Plant of the Month: Tuberous Begonias
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.