Common Name: Begonia, Wax Begonia
Botanical Name: Begonia semperflorens
Type and Use: Annual bedding plant with edible flowers
Location: Partial shade to full sun
Planting Dates: Spring after last frost
Planting Method: Seed or cuttings. Best to plant 4 inch transplants.
Seed Emergence: 1-2 Weeks
Harvest Time: Any time the flowers are present and the toxic chemical pesticides arenít.
Height: 6-15 inches
Spread: 12-18 inches
Final Spacing: 9-12 inches
Growth Habits: Waxy leaves and red, pink, or white summer flowers. Begonias bloom throughout the summer. Under an organic program, begonias will sometimes perennialize.
Culture: Begonias need healthy, loose, organic soil. Plant the red-leaf varieties in sun to partial shade, the green-leaf varieties in partial shade to shade. Leggy plants can be cut back in summer for additional blooming. Use the basic organic program and spray often with Garrett Juice.
Troubles and Solutions: Slugs and cutworms. Foliage and flower burn when the tender varieties are used in sunny areas. Treat slugs and cutworms with DE, hot pepper and cedar flakes.
Harvest and Storage: Edible flowers can be picked and eaten or used in teas at any time with one exception. Most bedding plants are commercially grown using toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. The plants need to be grown and maintained in an organic program to be safe to eat.
Notes: The flowers are delicious on sherbet and other deserts, especially cold ones.