Sowing Begonias

sjc48December 29, 2013

I want to grow begonias, from seed, for my hanging baskets this spring. I want to start them in January, on heat mats that are placed in a large, north facing window that gets sun from dawn to around 11 and light from then until around 5-6. Is this a system that will work? Would like to avoid the fluorescent lights if possible.
Shirley!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

ing window that gets sun from dawn to around 11 and light from then until around 5-6. Is this a system that will work?

As a general rule? No it won't work. The plants will be very leggy with very long inter-node lengths and weak stems which results in poor circulatory systems.

You simply cannot supply sufficient light for most any plants using window light only. Not only isn't the duration not long enough that time of year but neither is the light intensity nor the spectrum.

Many have tried it and most have failed. If you don't want to use lights then you'd have much better results by waiting until you can direct seed them outside. Your choice.

Dave

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 4:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sjc48

Thanks, Dave,
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 7:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

If you had a south exposure (or possibly a west), you could maybe pull it off. But yes, typically you grow wax begonias in a green house in winter in full sun.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

typically you grow wax begonias in a green house in winter in full sun

Agree but during the winter we still have to use supplemental lighting in our greenhouse to insure full spectrum and intensity.

And we are substantially further south than the OP and have more hours of exposure and somewhat greater spectrum intensity.

Dave

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 12:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
goblugal(7)

Dave is spot on, and begonias are not for the inexperienced grower either. They can be extremely slow to germinate. I'm assuming TUBEROUS begonias because Shirley said they were for hanging baskets. Heck, even in our greenhouses with high tech growing systems, it takes us 8-10 weeks just to get them to transplantable size, then an additional 11 weeks to finish a basket.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

I missed the clue for tuberous then...I assumed the easier wax :)

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 6:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
poisondartfrog

Shirley,
I grow them every year. Instead of starting in the greenhouse I begin indoors under lights so that I can monitor them. They are not difficult to germinate but as soon as they do you have to get them in good light quickly.
Don't be in a hurry to pot them on. They grow very slowly for the first six weeks and if they don't get the required light they just disappear. Keep them close to the source. Once they get past the tortoise stage I move mine into the greenhouse, but they should be fine indoors too if you have room to grow them on.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 7:51AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
how do you pre-moisten your bagged growing mix?
Never really thought about this until now... Am I going...
njitgrad
Dusty Miller Silver Lace seeds wanted
I am looking for Dusty Miller Silver Lace seeds. The...
cath923
Why did my morning glory seeds grow so much in just 3 days!?!?
I planted some heavenly blue morning glory seeds on...
tlbean2004
When seeds go bad
I've been starting plants indoors over winter for several...
idloveamocha
calling all Canadians
Any Canadian wanting a seedling heat mat Home Hardware...
dowlinggram
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™