Gardening

Begonias From Seed: For Experts Only

20170107AEnglish.jpgIt if you intend to start begonia seeds indoors in time to obtain blooming plants for your summer garden, you have to start really early, in January or early February. Yes, in the middle of winter!

Begonia seeds are however tiny and dustlike, very hard to grow successfully… and the conditions in our homes at that time of year – what with short days, weak sunlight and rather cool temperatures – really aren’t ideal for such tender seedlings. And if the seeds of wax begonias (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum and B. x benariensis) are difficult, multiply that tenfold for the very capricious tuberous begonia (Begonia x tuberosa): it’s quite a challenge to grow from seed under home conditions, even for an expert!

The Laidback Solution

So why not make a laidback gardener of yourself and let the professionals grow your begonias for you? Limit yourself to sowing seeds that are easier to handle, in other words, most vegetables and almost any other annual otherthan a begonia!

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It’s easier to buy begonia plants than to grow them from seed.

Instead, wait for late spring, when the frost is out of the air, then buy begonia plants at the nursery. Sure, it will cost you a bit more, but at least you’ll have guaranteed results!

If Still You Think You Can Handle It…

You still want to try growing begonias from seed? (Some people are gluttons for punishment!) Your local garden centers may not yet have set up its seed displays for the season early enough in the year for you to be able to buy begonia seed locally. You may have to order them by mail. Here’s a good choice of seed catalogs that carry begonia seeds: Garden and Seed Catalogues: an Inexhaustible Source of Discoveries.

In tomorrow’s blog, I’ll give you a few tips so you really can successfully grow begonias from seed.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

1 comment on “Begonias From Seed: For Experts Only

  1. Pingback: Successfully Sowing Begonias From Seed – Laidback Gardener

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