Growing Wax Begonias

Category Flowers
Wax begonias are easy to grow as houseplants or in the garden. This is a page about growing wax begonias.


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Botanical Name:

Begonina x semperflorens-cultorum

Life Cycle:

annuals, tender perennials

Planting Time:

spring and summer


12" to 18"


sun (if kept moist), partial shade to shade


average, well-drained soil


zones 8-11 depending on cultivar

Bloom Time:

late spring to fall


white, pink, red, salmon, orange and yellow; singe or double flowers


shiny bronze or green, wing-shaped, rounded leaves


seeds or cuttings

Suggested Use:

beds, mass plantings, borders, containers and hanging baskets

Growing Hints:

Starting annual begonias from seed can be difficult. You're better off buying them unless you need several dozen. If starting indoors, sow the tiny, dust-like seeds 4 to 6 months before you want to transplant them. Do not cover seeds, just broadcast them thinly over the surface and press them gently into the soil.

Seeds need to be covered with glass or plastic and kept at temperatures between 60º and 70º F. Remove cover after germination and continue to keep soil moist. Seedling should be planted 12 inches apart. Leaf spot is an indicator that plants are too crowded.

Interesting Facts:

The tiny, dust-like seed of wax begonias is available in a pellet form for easier handling.
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Have any of you ever had a potted plant that died of jealousy when you brought other potted plants in, within a day? I have this little wax begonia plant that I have in the house. It was thriving and I talked to it all the time and told it how beautiful it was.


The other day, I saw these little pots of African violets on the discount table so I rescued them. They were small and yet healthy, no bugs, etc. I put something under the inner plant holder to make them stand up taller and receive more light. I set them next to the begonia plant next to the kitchen window. The violets are thriving, but now the begonia dropped its leaves and shriveled up and died within one day. I did nothing different to the begonia plant than ever before.

I remember once my grandmother had an African violet plant that would not bloom. She jokingly told it that she would throw it out (which she would not have done) if it didn't bloom. In the next couple of days it had blooms.)

Have anyone of you ever had plants that acted this way?

By Robyn Fed from Tri-Cities, TN

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Photo Description
The picture shows a wax or fibrous begonia. While there is nothing spectacular about this particular plant, I wanted to share a couple things I learned about it, this year.


They are found in the spring at most any garden center, usually available in white, pink and red. I purchased these as a 6 cell pack for $1.88 at Wal-Mart this past spring. I buy a couple 6 packs every year, bring them home, stick them in an 8-10 inch pot, and let them grow.

This year, I planted one cell pack in a 16 inch pot. The first thing I learned was that begonias will attain a size according to the size container they're planted in. Those 6 little plants completely filled the larger container just as they would a smaller one. From now on, they will be given plenty of room.

For those of you familiar with these bedding plants, you know they will be in constant, full bloom from the time you bring them home, til the first frost. While they may be susceptible to some pests and diseases, I have never had a problem with either.


I watched the container of begonias showing their beauty all spring, summer, and fall. Then, the first killing frost literally cut the plants down to the soil. I removed all the dead tissue, lifted the plants, and repotted them in a smaller container. I brought them into the house, not really expecting them to revive.

I did not place them near a window. They only received a little light from a couple fluorescent tubes. I couldn't put them close to the tubes because that space was taken by other plants.

Well, here it is mid January. The plants did revive to the point of looking quite healthy and actually blooming. By early April, this container should be filled to the point it will provide more than enough cuttings for myself and friends.

So, the second thing I learned was, while these plants like full, all day sun, it is possible to continue growing them indoors under much lower light through the winter, and they will provide a bit of greenery and bloom for those late January days.

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Photo Description

I grow a lot of begonias. To save money, each fall I bring some in to root cuttings. I'm behind this year. You can see in the picture what an unseasonable 3 degrees did to my plants. Guess I'll have to fork over much dollars for new plants come spring.


But wait a minute. Do I see green? Yep, I surely do. Most people would have tossed these plants without looking for life. I found enough plants with green below the soil line to provide rootings for myself and the whole neighborhood. Look below. Them bad boys laughed at them 3 degrees.

Nature gave me one heck of an itch; and people, I guess I'll be scratching for the rest of my life. Yes!

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January 19, 2017

Many plants can be propagated from leaf and stem cuttings. This is a page about growing begonias from cuttings.

Growing Begonias from Cuttings

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