Because of their luscious foliage and spectacular blooms, begonias are now popular among gardeners and homeowners alike. They are perfect plants for both indoor and outdoor use such as balcony plants and patio plants.
Most begonias available in garden centers are hybrids between wild types. Ornamental begonias can be foliage or flowering and are categorized in the following groups based on their root structure.
In this blog post, we will be taking a look at the different types of begonia plants and their features.
How Many Different Begonia Varieties Are There?
With more than 2000 different varieties, Begonia is one of the largest genera of flowering plants. Most species are native to tropical climates and require warm temperatures to grow.
The begonia genus includes both upright growth habit and trailing varieties, which can be found in a wide range of colors, including white, pink, red, orange, and yellow. Most grow from tubers.
While most begonias are grown for their flowers, there are also a number of interesting leaf varieties, such as the beefsteak begonia, which has large, heart-shaped leaves that are green with red spots.
Whether you’re looking for a plant with showy flowers or unique foliage, there’s sure to be a begonia that’s right for you.
How to Choose the Right Type of Begonias to Grow
There are many different types of begonias available, and choosing the right one can seem daunting.
However, with a little research it is possible to find the begonia that is best suited to your needs.
One of the first things to consider is the size of the plant. Some begonias can grow to be quite large, while others stay relatively small and compact with nonetheless beautiful flower clusters. If you are limited on space, you will want to choose a smaller variety.
You should also consider the appearance. Some have unique coloration or veins on the underside of leaves, while others have pretty standard green foliage.
Where will you be growing your begonias? In window boxes or planters? Directly in the ground?
In full sun? Direct sunlight or indirect? Partial shade? Sun exposure varies between different varieties of begonia but most prefer some morning sun and afternoon shade.
Another important factor to consider is the climate in which you live. Some begonias require a warm and humid environment, while others can tolerate cooler temperatures.
If you live in an area with harsh winters, you will need to choose a begonia that can withstand the cold. Cold hardy begonias that can tolerate a moderate frost are a good choice in that case but it’s always a good idea to check your USDA growing zone.
What Are the Three Categories of Begonia Plants?
There are three main categories of begonia plants: fibrous-rooted, rhizomatous, and tuberous.
Fibrous-rooted begonias have a dense network of roots that helps anchor them in the soil.
Rhizomatous begonias have long, creeping stems that can spread horizontally along the ground.
Tuberous begonias have thick, fleshy roots that store water and nutrients. Each type of begonia has different care requirements, so it is important to choose the right plant for your needs.
1. Fibrous-Rooted Begonia
Fibrous-rooted begonias are annual plants that have round and waxy leaves and small flowers.
They are one of the most common ornamental begonias because of their prolific flowering which makes them perfect bedding plants. This group includes cane (angel wing) begonias and wax begonias (Begonia × semperflorens-cultorum) (2).
Some Fibrous Rooted Begonia you might like: Brandy Cocktail, Vodka Cocktail (another member of the cocktail series of begonias), Irene Nuss
2. Tuberous Begonia (Begonia × tuberhybrida)
This group is popular for its spectacular rose-like flowers that come in bold pastel colors. They bloom annually every midsummer to winter. Tuberous begonias are perfect either as bedding or container plants (2).
Some Tuberous Begonia you might like: Dragon Wing series, Hanging Basket series
3. Rhizomatous Begonia (Rex Begonia)
Rhizomatous Begonias are herbaceous plants cultivated mainly for their foliage. Begonia plants from this group have leaves that vary in size and pattern and grow from rhizomes, hence the name.
They are particularly used indoors as potted houseplants or outside as container plants, hanging plants, or bedding plants.
Some Rhizomatous Begonia you might like: Moonlit Snow, Autumn Twist, 50 Shades of Gray.
18 Popular Types of Begonia Plants To Grow
There are hundreds of different types of begonias, and new hybrids are constantly being created. As a result, it can be difficult to choose the right begonia for your garden.
