Begonia x tuberhybrida cultivar is famous for its luxurious pink, red and orange flowers. They are large, bright, showy, and look stunning, making them a must-have for every plant hobbyist.
Maybe you have been thinking about getting this plant for a while now, if so, this guide will help you decide why you need to get this plant for your home or garden.
Read on as our experts discuss this plant’s care requirements and provide tips and tricks on propagating and solving problems.
- What Is Begonia x Tuberhybrida?
- Begonia x Tuberhybrida Care
What Is Begonia x Tuberhybrida?
Begonia tuberhybrida is a gorgeous cultivar of Begonia that produces large, showy flowers in bright red, orange, and pink shades. It is easy to take care of and can be grown in all U.S. hardiness zones. Its foliage is also quite pretty with bright, fresh flowers.
Begonia x Tuberhybrida Care
Begonia tuberhybrida plant care involves indirectly giving this plant bright light, watering it when the surface of the soil becomes dry, and high humidity levels. It needs a warm temperature that drops around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to fertilize and groom the plant regularly.
To learn the details of these care requirements, scroll down below.
– Water Requirements
The water needs of Begonia tuberhybrida can be tricky to get if you are new to these plants. It needs to be kept moist pretty evenly but is easily susceptible to rot whenever the slightest overwatering occurs.
You will need to water it more in the hot and dry summer months. This watering frequency must be reduced in the wintertime when the water dries much slower.
Best Water To Use
If you want to give your plant the best water possible, go for distilled water. It should neither be too hot nor too cold, rather only lukewarm.
Tap water for plants is not recommended unless it is being filtered. Salts, minerals, and chlorine from tap water collect in the soil after some time. They make it very hard for your roots to absorb nutrients from the soil. Rainwater is a much better alternative to tap water, in our experience.
When To Water
A trick to finding out when to water your plant is by touching the top of the soil. If it still feels moist, don’t water the plant just yet. If it feels dry, only then should you go ahead with watering it.
You can also place a moisture meter within the soil to determine when to water it. A reading from three to seven on this meter is your sign to go ahead.
– Light Requirements
These Tuberous begonias need only indirect light of moderate intensity to carry out photosynthesis. If direct light falls on its leaves, it can result in brown leaves.
Natural Light Conditions
If you have the option of getting natural light indoors for your plant, there can be nothing better. Your indoor living space needs to have large enough windows in it.
An eastern or the western side facing windows get direct light for a couple of hours each day. That is when you will need to provide some shade. For a southern-side window, constant shade is a must. Moving the plant three feet away from the southern window is best.
Artificial Light Conditions
Nowadays, it’s possible to grow perfectly healthy plants using only artificial lights. These lights will have to be turned on twice the duration of the required natural light. So which artificial light is most suitable for Begonias? We say go for artificial LED lights and install them right above where the plant is kept.
Artificial lights also give off heat due to constant use. Because of this, don’t keep them near your plant. Maintain a distance of at least 15 to 20 inches of these lights from the plant.
– Soil Requirements
There is only one thing your tuberous begonia needs from its soil. That one thing is good drainage. That is why you can simply mix coarse sand with one part of perlite; this would be enough for this plant.
Choose coarse sand over a fine one. This would lead to better consistency that is also easy to handle. Perlite, of course, comes from balls that aid drainage.
If you like, you can add some nutritional additives to the soil such as peat moss or compost. If not, then be sure to keep fertilizing your plant regularly to act as feed to the plant.
– Temperature Requirements
Daytime temperatures should be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit as these plants are native to warm regions. Nighttime temperatures are safely allowed to drop to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
This temperature drop is essential for the flowers to bloom on time. When growing them indoors, you can crack a window open at night to stimulate this day-to-night temperature drop.
– Humidity Requirements
Begonia Tuberhybrida is a tropical plant that needs more than 50 percent humidity in the air that it breathes. Dry air not only makes the soil dry up fast, it also sucks moisture from the plant itself.
Are you worried about your living space not having adequate humidity? Try our top tips to improve the moisture levels around your home.
- The easiest option is to mist your plants early in the morning. Misting means lightly spraying the plant with clean water from a spray bottle. It needs not to be done more than twice a week.
- During your weekly plant grooming session, moisten a piece of paper towel and use it to clean the leaves of the plant on both sides.
- If you happen to own a humidifier, that will help a lot. Most new ones come with a built-in system that shuts it off when the required humidity levels are reached. Similarly, it restarts when the levels start dropping again.
- Humidity or pebbles tray is your DIY alternative to having a humidifier . It is filled with water and pebbles. The pot rests on the pebbles, not the water, which evaporates to create moisture in the air.
- If only a little increase in humidity is needed, you can simply move all tropical plants together to create your private mini rainforest at home.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Tuberous begonias need constant fertilizing to keep growing and thriving. This is because its soil mainly comprises inorganic constituents like perlite and vermiculite.
Fertilizing is especially important when the plant grows during the earlier months of the year. You will have to decrease the frequency of fertilizing when temperatures start dropping.
Liquid vs Pellet Fertilizer
Liquid fertilizer is better than pellet fertilizer because it provides the soil with instant nutrition. It can also be diluted to half its original concentration to make it safer for the roots.
Liquid fertilizer is best given to the soil every second week during the growing months. For begonias, the best is one with an equal proportion of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Pellet form fertilizers are slow-release formulations. They must be buried in the soil every three or four months.
How To Use a Liquid Fertilizer
A liquid fertilizer must always be diluted before use, no matter how mild the original formulation is. You should also water your soil and roots right before fertilizing. This is an excellent hack for reducing the chances of chemical burns. Lastly, fertilizer must be poured on the soil away from the roots.
