begonia Red on Chocolate also come in the standard
habit which is a little shorter.
seemed as it should for all of us gardeners and
horticultural gurus. We loved Big Begonias, Whopper
Begonias and Tophat that had just introduced white.
Shoot we still had Dragon Wing at the throne when it
came to hanging baskets. Then something happened in the
space-time continuum of begonias and gardeners. Our
happiness has been shaken thanks to Viking begonias.
we can’t be happy now until we get our hands on each
and every color in this new series of begonias. These
have been the jaw-droppers at all of the trials this
summer. Eight standard varieties and 4 that are called
XL. You may have heard of the one called Viking Red on
Chocolate XL as it is a 2019 AAS Winner.
tells me, however, that this one largely slipped under
the radar this year, and to be honest, I would like to
know why. At trials which typically seem like an ocean
of color, begonias typically have an uphill battle to
steal the limelight from plants like lantanas, zinnias,
and salvias, but not the case this year.
Viking series of begonias is coming from Sakata Seed
that also brought us SunPatiens and in a similar
fashion, these begonias too are packed with vigor and
performance. The eight regular selections are suggested
to reach a height of 20-24 inches with a spread of 24 to
28 inches. The XL group takes on a more dwarf azalea
frame reaching 28-34 inches tall with a width of 32 to
36 inches or should we say, THREE FEET.
of these begonias were uniform and stunning and seemed
to be the gathering place of greenhouse producers,
garden center owners, and professional designers. The
consensus was I want it and I want it NOW. To be honest
it will be next year before most of us get our hands on
it. The wrinkle in that may come from the 2019 AAS
Winner Red on Chocolate XL. Seeds are out there although
99.5% of us have never grown a begonia from seed. Visit
your garden center often this season and keep your eyes
open, you never know.
find three leaf colors in the series, bright green,
bronze, and chocolate. The foliage is so luscious you
want to touch it. While I have touted the size of the
plants know also that the flowers are enormous and
colorful with rose, pink, scarlet and coral flame.
Judges were impressed with how the deep bronze of this
year’s AAS Winer remained sharp and intense no matter
what area of the country it was grown. Hello Sakata, we
want it now!
you choose to grow in sun or partial-sun, the soil
should be fertile, organic-rich and well drained. Work
in 3 to 4 inches of organic matter, turning the soil to
a depth of about 8 inches. While tilling, add two pounds
of a slow-release, 12-6-6 fertilizer with minor
nutrients per 100 square feet of bed space.
plants are ever-blooming and have the ability to form an
almost dwarf shrub-like appearance. They lend themselves
to create stunning vistas when mass planted. Believe me
when I say, however, they can stand alone in large
containers dazzling on the porch patio or deck. The
Garden Guy looks forward to the day where they are
combined with bananas, gingers and elephant ears for a
tropical paradise. Sakata, I want them NOW!