Growing Begonias


Begonias are one of the most useful summer flowering plants. They can be used in beds, containers and hanging baskets. Begonias are easy to care for and will grow even in partial shade.


Plant the tubers hollow-side up in moist compost. For outdoor cultivation, start in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame from early April.

Cover with a shallow layer of compost and water sparingly until growth begins. Depending on when you start the begonias, this can take up to 6 weeks. At this stage we are trying to achieve maximum root growth until shoots appear.

The corms should be exposed to maximum daylight but make sure they are protected from the harshest mid-day sun.

Water regularly (but be sure not to over-water, the compost should not become sodden.) It is important that the compost does not dry out. You can start hardening the plants from mid-May.

When the top growth is about 2 inches (4-6cm), the plants can be potted on.

Apply a tomato plant feed once every two weeks. During flowering, deadhead weekly.

Begonias will flourish in partial shade and cool, moist conditions.


As begonias are not tolerant of frost, it is essential to lift and store them over winter. Cut the foliage down to ground level and carefully lift the plants out of the soil. Leave to dry and trim off any fine roots.

Store tubers in trays or wooden crates, packed with dry sand or peat-free compost. Store in a cool dry place and protect from frost.