In The Garden Now….. Begonias

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dragon Wing Begonia, Oxalis Plum Crazy

Text and photos by Victoria Gilleland

I used to think of begonias as an old fashioned plant that wasn’t a serious garden plant. My mother liked begonias and even kept a few as houseplants when I was a child. She liked the colorful foliage. Having grown up with begonias in house I initially thought of them as just another houseplant. Boy was I wrong! They’re wonderful outdoor garden plants as well.

Autumn Embers Begonia, Carex Grass
and Daphne
Begonias are easy to grow, have great foliage and many flower from May until November or the first freeze.

With more than 1200 begonia species and hybrids available there’s no end to the possibilities!

The fabulous colors and textures of the foliage alone make it worth the price of the plant.

In my garden plants have been drought tolerant and not bothered by garden pests such as slugs…. my nemesis!

Rabbit and deer have left them alone as well. 

Most varieties grow well in shade to part sun and some do well in full sun.

They thrive in containers or planted directly in garden beds. I often grow them in containers so that I can move them around the garden as they mature.

Before the first frost, many begonias can be moved indoors where they will continue to flourish throughout fall and winter while some varieties require a dormant season.

I always take a few of my Rex Begonias in for the cooler months so that we can enjoy the foliage indoors. ‘Autumn Embers’ and ‘Stained Glass’ will be heading inside soon. When spring arrives and the weather warms it’s back to the out of doors for another year of garden color.

Stained Glass Begonia
Right now many annuals have given up on blooming and are looking pretty worn. Not so the stalwart begonia.

They’re still flowering and their foliage is in good condition! Begonias could become one of your favorite garden annuals.

They are a wonderful easy to grow family of plants worth considering for your garden…. outdoors or inside.

Victoria Gilleland is the owner of Cottage Garden Designs, a Garden Design company specializing in Redesign of Residential Gardens, Garden Consultation and Coaching.

She has been designing gardens in the northwest for over 20 years.


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