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A Shady Love Affair

13 February 2016 No Comment

Begonia semperflorens or bedding begonias and its numerous cultivars, and its well suited companion, coleus or more commonly known as “Flame Nettle” or “Painted Leaf” are just the thing to brighten up those dull areas in the garden.
The most ideal location for Begonias is dappled shade with the white and light pink varieties particularly well suited for the shade because the lighter colours show up well.
If the reds are planted in sun their colours are a shade or two deeper.
Begonias like average to moderately fertile and well-draining soil and must be kept moist but not sodden.
Begonias don’t require much maintenance.
Deadheading flowers and yellowing leaves will encourage new blooms but isn’t essential.
If you prefer a neat and compact plant for a container, you can cut back any stems that have extended beyond the mound of the plant.
Coleus is excellent for use as a groundcover and is and ideal compliment for begonias.
They too they require fertile, well-draining soil and at maturity you can expect a 30cm spread.
At 20 cm high with densely packed foliage, this mini canopy will act as the natural mulch your begonias very much need and want, keeping the soil cool through the summer months.
Information supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association. For more, go to www.lifeisagarden.co.za.

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