Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bonfire Begonia

I have been putting off writing about this new addition to my garden to see what 'else' this magnificent annual was going to do for me. The annual which is part of the Begonia family is just a burst of orange - maybe that is where it got it's name 'Bonfire'.

I love the drape it is providing in my hanging baskets. The stick basket is just the perfect texture for this succulent foliage and the poppin' flower.

Not only does this plant trail it also climbs and I believe my 'haircuts' I gave the annuals all summer help with the shaping so they end up fitting in the baskets just right.

Information about the plant which was new in our greenhouse this year:
Begonias are tender perennials, grown for their colorful flowers and foliage. Most begonias can be grown outdoors in pots, in the ground, or in hanging baskets in filtered light and moist, but well drained soil. Where not hardy, grow as annuals or indoors as houseplants. Most begonias can be propagated from leaf, stem or rhizome cuttings in addition to being sown from seed. 'Bonfire' is a bushy begonia that is erect with succulent stems. The many everblooming flowers are single and scarlet in color. The bronze leaves are shiny, smooth and ovate. This plant is tolerant to full sun. Soil should ideally be moist. Begonias grow very well in peat-based compost also. Likes humidity. Does not like cold weather. Pinching tips and pruning outer stems in the growing season gives a bushier plant.

While attending the OFA Growers Short Course Conferance in Columbus last week I am anxious for next year to introduced the new grouping of begonia's to our customers and to my own garden. Here is a photo of the Bellagio.

Photo from the Proven Winner Display at Short Course OFA. 7/08

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