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Begonia boliviensis (tuberous begonia) (photo courtesy of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials)
Begonia boliviensis (tuberous begonia) (photo courtesy of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials)

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Zone
Zones 3-24
Partial Sun
Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Begonia, Hardy

Begoniaceae
Annuals, Perennials, Shrubs, Flowers

BEGONIA

Grown for textured, multicolored foliage, saucer-size flowers, or lacy clusters of smaller blooms.

Grow as perennials in Zones 14–24, H1, and H2, except as noted. Can also be grown as annuals anywhere or dug and stored. Outdoors, most grow best in pots in the ground or in hanging baskets in filtered shade, with rich, porous, fast-draining soil, consistent but light feeding, and enough water to keep soil moist but not soggy. Most thrive as indoor plants, in a greenhouse, or under a lath. Some prefer terrarium conditions. Almost all require at least moderate humidity. In areas with hot, dry summers or indoors in winter, set pots in pebble-lined saucers or trays kept filled with water to below pot level.

Most are easily propagated from leaf, stem, or rhizome cuttings. They also grow from dust-fine seed. Of the many hundreds of species and varieties, relatively few are sold widely.

 

Hardy begonia (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Hardy begonia (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Begonia, Hardy

B. grandis evansiana grows from a tuber to 2–3 ft. tall and wide, with branching red stems carrying large, smooth, coppery green leaves with red undersides. Summer flowers are pink or white, carried in drooping clusters. Tops die down after frost. In colder regions, mulch to protect roots.

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