Begonia 'John Smith' Blackmore & Langdon
Begonia 'John Smith' Blackmore & Langdon

Begonia 'John Smith' Blackmore & Langdon

SKU: S40336
Quick Facts
Common Name: B&L Tuberous Begonia
Hardiness Zone: Annual Exposure: Part Shade to Shade
Find your zone?
Blooms In: Jun-Oct
Mature Height: 24-30" Spacing: 18"
Read our Growing Guide Ships as: BULB
Fragrance: Yes
Shipping Details Shipment begins in mid March 2024, depending on your zone. See shipping tab for details
Delivery Date

Product Details

Product Details

The double, rosebud blossoms of 'John Smith,' a scented upright Begonia, are ruffled and delicate peach. Its fragrance varies from Rose-like to a hint of citrus—which adds to the pleasure of growing this stunning plant. The quest to create the first truly perfumed, upright Begonia has taken time—more than 10 years. Named to honor their lead Begonia grower, who bred and developed this breakthrough, 'John Smith' was a highlight of the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Garden Show in 2007. White Flower Farm is the only commercial source in North America for these plants. Shipped as bareroot tuber. Exclusive.

Blackmore & Langdon Tuberous Begonias from England are a treasure beyond description. People come hundreds of miles to see our greenhouse display. The plants' luminous colors, exquisite shapes, and long season of bloom put lesser strains to shame. These varieties are not offered elsewhere in America and almost always sell out. Please order early.

The Tuberous Begonias we offer produce spectacular flowers in a wide range of colors over a long season, and do all this in shade. In the North, tubers should be started indoors in late winter or early spring to bloom by summer. They need well-drained soil, indirect light, and moderate temperatures; these are not plants for the Deep South or the desert Southwest. For timely planting, we recommend early orders, which start to ship in early March. Plant 1 tuber per 7–12″ pot.

For more information on growing Tuberous Begonias, click Growing Guide.




The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.


We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. We also ship a wide range of containers and planters, tools, supplies, fertilizers, garden wear, garden decor items, as well as indoor decorations like wreaths and dried bouquets when available. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the green Shipping Details box for each item. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at the expected time of delivery.


We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.



Average Customer Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (5 Reviews) Write a Review

Sort by:

Best of any I've tried

I am enjoying 'John Smith' for the third summer in a row, having successfully kept the tuber since I bought it in 2020. The size, color, scent, and proliferation of the blossoms is just stunningly beautiful. Not all B&L tubers I've ordered from WFF have been as successful for me, but this one and 'Festiva' have been great pleasures in our shady garden.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no  Certified buyer

Great Company, Excellent Customer Service

White Flower Farm has the best customer service. For the first time in many order I wasn't completely satisfied with what I received, so it was my first experience dealing with their CS team. WFF immediately responded to my email, and after sharing some additional information I was given a refund, which exceeded my expectations for resolution. WFF will continue being my company of choice for flower bulbs

Did you find this review useful? yes no  Certified buyer

Did not work for me

I am sorry to report that these tubers did not work for me. The first order I got did not root or leaf out and the tuber was soft. I contacted WFF and they immediately replaced it (they thought it might have gotten a touch of frost in shipping).

The replacement order did get root and did leaf out, but it was very weak, never grew bigger and did not get flowers.

I grew other begonias from tubers this year from a local nursery, so I know it was not my medium or method of growing that was at fault.

Maybe there was just a bad batch. I love WFF's guarantee though and will definitely buy from here again!
Response from White Flower FarmWhite Flower Farm, 4 years ago (08/09/19 12:50PM)

I am sorry to learn neither the original or replacement tuber were successful for you. Our records indicate you were issued a refund earlier this week.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no  Certified buyer

Beauty for Shady Side of House

I have used these for years in urns flanking my front entryway which is on the north side of my house. I have many plants and this one by far receives the most compliments. They are so stunning they almost look unreal. Bloom right through October. Smell good too.

30 of 30 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

Beatiful Peach Begonia, Great Color

I love this plant. The scent is nice & very light, and I think it's more decorative of a plant than fragrant. I am extremely happy with the beautiful, large, which I would say are at least 3X's as large as regular begonias, and the blooms extra large. The price has decreased quite a lot and I highly recommend it!

