Low Maintenance Plant: Begonia

Low Maintenance Plant: Begonias

Need an easy care annual that can grow in sunny or shady flower garden?

Looking for a replacement for the impatiens that once filled the shady spaces in your landscape? Or maybe you just need an easy care annual that can grow in sunny or shady flower gardens and containers. Consider the long time favorite, wax begonia.

The waxy leaves in shades of green or bronze create a nice backdrop for the white, pink or red flowers. Plant en masse for impact or mix with other annuals like dusty miller, diamond frost euphorbia, sweet alyssum, caladium or golden moneywort. And add a few to your perennial garden for season long color. They combine nicely with hosta, ferns and other perennials.

Just plant, water as needed and remove faded flowers during wet gray weather to avoid problems with botrytis blight.

Or go a bit bolder with Dragon Wing begonias. These larger begonias are just as easy to grow but the taller plants, larger leaves and flowers provide a bolder impact in hanging baskets, containers and the flower garden. Mix these beauties with sweet potato vine, licorice vine, fan flower and almost any annual.  They also look great set among perennial groundcovers, providing season long bloom.

Give tuberous begonias a try. They need a bit more care but reward your efforts with big, up to 6 inch diameter, beautiful flowers. You will need to stake those with large blooms and provide moist well-drained soil and shade. They also make great gifts for the gardeners in your life.

Another low maintenance begonia, Gryphon, provides big impact in container gardens. The dark green maple shaped leaves have silver highlights that contrast nicely with the red-orange stems. Grown for their foliage they thrive in full to partial shade and moist well-drained soil.

Add a bit more color with Rex begonias. The wide range of leaf colors and shapes make this a great choice for containers. Grow in shade with moist well-drained soil. Avoid overwatering and over fertilization that is sure to kill these beauties.


At a Glance

Name: Wax Begonia, Fibrous begonia, Bedding begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)

Size: 6 to 18” tall by 6 to 12” wide

Light: Full sun to full shade, provide light shade in hot locations

Water: Water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil evenly moist

Soil: Moist, well-drained potting

Temperature: Wait until the danger of frost has past to plant


Written by gardening expert, Melinda Myers. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Low Maintenance Plant of the Month with you!