Annual of the Week – Hiemalis Begonia
We all love annuals for their colorful performance through the summer months, so it’s very easy to appreciate the Hiemalis Begonia as it does just that. Perform! Many of you may know this as a Reiger begonia which is also very popular as a flowering houseplant. If you are a fan of begonias, then this is a great choice.
The Hiemalis Begonia is a great looking plant that has beautiful shiny leaves and will give you rose like clusters of flowers that cover the plant from spring through summer right into the fall. It comes in an array of colors. Hiemalis perform best in a filtered sunlight area of your garden, but can tolerate all shade. Try not to have it in direct hot sunlight as this could scorch the leaves. The leaves of the plant can reach a height of 12 inches but when in bloom the flowers can bring it as high as 18 inches. It does not like wet soggy soil so be sure not to overwater them. It is best to let it dry out a little between watering. As with all of your flowering plants, occasional maintenance and deadheading spent blooms will keep this beauty perfect. Fertilize them every two weeks with a liquid feed such as Miracle-Gro.
When first planting the Hiemalis in your flower beds, incorporate into the soil a rich compost such as Master Nursery’s Bumper Crop, along with some peat moss. This will provide a perfect soil foundation for new plants that can retain water and nutrients. Also add Espoma Bio-tone Soil Conditioner with beneficial mycorrihizae. This will help establish a large healthy root system. If you are going to use them in containers or hanging baskets use a good container mix such as our Dees’ Potting Soil.
Beneficial characteristics of the Hiemalis Begonia are that it has very few pests or diseases. They will do equally well in your flower beds, as a border, or in containers. They do especially well in a hanging basket and are a very nice and colorful alternative to the few shade loving annuals that are used in hanging baskets.
Spectacular and very diverse, the Hiemalis Begonia should not be ignored for your landscape. They will bring smiles not only to you but all who enter your garden.