Annual Overview: Begonias





Begonias Stats at a Glance

Botanical Name: Begoniaceae

Common Name(s): Wax begonia, bedding begonia

Height: 6”-18”

Soil Conditions: Moist, well-drained soil

Sun: Partial shade

Soil pH Conditions: 5.5-7.0


Best use: Flower bed borders, containers, houseplants.

Starting from Seed

Germinating begonias from seed is difficult. To start indoors, fill individual peat pots with a fertile commercial soil starter and moisten.  Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil as they need light to germinate.  Place in a room with a constant temperature of 70-75°F.  Cover with clear plastic wrap to maintain the soil moisture and temperature.  Keep the soil moist.  When seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move to a sunny location.

Start seeds indoors in January or early February.

Days to Germination: 14-21

When to Plant

Plant transplants following last frost in the spring.

Where to Plant

The conditions under which begonias are planted will depend on the variety.  Some begonia varieties require shade. Wax begonias tolerate full sun better than other varieties.  They cannot tolerate high temperatures, so in warm areas they should be planted at least in partial shade.

Begonias prefer well-drained soil, but will tolerate moderate dampness.

Plant Spacing

Smaller varieties should be spaced 6”-9”apart.  Larger varieties should be spaced 15”-18” apart.

Care and Maintenance

Remove spent flowers to encourage continuous flowering.

Cut back the plant in midsummer to encourage growth.

Water as needed.


The most common diseases associated with begonias include Bortrytis blight, powdery mildew, and Phythium root and stem root.


The most common pests associated with begonias include mealy bugs, spider mites, scales, slugs, and thrips.

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