However, by understanding the main types of begonias, you can narrow down your choices and find the perfect plant for your needs.
1. Begonia Rex
One of the most popular types of begonia is the Rex begonia. These begonias are prized for their colorful leaves, which can be variegated or solid in color.
All types of Rex begonias are relatively easy to care for, but they do need moist soil and partial shade.
2. Wax Begonia
If you’re looking for a colorful, easy-to-care-for plant for your home, look no further than the wax begonia. Native to tropical and subtropical regions, this versatile plant comes in a wide range of colors, from shades of pink and red to white and yellow.
Wax begonias are also known for their ability to thrive in both sun and shade, making them ideal for gardens with limited sunlight. In addition, wax begonias are relatively drought-tolerant and require very little maintenance.
Read more: Wax begonia care
3. Angel-Wing Begonia
If you’re looking for a Begonia that will bloom all season long, then you should consider growing an angel-wing begonia.
These begonias produce small, white flowers that contrast beautifully with their dark green leaves. Angel-wing begonias are best grown in pots so that you can bring them indoors during the winter months.
4. Cane Begonia
There are many reasons why you should choose the variety of begonia called Cane Begonias. For one, they are incredibly easy to care for. They are also very tolerant of both heat and cold, making them ideal for gardens in a wide range of climates.
In addition, Cane Begonias are known for their beautiful foliage, which comes in a variety of colors including green, pink, and red.
They also produce stunning flowers that range in color from white to yellow to pink. Best of all, Cane Begonias are relatively low-maintenance plants, meaning they will not take over your garden or require a lot of special care.
5. Dragon Wing Begonia
When it comes to choosing the right plant for your home, Dragon Wing Begonia should be at the top of your list! Not only are they incredibly easy to care for, but they also add a touch of elegance to any space.
Their large, glossy leaves are accented by delicate pink flowers, and they thrive in both low-light and high-humidity conditions. Dragon Wing Begonias are also known for being slow growers, so they won’t take over your garden or window sill.
6. Tuberous Begonia
For those who love flowers, the Tuberous Begonia is an excellent choice. This plant is native to Central and South America and is known for its large, fragrant flowers. The flowers are typically white or pink and have a sweet, light scent that is reminiscent of roses.
While the Tuberous Begonia is commonly grown as a houseplant, it can also be used in outdoor gardens. The plant prefers humid conditions and filtered sunlight, so it is best to grow it in a shady spot in the garden.
7. ‘Bedding’ Begonia, or Begonia semperflorens
The Bedding Begonia, or Begonia semperflorens, is a versatile plant that is well suited to both indoor and outdoor gardens. One of its most appealing features is its hardiness; it can thrive in a wide range of climates and is resistant to both heat and drought.
Additionally, the Bedding Begonia is known for its beautiful blooms, which come in a variety of colors including white, pink, and red. These flowers are produced throughout the summer months, making the Bedding Begonia an excellent choice for adding color to your garden.
Finally, the Bedding Begonia is relatively low maintenance, requiring only occasional watering and occasional pruning.
8. Big Red Bronze Leaf Begonia
Big Red Bronze Leaf Begonia is an outstanding landscape plant. It has a mounded, uniform growth habit and rich, bronze foliage that holds its color throughout the season.
The leaves are large and have a slightly crinkled texture. This begonia is heat tolerant and does not require deadheading. It will bloom continuously from spring until fall.
Big Red Bronze Leaf Begonia is an excellent plant for use in mass plantings, as a border plant, or in containers. It is also deer resistant.
9. Boliviensis Begonia
The Boliviensis Begonia is a beautiful flowering plant that is native to Bolivia. It is a member of the begonia family, and it is known for its large, showy flowers. The Boliviensis begonia is a popular choice for gardens and indoor spaces; however, it can also be grown outdoors in warm, humid climates.
This plant prefers filtered sunlight and well-drained soil. It is relatively easy to care for and can tolerate some drought conditions. The Boliviensis begonia is an insect-resistant plant, and it is also known to repel rabbits and deer. In addition, this plant provides nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies.
