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Begonia 'Richmondensis', photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters
Begonia 'Richmondensis', photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters

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Zone
Zones 14-24, H1, H2
Partial Sun
Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Begonia

Shrublike begonia
Begoniaceae
Annuals, Perennials, Shrubs, Flowers

Thislarge class is marked by multiplestems that are soft andgreen rather than bamboo-like.They are grown for both foliageand flowers. The leaves are veryinteresting—some are heavily textured; others grow white or red “hairs”; still others develop a soft, feltlike coating. Most grow upright and bushy, but others are less erect and are well suited to hanging baskets. Flowers in shades of pink, red, white, or peach can come at any time, depending on species or variety.

Outstanding examplesinclude fern-leaf begonia (B. foliosa), with inch-long leaves packed tightly on a twiggy plant for a fernlike look. Its long, drooping stems hold small white flowers nearly year-round in mild weather. Fuchsia begonia (sold as B. fuchsioides orB. foliosa miniata) has delicate stems to 2 1/2 ft. tall, with dangling rose-pink to rose-red flowers that resemble fuchsias. The sturdy, sun- and wind-tolerant ‘Richmondensis’ can reach 2 1/2 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide, with arching red stems and shiny, deep green leaves with red undersides. Its vivid pink to crimson or white flowersdevelop from darker buds nearly year-round.

Care consists of repottinginto a larger container as theplant outgrows its pot. Waterwhen soil begins to dry on surface. Prune to shape; pinch tips to encourage branching.

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