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All About Tuberous Begonias2016

Native to tropical South America and Southern Africa, tuberous begonias have become one of the most popular bulbs grown by home gardeners worldwide.

Their beautiful blooms come in every colour except blue, as well as being either single or double flowered with smooth or ruffled petals. They make one of the best choices for that shady spot, either planted directly into the ground, or used in containers on patios and decks, or in hanging baskets, supplying you with colour throughout the summer months. 

Traditionally you'll see the standard bedding out non-stop begonias on greenhouse shelves each spring. These work well, however, should you choose to grow your own from tuber, you'll have many varieties to choose from, saving you money in the long run, as the price of one tuber can be considerably less than a 4” pot from the greenhouse. Plus the tubers are twice the size, meaning larger blossoms and more blooming power per plant.

Getting Started

Tuberous begonias are easy to start indoors. All that is required is a sunny window or grow lights, 4” pots with saucers and a good potting mix such as a cactus-type soil, or any well-drained potting mix such as Schultz Seed Starter. 

Note: It is very important that a pink sprout appears before the tuber is planted, Keep in a warm spot until sprouts appear. Now you are ready for planting.

  • Gently rustle the tuber into the potting mix so it's at or slightly below the soil surface. Make sure the hollow or concave sides faces upwards.

  • Place in a try of water so soil can soak up water from the bottom. It is extremely important not to get water in the hollow center, as this will surely result in rot.

  • Place pots in a warm sunny location (21ºC is ideal) or on bottom heat such as a heating mat.

  • Avoid overwatering – water only when soil surface shows dryness. As plants develop they will need water more often and in increasing amounts.

  • Once the first flower buds appear, pinch them off to divert energy back into the growing leaves, as there will be lots of time to bloom in summer.

  • Fertilize every 2-3 weeks either with an organic fertilizer such as Kelp or Fish Fertilizer, or you can use an inorganic fertilizer such as 15-30-15 or 20-20-20, again, every 2-3 weeks.


The following are some of the varieties and flower forms we will be carrying at Greenland this spring:


Cameillia Flowered

  • flower colours include red, pink, yellow, white and bi-coloured

  • flowers have smooth petals resembling the flowers of a camellia from warmer climes

  • 3-4” (8-10cm) blooms on 12” (30cm) plants


Fimbriated types
  • flower colours include white, pink, red and yellow

  • ruffled petals with serrated edges

  • flowers are 3-4” (8-10cm) across on 12” (30cn) plants

  • great in containers


Pendula Types
  • recommended for hanging baskets or for spiller over containers on the deck because of their cascading habit of growth

  • flower colours include white, yellow, pink and red

  • flowers have pointed petals that hand downward

  • 3” (8-9cm) blooms

Novelty Types



  • 3” (8-9cm) flowers are white splotched and edged in red

  • great in containers

  • 12” (30 cm) plants


Picotee Yellow

  • ruffled two-toned 3-4” (8-10cm) blooms in a rich apricot colour edged in red

  • 12” (30cm) tall



Super Novelty Types

These are known for their extra vigour and extra large blooms lasting all summer. Tubers themselves increase in size substantially year to year.


  • beautiful cascading 4-6” (10-15cm) double white blooms with each petal reversed pink

  • great for containers or hanging baskets

  • larges 15” (35-40cm) plants



  • gorgeous extra large soft double peachy apricot blooms ideal for hanging baskets or containers

  • heavy bloomer

  • 14” (35-40cm) plants


Red Glory

  • another choice selection

  • large rich red double blooms that are fragrant

  • excellent in containers12-15” (30-40cm) plants



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