The waxy, succulent leaves and colorful flowers of the popular wax begonia (Begonia semperflorens-cultorum) are familiar to beginning and experienced yardeners alike. Adaptable and forgiving plants, they combine a neat, compact habit, attractive flowers and foliage, and trouble-free cultural requirements. They are especially valued because they will give you a long season of blooms while growing in part shade; even in deep shade with fewer blooms.
Wax Begonias are ideal for beds, borders, or containers in sun or shade and are commonly used as edging plants or massed in groups. They also make very satisfactory houselants, bringing color to your home in the dead of winter.
A similar plant the Tuberous Begonia is found in the bulb section of Yardener's Helper.
Size - These plants will grow from 6 to 12 inches tall with a spread of 6 to 12 inches depending on the variety and growing conditions.
Blossoms - Wax begonias can have pink, white, or red flowers, and blooms may be single or double. If you look closely, you will notice that they bear two kinds of flowers on each plant; male blooms sport a bright tuft or yellow pollen at the center, and female flowers have a three-sided ovary behind the petals. The flowers, which have no scent, are about 1 inch across and appear from early summer continuously through to fall frost.
Foliage - Leaves are heart shaped, shiny, and succulent and usually 2 to 4 inches long. The foliage may be bright green, bronzy green, maroon, or variegated with green and white.
Container Gardening - Begonias take to containers very well. Outdoors, they are staples in window boxes and patio planters.