ONE of the many advantages bedding begonias have is that they are relatively maintenance free.
They don’t need deadheading and will provide colour from early spring right through to the end of May.
When planted in a sunny position the seedlings need to be placed closer together (10 cm apart) as the plants won’t spread as much.
If it is very hot, it is a good idea to mulch between the plants to keep the soil cool, although as the plants grow they will soon shade their own roots.
Many gardeners are under the misapprehension that either the green or bronze variety perform well in the sun. This is just a myth as both green and bronze varieties perform well in sun and shade.
In shade, begonias grow a bit taller and spread further so space them 15 cm apart when planting.
Impatiens prefer growing in a lightly or partially shaded position, but they will tolerate periods of full sun during the day. They do very well in morning sun positions.
Impatiens can be used extensively around patios and pool areas, along driveways and at entrances, in shady beds under trees or in borders shaded by a wall, in between shrubs and groundcovers.
Window boxes, containers and the ever-popular hanging baskets make for excellent homes, especially for the compact varieties.
These container plants can be brought indoors in high light conditions and then taken outside after a week to allow them to recover in natural light.
Use impatiens at the base of potted plants to provide a burst of colour.
In short, use impatiens where you want to add a feel of vibrant colour.
• Information supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association.
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