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Here’s How To Care For A Rieger Begonia Like A Pro
A popular indoor blooming plant that gets a lot of searches on this site is the Rieger begonia. With over 1000 begonia species, you might be asking yourself…
What exactly is a Rieger begonia?
Rieger begonias (Begonia x hiemalis) are also known as Elatior begonias. These tuberous begonia hybrids produce beautiful clusters of flowers in a variety of colors, including red, orange, yellow, peach, pink, and salmon.
A lot of people contact us looking for information on how to care for them. I ran across this short video that gives you some helpful care tips and advice.
If you love these colorful, winter-blooming plants, and want actionable care information, I think you’ll like this video. Watch and see if you agree.
Well, I hope you liked the video and got some useful tips from it. Here’s a quick recap of the proper steps needed for caring for Rieger begonias.
Rieger begonia care tips
Light and water requirements
Keep them near a sunny window, but avoid direct sunlight. Soil should be kept moderately moist. Water thoroughly when the soil surface is dry to the touch, but be sure not to let the plant stand in water.
Occasional misting of the leaf surfaces is okay but do not mist late in the day to prevent ugly water spots.
Temperature and fertilization
Tuberous begonias, which include Rieger begonias, prefer moderate temperatures, 65-70° Fahrenheit (18-21C) during the daytime, and 60-65F° Fahrenheit (15-18C) at night. Avoid excessively hot or cold locations.
Rieger begonias are not heavy feeders. They should be fertilized once a month with a high-phosphorous liquid fertilizer during their blooming period.
Make sure the fertilizer is diluted to one-quarter strength if watering weekly, or half-strength if watering bi-weekly.
Be sure to remove any withered blooms and foliage.
Repotting and Propagation
Because they are winter-flowering begonias, many people simply discard them after they are done blooming indoors.
A tuberous begonia like the Rieger is not really difficult to propagate or get to rebloom.
Once your plant has stopped blooming, gradually reduce watering until the soil is barely moist.
It can be restarted by cutting it back to within 3 inches of the crown, making sure to leave several of the old shoots.
The plant can then be repotted in a mixture of sandy soil and peat moss, or an African violet potting soil mix.
Begin watering again and resume fertilizing monthly.
If you don’t want to keep the old plant, simply remove the new shoots when they get about 3 inches tall.
Pot them in a damp half and half mix of sand and peat moss, covering at least one node on each cutting by the soil.
Check the cuttings for root growth in about 4 weeks. Once roots are present, the cuttings can be potted into a shallow 6-inch (azalea) pot, using three (3) cuttings per pot.
Hanging baskets and larger containers will need more cuttings. Once established, pinch back the tips of the cuttings to encourage them to branch out.
Where can I buy Rieger begonia plants?
Be choosy when purchasing these tuberous beauties, because the quality can vary widely.
Tuberous begonias like the Rieger are widely available in late fall and early winter at most big-box home improvement stores.
But to get the highest quality plants, I would recommend buying one from a local florist, garden center, or greenhouse.
Thanks for staying with me
I’m pleased to have you here on our website. This is Greg Johnson, owner of Greenfield Flower Shop. I’ve actually shared lots of helpful videos for you on this site, many of which cover the topic of plant care.
That is the main reason I’m here with you now.
But having been said, that’s not how it started…
Okay, so right off the bat, I have a confession I’ve really gotta make. Truth be told, the production of this site was, if I’m being perfectly honest with you, a selfish act on my part.
My colleagues in the floral industry have produced a lot of solid “how-to” videos, and a site on which I could share my personal favorites with others is really what I was after.
Of course, I do see this site as something of an opportunity, too. I’m just “keepin’ it real” with you.
I enjoy the sponsorship revenue this site provides. I hope you’re cool with that.
As you can likely tell, I don’t pull any punches. With that said… any possible monetary benefit is incidental, and I’m not here to sell you anything.
If something from any of my sponsors interests you, that’s great! But if not, my feelings won’t be hurt. I just appreciate your visit.
And I’d love to see you here again.
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Til next time,
I’m the owner of Greenfield Flower Shop in Milwaukee, with more than 40 years of experience in the floral, wedding, and event business.