10. Nonstop Rose Begonia
The Nonstop Rose Begonia is a well-loved plant for its continuous blooming flowers which can last up to 8 weeks. It is easy to take care of and is a low-maintenance plant that does not require frequent watering.
This type of begonia is also resistant to most pests and diseases, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor gardens. Another benefit of the Nonstop Rose Begonia is that it can brighten up any space with its vibrant pink flowers. They are also known to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, adding an extra element of beauty to your garden.
12. Million Kisses
The Million Kisses Begonia is a type of plant that is known for its beautiful flowers. The plant is native to Brazil, and it grows best in moist, shady areas.
Unlike many other begonias, the Million Kisses Begonia does not require a lot of care and can even tolerate some neglect. As a result, it is an ideal plant for busy people or those who are new to gardening.
In addition to being easy to care for, the Million Kisses Begonia is also drought-tolerant and can withstand periods of dry weather. When grown in optimal conditions, the plant will produce an abundance of vivid pink flowers that appear to be kissed by the sun.
13. Ambassador Series Begonias (Begonia semperflorens)
The Ambassador Series Begonias are a type of semperflorens begonia that is known for its adaptability and vigor. These begonias are easy to care for and can thrive in both sunny and shady areas. The Ambassador Series is also resistant to many common pests and diseases.
These begonias produce large, bright flowers that add color to any garden. They are also low-maintenance plants that require little fertilizer or water. Overall, the Ambassador Series Begonias are an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.
14. Santa Cruz Sunset Begonias
Looking for a beautiful, low-maintenance plant to add to your garden? Santa Cruz Sunset Begonias might be the perfect choice!
These begonias are known for their exquisite blooms, which come in a range of vibrant colors including pink, orange, and red. They are also relatively easy to care for, and they will bloom throughout the summer months with minimal effort on your part.
In addition, Santa Cruz Sunset Begonias are heat-tolerant, which makes them ideal for gardens in warm climates.
15. Red Kiss Begonia
The Red Kiss Begonia is a versatile plant that can thrive in a variety of conditions. One of the most important things to consider when choosing a plant is its hardiness zone.
The Red Kiss Begonia is well-suited to a wide range of climates, making it a good choice for gardeners in many different parts of the world. In addition, this begonia is known for its distinctive red flowers.
These blossoms add a touch of color to any garden, and they are sure to attract attention from your neighbors and passersby. Furthermore, the Red Kiss Begonia is easy to care for and requires little maintenance.
16. Escargot Begonias
Escargot begonias are an excellent choice for any gardener looking for a unique and beautiful plant. The distinctive spiraled leaves of the escargot begonia give it a look that is unmatched by any other plant. In addition, the escargot begonia is very easy to care for and can tolerate both low light and high humidity.
17. Gradis Alba Begonias
While there are many types of begonias to choose from, Gradis Alba is a top pick for several reasons. For one, they’re known for being low-maintenance, which is ideal if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to plant care.
They also have a long blooming season, so you can enjoy their beautiful flowers from early spring all the way through fall. And although they’re technically classified as annuals, they often come back year after year without needing to be replanted.
18. Fimbriata Begonias
Though there are many types of begonias to choose from, the Fimbriata Begonias is a variety that has much to offer. For one thing, these begonias are known for their lush, full foliage. The leaves are a deep green color and have a ruffled appearance.
Additionally, these begonias produce beautiful blooms in shades of pink, white, and red. The flowers are also fringed, which gives them an even more delicate look.
Though they are not difficult to care for, Fimbriata Begonias do require a bit more attention than some other varieties. However, the results are well worth the effort.
Begonia plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to consider the space you have available before purchasing. Begonias also need plenty of indirect light, so if your home or garden doesn’t get a lot of sun, be sure to choose a type of begonia that will thrive in lower light conditions.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to select the perfect begonia plant for your needs.
Have you tried growing begonias before? What advice would you give other gardeners?