Those searching for something luscious to grow in the shade will likely find that begonias bring a rich reward for a little loving care.

Tuberous begonias are excellent choices for containers, garden beds and borders and landscape plantings. Their flowering period is mid-summer till frost.

They average in height from 25-35 cm. When planting in a garden bed, space plants 15 cm apart, after the last threat of frost. Plant tubers close to the surface covered with just a thin layer of soil. They grow best in light shade; direct sunlight can burn flowers and leaves (except in very hot areas, morning sun to 50 per cent shade is preferable).

Begonias will not over-winter outdoors in most parts of the country and are treated as annuals. “Lift them” before frost to save your favourite plants for indoor storage over winter and replanting outdoors the following spring.

They are very particular about the soil, preferring moisture-retentive but not soggy soil with a high humus content.And they love to be pinched! Pinching back will promote a more vigorous plant with fewer but bigger flowers.