The Begonia-not just another annual

houseplants

Houseplants from April-October under store bought gazebo

Begonias are one of the most versatile annuals sold in the spring. They come in a variety of colors, leaf shapes and sizes, and even sun requirements making them a great addition to your garden. But did you know they make great houseplants too? I have 3 Begonias that go out every spring around April 1st and come back in around November 1st here in zone 7b. I even had 2 of them bloom last winter and they had never bloomed in the 5 years I have owned them.

My best friend has several and my favorite one is her Angel Wing Begonia that is over 4′ tall! Yes it is and she stakes it up. My Angel Wing actually went dormant early last spring and it took all summer outside in the shade to come back but hers has never gone dormant and it just keeps growing taller. My best friend Connie has a few different types of Begonias and one she has had for more than 20 years! Below are the pictures of her Begonias which she carefully takes out every spring and brings in every late fall (she lives in the Atlanta GA area). When a stem falls off she sticks it in water for a  few months and then gives it away to someone who admires her plants.

Begonia

Her almost 20 year old Begonia

Angel Wing Begonia

My best friend’s 4′ tall Angel Wing begonia

Leaf closeup

Leaf closeup

There are many begonias sold as annuals that can take full sun and you see then along roadways planted in the medians. These Begonias are known as Semperflorens and usually have the telltale waxy leaves and white, red, or pink flowers that bloom all season long. These Begonias can also be overwintered or even kept as houseplants in a nice sunny window in your home. They are very easy to grow.

Begonia

Blooming in the window in November

I have 2 Begonias pictured below that I received as a gift about 5 years ago from an old friend. I believe they are called Beefsteak Begonias (Erythoprylla) and last winter they bloomed! I was so damn excited because they had never bloomed before. Look at the picture and see the curly Q leaves. I just love the texture and the spirals of the leaves which makes this a beautiful plant to grow as a houseplant. I do put it out in the shade from Spring through Fall and I am anxiously waiting to see if it will bloom this winter in the South window {which is shaded by the mighty Oaks outside so it is not a direct sunlight}.

Beefsteak Begonia

My Beefsteak Begonia

Beefsteak Begonia

Look at that cool swirl

Begonia bloom

Bloom forming Last January 2014

Now I have an Angel Wing which is pictured below I bought as a small 4″ plant about 8 years ago. Unlike my best friend’s Angel Wing, mine has gone dormant a couple times and has been dropped, attacked by the squirrels, and one year invaded by aphids. It is a tough plant with pretty pink blooms. You can see the current picture where the new growth comes fro the center of the leaves and I am hoping for a bloom or two before spring!

begonia

My Angel Wing

begonia

The new growth on the leaf stem

Since it is winter and the Begonias have been inside for about 2 months, I felt it would be good to show you how well they do inside. Begonias are annuals in zones 9 and below but they can also be houseplants especially for those of you who may be apartment dwellers and cannot have your own gardens outdoors. You can even propagate them in water and wait for roots to appear.  Many begonias are great in hanging baskets and mixed in with other flowers. Use them as annuals in your perennial beds or in a pretty pot on the windowsill. They are so versatile and easy to grow that you may be able to have blooms in your window in the cold of winter.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

 

Check out my post on my blooming surprise (my Beefsteak Begonias) last February 2014  http://www.hometalk.com/3066848/the-best-wintertime-surprise

And this post on Hometalk showing you what my Angel Wing begonia went through in 2014  http://www.hometalk.com/3900758/never-give-up-on-that-begonia

 

This link from the American Begonia Society-  http://www.begonias.org/greenhouse/

Beefsteak Begonia http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/62923/

Copyright 2015 The Garden Frog

 

One thought on “The Begonia-not just another annual

  1. Pingback: Beefsteak Begonia in the Home and Garden | The Garden Frog

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