Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’

22 Jun

I bought this tuberous begonia a couple of years ago, in the hopes it would attract my Anna’s hummingbirds. And it does, though it doesn’t appear to be a favorite. Still, it’s an easy going plant, and produces huge numbers of flowers all summer long, and even in winter when kept warm.

I tend to bring it into the living room to overwinter. Doing this it generally keeps flowering till around Christmas, then it goes dormant for a month or two or three, till am beginning to wonder if I killed it. Then it will start growing again, sometimes even flowering on lanky stems right about the time I need to take it outside. More often than not, this late winter growth dies back when I take it outside anyway, so since it will take from cuttings, this spring I took cuttings as I took it outside. One even took, lol. But this did seem to keep it going better.

Unfortunately I put it on the back deck, poking through the railing. It (and the Salvia coccinea “Forest Fire” seedling in with it) has been so happy I haven’t wanted to move it. I think it was happier in more sun, or at least flowered better and became fuller, but the hummer in the backyard has definitely been enjoying the flowers of both it and the salvia, and of course the fuchsias hanging over head, so I haven’t moved it up front.

Apparently this comes from high mountains in South America, like many of the Fuchsias, and may even be hardy in mild winters here. If I get enough cuttings going, I may test that, but for now I’ll bring in at least the main one and an extra, since I do like the bright orange red flowers, and the occasional hummer visits. I think the big one is due for a larger pot soon though, the tuber is pushing the edges of the pot as it is.

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