What are Begonias?
Begonia is a flowering plants genus. The perennial plants belong to the Begoniaceae plant family. The plants are native to wet tropical and sub-tropical climates. The genus has about 1,839 species of plants. Certain Begonia varieties are grown in cool climates as indoor ornamental houseplants.
Similarly, some species are grown outdoors in the same climatic conditions in summer. They bloom into bold, colorful flowers. Although Begonia plants have sepals, they lack petals.
A French botany patron, Charles Plumier, coined the name Begonia. In 1753, Linnaeus adopted the name to honor a previous Saint-Domingue French colony governor.
Begonia Plant Description
Begonia is ranked 5th among the largest angiosperm genus. The plants are native to Africa, Central and North America and Southern Asia. The plants can be undershrubs or terrestrial herbs. Some species are epiphytic. Wild terrestrial Begonia species are often rhizomatous or with upright stems. Some species are also tuberous.
Begonia plants are monoecious, meaning female and male flowers appear on different parts of a plant. Female flowers feature large, inferior ovaries and 2-4 twisted or branched stigmas. On the other hand, male flowers feature many stamens.
A typical Begonia fruit has winged capsules with many tiny seeds. The plant has large, variegated, asymmetric leaves.
Begonia Species/Begonia Types
Popular Begonia varieties include the following:
- Begonia foliosa
- Begonia coccinea
- Begonia grandis
- Begonia obliqua
Begonias have distinct cultural requirements. However, most Begonia species thrive in warm temperatures. They cannot tolerate the full sun, so do well in shades. They do well in wet, well-drained soils. Unlike tuberous Begonias with dormancy periods, most Begonia varieties flower all-year round.
Tubers are stored in cool, dry places during the dormancy period. Tuberous Begonias are often used as container plants. Wax Begonias, also known as semperflorens, are grown outdoors as Begonia bedding plants. Dragonwing Begonias, a group of hybrid plants, feature larger flowers and Begonia leaves.
Begonia grandis, a Chinese species, is also referred to as 'hardy Begonia'. They do well in USDA hardiness zone 6. Begonias are propagated from leaf cuttings, stem cuttings or even through division.
Grow Begonias at Home
Grow them as greenhouse plants, houseplants or outdoor annuals depending on the species and your climatic zone.
We have durable, lightweight and affordable containers to hold your Begonia plant species indoors or outdoors for an enhanced appeal of your home. Also check out our garden fabric plant covers to protect your garden plants in winter.