Go Organic With Compost
If you have time, you should think about making your own compost. You can go for traditional compost making or try out vermicomposting. Both methods are super easy and produce excellent compost.
Using natural compost is advantageous over chemical fertilizers because they don’t cause chemical burns. However, they take some time to release nutrients within the soil.
Grooming is essential to keep your plant in the right shape. If you want to maintain a specific shape of the plant, you need to prune off all branches growing here and there.
At the same time, keep a lookout for old and diseased leaves. Removing these leaves makes the airflow around the plant improve. It also makes it easier to spot potential pests hiding underneath.
Deadheading is when you remove the flowers from the plant when the bloom period is over. You can then put these flowers in a vase for a couple of weeks.
Begonia Tuberhybridas has a tuberous root system from which they give off roots and shoots. These tubers propagate these plants during the non-growing season from fall until spring.
Carry on reading to learn the step-by-step details of propagating these tuberous begonias.
– Deroot Your Plant
Water the soil of your adult plant plentifully the day before so it becomes soft. This makes it easy to deroot and lift the plant from the soil. Be very gentle about it. Don’t use water to remove the soil attached to your tubers, just shake it or use a paper towel.
– Separate the Tubers
After the soil has been removed, you will be able to identify individual tubers of the plant. Separate them so that each tuber comes off with its soil. Cut the stems off close to where they are growing from the tuber.
– Cure Your Tubers
After separating your tubers, apply an antifungal to them for safety. Then, keep it in a well-illuminated and warm place to dry. This process is called the curing of tubers.
– Germinating the Tubers
Take a deep tray and fill it with coarse sandy potting soil. Place your tubers one by one into this soil half an inch deep.
The tubers need high temperatures to germinate at this step. Because this is a rather cold time of the year, you can place thermal heating pads under the germination trays to speed up the process.
– Store Your Tubers
After your tubes have germinated, pinch off any flower buds growing and store them for the winter. They will carry on growing during this stage as well.
It’s safest to store them inside moist moss within a refrigerator. Keep an eye on them so that whenever the tuber gets rotten, discard it immediately.
– Repot the Tubers in Spring
By the time spring comes, your stored tubers should have sprouts growing. Mix the ideal Begonia soil within a pot and plant these tubers in.
Remember that the side with indentations on it should be planted upwards. Get ready to welcome a new plant within a couple of weeks.
The most common problems with your Begonia tuberhybrida are tuber rot, sunburn, pests, and yellowing of leaves. Most of these problems are easily solvable if you have enough knowledge about them.
Learn how to solve all your Begonia problems in the upcoming section.
– Tuber Rot
This problem commonly occurs when a moist tuberous begonia is planted in the soil for propagation. Maybe it wasn’t stored under proper dry conditions during the winters or maybe it got infected during storage.
At any rate, such a tuber will give off a rotten smell and fail to propagate. You will have to discard it and then sterilize the soil. Be careful during the next propagation season.
You don’t want to put the Begonia tuberhybrida under direct sunlight. This is especially true when the plant is placed outside a yard or garden without shade.
The otherwise plump leaves of this plant will turn thin and papery. They will turn yellow first and then brown, and sometimes their edges will turn brown.
Immediately move the plant to a shadier location. The sunburnt leaves will not get better, though. You will have to remove them.
– Mealybugs and Mites
Mealybugs and mites are the two pests to look out for when growing Begonia tuberhybrida. They like to take shelter in spaces between stem sheaths and the undersides of the leaves.
Mealybugs appear as tiny white dots of cotton candy. Mites are elongated and thin in appearance and known for weaving spider webs around the plant.
Both of them are sap-sucking monsters. They will feed on the nutritious sap running through your plant, and the plant will suffer from malnutrition, become weak, and stop growing.
Signs of Mealybugs and Mites
How can someone new to gardening catch a pest attack right away? You can do this by looking under the leaves and sheaths of your plants. You will find these areas teeming with pest colonies.
Below, we have compiled some more spot diagnoses to help you along.
- Yellow spots on the leaves
- Wilting and curling of the leaves
- Stunted growth after some time
- Leaf drop in severe cases
- Presence of a sticky substance called honeydew on the surface of the leaves
Getting Rid of Mealybugs and Mites
As annoying as these pests can be, they are pretty easy to eliminate and treat. Here is a step-by-step guide of the whole process.
- The first thing to do is remove as many pests as possible from the Begonia. We do this by washing our plant under a sink with insecticidal soap.
- Some more stubborn ones will need to be scrubbed off the plant’s surface. You can use a soft bristle brush for these as it is pretty gentle on the plant.
- Next, take a few drops of pure, authentic neem oil on a Q-tip. Apply it on the upper and lower sides of the leaves as well as stem sheaths so that any larvae stuck also get killed.
- If you cannot find neem oil, there are other natural alternatives. Mix baking soda with water and spray thoroughly on all plant parts.
- Diligently apply these natural insecticides every week. You will see that almost all pests will be gone by the end of the month.
– Leaves Turning Yellow
Leaves turning yellow isn’t always harmful. When the leaves turn old and are about to fall off, they often turn yellow. This is natural and nothing to worry about.
However, you need to be concerned if the yellowing is accompanied by other symptoms such as wilting, drying, or curling of leaf edges. Find out what is causing harm to your tuberous Begonia and solve the problem immediately.
Tuberous Begonia is the plant to have if you want to bloom large, showy flowers. Here is a quick recap on this gorgeous cultivar.
- Keep your Begonia tuberhybrida in a warm and humid place.
- Its soil is the easiest to make with one part coarse sand and one part perlite.
- Only water when the topsoil begins to feel dry.
- Since it grows underground through tubers, you can use these tubers for propagating more Begonias.
After reading our comprehensive care guide regarding this Begonia, we don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t order one immediately!
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