Plant of the Month: Tuber­ous Be­go­nias

Cheshire Life - - Garden Masterclas­s -

As the weather cools tuber­ous be­go­nias have a fi­nal fling – my be­go­nia bo­livien­sis is be­decked with so many lantern-like flow­ers the plant seems to glow! As glo­ri­ous as this dis­play is, the first frost will blacken the blooms and turn the leaves to limp black flags, which is the hint to dig up the gin­ger-like fleshy tu­bers and bring in­side for win­ter. With the tops trimmed the tu­bers hap­pily hi­ber­nate packed to­gether in boxes of dry com­post in a green­house or garage. Come the spring look out for lit­tle buds on their tops as these are an­other nudge – this is the time to pot-up the roots into fresh com­post and grow on in a warm spot in­doors. Af­ter the last frost they are safe to plant out in pots in the gar­den.

If you do just one thing… dig out the ‘good stuff’ from the bot­tom of the com­post heap to make room for the piles of clip­pings, spent fo­liage and flow­ers from the bor­ders. Ei­ther use as a mulch or put to one side for plant­ing.

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