March 22, 2023
Sue Adams

Years ago begonias were known as a shade plant. Better breeding has introduced varieties that can take both shade and sun. The succulent-like leaves and stems of wax begonias don’t need constant moisture and can withstand short periods of dry weather. A general rule for watering begonias is to give them about an inch of water per week and allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. They hate to be overwatered which can cause the stems to turn mushy. Originally a mounding plant, new varieties cascade.

Wax Begonias
Some are small, compact plants that grow 5” to 8” tall. Others like Bionic can grow up to 24” tall! Attractive foliage highlights delightful flowers in a wide range of colors, including red, white, pink and even bicolor.



Dragonwing Begonias
Also called Angel Wing because of their wing-shaped leaves, these vigorous, attractive begonias can be the focal point of a garden bed and perform well in containers. Dragonwing begonias can be planted in the shade or the sun and are available in three colors – red, white and pink.



Begonia Boliviensis
Produces striking, pendulous flowers in a wide array of colors, including white, pink, red, orange and yellow. Its glossy leaves are a nice contrast to the vibrant flowers. Because of their cascading habit, begonia boliviensis are a great choice for hanging baskets and containers that receive shade or part shade.



General Care
All plants need water and fertilizer (plant food). You can start out with a slow release fertilizer which will can last about a month (depends on how much you water). If using a liquid fertilizer, apply once every two weeks.

Not delectable, but wax begonia flowers can be added to ice cubes. To make, fill an ice cube tray a quarter of the way with water and add flowers face down and freeze. Add more water to fill halfway and freeze. Fill the top and freeze again. Now you’re ready to add to a pitcher of water, lemonade or iced tea to impress your guests!