Begonia Varieties: 49 Different Types of Begonia You’ll Love

Begonias are a favorite plant of many, and with good reason. Their hardy nature and beautiful blooms can transform any outdoor or indoor garden space. In this article, certified master gardener and begonia enthusiast Laura Elsner examines some of the top begonia varieties for your indoor or outdoor garden space.

Begonia Varieties

Begonias are a huge group of plants that include houseplants and garden flowers. I am a gardener, and while I appreciate the strange and wonderful foliage of begonias grown by houseplant enthusiasts and collectors, I love begonias in the garden. The flowers, the foliage, the drama, they rule the shade.

Begonias are also surprisingly easy and low maintenance to grow. Their flowers and/or intricate foliage looks so dramatic it would seem they would be absolute diva nightmares to tend. But quite the opposite, they require hardly any deadheading, and they don’t even mind small periods of drought.

Begonias are so versatile, there are varieties for garden beds, containers, hanging baskets, and even ones that are hardy perennials. There is a begonia for your garden. Here is a list of our favorite varieties of begonias for your garden. You will find one you love and that will suit your garden’s needs.

Varieties

Different Begonia Varieties
These plants are easy to grow and can tolerate many different living conditions.

Begonias are split into 4 major categories. Fibrous or wax, tuberous, rhizomatous, and hardy. Full disclosure, I am not a scientist or botanist! However I am a gardener and I can see different groups of plants that have different garden applications.

So within those 4 major groupings I’ve broken them down further into six sub groupings. There are tuberous begonias that are a hanging variety, which as you will see are much different than the regular tuberous varieties.

There is also a type of begonia which is a hybrid of fibrous and tuberous begonias that are known as rieger begonias. So to make things easier and more organized in this article, I have divided this list into 6 separate types of begonias: Wax, tuberous, rieger, rhizomatous, and finally hardy begonias. Within each type of begonia there are many, many varieties. Let’s take a look at some of my absolute favorites!

Fibrous/Wax

Fibrous, more commonly known as wax begonias, are the classic garden variety of begonia. They are lower lying annuals that have smaller flowers and thick waxy leaves. I think they have fallen out of vogue over the years, being thought of as old fashion.

But there is a reason they are planted year after year in gardens. They look great planted in large masses and borders in garden beds. They also look good as a filler plant in containers.

On top of that wax begonias can take more sun than other varieties of begonias, and they don’t mind drying out a bit, making them an easy garden flower for a wide variety of conditions. No wonder our parents and grandparents loved them so much.

Let’s bring these sweet flowers back into our gardens. There have also been some new introductions that put a modern twist on this garden staple. Look for begonia semperflorens for wax varieties.

Olympia Red

These flowers make great boarder plants due to their sun tolerance.

Height: 8” Width: 6”

Olympia red begonias have prolific small red blossoms with yellow centers that sit on top of waxy green, oval shaped leaves. These begonias can take sunny conditions as long as they are getting enough water. They are often sold at garden centers in six packs.

They look great planted in borders and masses in garden beds. The blooms last a long time so hardly any deadheading is required.

Cocktail Rum

Cocktail Rum Flower
The cocktail wax begonias will all have these dark reddish leaves.

Height: 8” Width: 6”

The entire Cocktail series of wax begonia has dark reddish maroon leaves. They tolerate more sun than the green varieties. I love the contrast of the dark leaves against the soft white flowers with yellow centers and a light blushing pink margin.

Cocktail rum would look great planted as a mass next to or behind light pink flowers, such as rocket orchid snapdragons. Or near a real chartreuse leaf plant, like a wasabi coleus. Or try using it in a pot with various pink flowers and chartreuse foliage. It’s a great little flower to play with and create eye-catching combinations.

Bada Boom Pink

Bada Boom Pink Begonia
Similar to the cocktail, this series also showcases these darker leaves.

Height: 8” Width: 12”

Bada Boom Pink begonias feature a darker hue leaf (not as dark as the cocktail series), and prolific bright pink blossoms. This variety can handle periods of drought, and more sun, than a lot of the tuberous varieties.

It’s low maintenance with long lasting blooms that don’t require much deadheading. Great for mass planting in a bed, creating a formal border, or as a container plant.

Double Up White

Double Up White
Double up white has large white, double fluffy flowers.

