Growing Double Begonias in the Flower Garden
The glamorous double flowers of these begonias make a real splash in the shady corner of a flower garden.
Here’s a secret: I usually hate begonias. Everyone has a flower or two that they just don’t like as much as everyone else seems to, and for me, begonias are one of those. So I was shocked recently during a trip to the Midwest when I pointed out some gorgeous flowers and asked what they were, only to be told, “They’re begonias, of course!”
Somehow, I’d never realized there was such a thing as double begonias. And I certainly didn’t realize they were so gorgeous, with brilliant colors, rose-like blooms, and incredible variations. Suddenly, I knew I needed to track down some double begonias for myself.
Like other begonias commonly grown in the flower garden, double begonias are tuberous begonias. Generally, you buy them as tubers (sort of like bulbs) and plant them in the spring, for blooms by mid-summer. They’re only hardy to zone 8, so those in colder zones have to lift the tubers in the fall for winter storage. (Get more info here.) These tubers can be fairly expensive, depending on the style you choose, and usually are available only in the spring.
However, I have found one source for double begonia seeds. Park Seed notes they should bloom in about 5 months, and a packet of 40 seeds is only $4. Since I expect to have a little trouble growing these plants in Florida (they like humidity but dislike the heat, preferring cooler nights), this seems like the best way for me to start. My plan is to grow these in containers on my back porch, since they prefer morning sunlight but need to be protected from hot afternoon sun.
Looking for more shade plants for your flower garden? Check out the Birds & Blooms Shade Gardening section by clicking here.