Begonia plants are tropical and subtropical plants that are often used as houseplants and in shady summer gardens. Begonia plants, despite their small size, provide a powerful punch of color and appeal.
Begonias are among the most popular grown plants, both indoors and out. Depending on the species of begonia, these attractive plants are grown for both their leaf shapes and their flowers.
Begonias have been around for a long time for good reason: this easy-to-grow annual thrives in a variety of conditions and requires little care to flourish. Watering is vital in begonia care, as is choosing the right location.
Begonia Plant is the most diverse flowering plant genus. The species are terrestrial plants or under shrubs that grow in moist climates in South and Central America, Africa, and Southern Asia.
Begonia is a genus of flowering perennials of the Begoniaceae family. There are around 2,000 plant species in the genus. Begonias grow in moist subtropical and tropical climates.
The plants are monoecious, having unisexual male and female blooms on the same plant; the male has many stamens, while the female has a big inferior ovary and two to four branching or twisted stigmas.
The fruit of most species is a winged capsule containing several minute seeds, however baccate fruits are also known. The leaves, which are frequently big and patterned or variegated, are usually asymmetric.
In milder areas, some species are widely planted inside as ornamental houseplants. Some species grow outside in colder climes during the summer for their brightly colored flowers with sepals but no petals.
- Botanical Name: Begonia
- Common Name: Angel wing begonia, Belgian Begonias, Dragon Wings Begonia, Rex Begonia, Tuberous Begonias
- Family: Begoniaceae
- Plant Type: Annual, Bulb, Houseplant
- Mature Size: 6–12 in. tall, 12–24 in. wide
- Sun Exposure: Part Sun, Shade, Sun
- Soil Type: High Organic Matter
- Soil pH: 5.0–6.5 (acidic)
- Bloom Time: Spring Bloom, Fall Bloom, Summer Bloom
- Flower Color: Orange, White, Pink, Yellow
- Hardiness Zones: 7-11 (USDA)
- Native Area: South American
Types of Begonias
Begonia is a big and diverse genus with over 1,000 distinct species. There are several begonia species and categories; they generally fall into following categories.
- Cane begonias: Cane begonias, also known as angel-wing begonias, are named from their rigid and robust stems. They may grow taller than other varieties of begonias, reaching up to eight feet.
- Rhizomatous begonias: Rhizomatous begonias are come in various colors, forms, and sizes. They don’t grow very tall but may spread quite far because they grow from rhizomes.
- Rex Begonias: Rex Begonias feature vivid leaves with streaks of vibrant pink, yellow, violet, white, and silvery-tones.
- Tuberous begonias: Tuberous begonias, known for their large, spectacular blooms, prefer shady areas and temperate climates.
- Wax begonias: Wax begonias, as the name suggests, have leaves that are waxy or shiny. They are hardy plants that come in various colors.
How To Care For Begonia
The annual and perennial begonias are in partial shade with wet, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. They require brighter light to flower, but more direct sunshine may cause the leaves to sear.
Choose a location that gets early sun and afternoon shade, or dappled sunshine beneath an open tree canopy. Begonias thrive in warm areas, so planting after the risk of spring frost has passed will allow thriving.
After planting, be patient. Begonias take a while to get going, and growth until the summer heat hits. This plant takes care of itself by self-cleaning, which means no need to remove or “deadhead” old blooms during the growing season.
Light and Water
Begonias require a bright location away from direct sunlight to grow, look beautiful, and flower happily. Flowering Begonias suffer in low-light conditions, but Begonias planted just for foliage do slightly better.
Regular watering is required for begonias, but be cautious not to overwater them. They thrive in humidity; ensure they don’t become too moist. Before watering, allow the soil surface to dry to the touch. Water the soil until it feels slightly damp yet equally moist.
Temperature and Humidity
Begonias grow in temperatures ranging from 60 to 70 degree F, with moderately high humidity. Its Growth slows in freezing weather, and some begonias lay dormant over the winter to a lack of light.
Begonias need humid climates and may often suffer in fairly dry desert areas of the home, such as near fireplaces and radiators. Because Begonias hate intense constant humidity on their leaves, ways of increasing humidity, rarely work well.
How To Grow Begonia
Begonia plants grow quickly and easily filling in spaces of yard with lovely leaves and fluffy flowers. When planted in quantity, they provide a focal point and are excellent specimens for container combos.
Begonias should be grown in dappled sunlight to partial shade in peat-free compost. Plant begonias where they will get afternoon shade in areas where summers are especially hot.
Bring fibrous-rooted varieties indoors for the winter, or treat as annuals and compost them. In hot summer days, full sun may stress begonia plants, making susceptible to disease.
Propagation is as simple as stem cuttings or, in certain cases, leaf cuttings. This means cut a section of the stem down to the roots.
The great majority of begonias on the market are hybrids; they cannot be reliably propagated from seed.
Almost all begonia species sprout easily from leaf-tip cuttings. A rooting hormone might assist the cuttings in sprouting.
Begonias can also be propagated by pinning a leaf to the bedding mix and creating tiny incisions in the leaf veins, or by putting a leaf into the soil.
Young plants and cuttings will need to be repotting as grow, while established plants will need to be repotting couple of years at most. This is to freshen the growing to support their increasing root growth.
Begonias should be grown in shallow rather than deep pots since their roots stay close to the soil surface and deep pots will increase watering problems.
Toxicity and Safety for Begonia
Begonias are high in calcium oxalate. If ingested, this crystalline is mildly toxic yet highly irritating. Because the first taste produces an unpleasant sensation in the mouth and throat, humans and other animals rarely eat more.
Begonias are harmful to pets, with the tubers containing the most toxins. The plant’s most toxic portion is not toxic to humans, it can induce allergic reactions. When touching plants, use gloves or promptly wash hands.
Most Begonia species’ leaves and stems contain trace amounts of calcium oxalates, which cause more toxicity. However, the level in tubers is usually higher, so keep exposed tubers away from children and pets.
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