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Plant growers are always in search of attractive flowering houseplants that give them and their family members pleasure as they watch the plants grow and flower throughout the year.One such variety is Begonia tuberhybrida which will bring a welcome splash of color into your home.
Care guide highlights: Differently called Begonia “Can-can“, it needs diffused light, a sunny and warm spot, soil that is comprised of peat and sand. Water it once the surface becomes dry to the touch. The temperature levels Begonia tuberhybrida requires are between 13 and 21 degrees C depending on the season and daytime, along with regular humidity levels.
Here’s what you will find out in this article:
- Tuberous begonias
- Light requirements of tuberous begonia
- Does Begonia tuberhybrida need high temperature?
- What humidity level is recommended?
- Soil requirements
- Potting and repotting- how and when?
- Is it necessary to water Begonia Tubehybrida every day?
- Fertilizing- how much and how often?
- Propagation guide
- Pests, diseases and other insects
- Frequently asked questions
What follows is a detailed guide on how to take tender care of Begonia tuberhybrida!
There are more than 1500 species of begonias, usually classified as cane-like (angel wing), rex, rhizomatous, shrublike, tuberous, semperflorens, thick stemmed, and trailing or tree climbing.
Begonia tuberhybrida belongs to the tuberous group. A tuber is a round swollen part on the stem of some plants. This part grows below the ground and it is in charge of producing new plants.
Grow tuberous plants from tubers in containers or pots with the indented side up, ideally in spring because tubers are dormant in winter. They should be deadheaded regularly to prolong flowering.
About Begonia tuberhybrida
Begonia tuberhybrida species vary from pendent to upright with five side shoots. It has double, yellow flowers with petals that are rough-edged and red, though they can vary in color. The flowers are borne in summer.
Begonia tuberhybrida can achieve a height of 30 centimeters and spread to 50 centimeters. It performs well in USD zones 9-11. It has sparse branches, succulent stems, bright to deep green leaves that are 20 cm long.
There are several varieties of it, B. x tuberhybrida Mocha series, which is bushy, dark-leaved, with obvious veins. The foliage can exhibit chocolate-brown hues. It has double flowers in about 6 different individual colors. This one performs well in zones 11-12 at a minimum temperature of 10 degrees C.
Another variety is B.x tuberhybrida Nonstop Series, which is also bushy and has double flowers borne in 12 varied colors. The leaves are positioned close together on the stems and are medium green and heart-shaped. Same zones, 11-12 and temperature at least 10 degrees C.
Before we proceed, take a look at other adorable Begonia plants:
How to grow Begonia tuberhybrida
If you plant your Begonia tuberhybrida in early spring, it will develop later that season into a young plant and will flower in summer to early autumn.
You can purchase it as a mature plant and store it in the same pot over winter, replant it in the spring. Here is a guide to help you grow one.
Light Requirements of Tuberous Begonia
Like most begonias, this species needs diffused light, preferably in mid-level greenhouse or east-facing or west-facing sunlight. If you have only south-facing windows, position the plant further away and use some kind of protection like curtains and put it behind a more sun-loving plant.
You can also move your plants outdoors in spring or summer if you are growing them in pots, just make sure to find partial shade.
If your source of light is inadequate, consider purchasing artificial grow lights such as fluorescent tubes which should work perfectly for Begonia tuberhybrida. Make sure to position them slightly away from the tubes and install ventilation or fans if you are growing the plant in a greenhouse.
Protect the plant from strong winds that can dry out the plant.
Does Begonia Tuberhybrida Needs High Temperature?
Another important matter is to maintain the ideal temperature levels for your plant to grow. Daytime and nighttime temperatures should differ, naturally, as well as winter and summer temperatures.
The maximum in the summer days should be 21 degrees C, while the minimum is 15 degrees C.
In winter, store Begonia tuberhybrida in a dry spot at around 13 degrees C.Protect the plant from cold and frost and bring them inside.
Plants grown in a greenhouse can remain there as the temperatures will be satisfactory and convenient for Begonia tuberhybrida.
What Humidity Level is Recommended?
If the temperature rises above 21 degrees C, make sure that the air is not hot. Do that by positioning the pot on a tray of pebbles almost covered with water.
Ideal humidity levels for Begonia tuberhybrida are around 50% and most households need to increase it at least a bit.
You can also get a humidifier or group plants together after applying water. This will help retain moisture and humidity.
In case the environment is too humid, the plant might exhibit some undesirable reactions like fungal infections.
This species can grow in any potting mixture provided that it is porous, well-draining and well-aerated. The pH level should be mildly acidic to neutral, as with most begonias. If that is not the case, add ground limestone to the potting mix.
Plant new or divided tubers in equal parts peat or perlite and coarse sand. This combination will ensure proper drainage and airflow, so nutrients can travel more easily to the plant.
