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Begonia is a tender perennial plant that flowers in the Summer and is famous for its colourful blooms that make it a staple in hanging baskets and flower displays.
The Begonia is a native of tropical and subtropical regions and one of the largest families of flowering plants with over 2000 species. Some species are grown outdoors in the Summer and others are grown indoors as house plants.
Begonia are colourful plants that are used widely in shaded beds, as hanging basket or planter displays and as houseplants. The myriad different types of begonia provides a wealth of colour choices, flowering styles and even foliage displays, making it one of the most versatile plant families around.
Flowering time varies but is most commonly during the Summer until the first frost when grown outdoors, with some indoor varieties flowering all year round.
Depending on the variety they like partial sun or shade and all prefer a humid or warm climate.
Common types of Begonia include Wax, Tuberous, Cane, Rhizomatous and Rex Begonias which can be characterised as follows:
Rex: These are year-round plants that grow up to 1.5ft wide with distinctive foliage that makes them a popular addition to the indoors and in shaded beds.
Rhizomatous: The largest group, with thick stems and horizontal growth that offer beautiful leaves and stems. Sizes vary from small to large.
Cane: Canes are more upright variety with interesting and attractive foliage that are popular houseplants. They grow from 6in to 12in indoors, with some bushier varieties able to grow up to 5ft.
Tuberous: Growing up to 3ft in the garden or 18in indoors, Tuberous plants offer spectacular floral displays in a variety of colours and look particularly good in baskets or containers.
Wax: Wax Begonias are the shade-loving bedding variety that are typically grown as annuals in gardens, reaching up to 1ft tall and wide, bringing beautiful clumps of colour when grown in hanging baskets, planters or window boxes.
They are best planted once the threat of frost has long passed, in a semi-shaded spot where they can catch the morning sun but avoid it from midday. In sunnier spots, a darker leaved variety will be more suitable.
They like a well-drained soil and don’t need too much fertiliser. For more attractive blooms in the Summer, a high phosphorous fertiliser can be used.
When watering, try to avoid the leaves to prevent leaf scorching.
If planting in beds, they are best planted 8in to 12in apart to allow for full growth and spread. Begonias work best as a display plant when used in quantity.
For a more detailed factsheet of Begonia growing tips and care guide, follow this link.
Begonias are renowned for their gorgeous summer flowers. Although some varieties are notable for their foliage, it is the summer-flowering variety that makes our gardens look great and creates a welcoming atmosphere in hanging baskets, window boxes and planters.