ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Begonias, Cane, Rex & Others, the Beguiling Masters of Disguise in the Garden

Updated on September 19, 2012
thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

I have a deep interest in nature, gardening and sustainability. The local arboretum is my universe of learning, and my garden is my lab!

Beguiling Begonias

Many people don't think Begonias are that special. But, they are. There are hundreds of varieties of this most varied flower. This flower is the master of disguise in the garden because it comes in so many forms. Upright, pendulous, shrub like, ground hugging, climbing. Name the form and the common begonia has inhabited that form. These flowers are truly lovely. The choice is yours from the Rex Begonias which have elongated heart shaped leaves that sparkle complete with swirly designs built right into the foilage to the striking Cane group with red stemmed begonias, red flowers and red leaves. These beauties are called cane begonias because their stems look a little like bamboo canes and are sectioned off just like a bamboo. Growth nodules are located right where the horizontal divisions are on the canes. They're hearty, beautiful and easy to grow. In fact, they sometimes grow fifteen feet tall if left to their own devices. Besides the Rex begonias, these are my favorites. I love the dramatic effect of red in garden design and these begonias energize a garden with a stand alone red to the many greens in the garden. Utilizing this begonia will certainly give your garden a punch of color!

The flowers come in a kazillion forms including a simple four petal form, a rose petaled form, doubles, a pendant two inch long form and a tiny flower form which is about one half an inch including all it's petals. Colors are wide ranging from white to a true deep red. The only color that isn't in the begonia family is true blue. There are begonias with very thin leaves, fat leaves, lopsided heart shaped leaves, spade shaped leaves chartreuse colored leaves, grey green leaves with silver swirls incorporated into their design. Just about anything you can imagine in the form of shape and color is on a begonia.

Begonias - Where do they Hail From?

Begonias hail from the tropics and subtropics which means they are found all around the warmer, wet parts of the world, generally in the area of about 15 degrees south and north of the equator. Brazil hosts the cane species of Begonia, a leggy, kind of quirky, dramatic looking flower. The Rex Begonias group has quite a few striking plants which are grown mainly for their outstanding leaves. Begonia 'Helen Lewis' comes to mind with deep greenish-purplish leaves and an inside border of the very lightest mint green on each leaf. Apricot Cascade is a lovely perennial with double peach colored pendulous flowers. Grows to 24 inches in height and width. Again these are perennials but up north would have to be brought inside to overwinter. Most begonias cannot be left out doors if the weather goes below 50 degrees. Lily Pad Begonia is quite the beguiler with beautiful big leaves that resemble lily pads. The proper name for this begonia is B. 'Nelumbiifolia'. This one can be found from Columbia to Mexico. A good size showy begonia, it grows 12 inch long spring green leaves with the lightest of pink flowers which are about 1/2 inch wide. This begonia grows to a height of about 18 inches and 24 inches wide. Basically, begonias stay in the warm sultry spots, although some perennial begonia species grow right here in the Philadelphia, PA area.

I do have begonia pictures, but I have not been able to upload them for some odd reason. I will fix that as soon as I can!

Care of Begonias

Begonias are pretty easy plants to care for. They like their soil moist and rich with humus, just don't let them sit in sopping wet soil. They'll just fall apart in this type of soil. For those of you who don't know what the term humus rich means, it is a soil that is rich in micro organisms and nutrients. This is accomplished by using compost and compost is easily made. Simply put, compost is made by combining garden clippings with garden soil, mixing together and letting it heat up over time. In about 6 months, it is transformed into black crumbly earth and is humus rich. The clippings can include twigs, grasses, branches, leaves, kitchen food waste (but, no eggs, meat or cheese), because this can draw wildlife.

For the most part, begonias like sun to part shade. If you have the grandis or sutherlandii species, they can be left in the ground with some extra mulch; they'll be okay as long as the ground doesn't freeze. They are hardy in zones 7 through 10. To be safe, I would only leave begonias under zone 7b, (this zone is a little warmer than zone 7a) in the ground. Before winter hits, cut back the dead leaves. If you think there's any chance of a winter freeze coming through, just bring the begonias in because if their tubers freeze, they will not re-sprout in the spring. Good luck with your beautiful begonias.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

      thoughtfulgirl2 5 years ago from East Coast

      I too love Begonias, I had some photos I took which I wished to upload, but the upload didn't work, it was so disappointing. Here is a link to one of my photos on red bubble: Good luck with your lovely Angel Wing begonia:) I just love these plants. They are so amazing to look at.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I love begonias. I'm not sure what type I plant each year, but I always purchase them in the spring to add to my flower beds. I love putting them in pots on the porch also. I have learned that I tend to overwater them. I have a huge "Angel Wing" begonia that I am going to bring in over the winter and try to save it for next spring. Wish me luck! :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)