Begonia × tuberhybrida 'Jurassic Silver Swirl'
Common Name: hybrid tuberous begonia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Begoniaceae
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 1.25 to 1.75 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 1.75 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Pale pink
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Leaf: Colorful

Culture

Best grown in rich, organic, well-drained soils in dappled sun or bright shade. Avoid full sun or full shade. Best in cool summers. Dislikes high heat and humidity. Can be tricky plants to grow well. Keep soils consistently moist through regular watering, but avoid over watering. Protect from strong winds, but provide good air circulation. Regular fertilization during the growing period produces most profuse bloom. Start plants indoors in late winter about 2 1/2 - 3 months before time to set out. Set outside only after all threat of frost is over. Plant tubers shallowly with concave side up. 3-4 tubers per hanging basket or space 12-18" apart in borders. Taper off watering in fall when leaves begin to turn yellow. Before first fall frost, store containers in frost free location or dig up tubers and store. If tubers are to be dug up, lift, shake off soil, dry and then cover with a dry medium such as perlite, vermiculite or peat. Store until time to replant in late winter in preparation for the next growing season. Container plants may be brought indoors in fall and grown as winter houseplants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Begonia × tuberhybrida is a name applied to a group of hybrid, cultivated begonias known as tuberous begonias. Tuberous begonias are characterized by their thickened tubers which are used to store water and nutrients during the winter dormant period. These plants are mainly grown for their showy flowers, which come in a wide range of sizes and colors including pink, red, orange, yellow, and white.

Genus name honors Michael Begon (1638-1710), Governor of French Canada.

The hybrid name tuberhybrida means "hybrid tuber" and refers to both the hybrid parentage of these cultivated begonias and their tuberous growth.

'Jurassic Silver Swirl' is a vigorous, fast-growing hybrid begonia that features colorful foliage and a densely branched, mounding to upright habit. The 5-9" long, spiral leaves are silver with dark, purple-black margins and venation. Mature plants will reach up to 20" tall with an equal spread. This begonia is marketed as a rex begonia while being assigned a scientific name most often used for tuberous begonias. This could be due to mixed parentage. In appearance it resembles rex begonias more than tuberous begonias.

Problems

Watch for ealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, slugs and snails. Susceptible to powdery mildew, botrytis, and stem rot, especially in humid conditions with poor air circulation. Tubers may rot if soils kept too moist.

Uses

Pots, baskets, containers or window boxes. Popular bedding annual used in borders or as a houseplant.