Height: 18” Width 12”

Double up white has huge balls of fluffy double flowers on top of dark bronze waxy leaves. This variety forms a nice mound and would fill a small container perfectly. Or it works in borders and masses. They don’t need deadheading and bloom all season long.

I love the bright white flower on the dark bronze colored leaf, it really pops. It would be a good filler plant to pair in a container with a rex begonia, such as Jurassic silver swirl (read about that variety down below).

Image Credit: Penn State Agricultural Sciences (Image Use Allowed With Attribution)

Olympia Pink

Olympia Pink
These low growing flowers are perfect for filling in any empty ground space in your garden.

Height: 8” Width: 6”

Olympia pink is a lovely low growing wax begonia that has light pink flowers with yellow eyes covering its succulent green leaves. Create a pretty pink border with these in a garden bed, or mix them with other Olympia series begonias (you can actually buy them mixed) and create a colorful annual display.

They also make a cute low growing filler plant in containers. You will need quite a few of these begonias to create impact in your garden. But they are actually easy to grow from seed.

Victory Rose

Victory Rose Begonia
Perfect for flower beds these little flowers are very low maintenance.

Height: 8” Width: 6”

These sweet little begonias feature small flowers that are white on the inside and then blush to pink margins, and a yellow eye. It’s a very pretty bedding out plant that would look great planted in a mass.

Maybe alongside some white flowers to really let their blushing colors shine. As with all the wax begonias, these ones are low maintenance and require almost no deadheading.

Whopper Rose with Bronze Leaf

Whopper Rose Bronze Leaf Begonia
This variety has a profound amount of small pink flowers.

Height: 30” Width: 22”

Wax begonias are not just low growing border annuals. The whopper rose series features tall, but very dense plants that can reach up to 2 feet tall at maturity. The whopper rose with bronze leaf variety has a profusion of small light pink flowers on dark bronze colored foliage.

Plant this in masses in a garden border, or it can fill a whole container. Its bronze foliage pairs really well with silver foliage plants such as dusty miller or licorice plant.

Fiona Red

FIona Red
Fiona red is another stunning red cultivar.

Height: 12” Width: 10”

Fiona Red are delicate blushing semi double flowers on large fleshy round wax begonia leaves. I love the fluffy blossoms on these wax begonias. Normally wax begonias feature single flowers, but this one has large balls of flowers.

But they still have the big round, lily pad leaf, leaves of a wax begonia. These are great in containers and as borders and masses in annual beds.

Image Credit: Penn State Agricultural Sciences (Image Use Allowed With Attribution)

Ambassador White

Ambassador White Begonia
These drought tolerant flowers are often seen along paths and walkways.

Height: 8” Width: 12”

This is a classic begonia variety. Lovely small single white flowers with yellow eyes adorn the small fleshy leaves on this wax begonia. It may seem old fashioned, but I think it really serves its purpose.

Brightening up garden paths and borders, or as a filler in a container. They are low maintenance, drought tolerant, and can survive in the shade, although they prefer partial sunlight .

Tuberous

The bulk of this list will be tuberous begonias. These are the begonias that made me fall in love with begonias. They have large blossoms, some are double blossoms and are dripping heavy with large rose like blossoms. They are spectacular.

I use these mostly in pots, but they also look great in shady garden beds because they add big bold pops of color. They come in so many varieties of colors and flowers, you will find a tuberous begonia for your garden too!

Tuberous varieties prefer part shade-shady conditions. They will get crispy in full sun. Look for begonia x tuberhybrida for tuberous varieties.

Nonstop Red

Nonstop Red Tuberous Begonia
These will pair well with a lower growing companion plant, adding height and impact.

Height: 12” Width: 14”

I am starting the tuberous list with one of my absolute favorites. I am sure the scarlet begonias that The Grateful Dead sang about were nonstop red begonias. The huge scarlet rose-like blossoms would tuck into her curls perfectly. They have large, irregular flowers.

Some are fluffy doubles, some are single blooms with intricate yellow stamens. The blossoms are large and showy, like red roses in the shade. I will plant a few of these in and amongst the lower growing shade plants, like hostas in a garden to great beautiful pops of bold red color.

You don’t need very many to create an impact since the flowers are so big and showy. I also put these in shady pots with a white filler, such as bacopa, and a majesty palm in the middle, for an elegant container arrangement.

