Growing Guide
 
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Begonia

Annual Flower

Also known as Wax Begonia, Bedding Begonia
Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum
Begoniaceae Family
Synonym: B. semperflorens

Prized for their shade-tolerance and attractive foliage and flowers, begonias are a timeless garden favorite. Some varieties have bronze-maroon leaves, but all are very sensitive to frost.

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Site Characteristics
Sunlight:
  • full sun
  • part shade
  • full shade
Dislikes high temperatures so shield from direct sun in warm areas.

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
  • tolerates damp soil

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers
  • indoors as a houseplant - Plants may be brought in from the garden in the fall if they are cut back severely to regrow indoors. Will often get spider mites indoors if air is too dry. Keep by sunny window and keep moist.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 0.5 to 1.5 feet

Spread: 0.5 to 1 feet

Bloom time:

  • late spring
  • early summer
  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall

Flower color:

  • red
  • white
  • pink
  • other

Begonias have separate male and female flowers, which are borne on the same plant. Female flowers have a seed capsule below their petals, male flowers do not.

Foliage color:

  • medium green
  • other

Some have bronze/maroon foliage.

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: cushion, mound or clump

Shape in flower: same as above

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Brazil
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, cuttings, division or separation - Germination is difficult. It is easier to purchase plants or grow from cuttings.

Start seeds indoors in January or February. Sprinkle on soil surface, and then cover with plastic or glass to keep moist. Do not cover seeds with soil. Double flowering cultivators do not come true from seed.

Cuttings can be taken at any time. Division is best done in early spring from plants overwintered indoors.

Germination temperature: 70 F to 75 F

Days to emergence: 14 to 21

Maintenance and care:
Pinch to keep plants bushy.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

Diseases:
Botrytis blight
Spider mites in dry air
Varieties
'Super Olympia' Series: early flowering plants with white, pink or red flowers and green leaves. Larger flowers than traditional begonias.

'Queen' Series: double flowering , green-leaved varieties with flowers in shades of pink, white and red.

'Coco' mix: glossy bronze/maroon foliage with showy flowers. Rounded and compact.

'Cocktail' Series: early flowering, dwarf 5-6 tall. Bronze/maroon foliage Flowers in shades of white, red or pink.

'Ambassador' Series: green foliage, flowers in shades of white, red or pink. Tend to stay more compact than other varieties. Early flowering.

'Varsity' Series: early flowering, large flowers in shades of red, white and pink. Green foliage. Especially good for container growing.

'Victory' Series: early flowering, large flowers in shades of red, white and pink.Green foliage.

'Paint Splash Pink': green foliage is mottled and dotted with cream colored spots and splashes. Flowers are pale pink and delicate looking. Showy and unique.