I have grown a lot of Begonias on our balcony at home during the summer of 2015. All were of the tuberous sort, some trailing varieties, others dwarf varieties.
Towards the end of 2014 I thought to myself ‘Next year I would like to grow trailing Begonias in my hanging baskets’. So in the spring of 2015 I started looking in the shops in town that sold bulbs & tubers but I couldn’t find any trailing varieties! However I did buy several packs of the normal, bush type tuberous Begonias. I got some Begonia ‘Fimbriata mixed’ & some ‘Double mixed’. These were all planted up in small pots before being later transplanted to bigger clay pots where they were to flower on the balcony railings.
At the beginning of May my wife & I went to a town just 8km away which has a much bigger open air market on Bank holiday Mondays. There I found some trailing Begonias, ‘Illumination Salmon Pink’ & ‘Illumination Apricot’. I bought 6 plants, already in bud, of each as well as another 4 called ‘Mocca mixed’. I bought these 4 because they had very dark green, almost black, foliage which contrasted magnificently with the very bright red & yellow flowers! However these last turned out not to be trailers – I didn’t read the label properly when I bought them but was swayed by their colour!
I planted them all up in the six hanging baskets I had but as the ‘Mocca mixed’ weren’t trailers I decided to put their 2 baskets on the walls at either end of the balcony, on the brackets I already had there from previous years. Three more baskets, 2 Apricots & 1 Salmon Pink, were hung from the balcony ceiling at the front of the balcony & the last Salmon Pink was planted in a small wicker basket up against the balcony windows, further inside the balcony.
All flowered magnificently all summer long & turned our balcony into a blaze of colour for 6 months! I was sad to see them come to an end & I’ve vowed to repeat the exercise next year. If I can keep the tubers alive during the winter I hope to start them off at the beginning of March 2016 in the hopes of getting them to flower from May till November next year!