On Top Fandango

On Top Fandango Tuberous Begonias
These light and airy blooms have a striking resemblance to a rose.

Height: 12” Width 12”

I love the name of this begonia! On Top Fandango is a beautiful bicolor begonia that is white with light pink blushing margins. The blossoms are large, fluffy, and rose-like. This elegant variety looks great in pots.

Complement the blossoms with other white and/or light pink flowers for a beautiful arrangement. I like putting it with purple lobelia and some wizard mix coleus, it looks like tropical punch.

Nonstop Orange

Nonstop orange
This orange variety will pack a punch in the darker, shadier areas of you garden.

Height: 12” Width: 14”

I love the nonstop series, so you will see a few more on this list. They feature the large showy flowers. Some fluffy doubles hang on the same stems as single flowers. Nonstop Orange is a vibrant orange color. I think orange is a highly underrated flower color in a garden.

In the margin for notes on my client list, the most common note is: no orange flowers. I get that it’s not for everyone, it’s definitely harsh and bright. But, on the flipside, it is bold and unexpected, especially in the shade.

Pair this bold orange flower with lobelia for a real punchy combination. Or add pops of it throughout the shade garden. Not many shade plants bloom a vibrant orange, so it’s unexpected and beautiful.

Solenia Salmon Coral

Solenia Salmon Coral Begonia
These dense blooms will thrive best in the shade but can also tolerate some of the sunny spots in your yard as well.

Height: 12” Spread: 12”

Solenia Salmon Coral is a beautiful orangey, pinkish shade flower. It creates a lovely mound with lots of  fluffy blossoms. Pair it with lobelia and senecio ivy for a lovely container arrangement. Or use as pops of color through a shade garden.

The Solenia series begonias can take more sun than a lot of the other tuberous varieties, so play with it in more sunny areas of your garden. But remember, if the leaves get crispy, it is in too much sun. Also, more sun means more watering.

Nonstop Fire

nonstop fire tuberous begonia
This flower has a unique look and will definitely add some flare to your flower bed.

Height: 12” Width: 12”

Nonstop fire is another one of my all time favorites. It has large, sometimes single, sometimes double blossoms that are big and rival a rose’s iconic blossom. This variety has a creamy yellow interior and blushes a reddish pink at the margins.

What I really like about this variety is that the flowers are not all uniformly the same color. Some have more yellow, some have darker reddish pink margins. It’s like you’re getting a few different flowers in one, but they all blend and match perfectly.

These look great in pots on their own, or mixed with a few low key plants, like green ivy, or white bacopa. I just think the flowers are so interesting, they don’t need a bunch of other colors in with them. They would also look great in a mass planting in an annual bed on their own, it would look like you put a lot of thought into matching the colors, even though nature did that for you.

Nonstop White

Nonstop White tuberous begonia
Tone down a busy area of your garden with this big beautiful white blooms.

Height: 12” Width: 12”

Nonstop white begonias are pure elegance. With huge double and single white blossoms that hold upright on sturdy stems, it is perfect for in beds and in container arrangements. I love a pure green and white garden.

Try combining white edge or center in hostas (e.g. patriot, or fire and ice) along with perennial white flowers (e.g. snowdrop anemone, or sweet woodruff), and then add in the big spectacular blooms of a nonstop white begonia.

It creates a bright magical shade garden. They also look great in pots with foliage focused plants like coleus, caladium, or rex begonias. It brings a nice neutral flower into an arrangement without making everything seem too colorful and busy.

Nonstop Deep Rose

Nonstop Deep Rose Tuberous Begonia
These vibrant pink blooms will add a pop of color to the shady corners of your yard.

Height: 12″ Width: 12″

Calling all pink lovers, this is the begonia for you! It is a bold hot pink color. Not a soft baby pink. It is a statement in the shade. I love pairing it with coleus that have the same pink in their foliage, such as wizard rose, chocolate covered cherry, or French quarter.

Or plant hot pink nonstop deep rose begonias with nonstop white begonias for a very pretty, girly combination. They also look great with purple or blue lobelia. I find not many flowers in a shade garden have this vivid pink color, so it is unexpected when it is added in pops throughout a shady bed, or in a container display.

Prima Donna Sunburst

Prima Donna Sunburst
This beautiful variety has yellow flowers, with an orange ring around the edge.

