Thursday, January 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - January '09

I'm tickled pink to have my Rieger Begonia flowering beautifully for January's Bloom Day!

This is one of the many plants given to me by my equally obsessed gardening friend, Marie, who started it from a cutting.

It's a hybrid cross between tuberous and wax (fibrous) begonias that was developed by Otto Rieger (not Reiger), a German plant breeder.

I'm besotted by the soft blend of pink hues in these dainty blossoms...

....held above glossy green leaves.

This photo was taken on January 3rd, and the one above on the 13th, after more blooms had opened.
Posted by Picasa
Care: It prefers cool temperatures of 70F (21ºC) during the day and 60-65F (15-18C) at night with bright indirect sun (east window); that’s why it’s a popular winter flowering plant. Grow it in well-drained peat/perlite soil mix or African violet soil and feed with ½ strength houseplant fertilizer every 2 weeks when actively growing. When watering, let it to dry slightly between watering but not too dry or too wet. Be sure to remove the spent flowers to stimulate new bloom.

Once the plant slows down and stops blooming cut it back to several inches above the soil line and place in a cool, medium light area, keeping on the dry side or place it in the shade outdoors during the summer. When you see new growth, repot the plant to a larger container, move it to bright indirect light and start watering and fertilizing. Rieger begonia responds to short days and cool night temperatures (fall/winter) which stimulates it to bloom again. (Info from

The Abutilon, which flowered profusely on the front porch during the summer, has been cut back, and it beginning to bloom again now.

The blossoms are like tissue paper. So lovely. Posted by Picasa

Another begonia - a Baby Wing.

This is a cutting from my original plant, shown in the photo below...yet another passalong plant from Marie.

The color brightens considerably with more light, and it did wonderfully well on the front porch during the summer. However, since I repotted it to a larger container it seems very unhappy and I'm afraid I might lose it, so I'm really glad to have the cutting. Posted by Picasa

This white wax begonia is blooming while overwintering in my 'cellar garden'. It will go into a window box, container, or the garden once the warm weather returns.

Only one of the many geraniums overwintering in the 2 upstairs spare bedrooms is blooming, and none in the cellar. They're all looking healthy though. Posted by Picasa

One of my Christmas gifts from my dear husband was 2 Amaryllis bulbs, which I potted up, and they're just beginning to grow.

I'm hoping they'll have blooms for February's Bloom Day!

This beautiful Star Begonia doesn't have any blooms, but it's lovely enough without them to qualify for Bloom Day, don't you think? I'm not sure I have the correct name. This came to me as a cutting from another gardening friend and she didn't know the cultivar name. 'Star' begonia was the closest I could come when I Googled the plant. Posted by Picasa

The front garden is buried under snow at the the plants a nice blanket to protect them. They're better off with it than without it,
and I'm better off inside, out of the cold, tending to my house plants! We're having a week of frigid temps.....wool sweaters, and two pairs of socks weather! Posted by Picasa

To enjoy more colorful blooms, all over the world, visit Carol of May Dreams Gardens.

Happy Bloom Day everyone!


Roses and Lilacs said...[Reply]

Your blooms are lovely. I never seem to have luck overwintering them inside. I think it's the dry air and lack of good sunlight.

Colleen said...[Reply]

I am inlove with that Rieger begonia. I think that may be the prettiest pink blossom I've ever seen. I'll have to see about getting my hands on one ;-)

Thank goodness for houseplants, eh? My garden is covered in snow as well.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...[Reply]

Kerri — I thought your plants were lovely until I scrolled down to look at your winter pictures of your farm. Absolutely stunning. Esp. enjoyed seeing the birds close-up.

Tabor said...[Reply]

I used to be very partial to begonias when I moved to the more tropical climate and saw these beauties. I had forgotten how much I liked them...maybe I should try a plant in an east window?

Debbie said...[Reply]

Lovely, blooms, Kerri.

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

These blooms are so beautiful Kerri. Seeing your begonia blooms makes me wish I had brought in my begonias for blooms this winter. I will have to remember this post next fall.

The thin papery blooms of the abutilon are gorgeous too.

