Shade gardeners have always counted on tuberous begonias to light up dark corners of the garden. They do particularly well in containers on a shady deck or patio.
This year, Anthony Tesselaar Plants introduced a new begonia called â€˜Bellfireâ€™ that does well in full sun â€” just like its sister, â€˜Bonfire,â€™ which Tesselaar brought out last year.
In fact, these new begonias prefer full sun and they come through summer hot spells just fine.
Known botanically as Begonia boliviensis â€˜Bellfire,â€™ this long bloomer offers pendant bell-shaped flowers in a luscious coral shade and dark-green foliage with plum accents on the undersides and serrated edges of the leaves.
Alas, begonias are not winter-hardy in the Hudson Valley. After the first light frost blackens their leaves, dig up the tubers for winter storage.
Cut back the entire above-ground portion of the plants and lay the tubers out to dry on newspapers for a few days. Then store them in a cool, dark spot for the winter.
An unheated basement or attic is ideal â€” just make sure the temperature never drops below freezing.