Height: 12″ Width: 12″

This is a dinner plate begonia, it has large ruffled edges. The flowers are yellow in the center and then explode into a red margin. These would look great in a container or straight into a garden bed. The flowers are large and striking and sure to be noticed. Plant with nonstop red begonias to really make that sharp red margin pop.

Solenia Dusty Rose

Solenia Dusty Rose Tuberous Begonia
These beautiful blooms are perfect for patio gardens.

Height: 12” Width: 12”

Solenia dusty rose is a beautiful shade of pink. It is lighter on the inner petals and then darker around the margins. The flowers are all uniform ruffled flowers that sit upright. It forms a neat mound and would fill a small pot perfectly, or it would look great as part of a mixed shade container.

It would also add a romantic whimsy to a shade garden with its beautiful carnation-like ruffled flowers. Solenia is a variety that can take more sun, giving it more versatility in gardens.

Nonstop Yellow

Nonstop Yellow Tuberous Begonia
One of the loviest yellow flowers out there, these will add a burst of sunshine into your garden.

Height: 12’ Width: 12”

Nonstop yellow are a clear vibrant yellow begonia. They have huge, sometimes double flowers that cover and hang off the neat green leafed begonia. This one really brightens up shady areas with its bright sunny color.

Plant as pops in a dark shade garden to add brightness. It would plat really nicely off hostas with chartreuse variegations, like guacamole. Or put these in a container with a palm and some ivy for a real simple, bright and cheery container.

On Top Sunset Shades

On Top Sunset Shades Tuberous begonia
These begonias will come in a variety of different combinations of colors to choose form.

Height: 12” Width: 12”

I order a lot of begonias every season to plant in my clients gardens. I have rows upon rows of flats of begonias. Anyone who comes into my work space notices the on top sunset shades begonias immediately.

They have the large, double and some single flowers that are big and heavy and cover the plant. But the colors are not all uniform. Some are pale yellow that blush to pink, some have dark red margins, some are orange that blush with yellow, and some are a pure golden yellow.

They are like a floral sunset. I love using these in a mixed container. The colors are all different but they all look good together so I don’t even have to think about matching colors. These are similar to nonstop fire begonias and can be used interchangeably.

Pin Up Flame

Pin Up Flame
The Pin Up Flame is an orange colored single flowered tuberous begonia.

Height: 12” Width: 12”

Pin up flame is a very striking and unique variety. While a lot of the spectacular tuberous begonias feature the really large fluffy double flowers, pin up flame is all single flowers. They are almost pansy like in shape. But there are a lot of them jammed onto one plant.

The most striking feature is their flame color. The blossoms are yellow in the center with a blushing red margin. Some blooms will have the thinnest red margin, while others will be over half red and all combinations in between, including pure yellow.

All these color variations will appear on a single plant. Plant these together in a mass for a blur of beautiful variegated red and yellow flowers.

Image Credit: Bégonia Tubéreux Pin up Flame” (CC BY 2.0) by Les Serres Fortier (Image Cropped, and Use Permitted With Attribution)

Picotee White-Pink

Picotee White Pink
The Picotee White PInk has a beautiful pink edge around the white blooms.

Height: 12” Width: 12”

This is a romantic variety of double ruffled flowers. They are pure white with a dark pink margin. They have large rose-like flowers that look great in containers and in the ground.

The extra pop of pink around the margins make this variety really special. Place next to white and pink caladiums, or coleus varieties for a beautiful match.

Cascade Florence

Cascade Florence
This variety is a lovely blush pink color.

Height: 12” Width: 12”

This begonia is sort of hanging, sort of up right tuberous. It has lovely large and heavy blossoms that are white in the center and then blush a lovely light pink color. They are large fluffy double flowers that face slightly downwards. These would look good in a hanging basket or a container.

Rieger Begonias

Rieger begonias are a cross between wax begonias and tuberous begonias. They really are the best of both worlds. Riegers have the fleshy leaves of wax begonias, and the large rosettes of flowers that tuberous begonias have. They can be planted in the garden and their upright flowers don’t end up dangling in the dirt, but they’re big enough to be seen from a distance.

