Begonia is a genus of flowering plants with 1500 species native to South and Central America, Africa and southern Asia. Plants are usually compact with dense foliage. With so many varieties available, needless to say, the appearance of these flowers will vary.
Depending on the type, begonias can grow to be 8 inches to 2 feet in height. Flowers come in a variety of colours, including red, white, pink and yellow. Flowers can be single or double blooms, with delicate, ruffled or smooth petals. Foliage can vary in colour, from bronze, pink, gray to green.
Most gardeners have grown begonias at some point. Gardeners love them because they are easy to grow and are known to do well in the shade, both indoors and outside. These especially popular flowers are valued for their pretty flowers and attractive foliage. They make the most impact planted in masses in flower beds. They also thrive in containers, like hanging baskets and window boxes.
Begonias prefer warm climates especially in rich, fertile, well-drained soil. Although begonias don’t need a lot of maintenance, the plant could benefit with some attention. Deadhead from time to time so that the plant can retain its compact shape, produce fuller foliage and encourage new blooms. Remove dead flowers, leaves and stems when necessary. Most importantly, begonias cannot tolerate freezing temperatures; they should be brought indoors before the first frost.
- the flower is related to pumpkins, squash, gourds, cucumbers and melons
- tuberous and wax begonias are edible and have a citrusy taste
- the name Begonia honours Michel Begon, a former governor and amateur botanist
- the Kimjongilia cultivar is the floral emblem of North Korea
- begonia seeds are one of the smallest in the world of flowers! Just one ounce of seed can produce as many as 3 million seedlings!
- begonias represent “be cautious” when given away
- in the past, begonias were used to polish sword blades
- begonias are succulent-like plants that can store water in their stems, meaning that they are drought-tolerant
- Tips on overwintering Begonia boliviensis (seattletimes.com)