How to Grow Begonias

These elegant begonias make handsome features in a modern indoor arrangement. Choose tall simple containers to contrast with the heavily textured leaves.

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Silver BegoniasEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: any time
At Its Best: all year round
Time to Complete: 2 hours

Materials Needed:

  • silver-leaved Begonia rex hybrids
  • Pilea depressa
  • tall metal container
  • plastic tray, such as vegetable packaging, or thick plastic bag
  • plastic pots
  • gravel
  • houseplant potting mix

Line the Containers

If your container has drainage holes, place a deep plastic tray in the bottom to prevent water from leaking out, or line it with a thick plastic bag. Then add gravel to the bottom. Also buy plastic pots that fit neatly into the container.

Help Drainage and Prevent LeakingEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Arrange the Plants

Cover the drainage holes of the plastic pots with gravel, top up with soil, and plant the begonias and Pilea (one in each pot). Water and allow to drain. Arrange the pots in the container, adding more gravel to raise them up to the correct level, as required.

Arrange Begonias in Larger ContainerEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Caring for Begonias

Begonia rex hybrids come in many colors and forms, but all require the same treatment. Feed them weekly in summer and once a month in winter, and keep them away from bright sunlight to prevent the foliage from scorching.

Although they dislike strong sun, begonias produce the best colors in bright, diffused light, and prefer a temperature of 64–70 degrees F. Watering is the key to success, since they're prone to rotting if given too much or too little. Every two weeks, remove the plastic pots from the container and place them in a bowl of water that reaches just below the rims. Allow moisture to seep up from the bottom, and when the top of the soil is wet, take them out and allow to drain.

'Martin Johnson' (image 1); 'Benitochiba' (image 2); 'Tiny Bright' (image 3).

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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