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BEGONIA 'Primary Mix'

  • Planting

    1. Dig beds at least a shovel's depth
    2. Work a small amount of bulb food or all-purpose flower fertilizer into the bottom of the bed
    3. Refrigerate tulip bulbs a few weeks before planting
    4. Plant true bulbs 2-3 times as deep as they are in diameter - large bulbs deeper than small bulbs
    5. Plant corms and tubers shallow, at the same level as the soil surface
    6. Cover planting area with mulch 1 - 3 inches thick to prevent soil crusting in sun and rain

  • Watering

    1. Fast-growing herbaceous plants require more attention to watering than woody plants
    2. When possible, water in the morning to avoid promoting diseases from night watering
    3. Water slowly and deeply when plants begin to wilt and do not perk up at night
    4. Watering twice, a few minutes apart, helps water soak in deeper
    5. Soaker hoses and trickle or "drip" irrigation are very efficient and water-conservative
    6. Never overwater, or you may cause root problems
    7. Mulches help reduce water evaporation in hot or dry weather
    8. In dry climates, form a soil "ring" around plants to hold water longer

  • Pruning

    1. Tall or leggy plants may be cut or pinched back to stimulate strong new growth
    2. Cut or pinch stems of flowering or foliage plants just above leaves or old leaf joints
    3. Thin excess growth so remaining growth will be more vigorous
    4. "Deadhead" - remove faded flowers or seedheads to stimulate new flowering growth
    5. Remove dead, faded, or diseased foliage as needed
    6. Remove some foliage during transplanting to reduce stress on new roots
    7. Clean up plants at the end of the season to reduce pest or disease buildup and to keep the area neat
    8. Avoid putting diseased plant parts in the compost, or risk spreading diseases later

  • Propagation

    1. True bulbs usually form small new bulbs at the base of the old ones, and can be dug and separated when they are dormant. Digging and dividing bulbs while in bloom or shortly afterward can cause them to skip a year or more before flowering again.
    2. Dig and divide corms, rhizomes, and tubers when plants are not actively growing or flowering
    3. Replant as soon as possible into well-drained garden soil, or store in cool, dry places until the appropriate season

  • Fertilization

    specialty (labeled for your specific plant type) or a generic N-P-K (nitrogen - phosphorus - potassium)

    Fertilize early in the plant's growing cycle - spring for summer plants, fall for winter plants

    • For leafy plants, use a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content (first number)
    • For flowering or fruiting plants, use a fertilizer higher in phosphorous content (middle number)

    If using a water soluble fertilizer:

    1. Mix as directed on container according to directions
    2. Wet the leaves and drench soil
    3. Repeat

    If using a granulated fertilizer:

    1. Scatter a small amount of all-purpose fertilizer lightly under plants from the stem to beyond the outer spread of branches or foliage
    2. Water slowly and deeply

    NOTE: Never over fertilize! You will see lots of weak, leafy growth and few flowers