Flower Facts: Begonias

August 28, 2017

Begonias have been around for ages, and with good reason: This easy-to-grow annual does well in a variety of conditions and needs little to thrive. Provide it with light shade, rich well-drained soil, ample water, and plenty of fertilizer—and you’ll be rewarded with stunning flowers and foliage.


With so many different shapes, sizes, and colors, begonias have no problem taking the spotlight in any garden setting.



  • Begonias don't mind sun, partial sun, or shade.

  • They grow anywhere from 6 inches to 3 feet.

  • Flowers bloom in shades of pink, orange, yellow, and white.

  • They like blooming in the spring, summmer, and fall

  • Features include growing well in containers and being low maintenance.

  • They are best suited for zones 7 - 11


All Shapes and Sizes

Wax begonia, the more popular variety of begonia, can be found in sizes to fit just about any space. The larger varieties are ideal for landscaping, and when planted en masse create a dramatic effect. Smaller begonia varieties are well-suited for container gardens, and they won't crowd other plants.


Flower shapes are just as diverse as begonia plant sizes. Some plants showcase single flowers with just one row of petals, while others have double blooms with numerous rows of petals.


General Growing & Maintenance Tips

Begonias are versatile in their requirements: Old-fashioned wax begonias are great in the shade, but several newer wax begonia varieties are perfectly happy in full shade to full sun. No matter where you plant begonias, it's a good idea to give plants a regular dose of fertilizer to help fuel the constant barrage of blooms they're bound to throw at you.


When it comes to watering begonias, finding a good balance is key for healthy plants. Most begonia varieties need to be consistently watered but shouldn't get too wet (too much water can kill them). So, don't be afraid to let the plants dry out a little between each watering. Begonia boliviensis varieties particularly like sharp drainage, as they're native to growing on cliff walls.


Most begonias grow upright. For containers or hanging baskets, look for begonia boliviensis and angel wing types, which have a more cascading habit.


Seasonal Care
Begonias perform best in warm environments, so planting after there's no longer a chance of spring frost will help your begonia thrive. Be patient after planting; begonias take a bit of time to get going, and you usually won't see a burst in growth until after the summer heat kicks in.


This plant helps tend to itself by practicing "self-cleaning," meaning there's no need to remove or "deadhead" old blooms from the plants throughout the growing season.




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