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Begonia is a large, diverse genus with hundreds of distinct species. It features a wide variety of leaf structures, colours and textures as well as a varied range of flower forms that come in many different - often vivid - shades. Begonias can be grown outdoors in cooler climates in summer; they can also make good indoor plants. Begonia leaves are often strikingly patterned and the flowers of many species make stunning bedding plants that will brighten up any border, hanging basket or shady spot, whether upright, climbing or trailing in habit. They prefer slightly acid, rather than alkaline, soil and appreciate regular watering during the growing season, but they don't like to be too wet in winter. The flowers are edible and can add interest to many dishes!
Common problems with Begonia
A simple cure for some of these insects is to spray the affected areas with a little dishwashing liquid, mixed with water, in a spray bottle (make routine sprays if the pests are persistent). Prevent powdery mildew by spraying with a registered fungicide.
How to propagate Begonia
Division of the tubers during the dormant period (winter) and replant in the spring. Space the plants 15 cm apart from each other.
Take softwood cuttings of about 10cm and root in a glass of water.
Special features of Begonia
Flowers come in extremely vivid colours, except in blue and green. Red, white, pinks and purple are most common.
They work very well when planted in hanging baskets and containers.
Other uses of Begonia
Grown for their colourful flowers and/or ornamental leaves.
Poisonous to Pets
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