Begonia Bonfire: Important Facts to Know
The no or low-maintenance begonia bonfire is a beautiful and extremely brightly colored plant that blooms in the late spring and continues to keep its beauty until late fall. The plant blooms nicely in full sun, partial shaded, and heavily shaded areas. It will survive in the dry summer months and will be just fine if your location gets large amounts or precipitation. However, if grown in heavily watered soil, the plant’s stems can be damaged from and rot due to fungal disease.
The red-orange and rounded plant is great for adding color to your yard and giving your home a welcoming and energetic appearance. The recommended spacing between plants is about twenty inches. Most begonia bonfires will grow up to approximately twenty inches with each individual flower growing to approximately a two inch long by two inch wide size.
The begonia bonfire will really turn some heads in your neighborhood because of its color and the number of flowers that can be seen on each individual plant. The plant nearly looks covered in bright red flowers. In fact, in most cases, approximately fifty percent of the bush will be covered by flowers. The flowers also have been known to withstand a mild frost, so you will continue to have flowers well through the growing season. Though beautiful, the flowers aren’t known for their fragrance and produce little to no scent.
These plants will thrive in hanging baskets and containers, and they require a minimum of care. They prefer rich, well-drained soil or a potting mix, and as stated above, they should not be allowed to sit in water-drenched soil. Because of this, they do well in hanging baskets. A controlled release flower fertilizer may be added in the spring to feed the plant and boost the flower production, but other than this, the begonia requires little care other than waterings.
Even though the begonia bonfire has been known to survive a mild frost, the recommended temperature day time temperature is seventy-two degrees or higher with a night temperature of sixty-four or higher. Generally, higher temperatures (above seventy-nine degrees) will result in plants with larger bushes and smaller flower size. For larger flower size and a more brilliant color, keep in temperatures of between fifty-seven degrees and sixty-one degrees. They may be overwintered in cooler areas by taking them indoors and placing them in a cool, dark place to go dormant. They have been successfully grown in all areas of the United States and into Canada, and great specimens have been noted in areas including Florida, Vancouver, Denver, San Diego, Pennsylvania, Toronto, Michigan, and Portland. With such a wide variety of climates and its low maintenance with high yield flower results, the begonia bonfire is quickly becoming a consumer favorite since its first appearance in nurseries and greenhouses a year or two ago.
To keep your plants looking great year after year, you may need to do some simple pruning. If your plants begin to look “leggy”, where the stems seem to take over and the flowers and leaves are small, simply pinch back the plant’s newly grown tips to encourage more compact growth. After several years, it may appear as if the center of the plant is dying off. In this case, you will need to divide your plant and replant the young tubers. In this way, you can propagate your own new begonia plants.
The plant in not usually affected by pests with exception of the white fly, which has been known to cause some damage. However, if you grow a begonia bonfire, you will undoubtedly note that it attracts a great number of butterflies and hummingbirds.
These beautiful plants are low maintenance and create vibrant floral displays with a minimum of effort. They are a great choice for visual appeal and interest in your home or garden.