Potting and Repotting- How and When?
As mentioned above, tuberous plants are usually sold as mature plants to the end of fall, so refrain from repotting them. Rather, keep them in a nursery pot, wait for the winter to pass and then replant it in spring.
When it is time to repot, choose a container that’s only one size larger than the previous one at a time. Do not cover the leaves or put potting soil around them.
Plant or repot the plant in early spring in 8 to 10 cm pot. When shoots are around 10 cm long, repot into 10 to 13 cm pots.
In winter, when leaves die down and the soil around the plant becomes dry, remove the plant and store it between layers of newspapers in a cool, dry spot. As an alternative, let it dry in its pot. Wait for spring and then pot it.
Is It Necessary to Water Begonia Tubehybrida Every Day?
In summer, water thoroughly once a week when the soil surface begins to feel dry to the touch.
If your Begonia tuberhybrida is dormant, start watering it in early spring, whenever the surface becomes dry.
If temperatures drop below 16 degrees C, water less frequently or the plant will rot.
If the leaves turn yellow and begin to drop off the plant, you are most probably overwatering. The key is to find the perfect balance between underwatering and overwatering and you will do so by watering only when the surface is dry, but not dry out completely.
If you are not sure, you can use testing kits, the index finger test or pull the plant slightly out with the soil to check.
Fertilizing- How Much and How Often?
Begonia tuberhybrida is a heavy feeder and needs the supply of fertilizers to enhance blooming. This is especially important if your plant is growing in a soilless mixture that lacks nutrients.
Ideally, use a balanced one that contains phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. Once the flower buds have appeared, feed the plant twice a month with a liquid fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Water the plant after fertilizing.
In autumn, minimize the frequency and discontinue fertilizing in the winter.
Propagation can be done from stem, tip or leaf cuttings, or by dividing tubers.
Make sure you are familiar with the plant’s root system and how a tuber looks like. Then, you can successfully propagate the plant.
Divide tubers in the following way:
- Prepare 2 pots and a mixture of soil and sand.
- Lift the plant carefully and remove the soil on the tuber.
- Cut the tuber in half with a sharp, sterilized knife.
- Each section you take must have a shoot and roots.
- Dust cut ends.
- At this point, you can apply fungicide and leave them for few days to heal.
- Pot each separately, with half tuber above the soil and the indented side up.
- If you are growing it in a basement, use heat mats to make the plant warm.
- Check how the plant is growing, pinch off any buds.
- You can add peat moss to add moisture.
- When a sprout appears, it is ready to be planted. Replant with the indentations being upwards.
Pests, Diseases and Other Insects
If leaves develop black patches, your plant fell victim to Botrytis because the conditions are too cold and damp. What you should do is remove damaged leaves and spray the plant with a fungicide, place it in a warmer spot and refrain from misting the plant. Allow the surface to dry out between waterings.
Yellowing leaves and squishy stems
If it is too cold and wet, the leaves can also turn yellow and the stems can become squishy, in which case you should move it to a warmer location and if mold appears, spray the stems with fungicide.
If yellow patches appear on the leaves of your Begonia tuberhybrida, it is the case of Begonia mite. Remove affected leaves and dispose of them or burn them. Immediately dust the plant with sulfur and continue to do that once a month for three months.
Care tips in a nutshell:
- Cleaning is not necessary, though you can dust with a soft brush. Do not use products that add leaf shine on this one.
- Enrich the soil by adding peat, perlite and make it the right pH level
- Find a spot where the plant will receive diffused light
- Water once the surface becomes dry
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do when the leaves on my Begonia tuberhybrida are small and there are no flowers?
The plant needs some food. Once buds appear, feed the plant once a month with a fertilizer. To stimulate flowering, find a spot where it will receive more diffused light.
Why my plant has brown scorch marks on the leaves and flowers?
Well, the plant has been damaged by too much sunlight. Move it to an area of diffused daylight and remove damaged leaves and flowers.
What to do when my Begonia tuberhybrida is losing leaves?
The conditions in which it is growing are too hot, so move the plant to a cooler place with good airflow and ventilation. Spray it with soft, tepid water, but avoid splashing the flowers. Make temperature around 20 degrees C.
Why do the tips of the leaves curl and the plant flops?
The environment is too dry, so keep the potting mix moist in the summer, water thoroughly weekly when the surface becomes dry. Increase humidity, too.
What can I do when Begonia tuberhybrida gets into the period of dormancy?
Well, this is a normal stage. Reduce watering, discontinue fertilizing two weeks before the colder months. When it gets a bit warmer, dig out the tubers, trim stems and bring the tubers inside in a bright spot shaded from direct sun. Pull out stems and roots, removing excess soil, but do not wash the tubers. Keep them in a cool, shady spot. Check regularly how they are doing.