23 of 23 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

Growing guide

Growing guide
Print Grow Guide

Begonia tubers

Latin Name Pronunciation: beg-own'ee-uh  

Tuberous Begonias are frost-tender plants that thrive where they receive bright light but little or no direct sun. Given an early start, they put on a glorious display all summer long. We grow our Begonias in pots and hanging baskets, but they can also be planted in the ground (once the danger of frost has passed). Either way, unless you live in a frost-free climate, you must lift and store the tuberous roots in fall to carry the plants through winter.

Starting Tubers in Flats or Pots

  • To get a jump on a short season, plant tubers on arrival in flats (shallow containers with drainage holes) or 4–5″ pots.
  • The potting mix should have a light texture and be well drained; a soilless mix, mixed 3 to 1 with builder's sand, meets both requirements. Begin by placing potting mix and sand in a plastic tub or bucket. Slowly add water and stir until the mix is moist but not soggy. Put moistened mix in the container, stopping about 1½″ shy of the rim.
  • Handling the tubers with care (especially if they have begun to produce new growth, which is very fragile), place them, hollow side up, on top of the potting mix. Space the tubers 2–4″ apart in a flat (one tuber per 4–5″ pot) and cover them with ½″ of potting mix. Then water sparingly and place the container in a window that provides bright but indirect light.
  • Keep the potting mix moist but not soggy.
  • To hasten growth, set the container on a heating mat or a radiator (with a few magazines between container and radiator to prevent overheating). Tubers that have not already begun to sprout when you receive them will generally show signs of growth within 2–6 weeks after planting.


  • After the first 2 leaves have emerged, transplant tubers started in flats into 4–5″ pots or, provided the danger of frost has passed, into a lightly shaded outdoor bed that has been amended with organic matter such as compost or peat moss.
  • Lift and move the tubers carefully to avoid damaging the roots, and set the top of each tuber 1–2″ below the surface of the potting mix or garden soil. Begonias planted in the ground should be positioned so that the points of the leaves aim at the viewer, because the blooms will face the same direction.
  • Plants in 4–5″ pots should be moved into 7–10″ pots when the roots fill the pots. If time and energy permit, a final move to 12″ pots will yield especially spectacular plants.
  • Set pots outdoors in a bright but not sunny location when the threat of frost has passed. Tuberous Begonias will not grow well in deep shade.


  • When upright varieties are 4–6″ tall, push a heavy, 18–20″ long bamboo stake (or one of our cushioned, steel Blossom Stakes - Set of 5) into the potting mix or garden soil on the side of the plant opposite the points of the leaves. Place the stake a few inches away from the main stem to avoid injuring the tuber.
  • Fasten the plant to the stake with garden twine or soft plastic tape looped in a figure-8 around stem and stake. As the plant grows, you may need more ties to provide additional support.

Summer care

  • Tuberous Begonias thrive in soil that is evenly moist but well drained. Soggy soil can cause the stems to snap off at the base.
  • Fertilize plants once a month with a balanced (20-20-20), water-soluble fertilizer mixed as directed.
  • Keep plants tidy by removing spent flowers; cut the flowers off close to the stem using a sharp knife.
  • The only disease that may trouble your plants is powdery mildew, a fungus that appears as white powder on the leaves. Powdery mildew is easier to prevent than it is to cure, and placing your plants in a location where air can circulate freely around them is the best prevention. If you've had trouble with powdery mildew on Tuberous Begonias in the past, you can prevent future outbreaks by spraying with a mild fungicide that you can prepare yourself by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda and 2 or 3 drops of insecticidal soap in a gallon of tepid water. Spray this solution every 10 days during hot, humid weather. Once mildew appears, the only effective remedy is to spray promptly with a commercial fungicide. Follow the directions on the label carefully.


  •  Allow plants to grow through November (or until frost) to store energy for the next season.
  • Force container-grown plants into dormancy by gradually withholding water.
  • Dig plants grown in the ground with a ball of soil and let them dry out in a shed or on the garage floor.
  • When the stems break free from the tubers, shake off excess soil and allow the tubers to cure in the sun for about 4 days. Then store them in dry peat moss or sand in open flats in a cool (45°–50°F), dry place.
  • Replant the tubers as suggested above in late winter.

Growing Hanging Basket Begonias

  • Hanging Basket Begonias—varieties with trailing stems—require much the same care as upright Begonias, except that they look their best in a shallow container that can be suspended from the eaves of a house or from an arbor.
  • One Hanging Basket Begonia tuber in a 12″ container makes for a spectacular and long-lasting display.
  • Please note: If the stems of a Hanging Basket Begonia grow upright and refuse to trail over the edge of the container, plants are not receiving enough light.



How To Grow Tuberous Begonias