Flowers of Winter-flowering Begonia - B. x Elatior (syn. B. x Hiemalis, Elatior Group).

What You Need to Know About the Winter-flowering Begonia – B. x Elatior (syn. B. x Hiemalis, Elatior Group)

Although the common name of this plant, winter-flowering begonia, suggests that it flowers only in the winter, improvements in breeding mean that it is now available in flower all year round. It is fibrous- rooted, with flowers that can be single or double, and can range in color from white to pink, yellow, orange, or red.

The leaves are usually glossy, pale green, but plants with darker flowers also tend to have darker, more bronzy foliage. This group of bego­nias is of garden origin.

Size: Height 18 in. (45 cm), spread 2 ft. (50 cm).

Light: Indirect sunlight.

Temperature: Normal room.

Moisture: Keep the soil mix moist, but not wet.

Feeding: Use standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks in spring and summer.

Propagation: Take tip cuttings. 5—4 in. (7—10 cm) long, from non-flowering shoots.

Special needs: Direct sunlight mat cause scorching to the leaves. Over watering can cause rotting.


Painted-leaf Begonia - B. Rex.

What You Need to Know About the Painted-leaf Begonia – B. Rex

Known as the painted-leaf begonia B. rex is originally from Assam and. with its closely-related hybrids in the Rex Cultorum Group, has the most dramatic foliage of any of the bego­nias. They are rhizomatous with red. hairy stems bearing large, puckered leaves that can be hairy both on top and underneath. The leaves are rich, metallic green, splashed with silvery white above and dull red beneath). The winter-borne flowers are pink.

The Rex Cultorum Group of hybrids is large, with most plants being grown for their foliage rather than their flowers. The leaves are heart- shaped, up to 2 ft. (50 cm) in length, and have striking patterns in a range of colors, including wine-red, and shades of green, bronze, and silver.

Size: Height 1 ft. (50 cm), spread to 5 ft. (90 cm).

Light: Indirect sunlight.

Temperature: Normal room.

Moisture: Keep the soil mix moist, but not wet.

Feeding: Use standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks in spring and summer.

Propagation: Gut 2—5 in. (5—7 cm) sections of rhizome, each with a growing point, plant shallowly, and cover with a plastic bag. Alter­natively, cut a healthy leaf with 1—2 in. (2—5 cm) of leafstalk, plant it at an angle of 45° in a pot or tray of soil, and enclose it all in a plastic bag. Pot up when the small new plantlets have 2—5 leaves.

Special needs: Direct sunlight may scorch the leaves. Overwatering can cause rotting.


Eyelash Begonia - B. Bowerae.

What You Need to Know About the Eyelash Begonia – B. Bowerae

This bushy, stemless plant from Mexico is grown for its foliage rather than its flowers, which are small and pale pink. It has attractive heart- shaped, light green leaves with irreg­ular darker markings around their edges. The common name of eyelash begonia is derived from the short hairs that fringe the leaf edges.

Size: Height 6—9 in. (15—25 cm).

Light: Indirect sunlight.

Temperature: Normal room.

Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fall; water sparingly in winter.

Feeding: Use standard liquid fertil­izer every two weeks from spring to fall.

Propagation: Divide at any time, or take leaf cuttings in spring.

Special needs: High humidity is important, so place the pot on a tray of moist pebbles and mist regularly. Good hygiene is also critical where humidity is high because gray mold thrives in such conditions. Remove damaged and dying leaves.


Flowers of Begonia Plant - Begoniaceae.

What You Need to Know About the Begonia Plants – Begoniaceae

The begonia genus is a huge one, cov­ering climbers, shrubs, and herba­ceous plants, which range in size from tiny, ground covering creepers to woody giants of up to 6 ½ ft. (2 m) tall. Their root systems (by which they are usually categorized) can be fibrous, tuberous, or rhizomatous, and some also have aerial roots, which can vary from woody to succulent.

Other char­acteristics are common to all the plants throughout the genus. For example, the leaves might vary con­siderably in color, pattern, and tex­ture, but all are produced alternately from stipules (sheaths that surround the new leaves), and are asymmetric in appearance.

The waxy flowers are carried in clusters of a single sex, although both sexes are borne on the same plant. The female flowers are less showy than the male, and have a characteristic 3-winged ovary behind the petals. Begonias are from the trop­ics and subtropics, especially the Americas, and make good indoor plants, either in the house or a conser­vatory, especially as many do not require direct sunlight.