Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Gerald L. Klingaman
Hardy begonia is tuberous begonia that bears elegant, pendulous clusters of fragrant pink (or rarely all white) flowers above dusky green leaves with vibrant reddish bronze undersides. This subtropical species is the only begonia known to survive in regions with prolonged sub-freezing winter temperatures. It is native to southeastern China, where it grows in forested river valleys, along montane slopes and moist cliff sides, and has been cultivated there since the 15th century. The flower stems are a lovely rosy-red, accentuating the pink coloration of the flowers.
This easy-to-grow begonia needs fertile, well-drained neutral, slightly acid or slightly alkaline soil. Offer it dappled sun or partial shade; direct summer sun can be too strong and may cause the leaves to scorch, especially when summer temperatures are high and water depleted. Plants self-sow freely, so expect hardy begonia to wander through the shade garden indiscriminately.
It looks ideal planted among ferns, Hosta, Heuchera and other shade-loving foliage plants that look great through summer. Try planting it in a container backlit by late-day sun that will show off its beautiful red venation. This is one of the last perennials to rise from the ground in areas with cold winters, so don’t worry if its late to break dormancy.
9 - 5
6 - 9
3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Partial Sun, Partial Shade
12"-30" / 30.5cm - 76.2cm
1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m
Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
White, Pink, Light Pink
Red, Green, Bronze
Red, Green, Gray Green, Dark Green, Bronze
Yellow, Red, Green, Gray Green, Dark Green, Bronze
Container, Mixed Border
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