How to Grow and Care Begonias: Easy Tips

Begonias require minimal maintenance and can offer extended periods of flowering. How to grow and care Begonias; While some varieties may have less vibrant flowers, they are valued for their appealing foliage. During the summer, they can bloom for several weeks, from summer until late autumn. If kept indoors, certain varieties of begonias can bloom continuously, depending on the specific type. How to grow and care Begonias; Tuberous begonias undergo a dormant phase where the flowers and foliage die back for a few weeks. However, other begonia types can bloom consistently throughout the year. It is important to follow care instructions tailored to the specific begonia variety you possess.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

How to grow and care Begonias; In colder climates, these tropical plants are predominantly cultivated as indoor houseplants or used as annuals outdoors during the summer season. Landscapers frequently incorporate their vibrant blooms and foliage in outdoor container arrangements.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

Common Name:  Begonia

Botanical Name:  Begonia

Family:  Begoniaceae

Plant Type:  Tropical evergreen, annual

Mature Size:  Varies, 6-18 inches

Sun Exposure:  Partial sun to shade

Soil Type:  Moist, rich, slightly acidic

Soil pH:  5.7 – 6.2

Bloom Time:  Varies, seasonal

Flower Color:  Pink, red, white, yellow, orange

Hardiness Zones:  9-10 (USDA), some varieties 6-9

Native Areas:  South and Central America, Africa, South Asia

Toxicity:  Roots may be toxic to some animals

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

How to Care

How to grow and care Begonias; Growing and maintaining begonias is typically not a challenging task, but it is crucial to identify the specific type you have in order to provide appropriate care. Generally, begonias thrive in conditions of indirect sunlight or shade, regular watering, and well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. Regular removal of spent flowers through deadheading is necessary.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias


Containers with tuberous begonias require some exposure to sunlight, although partial sun is acceptable. When grown indoors, begonias thrive in environments with indirect light. Fibrous or wax begonias, when planted in garden beds, will reliably produce flowers in shaded or partially shaded areas. Excessive direct sunlight can potentially lead to wilting of the delicate petals or fading of the vibrant colors.


Begonias prefer a well-draining soil that is porous and rich, with a slightly acidic pH. An ideal soil composition for begonias includes a peat-based mixture with ample organic matter, such as leaf mold. Good drainage is crucial for their overall health. Alternatively, a basic potting mix, such as the one commonly used for African violets, can also be suitable for begonias.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias


Ensure that you water your begonia deeply approximately once per week, allowing the top half inch of the soil to dry out before the next watering. It is crucial to be cautious and avoid overwatering begonias, as excessive moisture can result in root rot.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

Climate and Moisture Level

Indoor begonias thrive when exposed to a steady temperature range of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Fibrous begonias planted in outdoor gardens can tolerate cool late summer evenings, but they will enter a dormant state as the days and nights become colder. As tropical plants, begonias appreciate a moderate level of humidity, preferably around 50%. In households with dry air caused by winter heating, placing a saucer of water near your begonia or utilizing a humidifier in the room can assist in maintaining the plant’s health and hydration.


The fertilizer requirements for begonias may vary slightly depending on the specific cultivar. For indoor-grown rhizomatous begonias, applying a water-soluble fertilizer mixed at a quarter or half strength to moistened soil in spring can aid in encouraging blooming. Tuberous begonias, being somewhat more robust feeders, benefit from a 5-1-1 fertilizer (such as fish emulsion) applied twice a month during the blooming season. When it comes to hardy begonias, it is advisable to mix a small amount of diluted fertilizer with compost or peat moss and apply it sparingly, as excessive fertilizer may harm the leaves.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

Types of Begonias

The begonia genus is extensive and diverse, encompassing numerous cultivars. These cultivars can be classified into four fundamental types based on the shape of their roots: tuberous, fibrous, hardy, and rhizomatous.

Tuberous Begonias: The begonias with fleshy round tubers serve as the “roots” of these plants. In colder regions, they are typically planted as annuals in containers during the early spring, and subsequently lifted and stored for the winter season. The flowers of these begonias display a wide array of colors, including vibrant shades and softer pastels such as red, yellow, orange, pink, and white. Additionally, there is a captivating variety known as ‘Picotee’ which features petals delicately bordered with red, adding a touch of drama to their appearance.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

Fibrous Begonias: Within this expansive group, you will find a selection of begonias that are widely cultivated, such as cane begonias (referred to as angel-wing or dragon-wing begonias) and the beloved wax begonias (also known as strawberry begonias). These begonias boast glossy, rounded, and waxy green leaves, accompanied by flowers that typically display shades of red, pink, or white.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

Rhizomatous Begonias: Characterized by a shallow root system composed of creeping rhizomes, these begonias feature foliage adorned with large serrated leaves that frequently exhibit vibrant colors.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

Pruning Begonias

Apart from deadheading, there may be instances where begonias require occasional light pruning to eliminate any dead or damaged stems or leaves.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

Propagating Begonias

Begonias can be propagated through various methods, such as leaf cuttings, rhizomes, or tubers. To propagate from leaf cuttings, one can place the leaf cutting in water, exposing it to indirect sunlight until roots start to develop. Afterward, the rooted cutting can be planted in potting soil. Rhizomes and tubers, on the other hand, can be gently pressed into moist potting soil, and within a few weeks, they should begin to sprout new growth.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

Growing Begonias in Pots

Begonias thrive in both indoor and outdoor pot environments. For outdoor use, a terra cotta pot with proper drainage is suitable, while indoor containers should also prioritize excellent drainage. As the tubers or rhizomes of the begonia grow, occasional repotting becomes necessary to provide more space. Simply lift the roots or tubers gently and transfer them into a new pot filled with fresh potting soil, followed by a light watering.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

In general, begonias are relatively resilient to pests and diseases. However, overwatering can lead to root rot, as well as stem rot or powdery mildew. The primary pests that may affect begonias include mealy bugs, spider mites, snails, and slugs. Snails and slugs have a tendency to feed on the leaves but can be easily removed by hand.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias

How to Get Bloom

Consistent fertilizer application is beneficial for maintaining continuous blooming in begonias. The key is to use a gentle approach by employing diluted liquid fertilizer. It is important to avoid fertilizing when the soil is dry. Regular deadheading is also crucial for maintaining the plant’s overall health and encouraging abundant blooms. If you notice the flowers wilting or browning, it could indicate that your begonia is receiving excessive bright sunlight.

How to Grow and Care for Begonias