Rieger Begonias are also a good choice for annual containers with their bold bright flowers that are long lasting and require little deadheading. Originally they were considered a winter blooming flower, like a poinsettia. They required shorter cooler nights in order to bloom. However, the new introductions bloom all summer long. I love the look of these begonias in gardens, they add color as well as structure. Look for begonia x hiemalis for rieger begonias.

Amstel Clara

Amstel Clara Rieger begonia
These flowers make great companion plants to hostas, who also love the shady side of the yard.

Height: 16” Width: 12”

Amstel begonias  have the up right, rosette blossoms and glossy green foliage of a wax begonia, with the size and form of a tuberous begonia. I like planting these in garden beds. Amstel Clara is a white variety that is perfect for brightening up the shade.

Sometimes the drippy white large tuberous begonias when planted into beds end up getting soil and water splattered on them and the leaves look translucent like dripping wet tissues. Not a good garden look.

But the flowers on Amstel Clara are upright in form and have more structure so they remain beautiful on the ground even with irrigation spraying onto them. They also require very little dead heading. I pick out the flowers as they turn brown, but it’s not a huge task. Plant these in beds with hostas that have white margins (e.g. Hosta Patriot) for a real garden pop.

Elatior Valentino Pink

Elatior Valentino Pink
This unique begonia has strikingly colored flowers.

Height: 12″ Width: 12″

This variety of rieger begonia is like no other. Elatior Valentino pink begonias have almost a peony-like feel to them. They resemble bowl of beauty peonies that grow in sunny gardens. They have  big pink blossoms and then fluffy double flowers creamy yellow booms in the center.  Use these flowers in containers or in the garden to bring a peony flower into a shade garden.

Amstel Batik

Amstel Batik Rieger Begonia
These coral beauties love the shade and will work perfectly in a container garden.

Height: 16” Width: 12”

Amstel Batik begonias have the classic rosettes of flowers sitting atop succulent leaves that all rieger begonias have. These ones are such an unexpected color, a bright coral orange. They look great in a shady pot.

For an interesting combination place a majesty palm in the center, then tropical orange amstel batik all around and then add trailing purple lobelia spilling out. It is also an unexpected color for planting in the ground in a shade garden. There are a lot of purple flowers in shady gardens, such as monkshood and hostas that look great next to a coral orange color.

Amstel Veronica

Amstel Veronica Rieger Begonias
With the right care and maintenance these flowers will stay in bloom all season long.

Height: 16” Width: 12”

Amstel Veronica are an upright blooming rieger variety. Veronica has little rosettes of a pale reddish orange color. It is great for adding pops of color throughout a shady bed, or as the filler plant in a container.

They require minimal deadheading and stay in bloom throughout the season. It looks great planted in small groupings of 3 or 5 to create a pretty mass of upright red blossoms.

Amstel Blitz

Amstel Blitz Rieger Begonia
These lovely yellow blooms are easy to care for and require little maintenance.

Height: 16” Width: 12”

You’ve probably noticed a lot of begonias from the Amstel series on my list. I just love the upright rosettes of flowers on their fleshy green leaves. They are low maintenance and provide color throughout the season. I couldn’t narrow it down to one color as being my favorite since I use them all. Blitz is the bright clear yellow variety. It makes a sunny pop of color in shade gardens and shady pots.

Elatior Borias

Elatior Borias Rieger Begonias
These creamy colors will add a whimsical look to any garden.

Height: 12” Width” 12”

This rieger begonia is like a bouquet of dusty pink roses. It is a bushy upright blooming begonia with light salmon pink rosettes of blooms all over it. I love this color, it’s old fashioned and lovely.

It would look great with a dusty green variegated creeping charlie with it in a container. Or in a bed with some white alyssum surrounding it. I love a romantic themed garden with lots of flowers.

Hanging Begonia

Hanging Begonia
This begonia variety is perfect in in hanging baskets and will add lots of drama to your porch.

Hanging begonias are mostly scientifically classified as tuberous begonias. But as gardeners I think classifying by appearance and use is sometimes more important than the tiny details that a botanist would focus on. Therefore I am giving hanging begonias their own category. Their flowers dangle downwards on the stems.

These begonias are great in hanging baskets and as a filler or a spiller plant that hangs out of containers. They aren’t as great for borders in garden beds since the flowers would drag on the earth (wax begonias are a better choice for this). They come in many different colors and flower shapes and sizes. Look for begonia boliviensis for hanging varieties.

