Summer flowering bulb of 2016: Begonia

There’s only one bulb for summer 2016, and that’s the Begonia. The begonia offers colourful, long-lasting beauty which creates serenity in any garden, or on any patio. Plant your begonia in the spring and enjoy the lovely blooms in the summer!

Begonia family

Begonias come in many shapes, colours and sizes. They each belong in one of two groups– the upright begonia and the hanging begonia.

    • Upright begonias grow and flower… upright. This group can then be divided into a further three categories – double, single and small flowered.
    • Hanging begonias are perfect in hanging pots and baskets; they also cascade over the edge of tall planters in abundance. There are large and small flowering varieties of hanging begonias.

When to plant

Begonia tubers can be planted at two different times in the year. If you plant them in January/February, they will flower in June. Begonias need to be planted in pots or planters and kept indoors until all chance of frost has passed before putting them outdoors. Plant them in May straight into the garden and they will flower in August. Begonia tubers should be planted with the hollow side up and covered in a thin layer of soil.

Good to know!

Although Begonias have been voted ‘Summer Bulb of the Year’, it is actually a tuber. Tubers are a part of the bulb family, they differ from bulbs, in that bulbs store energy in the actual bulb but tubers store it in their fleshy roots.

    • You won’t get hay fever from Begonias because the pollen grains are so heavy they fall directly to the ground and are not carried in the air.
    • If you don’t like to have bees or wasps in the garden, the Begonia is for you as they do not attract them at all.
    • The Latin, scientific name for Begonia is Begonia tuberosa hybrida.