your begonias. It’s also important to be aware of the local climate, as extreme temperatures or prolonged dry spells can impact the lifespan of begonias in pots.
By taking proper care of your begonias and ensuring they are in the ideal environment, you can enhance their lifespan in pots.
How do you get begonias to spread?
Begonias can spread by first planting them in the right conditions. They need a slightly acidic, well-draining potting soil to thrive. During the growing season, they should be given plenty of sunlight and water on a regular schedule.
Once the begonias are established in the desired area, the plants can be divided or propagated with the help of stem or root cuttings. Stem cuttings can be taken from the plant by first snipping off 4- or 5-inch stem pieces and removing the lower leaves.
These stem cuttings should be planted in moist potting soil and lightly misted with water. After a few weeks, roots should begin to grow from the stem cuttings once they establish themselves in the new planting soil.
Root cuttings can also be taken from the plant by first cutting the tuberous roots into small sections about 1- to 2-inches in size. Make sure that there is at least one eye (a small bump where the stems appear) on the end of each root section.
These root sections should be planted in moist potting soil and lightly misted with water. After a few weeks, the tuber pieces root should start to establish themselves. Once the pieces of the begonias have fully rooted, they can be transplanted into their final garden beds.
How many begonias can be planted together?
The number of begonias that can be planted together depends on the size of the pot, the amount of light the begonias will receive and the spacing between the plants. Generally, six to eight begonias of the same size can fit comfortably in a 12-inch pot.
However, if you are using a larger pot, or if you have a mix of small and large begonias, you can fit up to ten or fifteen plants in the same pot. Additionally, if the pot is in a heavily shaded area, you may be able to group more begonias in the same pot since they will require less space.
To ensure proper growth and flowering, it is important to give the begonias plenty of space, so be sure to leave at least two inches of space between the individual plants.
How many years will begonias last?
Begonias can last anywhere from a few months to many years, depending on the type of begonia and how it is cared for. Some perennial or tuberous Begonia varieties, such as the wax begonia, can last for several years, while some annual varieties such as the Dragon Wing Begonia last for only one season.
Generally, if the begonia is planted in well-draining soil, kept away from extreme temperatures, gets plenty of sunlight, and is given regular fertilizer, it can last for up to three or four years. For tuberous begonias, it is important to divide them every few years to ensure that they continue to thrive.
With proper care and maintenance, a begonia can last for many years, brightening up your garden or home for many growing seasons.
How many begonias should I plant in a hanging basket?
The exact number of begonias you should plant in a hanging basket will depend on several factors, such as the size of your basket and the variety of begonia you’ve chosen. Generally speaking, you should give each begonia enough space to spread out without overcrowding.
If your basket is 8 – 10 inches in diameter, it is recommended to plant three to five begonias. For larger baskets, you may want to plant up to 10 begonias. Additionally, you may want to try grouping several varieties together to create a unique, colorful display.
When planting multiple begonias, remember to stagger them so that the basket will remain full and even. It is also important to note that most begonias require at least six hours of indirect sunlight and consistant moisture for optimum growth.
How far apart do you plant trailing begonias?
When planting trailing begonias, it is important to space the plants out appropriately in order to ensure that they have enough space to grow. Generally speaking, the recommended spacing for planting trailing begonias is 10-12 inches apart.
However, in some cases, the spacing may need to be adjusted depending on the particular variety of begonia being planted, the size of its root system, and the climate of the area. Additionally, trailing begonias can be planted closer together, but this could result in competing for light, moisture, and nutrients, as well as creating a bushier plant that may not provide as much coverage.
To ensure the best results with trailing begonias, it is typically recommended to stick with the 10-12 inches spacing guideline.
How do I save my begonias for next year?
Saving your begonias for the next year is actually quite an easy process. First, allow your begonias to being to die back in late summer or fall before you begin harvesting them. Once the plant has died back, carefully dig up the entire root ball and shake off excess soil.
Cut any stems back to just above the root ball. Then, remove any dead or damaged leaves and discard them. Place the root ball and remaining stems in a cool, dry location. Once the plant is completely dry, begin repotting in a container with a well-draining potting soil.
Water in after the repotting process is complete, and place in a cool, dark location. Allow the begonias to rest in this cool, dark place for the remainder of winter and until you’re ready to move them outdoors again.
Keeping the begonia cool and slightly dry (without completely drying out) during this resting period is key for success when trying to save it for the next year.
What do you do with begonias outside in the winter?
In the winter months, it is important to take extra care of your begonias if you wish for them to survive and bloom the following year. One of the key steps to successfully preparing outdoor begonias for the winter is to ensure that they are planted in the correct area.
Begonias prefer partially shaded areas with well-draining soil, so if you planted your begonias in a sunny spot or an area with poor drainage, you should consider transplanting them prior to the cold weather.
When it comes to temperature, begonias are hardy plants that are able to withstand temperatures as low as 30°F, so they can handle most winter climates without additional protection. However, if you live in an area that experiences especially cold temperatures, you may wish to provide your plants with some extra protection.
You can create a layer of mulch around the begonias or use a frost blanket that can help insulate both the soil and the begonias themselves.
During the winter, begonias need significantly less water than they do during the warmer months. Be sure to water your begonias only when the soil is dry, and limit watering to about once a week. Additionally, deadhead any faded blooms before the first frost to help ensure that your begonias have enough energy to make it through the winter.
With the correct care, your begonias should go dormant and prepare for another year of beauty.