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BEGONIA odorata

Image of Begonia odorata

James Burghardt

Family

Begoniaceae

Botanical Name

BEGONIA odorata

Plant Common Name

Sweet Begonia

General Description

An elegant tropical perennial, sweet begonia is has glossy, succulent leaves and graceful pendulous white flowers that offer a faint pleasant fragrance. Originating from the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea, this large semi-woody begonia is actually considered to be a subshrub. It has a mounding yet rambling habit and is one of the few begonias that can tolerate full sunlight. As long as temperatures are warm and growing conditions right, it will flower nearly year round.

Sweet begonia should be planted in a moist but well-drained acid soil. Since it has firm succulent leaves and stems, it is important not to grow it in wet soils, which encourage root and stem rot. If grown in full sun ensure the soil has a high organic component and humidity is not too low.

Use sweet begonia indoors as a magnificent houseplant in a warm, bright window. In frost free regions it can be planted in containers, hanging baskets or in the ground in masses. It also looks super dangling over a retaining wall. Though it blooms less frequently, the cultivar 'Rosea' offers pretty pink blossoms.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    24"-30" / 61.0cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    30"-36" / 76.2cm - 91.4cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Caribbean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No