Chandramouli S said...[Reply]

The Rieger Begonia looks so delicate that the petals look as if they're merely placed on over other and a gentle breeze would blow them off! So beautiful! What a wonderful hues of pink and purple you have there!
I should thank Sunita at The Urban Gardener to have led me here.

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

What a thrill it must be to have such lovely blooming plants inside when it is so snowy outside.

The begonia is such a lovely color.

Darla said...[Reply]

Your blooms are great! Love the begonias, from the looks of that snow photo, you better stay inside with plenty of hot chocolate!!

JGH said...[Reply]

Thanks for all the begonia info! I need to take a stab at some more indoor flowers. I love the variations of pinks in these.

Alice said...[Reply]

Another pleasure from the frozen/snowy winter is the appreciation and delight with every flower and spot of colour. Each one is given it's due respect - partly for it's endurance in flowering in the winter, but also as a promise of the Spring to come.

It's quite an experimental season for you, Kerri, with so many things being over-wintered inside your house. I hope they all do well.....but not so well that you decide to only do ALL your gardening in the house, rather than We would miss all your glorious outside gardens too much......although I would then be saved a good dose of envy.

Thanks for showing that even in the coldest winter there are still gardening pleasures.

Gail said...[Reply]

Your begonias are lovely...the Star Begonia doesn't need any flowers to shine!

It is cold when you need two pairs of socks! Keep warm and safe indoors!


Sue said...[Reply]

Your begonias are looking great, and the pics are fun to see.

jodi said...[Reply]

Lovely blooms! I don't have anything in bloom here at the moment, and it's too cold right now to go to a nursery or garden centre to get plants to relieve the lack-of-flowers winter. But maybe next week...

Carol said...[Reply]

What a lovely display of indoor blooms on a cold, wintry day. I like those Rieger begonias... I had some once but didn't bring them in to overwinter. Now I wish I had!

Thanks for joining in for bloom day!
Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Yolanda Elizabet said...[Reply]

You have quite a lot of indoor blooms at the mo Kerri! Love the delicate flowers of your Rieger Begonia, they are so pretty and elegant. What a lovely gift from a friend!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...[Reply]

What lovely blooms! I have an African violet in bloom and that's it. It was nice seeing your colorful flowers!

Nan Ondra said...[Reply]

What a treat to see those beautiful blooms, Kerri. The flowering of your Rieger begonia just in time for Bloom Day was a special gift. Thanks for sharing it with us. Keep warm!

Isabelle said...[Reply]

Ooh, I love that Rieger begonia - never heard of them. (Plots the acquisition of one.. to add to windowsills groaning with overwintering plants...)

David said...[Reply]

BEE yu teeful!

winter blossoms are precious
we have Christmas cactus
and three feet of snow in Big BEar Lake, ca

Dreamybee said...[Reply]

I don't think I've ever seen an Abutilon before-very pretty! I love the color on your geranium too! I don't seem to have much luck with those for some reason. :(

I bet you will have your amaryllis in time for the next GBBD-I documented the progress of mine on my blog, and the one that is in bloom now went from the size of the ones in your picture to 2 feet tall in about 3 weeks.

Jellyhead said...[Reply]

Who knew begonias could be so varied and so pretty? (not me anyways)

Hello Kerri, and thanks for your comments on my blog. I have been away the past week, and am just now catching up on blog reading. Hope 2009 is going fabulously for you & Ross so far!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...[Reply]

Kerri, At the risk of sounding (there's a word for it, but I can't think of it)...are your plants perennials or annuals? Specifically, the begonias and geraniums? I do know they both come in perennial form (in fact, I have 2 geraniums in my garden and I'm waiting to see if they'll come up in the spring/summer). I'm just wondering about yours. They are all beautiful and 'delicate' looking.

GardenJoy4Me said...[Reply]

Kerrie I just realized how long it has been since I have been over here !
Those are so gorgeous .. the hue of pink .. I had no idea you could have them indoors like that. I'm not good with indoor plants .. and I am in awe of yours girl !
I love that sharp shaped leave of the other begonia .. amazing !
Can you plant them outdoors too ?
I'm like Jan .. questions galore !

