15 begonias to grow - Begonia 'Santa Cruz Sunset'

15 begonias to grow

We've picked our favourite tuberous, fibrous-rooted and leaf begonias to grow.

Begonias are often considered a little passé, but bold new varieties are helping to shed the image of dainty Begonia semperflorens that so often formed the front rows of 1950s and 1960s formal bedding schemes.

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From their beginnings in the moist tropical and subtropical areas around the globe, the nearly 1,800 species of begonia have been cultivated by growers, producing varieties that fall into three groups: tuberous begonias (with big, showy flowers), fibrous-rooted begonias (the dwarf bedding kind) and foliage begonias, which include cane-stemmed and Begonia rex types. They’re ideal for pots, baskets and borders in shade.

More on growing begonias:

Browse our list of 15 begonias to grow, below.


1

Begonia ‘Big’

15 begonias to grow - Begonia 'Big'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Big’

A star performer, Begonia ‘Big’ has brilliant pink flowers,which contrast well with large, glossy leaves. It has an upright habit that makes it perfect for pots.

Height x Spread: 40cm x 40cm


2

Begonia ‘Million Kisses Elegance’

15 begonias to grow - Begonia 'Million Kisses Elegance'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Million Kisses Elegance’

In contrast to most begonias, Begonia ‘Million Kisses Elegance’ has subtle pink flowers, complemented by fresh green leaves. Incredibly vigorous, abundant blooms are produced on gently arching stems, perfect for hanging baskets and pots.

H x S: 35cm x 80cm


3

Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’

15 begonias to grow - Begonia 'Glowing Embers'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’

Sultry and dramatic, Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ delivers a double-whammy of bronze-purple leaves with prominent veining and almost luminous orange flowers. Its compact growing habit make this variety perfect for pots, baskets and window boxes.

H x S: 35cm x 35cm


4

Begonia ‘Illumination’

15 begonias to grow - Begonia 'Illumination'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Illumination’

Begonia ‘Illumination’ has masses of showy, double to semi-double blooms borne on long stems. Available in a range of colours including scarlet and orange, plants form a mound before the stems trail and work well in both pots and hanging baskets.

H x S: 30cm x 30cm


5

Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’

15 begonias to grow - <em>Begonia</em> 'Apricot Shades'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’

The brilliantly coloured, double blooms of ‘Apricot Shades’ are among the largest. Masses of blooms make the foliage barely visible and last all summer.

H x S: 30cm x 45cm


6

Begonia ‘Waterfall’

15 begonias to grow - <em>Begonia</em> 'Waterfall'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Waterfall’

A real eye-catcher, Begonia ‘Waterfall’ has huge, brightly coloured double blooms, lasting well throughout summer. We recommend this variety is planted in a basket.

H x S: 25cm x 35cm


7

Begonia ‘Beauvilia’

15 begonias to grow - <em>Begonia</em> 'Beauvilia'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Beauvilia’

Compact and bushy, Begonia ‘Beauvilia’ is ideal for pots. It flowers freely until late in the season and has a flower shape similar to ‘Million Kisses Elegance’, which was also bred from Begonia boliviensis.

H x S: 30cm x 35cm


8

Begonia ‘Super Cascade’

15 begonias to grow - <em>Begonia</em> 'Super Cascade'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Super Cascade’

At 12cm across, the massive blooms of Begonia ‘Super Cascade’ are the biggest in our top 10. Four large outer petals surround a smaller, double centre. Its long stems and pendulous flowers make this showy variety best in baskets.

H x S: 30cm x 45cm


9

Begonia ‘Flamboyant’

15 begonias to grow - <em>Begonia</em> 'Flamboyant'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Flamboyant’

Begonia ‘Flamboyant’ is an old begonia variety, with well-shaped, simple, open blooms, in an attractive shade of clear orange-red. Pointed, dark green leaves contrast well with the flowers, which have usually finished flowering by the end of August.

H x S: 45cm x 30cm


10

Begonia ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’

15 begonias to grow - <em>Begonia</em> 'Santa Cruz Sunset'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’

Offering a profusion of fiery, bell-shaped flowers, Begonia ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’ is also bred from Begonia boliviensis (like ‘Million Kisses Elegance’ and ‘Beauvilia’). Better suited to baskets than pots, it’s heat tolerant and blooms well all summer and into early autumn.

H x S: 30cm x 30cm


11

Begonia rex

15 begonias to grow - Begonia rex
15 begonias to grow – Begonia rex

Rex begonias are grown for their colourful, dramatic foliage, and are typically grown as houseplants. There are many different cultivars, sporting large leaves with streaks, spirals or veins, and often with splashes of silver, pink, purple green and burgundy. Flowers tend to be inconspicuous and are best removed to keep the leaves looking their best. Begonia rex has large, metallic green leaves with splashes of silver on the upper surface, and a reddish tone beneath.

H x S: 50cm x 50cm


12

Begonia luxurians

15 begonias to grow - Begonia luxurians
15 begonias to grow – Begonia luxurians

Begonia luxurians is native to the rainforests of Brazil, and looks like a palm tree. It has large, palmate leaves, with coppery undersides, on red-purple, cane-like stems. Inconspicuous clusters of pale yellow to white, fragrant flowers are borne from spring into summer.

H x S: 3m x 1m


13

Begonia ‘Madame Richard Galle’

15 begonias to grow- Begonia 'Fragrant Fountains'
15 begonias to grow- Begonia ‘Fragrant Fountains’

Begonia ‘Fragrant Fountains’ is a vigorous tuberous begonia, bearing masses of double, fragrant flowers in warm shades of apricot, yellow, orange and pink, on trailing stems. It’s perfect for growing in pots and hanging baskets near a seating area on the patio.

H x S: 30cm x 30cm


14

Begonia ‘Namur’

15 begonias to grow - Begonia 'Namur'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Namur’

Begonia ‘Namur’ is a spiral leaf rex begonia, typically grown as a houseplant. It has silvery leaves and a pink central blush.

H x S: 25cm x 30cm


15

Begonia ‘Green Sparkles’

15 begonias to grow - Begonia 'Green Sparkles'
15 begonias to grow – Begonia ‘Green Sparkles’

Begonia ‘Green Sparkles’ is a painted leaf rex begonia, with dramatic, heart-shaped leaves with silver spots and a prominent central pink blush. Typically grown as a houseplant, it is a compact grower and best suited to a humid environment, such as a bathroom.

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H x S: 30cm x 30cm


Feeding your begonias

Tuberous begonias benefit from an application of tomato feed in July. Alternatively, add slow-release fertiliser pellets to the compost when planting up. Remove any flowers that appear from October, so the plant can put energy back into the tuber.

Watering can