There are many plants people think of when they think of the tropics or subtropical regions.
Anywhere that maintains a warm temperature year round and is fairly moist as well will have a fair number of plants. It is quite literally the perfect weather for most.
However, none may compare quite in abundance to the Begonia.
This family of plants has spread to almost every continent, with only Europe and Australia being missed (as well as Antarctica, but that doesn’t have any plants in the first place).
They make beautiful additions in any well-kept garden and are also fantastic ornamental plants that brighten up any home.
Although each requires different cultivation requirements, as long as you give every Begonia its due, then there should be no issues.
Deciding on what Begonia to buy may give you an unwanted headache, especially in the mad hustle and bustle of today’s world.
Due to this, we have decided to take a closer look at Begonias and give our take on what plants are best for your garden and the features that pertain to specific plants.
The Different Types Of Begonia
There is one issue with Begonias, though, a giant issue for those wishing to buy a singular plant among the bunch.
In the Begonia family, there are over 2000 flowering species, making them a contender for the largest family of flowering plants.
Choosing one plant from this massive selection would not only take time, but patience and sheer determination as well.
Since gardening is supposed to be a relaxing and fun activity, we imagine most people would prefer not to shift through every Begonia available.
Therefore, we have decided to create a list, narrowing the choice down to the most popular and sought after plants.
These are some of the more common plants found in nurseries and gardens across the globe. They come in a wide variety of colors and sizes and can easily be grown indoors or out.
The flowers range from single petals to double, depending on the particular type. Wax begonias are easy to grow and maintain and are very hardy. There are two main varieties: wax and non-wax.
Non-wax begonias don’t produce wax. These are usually smaller than their wax cousins and tend to be more compact.
Non-wax begonia are great for small spaces as they can be planted close together. If you want something bigger, try a wax Begonia instead.
In terms of color, these are either white, pink, red, purple, blue, yellow, orange, green or black.
These are the most commonly used and easiest growing, but one of the most high maintenance of all the Begonias.
Popenoe’s begonias are extremely versatile but fragile and can be planted indoors, but if you want to plant them outside then you best live in a place that isn’t too cold.
They do require a bit of sunlight during the day, but once established, they thrive anywhere.
Their flower’s colors are white, while the enormous leaves are a deep maroon, giving the plant a lovely contrast.
This is another popular and easy growing plant, Begonia Rex or the Painted Leaf Begonia.
It is similar to Popenoe’s begonia, but its flowers are almost non-existent and are often pruned away before they can become dead. The real joy in growing this Begonia is the leaves.
Unlike Popenoe, Painted leaf’s leaves are not maroon, but rather dark green on the outside while the inner leaves are either pink, red, silver, or purple blended with white. Their flowers are also larger and more fragrant.
This plant is also fairly large at 24 inches in height and 18 inches in spread.
Unlike the Painted Leaf Begonia, the Boliviensis Begonias or the Santa Cruz does not have huge leaves and small flowers. Instead, their leaves are long, narrow, and waxy, while their flowers hang like a pendulum and split into 5 lobes.
The most common shades for these flowers are red and orange, with some yellow and white varieties also available.
The Boliviensis Begonias was actually the first Begonia used in a hybridization, creating Tuberous Begonia between the 1860s and 1870s.
The Tuberous Begonia is considered to have some of the most spectacular plants in the entire family, showing you how beautiful the Boliviensis Begonias can be.
Also known as Flame Begonias, these are the smallest of the group and considered the most beautiful of the Begonias.
They are bright red when fully mature and are known for being able to withstand heat and drought. This makes them perfect for areas where summers get hot.
They are mostly grown for their beautiful bright red flowers that bloom throughout spring into summer.
Scarlet Begonias also grow in a wide selection of colors and, when blooming, give the distinct image of a veranda on the coast of Brazil, even if you live thousands of miles away from the country.
Moving over to New Guinea now for a different kind of Begonia, that of the Begonia Brevirimosa.
Unlike the Begonias of South America, which are normally small, herbaceous plants or climbers, the Begonia Brevirimosa is a shrub that can grow up to a meter tall.
The leaves are a dark green with pink stripes running along them, while also being ridged and waxy in contrast to the small flowers, which are a vibrant pink that splits into 4 different lobes.
The petals of these flowers also curl back round over the flower itself. The long, thin stems of the shrub give the whole appearance a bell-like look that is incredibly charming.
This plant is yet another shrub type Begonia, this time though hailing from Malaysia about 3000 miles north.
These plants have incredibly pointed and sharp leaves at both tips, and they extend in either direction away from the stem, hence the name ‘Amphioxus’ – ‘pointed at both ends’.
The flowers for these plants are small, but their leaves are unique in appearance, not just for their pointed nature.
They are adorned with red spots with a light green background and when the wind blows against them, they flutter like a butterfly or a moth.
This is a type of Begonia that flourishes that has sturdy roots and flourishes when given loving care. The leaves of this Begonia are uniquely rounded and look very similar to lily pads with a slight point at the end.