Kylee said...[Reply]

Wow Kerri, you really do well with those begonias! Love the star begonia especially! I had no idea I could overwinter Rieger begonias. I had those a couple of summers ago and didn't even try to overwinter them. I will try this next year for sure!

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

You had wonderful flowers last winter, too, Kerri - a combination of good windows and good gardening, no doubt!

The rieger begonia is a super lovely pink and now everyone who has come to you blog wants an abutilon! Maybe next month we'll end up with blooming amaryllis in matching containers!
Happy GBBD!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Sue said...[Reply]

I forgot to thank you for IDing my columumnea. I didn't know it was a bloomer. The flowers look to be pretty.

I like my verification word, "Wiftedin".

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

How lovely!! I haven't had the little begonia's in years. I am tempted to give them a try. My mother once had a beautiful red one. The blossoms were bright red, about the size of a dime or smaller and each one looked like a miniature rose with many petals. I have never seen another like it.

I also have some geraniums I am wintering that are blooming. They love sitting in front of the slider where they get lots of light. I also have a red Anemone trying desperately to bloom outside even though it has been freezing. Poor little thing.
My tulip's and daffy's are poking up through the frozen ground so I know Spring is just around the corner. WHOO-HOOOO!

joey said...[Reply]

Lovely photos, Kerri ~ I especially love your begonias You certainly have a green thumb!

kenju said...[Reply]

The new plant is gorgeous. The wide-open ones look a little like phaelenopsis orchids.

Layanee said...[Reply]

Baby pink in the middle of winter is a good thing! I love begonias and they are relatively easy to grow don't you think?

TUFFENUF said...[Reply]

I love the photos of the snow. We are having such a mild winter in Florida, hardly had to wear a jacket this year. When it starts to get the least bit cold here, my thoughts go to you and I wonder how you are making it thru all the bad storms. Take care & keep warm!

Cris said...[Reply]

Your begonias are so beautiful! Wishing you a great week Kerri!

EAL said...[Reply]

That's a great begonia. I wish I was more into begonias--I like almost every one I see on these blogs.

Barbara said...[Reply]

Your really lovely begonia makes me look for a Rieger one too (and I hope to get one when I am in a gardencenter the next time!). I am astonished to see the geranium blooming. We also overwinter these plants here, but up to now, they never showed a single flower. Lucky you! Here snow has melted, but the ground is still frozen. For a little Spring feeling I have my fresh flowers which I received for a gift.
Stay warm and take care, dear Kerri!

Midlife Mom said...[Reply]

How nice to open your site and see all the beautiful blooming plants! Makes a nice contrast to all the snow I look at when I look out my windows! We have tons of it and more on the way this weekend but I'm not weary of it yet as I like getting out and playing in it on my snowmobile. For years we went skiing every weekend and that made winter go by quickly but fear of breaking one of these old bones made me curb my skiing escapades! lol! Now sitting on a snowmobile is more to my liking and it does help make the winter months fly by. I don't have a lot of indoor blooming plants but have quite a few foliage plants to tend to which is nice.
Have a wonderful weekend, thanks for sharing your beautiful plants with us!!

andré said...[Reply]

Nice begonias you're showing! I also like your Abutilon- mine looks rather sad at the moment, but I guess that's ok...

Frances said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, I love your photos of the begonias and other houseplants. Thanks for the tips about growing them too. Stay warm and enjoy the indoor blooms. Your plants are lucky to be under the white fluffy blanket and you need to stay warm with your woolies!

Blackswamp_Girl said...[Reply]

Oooh... Kerri, I'm in love with your "Star" begonia! That's so pretty, it's like the fancy, lacey cousin of my regular old dark-leaf begonia. How do you take care of it? I ask because mine isn't very happy with me at all.

Shady Gardener said...[Reply]

Your Rieger begonia (as are most of your begonias) is unfamiliar to me... but What A Beautiful Flower! Tell me about the needs of begonias? Do they like direct light? Must they dry out between waterings? I tried to bring one indoors this Fall, but I think I've killed it. :-(

Moi said...[Reply]

two words: pink heaven!!!!! :)

stay warm, Kerri .....

Jan said...[Reply]

The flowers on your pink begonia are so lovely. I can see why you like it so much.

Always Growing