Begonia is a genus in family Begoniaceae among the flowering plants. The only other member of the family Begoniaceae is Hillebrandia, a genus with a single species in the Hawaiian Islands. Begonia with 1400 species is one of the ten largest angiosperm genera.
Begonia species are terrestrial (sometimes epiphytic) herbs or undershrubs. Terrestrial species are frequently rhizomatous or tuberous. They are native to Mexico, Central and South America, Asia and South Africa.
The flowers are frequently showy and large, white, pink, scarlet or yellow in colour; they are monoecious, with unisexual male and female flowers occurring separately on the same plant, the male containing numerous stamens, the female having a large inferior ovary and two to four branched or twisted stigmas. Begonia houseplants species have been introduced, and there are numberless hybrids and variations. Because of the great numbers of interesting forms, begonias have appealed strongly to collectors.
Facts About Begonias
- The first begonia was introduced into England in 1777.
- Begonia's are a very diverse group of plants, many of them are grown primarily for foliage, others for the showy bloom.
- Very many species have been introduced, and there are numberless hybrids and variations.
- The genus Symbegonia is now included in Begonia.
- The begonia's fruit is a dry, winged capsule that splits lengthwise to release the seeds.
- The Tuberous begonia is also very popular around the world as a bedding plant and also as a greenhouse plant.
- Begonias are propagated from seed or cuttings. Begonias Seeds are very fine, dust-like, and take two to three weeks to germinate.
- Begonia conchaefolia Bulls Eye ( Bulls Eye bears the official name Begonia conchifolia rubrimacula.) is supplied all year round to the Dutch flower auctions. Conchifolia means having shell-shaped leaves (concha = shell; floris = leaf). Rubrimacula refers to the red spot on each leaf (rubri = red; macula = spot).
- We want to get the pruning done so they have a chance to get some new growth before we get them out this spring.
Varieties of Begonias
There are different types of begonias: tuberous begonias (the ones with large flowers), semperflorens begonias (the wax type), rex begonias, rhizomatus begonias (interesting leaves and flowers). There are three types of Begonias: Tuberous, Semperflorens, and the uncommon Perennials. The Semperflorens are by far the most common. They include Fibrous Begonias, Wax Begonias and Everblooming Begonias. Depending upon type, you can find red, white, pink,or yellow varieties. All flowers have a bright yellow eye(center). All varieties will grow compact, dense foliage, and grow about 6-9 inches tall. .
- Begonias grow best in a light well-drained soil.
- Plant them in raised beds, large pots or improve your soil.
- Six to eight inches of redwood mulch, oak leaf mold or other humus type of amendments dug into your soil will do wonders.
- Any good light potting mix is okay for your containers.
- If you dug your begonias be sure to water them lightly as soon as possible.
- Put them in the shade until you can plant them, (not more than a day or two!) Plant them at the same depth that they were growing.
- Water again after you plant. After that, water your begonias when the soil feels dry to the touch. Begonias do not like to be over-watered.
Begonias plant care
- The Bold, multicolored leaves grow from a rhizome.
- Rhizome perform well as house plants; give them bright light through a window and water only when the top inch or so of soil is dry.
- Plant them in wide, shallow pots.
- Rex begonias should get high humidity (at least 50%) to do their best.
- Provide this by misting with a spray bottle, placing pots on wet pebbles in a tray or keeping plants in a greenhouse. If you wish, you may cut the rhizome back to the pot.
- The old rhizome will branch and grow new leaves.
- You can root rhizome pieces in a mixture of half peat moss, half perlite.
- Over-watering is one of the most common problems.
- Always water into the saucer the pot is resting in, to avoid rotting the stem. Begonias can grow leggy and should be replaced with fresh flowering stock, to prevent the plant from begonia diseases.