Begonia flowers (Begonia) are beloved perennials because they come in so many different colors and varieties. These flowering plants grow well in garden beds and containers, hanging baskets, and they can make any shade garden look a lot more attractive.
There are over 2,000 different begonia varieties and you can pair them to add lots of color to your garden. Most gardeners pair begonias with other companion plants that can add more texture to your garden beds.
If you are looking for some begonia flower bed ideas, choose a few plant species to pair with begonias below and you will create a full and vivid garden design.
What to Plant with Begonias
The best way to establish a successful and low-maintenance garden is by pairing plants with similar growing conditions in the same containers or beds.
Begonias are shade-loving plants that grow well in a sheltered position with lots of indirect light. They need moist soil that drains well and won’t tolerate dryness or too much direct sunlight.
Some common types of begonias that would look amazing with companions include:
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best plants to add to your garden when planting begonias.
Impatiens and begonias can pair well together because they have similar growing requirements such as partial shades and well-draining soil.
Both plants produce lush foliage and colorful flowers therefore they complement each other visually and create a beautiful and harmonious garden bed.
The gorgeous begonia flowers offer a refined touch, while the flashy and colorful impatiens blooms add a vibrant explosion of color.
The foliage of both plants can also add interesting texture and contrast, with the impatiens’ soft, slightly serrated leaves and the begonias’ glossy, frequently asymmetrical leaves.
Fiber Optic Grass
Fiber optic grass (Isolepis cernua) is a perfect companion plant for begonia garden beds because the fountain-like grass will add lots of fine texture while its bright green leaves and silvery white flowers will look quite striking next to the dark green foliage or bronze colors of begonias.
This ornamental grass variety grows well in moist soil and it does fantastic in partial shade in USDA zones 8 – 11.
You can grow begonias right next to the fiber optic grass or add these evergreen perennials as a border plant in front of your begonias.
Black Mondo Grass
Black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus) is a terrific plant species to consider if you want to create a different or more unique-looking garden.
These plants grow shiny black leaves that resemble grass even though, technically, it isn’t a grass plant species. The black leaves will stand out amongst the dark green fronds of your begonias and is also practical for creating contrast with lighter-toned begonia species.
Black mondo grass grows well in full sunlight to deep shade. They are compatible with any soil type that is fertile and drains well. These plants are quite drought-tolerant but will also grow well if watered regularly.
Because of the grass’s flexible nature, you can easily establish it all around the base of begonias, add it as a filler plant to the garden or grow it in the front as a border plant.
Silver Nickel Vines
Silver nickel vine (Dichondra argentea) is an excellent plant to pair with begonias in hanging baskets. These plants with their silvery white leaves will trail out of the hanging garden pots to create a dramatic spiller or waterfall effect. It can also be used as a ground cover around your begonias to keep the soil moist.
Silver nickel vine is heat and drought-tolerant and requires well-drained soil. The plant can be grown in shade gardens or even indoors.
The best way to pair silver nickel vine and begonias is in a container with the vines spilling over the edge. But these ground covers can also be used all over your garden bed as a background for your bright begonia flowers.
Coleus plants (Coleus) are also excellent companion plants for begonias and many varieties have colorful foliage with bright green veins or other hues that can add lots of color and texture to your garden.
Begonia and coleus grow well in shade garden areas but they can also be positioned in a sunny area in your garden. These bushy foliage species grow their best in moist soil that is watered regularly.
You can plant coleus shrubs in a container along with begonias or use the foliage as a border in front of your begonias. There are many different varieties of coleus. Some are more vibrant while others have velvety dark leaves so you can choose to pair different shades for more contrast or similar hues to make your begonia blooms stand out more when they are in full bloom.
Wishbone flowers (Torenia fournieri) are terrific bushy annual plant species to pair with begonias. Their vivid green leaves will add lots of texture to the garden while the bright blooms will look like little butterflies dwindling above your garden.
These small flowers grow well in semi-shade gardens and they need to be established in nutrient-rich soil that is watered regularly, especially when it is particularly hot.
These colorful flowers will grow up to 12 inches tall which means you can easily co-plant them in the same garden bed along with your beautiful begonias.
Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) are common in shade garden designs and are great begonia companion plants because their thin green stems will add lots of texture to your garden.
The Boston fern plant grows well in part shade and requires well-drained soil and regular watering.
It is usually best to pair Boston ferns with colorful varieties of begonias. Ferns are excellent background plants because they will enhance the colors of your begonias a lot more when these flowers are in full bloom.
Creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is another good plant to use in begonia garden pots because it will keep the soil moist and the vine plant will act as a spiller that peeks over the edge of your pots.
Many gardeners use creeping jennies around the base of begonias because the yellow foliage is great for creating lots of contrast underneath the plant so varieties like red begonias or dragon wing begonias can stand out even more.
This vine plant grows well in filtered shade and will tolerate slightly dry conditions but it does prefer regular watering or heavy rainfall areas with consistently moist soil.
You can establish the vines in any shady spot in your garden underneath your begonias and they will quickly spread all over the garden bed.
John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a great plant to consider if you want to create a light or yellow-toned color scheme in your garden. The vivid yellow flowers and bright green leaves of this shrub look striking next to begonia varieties with lighter leaves or the ‘Nonstop Yellow’ begonia.
These perennials are quite hardy because they can be planted in any soil type including rocky soil that is fertile and drains well. These plants flourish in semi-shade or full-sun conditions and need to be watered regularly.
John’s wort is quite tall with a height of up to 4 feet tall. As such, it is best to establish them in the center with lower yellow begonia species in a border around them.
What NOT to Grow With Begonias
Begonias grow well alongside a great many plant species but not all plant varieties will grow well when planted next to them.
If you establish sun-loving plants like peonies, coneflowers, or African daisies next to begonias, their growth will likely be stunted and they won’t produce any flowers.
It is also best to avoid drought-tolerant plant species like cosmos flowers, black-eyed susans, or sage next to begonias because they will only develop root rot in these moist conditions.
You can pair begonia flowers with a great many ornamental plant species. They grow just fine alongside ferns, john’s wort, creeping vine jenny, wishbone florals, coleus varieties, silver nickel vine plants, and even grass varieties like black mondo grass or fiber optic grass.
We hope that our guide made it easier to find great companions to pair in your garden pots or beds.
And if you are also growing other plant species in your garden then you should have a look at some of our other guides where we discuss other terrific combinations to create a more striking landscape.
Also learn more about begonia flower meaning to see why people love this flower.