Angelique

Angelique hanging begonia
These fluffy blooms come in a variety of soft, creamy colors to choose form.

Height: Width:

Angelique begonias are a stunning hanging variety! They feature huge balls of double white flowers. The stems and petals as they unfold are a light blushing pink. Some of the big double blossoms are on top of the plant while others drape down gracefully like dancers in fluffy dresses.

Put this one in a hanging basket or a container. You can add other plants since the flowers are a nice neutral white and pink color. It would look great with wizard rose coleus, or a pink and white caladium. But this begonia is so beautiful it also holds up well on its own.

Dragon Wing Red

Dragon Wing Red
These will add a vibrant pop of color to your hanging planters around your garden.

Height: 18” Width: 18”

The small dangling flowers of the dragon wing begonia makes it perfect for hanging baskets and containers. In a hanging basket this variety will produce a large ball of waxy green leaves dripping with red flowers.

It is actually a hanging variety of a fibrous begonia, so it will take more sun than the tuberous varieties. I see big balls of these in hanging baskets on lamp posts along city pathways.

Summerwings Dark Elegance

Summerwings Dark Elegance Hanging Begonia
If reds your color, these are a must to splash around your yard.

Height: 12” Width: 12”

Summerwings dark elegance is a beautiful hanging variety. It has bright red flowers that hang down on gorgeous dark foliage. Use this one in a hanging basket, or to fill up a pot.

One year I made a pot with this begonia combined with a ‘Brocade Fire’ geranium and a palm in the middle. It was fabulous, the chartreuse geranium and with a red center played perfectly with the dark foliage of the dark foliage of the begonia dripping with hot red flowers.

Santa Cruz Sunset

Santa Cruz Sunset hanging begonia
The name says it all, it’s like watching the sun setting at the beach, right in your own backyard.

Height: 16” Width: 16”

Santa Cruz Sunset is a flashy hanging variety. It has long pointed leaves with loads of bright orangey red flowers dripping off and dangling down. Use Santa Cruz Sunset in hanging baskets and draping down as a fabulous spiller in pots. The bright orange/red flowers really pop against chartreuse plants, like golden lysimachia, or an electric lime coleus.

Bellaconia Soft Orange

The creamy orange color and fluffy, soft petals will add a unique touch to your hanging planters.

Height: 12” Width 12”

Fluffy soft orange flowers hang down like ballerinas in tutus in this beautiful begonia. This one can be used in a hanging basket or in a pot where it can gently trail down. The large downward facing flowers are gorgeous, and the creamy orange color is unexpected in a shade garden. It would pair nicely with lobelia or bacopa for a beautiful soft colored hanging basket.

Funky Red

Funky Red Hanging Begonia
Its bright, spiky, double blooms will definitely add some funkiness to your garden.

Height: 12” Width: 12”

This hanging variety is really, well, funky, because it features these lovely red blossoms that hang down like a regular hanging variety. But the flowers are these spiky double blooms that look like starbursts.

This one looks great on its own in a hanging basket, or as a spectacular spiller plant in a pot. Or it can stand alone in a container because it is so unique and interesting.

Bossa Nova Rose

Bossa Nova Rose Hanging Begonia
These will pair nicely with just about any other flower in your hanging planters.

Height: 16” Width: 18”

Bossa Nova Rose is another hanging variety of begonia. It features narrow leaves and lots of small bright pink blossoms hanging downward on arching stems. This one belongs in a hanging basket where it will produce a single ball of these fantastic flowers dripping down.

Or in a pot as a spilling flower, maybe with some upright begonias to compliment it. I like these dripping flower varieties because they remind me of fuchsias, but I find them way less finicky and more reliable than fuchsias.

Sun Dancer Apricot

Sun Dancer Apricot Hanging Begonia
These breathtaking blooms will add a delicate touch to your garden.

Height: 12” Width: 16”

The sun dancer series is the best of both worlds. It has the large ruffled double blossoms of a tuberous begonia, but it drapes and trails delicately downwards. I love the blushing peach color of the apricot variety. It would look great in a hanging basket by itself or with a dark purple lobelia.

Waterfall Encanto Red

Waterfall Encanto RedHanging Begonia
These beauties will attract hummingbirds and other different pollinators to your garden.

