Begonias are an abundant and popular group of plants. They are usually grown for their flower
s, which generally range from white to red, or for their brightly colored foliage. Begonias can be grown outside in warm areas, and are common houseplant
s everywhere. They can be easily propogated by means of cuttings of leaves, stems, or rhyzome
s. There are many different types of begonias:
Tuberous Begonias: These begonias are distinguished by their growth form, which relies on growth from tubers. They are well known and popular for their flowers, which come in most colors. These are very diverse and come in upright or hanging forms. They can be propogated by dividing tubers. Like most begonias, these like wet conditions and require moist soil and air.
Cane Begonias: These have woody cane-like stems which may resemble bamboo. They can grow to 5 feet or more when thriving, and bloom abundantly most of the year. They can be grown in pots or in the ground. They should be protected from frosts, given support via staking, and given abundant moisture.
Rex Begonias: These begonias are grown for their foliage, which is bright and multicolored. They are quite stunning and make excellent houseplants; however, they require a very moist environment. If they are in a dry area you should mist them occasionally with a spray bottle. They grow from rhyzomes, which can be removed and replanted to propogate new plants.
Shrub Begonias: These are similar to Cane Begonias, except they have soft green stems instead of bamboolike stems. In other ways they are similar. They can get quite large.
Rhizomatous Begonias: These begonias are similar to rex begoinas, although they may have more showy flowers. Like rex begonias, they make excellent houseplants
Begonias are widely cultivated; there are many types not listed here. They vary in apperance but generally they all are similar in their leaf and flower type, and their affinities for warm, moist conditions. In most areas, they work best as houseplants. Consider using a 'begonia pot' which contains a reservoir of water so the plants will never go thirsty. These are sold in most nurseries. When cared for properly, begonias are excellent plants with beautiful flowers.