Begonia Illumination is an extremely floriferous cascading begonia for hanging baskets, containers and window boxes. An F1 variety, it produces a mass of huge double flowers, 5 – 8cm (2 to 3”) in diameter,
that bloom from summer right through to late autumn.
These begonias will thrive in full sun or partial shade – regular watering and dead-heading is required to keep baskets and containers looking their best. They prefer light, rich, well drained soil – mix in slow release fertiliser and water retaining crystals when planting in baskets and containers. Height 20 to 25cm (8 to 10”), trails to 40cm (16”). Plant 6 to 8cm apart (2 to 3”).
- Unpack plants immediately and check the compost to ensure it has not dried out in transit, water with a fine spray if the compost is dry.
- Pot up as soon as possible (preferably within 24 hours) into 7.5cm (3in) pots.
- To remove the plants from their cells, gently push the blunt end of a pencil (or similar) up through the hole in the bottom of the cell. Handle plant carefully by the root ball, not stems, to avoid damage.
- Grow on for a few weeks in a light, frost-free place but avoid direct sunlight. Keep moist but do not over-water. If very cold weather is forecast, cover with a layer of fleece.
- Pinch out the growing tips on leggier varieties to produce a stronger, bushier plant.
- When plants have grown on and formed a good root system, begin to harden off, by getting them slowly acclimatised to outdoor conditions. Place outside during warm bright, still days, but bring back in at night.
- Plant when all danger of frost is passed, this is usually from late May, but will vary from year to year, if in doubt, leave for another week.
- If planting the top and sides of a 12” basket we recommend using between 6 to 10 plants, for a 14” basket 12 to 16 plants.
- Water well during hot, dry spells, paying particular attention to containers and baskets which can dry out quickly. In hot weather we recommend watering baskets and containers twice a day – in the morning
- Dead-head plants regularly to encourage a longer flowering season.