Here is a list of the most common begonias in our landscapes. There are many more varieties found throughout the world, but this list will get you started on understanding the vast range of begonias.
- Fibrous-Rooted Begonias: These include the wax begonias, cane-like begonias, dragon-wing, and other varieties. These plants have just a regular root ball, with thin, stringy roots. Most of these plants will continue growing and blooming all year long if you bring them inside before the first frost, put in a bright window, keep moist, and continue feeding. These plants perform great in planters, but also in beds. Of all the varieties of begonias these tolerate the most sun.
- Rex Begonias: These varieties are the showiest of all begonias. They are usually rhizomatous and will continue growing indoors in the winter; but they need more humidity, moisture, and fertilizer than other varieties. They can be planted in a shade garden bed, but it is advised to loosen the soil mixture with some peat moss and vermiculite to mimick the light, moisture retaining, mixture of potting mix.
- Tuberous Begonias:Tuberous begonias have a fleshy, round tuberous root – think potato – and bloom in late summer and fall, but can bloom early if forced inside. Tuberous begonias go dormant in the winter, so they won’t stay green as houseplants. Instead, in early fall (before the first frost), dig up the tubers and store them in a cool dry place for the winter. Next spring, after all danger of frost has passed, replant them in pots or outdoors. Again, with this variety of begonia if you choose to plant in the ground you should add some vermiculite and peat moss to the bedding area to lighten the soil mixture and aid with moisture rentention.