The flowers are much smaller than other Begonias and come out in a gorgeous abundance. The flowers only have one or two petals, which are a delicate light pink in color.
This, combined with the bright red stems they are attached to, gives the entire flower an amazing display to show off, and they are a welcome addition to any garden, be it personal or commercial in nature.
This type of Begonia comes from South America and Mexico and has been cultivated since colonial times.
They are easily recognized by their large leaves, which tend to curve upward. Their flowers are usually white or pinkish. These plants do not require much attention and are extremely easy to grow and maintain.
They have leaves that are deep dark green in a large, oval shape that ends in a tip, and the flowers are a scarlet red with two petals.
These two petals are semicircular and cup the yellow pollen bloom in the center. The flowers tend to come out in abundance in comparison to the larger leaves, which shows a glorious display of color for your garden.
The Begonia Pavonina or as it’s more commonly known, the Peacock Begonia, is an absolutely gorgeous plant and is distinctive in not just Begonia species, but more broadly across most plant species.
You see, the Peacock Begonia has bright blue leaves, not petals, leaves. Blue is an unusual color for plants in general, but blue leaves are almost unheard of.
This is put in contrast to its flowers, as they have light, pink flowers, which really highlight some of the most notable color combinations in the entire plant kingdom. There are many Begonias that come out of Malaysia, but not many like this one.
The Begonia Luxurians is more typically known as the Palm Leaf Begonia, due to similarity in appearance to most members of the Palm family.
While this plant does bloom into beautiful, tiny, white flowers, the most striking part of their appearance is the leaves themselves.
The leaves are long, thin, and reach down in an arch to the ground, ending in a single point. Each leaf is serrated and while the top is a lovely dark green, the bottom is a deep red with prominent veins appearing on the surface.
These plants are huge and can reach up to 12 feet in height and 6 feet across.
Begonia listada, also known as the Striped Begonia due to the prominent white stripe that runs down the center of the leaf, is a shrub-like Begonia native to the forests of Brazil.
They only grow to about half a meter, but they are incredibly dense and compact.
The leaves are waxy and dark green, with their shape being cupped in an upwards direction. The flowers are creamy white and have curious red hairs just underneath them.
These plants are not cold tolerant in the slightest and must be kept in permanent warm conditions, if you live in a variable climate.
The Begonia Nelumbiifolia, otherwise known as the Lilypad Begonia, is native to tropical rainforests in Central and South America.
It has small, round leaves that end in a blunt tip. This plant blooms in springtime and produces white flowers with brilliant shades of purple. These flowers last for several months and will attract butterflies and hummingbirds alike.
The leaves of this plant are wide, green and waxy, looking very much like the lilypad they are named for. The contrast between this and the flowers makes for a stunningly beautiful plant.
These plants are very easy to care for and don’t need any special treatment other than regular watering. This makes them ideal for beginners who want to start growing their own houseplants at home.
The Begonia Palmetto is actually a hybrid between the Begonia Nelumbiifolia and the Begonia Luxurians. It’s a great way to create your own unique look by combining two different types of begonia together.
The Begonia Palmetto gets its name from the palm-shaped leaves that make up the majority of its appearance.
These leaves are bright green and waxy. The flowers are a pretty shade of yellow with a few touches of orange, making these flowers quite eye-catching.
They’re relatively easy to care for as well. Simply water regularly and keep away from direct sunlight.
The Begonia Peltata is another hybrid plant and was created by crossing the Begonia Palmetto and the Begonia Nelumbiifolia. It’s a fantastic garden plant that combines the best qualities of both parents.
Its leaves are made up of three distinct parts: the green upper portion, which looks similar to the leaves of the Begonia Palmetto, then there’s the middle section which is a darker color and finally the lowermost area which is a pale pinkish color.
Its flowers are yellow, and it grows to around 4 feet tall.
This plant is one of the easiest to care for and requires little attention other than regular watering. You should avoid overwatering, though, as this may cause the stems to rot.
Begonia Peta Latifolia
The Begonia Peta Latifolia, or simply the Petal Begonia, is a Begonia plant that is endemic to China. It’s a wonderful plant because it’s able to produce large quantities of flowers throughout the year.
In fact, some people even say that the petals of this particular species can rival the beauty of real roses.
Its leaves are slightly smaller than those of the other Begonia plants on our list, but still manage to retain their distinctive shape. The flowers are a soft pastel pink and are extremely fragrant.
You’ll notice that the leaves of this plant tend to curl downwards towards the base of the stem.
This is because the plant tends to grow in clumps rather than individuals. When you cut off the bottom part of the stem, the curled leaf will return to its original position.
Begonias come in all shapes and sizes, with each one requiring different requirements to help it grow up happy and healthy.
However, this should never stop you from trying new varieties and seeing which ones will make your garden look beautiful.
If you are interested in any of the Begonias you’ve seen on this list today, then have a more detailed look and see what you need to help them grow.