All About Begonias

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Posted by @threegardeners on
Begonias come in many shapes, sizes, types, and leaf colors. They make good houseplants, but they require a bit more care than the average houseplant. I rate them as an 8 out of 10 on the scale of difficulty indoors in the winter but they're 2 out of 10 outdoors in the summer.

There are many types of Begonias. Begonias as a rule prefer a well-draining soil and hate being overwatered or sitting in soggy soil. They aren't fond of being in a pot that's too big either. Mealy bugs are a begonia grower's biggest problem; the plants are quite prone to them. Rubbing alcohol takes care of mealies very effectively. Humidity can be an issue as well, especially for those of you who have forced air furnaces. Cane and Shrub types respond well to a daily misting. I mist my Rhizomatous types, too, always being wary of mildew.

2010-05-01/threegardeners/366735 2010-05-01/threegardeners/5e99f7
 Unknown trailing Begonia Cane begonia 'sinbad'

Cane begonias are quite often referred to as angel wings. They are one of the easiest to care for in my opinion. They require filtered sun all day, although in winter here in the north I keep them in a sunny south window.

2010-05-01/threegardeners/c6ae4a 2010-05-01/threegardeners/119190
 Rex begonia 'fireworks'  Begonia 'louis burke'

Shrub begonias are another relatively easy type. I like using them in hanging baskets, mixing a few different types for a nice contrast in leaves. Mine do very well in summer in bright light. In the winter I put them near a sunny window.

2010-05-01/threegardeners/b8961f 2010-05-01/threegardeners/89b66d
 Begonia 'frosty'  Begonia 'bonita shea'

Rex begonias are the most difficult of all that I've mentioned. For the showiest foliage and colour combinations choose these. They require more humidity than the other types of begonias, therefore making them perfect for a terrarium. They do not tolerate direct sunlight and they are not heat tolerant either.

2010-05-01/threegardeners/9873d4 2010-05-01/threegardeners/c9bbf1
 unknown begonia  unknown begonia

Rhizomatous begonias; proper watering is the key here, since the rhizomes are in contact with the soil rotting is a common occurence. It's a nice low light begonia.

2010-05-01/threegardeners/4a085b 2010-05-01/threegardeners/7eee15
 Cane begonia 'sinbad'  Begonia grouping

I've purposely left out the Tuberous types. They require winter dormancy which is a whole other article.

I hope you'll think of Begonias the next time you're looking for a new house plant. They may be a bit fussy in the winter indoors, but they will survive and in the summer they shine!!

Many, many thanks to plantladylin for the use of her beautiful photos!! They make me want to move to Florida :)

Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Begonias by mcash70 May 5, 2010 8:59 PM 1
Aw geez .... by sheryl May 2, 2010 10:17 AM 2
Untitled by nap May 1, 2010 11:05 PM 2

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