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What Are Pendula Begonias?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2016
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Pendula begonias are often referred to as basket begonias or tuberous begonias. These brightly colored flowering plants are native to the southern portions of Africa and South America, but with the proper care, they can be grown nearly anywhere. Pendula begonias are commonly seen with their blossoms hanging over the edges of large containers, hanging baskets, and flower beds.

In most cases, pendula begonias will grow to approximately 12 inches (30.48 cm) in height. The blossoms can be found in a wide range of colors, including red, yellow, orange, pink, white, or some variation thereof. The petals are typically layered in one or two rows.

Caring for pendula begonias requires a bit of attention. The plants are semi-hardy, so they do not do well if the temperatures are extreme. In addition, they prefer shady places, free from direct sunlight and the heat of the day. They grow best if the soil drains well and if they are shielded from wind. Most importantly, the plants require frequent watering and fertilizer unless they are heading toward dormancy during the fall and winter months.

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Regardless of where pendula begonias are grown, they will have a dormant period each cycle. This is true even if they are grown indoors all year. It is important to bring the plants inside before the first frost to prevent the plant from dying. To prepare the plant for its dormant period, most gardeners begin to slowly reduce the amount of water and fertilizer provided to the plants.

Once it nears dormancy, the stems of the pendula begonias should be trimmed so that they are less than 6 inches (15.24 cm) in height. After the trimming, the bulb-like tuber should be allowed to dry inside the home. Once it has dried, the rest of the stem pieces and the roots can be taken off of it, leaving only the tuber. Although the tuber may have dried dirt and other debris attached to it, it is important not to get the tuber wet again by cleaning it.

Storage of the tubers should be in a cool, dry place. Typically, if the garage or basement is kept at about 50°F (10°C), the bulbs will not rot. Most people begin preparing their tubers during the early spring for the upcoming season. At that time, they may place them in peat moss or other light soil.

Once roots begin to form, the plant can be gradually moved outside. This is usually done over the course of several weeks. After the threat of the last frost has passed, the plants can be planted in their summer home.

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