Begonias are named for M. Michael Begon, a 17th-century French-Canadian naturalist. B. semperflorens (meaning ever-blooming) has fine, fibrous root systems that produce many compact, fleshy stems topped with waxy rounded leaves. A healthy plant will bloom throughout the year, producing flowers ranging from white to pink, red, orange, yellow, or any combination of these. There are many varieties available that can provide a profusion of colors. These begonias are succulents and as such are sensitive to excessive watering. They also prefer as much bright light as possible. Begonias are not especially difficult to grow and provide color accents when grouped with foliage plants. If leaves become pale, move to a less sunny location. If leaves turn brow at the edges, this may indicate that the air is too dry.
Family: Begoniaceae (begonia)
Care: Provide a complete fertilizer every two weeks throughout the year. Allow soil to dry slightly between waterings. Begonias are very sensitive to overwatering. To prevent legginess and to produce stronger blooms, pimch back young plants. Do not mist as damp leaves encourage mildew spores.
Lighting: Full sun
Ideal Temperature: 60-75°F (16-24°C)
Challenges: Rarely attacked by pests. Fungal disease or mildew may occur if conditions are too damp or if the air circulation is insufficient.