Begonia

Begonias have a spectacular array of different colors and patterns. These plants are a collector favorite because of the seemingly infinite possibilities. These Brazilian plants bring a pop of color and texture to any collection.

Polka Dot Begonia

Types of Begonia:

Cane Begonias: These begonias typically include the standard begonias that your grandmother had around the house, but include striking specimen like the maculata begonia (polka dot begonia) pictured above. They have tough "cane" like stems. They tend to be okay year round without leaf loss in the winter, and may even flower during the colder months.

Tuberous Begonias: Remember your mom would have you plant bulbs she kept in the basement every spring? Those were tuberous begonias. They are popular outdoor plants that utilize a tuber root system to grow into dazzling flowering plants. Unlike cane begonias, they go dormant during the winter. 

Rhizomatous Begonias: When you hear the term foliage begonia, they tend to be rhizomatous. These begonias do not flower and tend to have more compact, patterned leaves. These begonias tend to stay smaller, and are ideal terrarium plants.

Foliage begonia leaf

Easy Care Facts:

Lighting:

Begonias prefer bright indirect light, especially if they are a begonia that will flower. Do not utilize direct light. Foliage begonias can do a bit better with medium light.

Water:

Begonias walk a fine line with too much and too little water, but it is always advised to water less. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry. They are very susceptible to root rot and diseases caused by overwatering. 

Fertilizing:

Utilize fertilizer during growing season and flowering season (local weather depending). Fertilize about once every other month using a high quality fertilizer at half strength. Tuberous begonias require high potash/potassium for flowering.

Humidity:

Begonias do thrive in medium-high humidity. But constant humidity can cause buildup of mildew on the leaves. Just avoid very dry, drafty environments.

Temperature:

The ideal temperature in the day is 60-80 degrees. 

Toxicity:

Begonia are toxic to people and pets. 

Begonia Underside

Tips and Tricks

Repotting:

Most begonias do not need to be repotted very frequently. Every few years is fine for most. Rhizomatous Begonias do prefer to be repotted in shallow pots.

Propagating:

Begonias tend to be very easy to propagate. Just cut off a leaf or a clump of leaves with a bit of stem and place it in filtered water. Cane begonias can be propagated with stem cuttings and may occasionally have roots already formed.