Height: 12” Width: 24”

Well, I’ll probably be planting more of these this year now that their name includes the new Disney hit in it. But that’s not a problem because they are a lovely hanging variety. Waterfall encanto red has dark slender pointed foliage that has just the tiniest tinge of red on the jagged tips.

Then the flowers are bright red tulip shaped flowers that hang down off of red stems. The deep vase shaped flowers are great for attracting hummingbirds. Use this variety in hanging baskets or spilling out of containers. It would really pop against a chartreuse foliage plant such as golden lysimachia.

Belleconia Rose

Belleconia Rose Hanging Begonia
Make a statement on your porch with these beautiful, eye catching, blooms.

Height: 12” Spread: 12”

Large plumes of beautiful bold pink flowers hanging downward on thin stems makes Belleconia rose a show stopping begonia. This begonia will grow large and trail downwards beautifully in a hanging basket.

Add a few baskets of these along a porch for a gorgeous and bold statement. These pair well with nonstop deep rose begonias, for a uniform hot pink flower shade garden.

Rhizomatous

The most common variety of rhizomatous begonias are Rex begonias. While these are often thought of as house plants, they actually make really great garden plants. Especially in pots where their intricate and beautiful foliage can be on full display. All, except one, of the varieties I will be listing are rex begonias. Most other rhizomatous begonias are better suited as houseplants.

When searching for rex begonias for your garden look inside the greenhouse at the garden center where the houseplants are. Make sure to keep these in the shade, they will turn crispy and get bleached leaves in the sun.

Also place them in a protected area so they don’t get a lot of wind whipping them around and leaving them with tattered leaves. Look for begonia rex-cultorum for rex begonia varieties.

T Rex Painter’s Palette

T Rex Painter’s Palette Begonia
Typically used as houseplants, these will also flourish in that perfect shady spot in your yard.

Height: 12” Width: 16”

I love this begonia. They always appear in the garden center in the spring in my area. I always scoop one or two, bring it home, and then watch it die a slow death in my dry house. So one year I decided to bring it outside, it did fabulous.

The large leaves looked great all summer. It is a work of art, with a dark pink center that fades to a lighter pink, and then to a frosty white. Then throughout the leaf it has jolts of green that radiate outwards from the center.

You will get compliments on this begonia in a shady pot. I paired it with some simple green senecio ivy and a nonstop deep rose begonia behind it for a quick and lovely container combination.

Escargot

Escargot Begonia
Add some flare to your walkways with these mesmerizing plants.

Height: 12”  Width: 12”

This is one of my all time favorite begonias, the perfect swirl that resembles a snail shell looks striking in a container design. It has a large dark green leaf with a frosted white swirl like a snail shell.

Plant this with some hanging begonias, like Santa Cruz Sunset, for a stunning flower and foliage combination. Escargot would also make a funky whirly swirly border on a garden shady path, just make sure it is a shady and protected area of the garden.

China Curl

China Curl Rex Begonia
This unique plant will definitely be able to stand alone and shine solo in their own container.

Height: 12” Width: 12”

China Curl begonias are a work of art. They have the same swirled pattern as escargot. But they have a sharper, more pointed leaf shape. The dark black margin has bleeds into the frosty silver center.

Put this begonia in a shady pot either on its own or mixed with a few other annuals, but leave China curl front and center so everyone can look at its beautifully intricate foliage patterns.

Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire rex begonia
Elevate your garden by planting these with some of your other pink blooms around your yard.

Height:12” Width: 12”

Ring of fire has large jagged begonia shaped leaves. It has a bright pink center then a nice frosted silver inner leaf with dark green running through the veins. Then it finishes off with the feature it is named after, a bright magenta pink ring of fire around its margins.

This one would look great in containers next to other bright pink foliage plants, like a caladium, or pink coleus to really pop the ring of fire in the begonia.

T Rex Ruby Slippers

T Rex Ruby Slippers Begonia
These are just absolutely breathtaking and will surely make a statement in any garden.

Height: 16” Width 16”

Ruby slippers has large begonia jagged leaves. The center is a little dark, almost black, explosion that is surrounded by a beautiful ruby pink color. It would look great in a pot with, or next to other begonias in the T Rex series, such as Painter’s Palette.

It would also look great with white begonias, such as nonstop white tuberous begonias. The leaves on this begonia are so big and beautiful. Be sure to plant it up close so people can admire its beautiful foliage.

