Begonias of the semperflorens group - or wax begonias - are frequently grown as bedding plants outdoors - but are alas frost-sensitive.
Common name : Wax begonia
Scientific name : Begonia semperflorens
Family : Begoniaceae
Category : Annual
Begonia is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Begoniaceae. The genus contains 1,795 different plant species. The Begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates. Some species are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants in cooler climates. In cooler climates some species are cultivated outside in summertime for their bright colourful flowers, which have sepals but no petals.
The different groups of begonias have different cultural requirements, but most species come from tropical regions, so they and their hybrids require warm temperatures. Most are forest understory plants and require bright shade. Few will tolerate full sun, especially in warmer climates. In general, begonias require a well-drained growing medium that is neither constantly wet nor allowed to dry out completely. Many begonias will grow and flower year-round except for tuberous begonias.
Begonia × semperflorens-cultorum refers to a group of horticultural begonias, hybrids of two Brazilian species, Begonia cucullata var. cucullata Willd. and the Begonia schmidtiana Regel. Their small flowers grouped in bouquets above the foliage are of various colors: red salmon, pink, white and also two-colored. The leaves are asymmetrical, ranging from brilliant green to purple to bronze.
Sow my wax begonia
If you want flowering begonias in May - you'll need to sow in february - in a heated room (20°C +). Begonia seeds will require light - don't dig them too deep under the surface.
Note that you can also sow outdoors, when the earth level reaches a good 20°C - and you'll have begonias later in the season.
Dibble my wax begonia
Two to three months after sowing and after the last spring frosts, the seedlings have grown strong enough to be placed in the ground. It is more or less in this condition that you may buy potted plants.
Choose a location that is slightly sunny or even partial shade. Plant in a "bed" worked finely (dug, scratch then rake). Once the board is properly prepared, simply make a small hole with a transplanter. Remove the plant from its bucket, put it in the hole, and compact the soil to put it in contact with the roots.
Respect a spacing between the plants corresponding to one third of its intended width. Water copiously to facilitate rooting.
Plant my wax begonia
Choose a location that is slightly sunny or semi shady.
Plant them in "your future massif of flowers" worked finely (dug, scratched then raked). Once the board is properly prepared, simply make a small hole with a transplanter, remove the plant from its bucket, put it in the hole, and compact the soil to put it in contact with the roots. Respect a spacing between the plants corresponding to one third of its intended width. Water copiously to facilitate rooting.
Mulch my wax begonia
You can mulch between the plants one to two weeks after planting with the aid of a mulch which holds in moisture. This will limit evaporation from the soil, and thus the need to water and to weed.
Remove my wax begonia
It may seem silly to say, but you must remove the annual plants at the end of the season!
So how to do it? It's simple: for plants with superficial rooting, just unroot it by taking it from the base. Otherwise help yourself with a spade. You can choose to put them back in pots, taking out the whole clod (without breaking or cracking it, if possible) using a spade. It will then be necessary to shelter the pot during winter.
Water my wax begonia
Water seedlings in fine mist, maintaining the soil always moist - if in a pot make sure you use drainage pots. After a few weeks, watering once a week should be fine. Avoid spraying the leaves, especially for plants indoors.
Propagate my wax begonia
Begonias multiply mainly by sowing. Remember to harvest the seeds in late summer to sow them under cover from February-March.
Repot my wax begonia
Plant the seedling between two and four weeks after sowing (as soon as the plant is sufficiently developed to be handled). Separate carefully the seedlings and transplant individually in a bucket filled with transplanting soil, or a mixture of soil and well-decomposed compost. Water copiously at the plantation, then regularly during the first weeks to keep the soil moist.
For plants of one year or more:
If you have managed to keep your begonia for several years in pots, repot it after two years in a larger container. Scrape the outside of the clod to aerate it, then transplant it in a mixture of fibrous compost or potting soilt with some loam. Sprinkle.
Put outside my wax begonia
Your begonia will be very happy outside on sunny days! Acclimate it little by little by putting it gradually in the sun.
Shelter my wax begonia
Put your begonia back inside - it is afraid of freezing! Remove any fruit loaded with seeds, damaged leaves, and put the hotpot behind a bay window not necessarily sunny - the sun in the morning is enough. After a few weeks of acclimatization during which you water very moderately, it should start growing again and even bloom.