Jurassic Silver Swirl

Jurassic Silver Swirl Rex Begonia
The Jurassic swirl pairs well with other plants are can stand all on its own to take all the glory.

Height: 18” Width: 18”

Jurassic silver swirl wirl looks like something that was around in the age of dinosaurs. It has the classic heart shaped leaf of a begonia, but it is more jagged and irregular. The leaf is a dark black color with a frosted green swirl through the center.

The leaves have that colocasia quality to them where they kind of just hang off the petiole and float delicately. Be sure to plant these in a protected area. They can be planted in a mixed container with various other foliage plants and some flowers.

They would look funky planted with some nonstop white begonias for a modern black and white container. Or they would look great in a big pot on their own.

Masoniana

Masoniana rex begonia
The Masoniana begonia has this unique, black iron cross through the center of it.

Height: 18” Width: 18”

This rhizomatous begonia has thick spongy textured rounded leaves. It is the one that I mentioned on the rhizomatous list that is not a rex begonia. It is also known as an iron cross begonia because of the bold cross shaped marking that goes through the center of its green leaf.

The foliage is so interesting on this begonia it looks great in a hanging basket or container all by itself. I really like the look of green foliage house plants brought outside and placed on a protected porch. Mix and match pots of Boston ferns, spider plants, and rhizomatous begonias to create a little outdoor jungle oasis.

Hardy

Hardy Begonia
The Hardy begonia is a perennial and will thrive best in shady areas.

I have to admit, I don’t have much hands-on experience with hardy begonias, they do not grow in my zone. But I see them in shady garden magazines and I decided to include a few beautiful varieties.

A lot of people are moving towards perennial-only type gardens to save on the yearly expense of bedding annuals. It’s nice to be able to include begonias as perennials.  These hardy varieties are perennial in zones 6 or 7-8. Hardy begonias are large and lush.

They don’t have the gigantic balls of flowers that tuberous begonias boast. Nor do they have the masses of flowers that wax begonias have. But they have the beautiful heart shaped foliage of begonias, and long sprays of delicate flowers similar to the hanging varieties. If I could, I definitely would have these in my shade gardens! Look for begonia grandis for hardy begonias.

Heron’s Pirouette

Heron's Pirouette Hardy Begonia
The Heron’s Pirouette is on of the few hardy begonias that also has flowers that bloom.

Height: 18” Width: 24”

Heron’s Pirouette is a popular variety of hardy begonia. It has beautiful heart shaped begonia leaves all through the spring and early summer. Then as late summer comes they explode with sprays of light pink flowers with yellow centers.

They hang delicately on dark pink stems. These flowers are long lasting and a great addition to any shade garden, perhaps nestled in beside a hosta. Late summer and early fall are sometimes the hardest to find perennials in bloom in shade gardens. Add heron’s pirouette to fill that gap in late summer bloomers.

Grandis Alba

Grandis Alba hardy begonia
Not only do these hardy begonias have these sweet little flowers, but you get a pop of red under its giant heart shaped leaves.

Height: 18” Width: 24”

This hardy variety features green heart shaped begonia leaves with a reddish underside. Delicate sprays of white flowers with yellow centers appear on pink stems in the late summer. This variety adds interest with its double sided foliage as well as its bright white flowers. It is perfect for brightening up shade gardens.

Red Undies

Red Undies Begonia
This variety gets its name from the red underside of the leaves.

Height: 24” Width 16”

I don’t know who is in charge of naming varieties, but oh this one made me chuckle. But it makes sense. Red undies has a green heart shaped begonia leaf with a red underside. It forms a lovely mound and has sweet little pink flowers that grow in small sprays on the plant. It has a long period of bloom, from midsummer into fall. Red undies has a nice dense lush appearance.

Final Thoughts

Begonias have to be one of the most diverse and versatile plants. When you think of other annuals, say a pansy, they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, but they only really do one job, either a border or a filler in a container.

Begonias however can be used as a thriller, filler, or spiller in a pot. They can be used as garden borders, as pops of colors in a bed, or as a mass planting. There are even varieties that can be planted as perennials in a garden. They also make great houseplants. They are planted for their beautiful flowers, or for their intricate foliage. So next time you are at a garden center, pick up some begonias and play around mixing and matching them in your garden. Have fun, and happy gardening!

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