You might look at Begonias and think they’re a bit of a ‘granny’ plant! Well, I urge you to stop and think again. They’ve been remixed and are pumped full of new juice, so now there’s something for everyone. Those shady corners need not feature any more sun-starved and unhappy Petunias, Begonias are back with a bang!
Begonias are sooooo versatile. They’ll grow in sun or SHADE, flowering in even the worst of weathers, and they keep on giving those blooms from June through to (almost) October! Here’s my top 5!
ONE. Begonia ‘Fragrant Falls’ I bet you did not know that ANY fragrant Begonias existed! Well, collectors and enthusiasts have been squirrelling away those species for years, but finally modern day plant breeding has infused those scents into new, strong growing specimens.
The fragrances vary from colour to colour, and cover the spectrum from cloves to vanilla, citrus to rose. You’ll become your own garden perfume mixer! That fragrance is rich whatever the weather too, and doesn’t need a warm day to encourage it out of the blooms. Whereas most fragrances are held in the oils of the bloom, this Begonia holds it in its petals. So, with ‘Fragrant Falls’, those extra petals mean extra fragrance too!
TWO. Begonia ‘Lotto Mixed’ This is the BIG DADDY of the bedding Begonia world, and it has rewritten the bedding rulebook. Plants are HUGE, steroid-packed, and simply can’t want to fill your beds and borders, there will be NO stopping them!
You’ll find ‘Lotto’ is almost twice the size of a traditional Begonia semperflorens, which means it’ll fill your beds, wrestling the weeds to the ground with it’s vigorous, blossom-rich and ground covering habit. You’ll also need to water your garden less, as that flowering canopy keeps the moisture locked into the soil below too!
THREE. Begonia ‘Cocoa Enchantment’ How’s about a Begonia that looks good even before it blooms! That’s what you get with ‘Cocoa Enchantment’, a variety with simply the darkest leaves, set against candy pink, simple design florets.
This Begonia may not be for everyone, but it packs a punch for sure, and would look equally cool in a terracotta pot as a shiny silver zinc pot!
FOUR. Begonia ‘BeLeaf’ Series Just to keep mixing things up, I’m sticking with the coloured leaf theme! The ‘BeLeaf Series’ hasn’t yet made it onto many garden centre benches, but hopefully it will soon.
You may recognise the graffitied foliage, which echoes that of Begonia rex, a traditional houseplant type. However, this is a true OUTDOOR variety, which offers a new mixer for your patio cocktail!
FIVE. Begonia ‘Majestic Picotee’ Let’s get back to the blousy ones! I am not ashamed! ‘Majestic’ is just that in every sense of the word- plants are bulky, with wide, WIDE blooms; sometimes 6 inches across. The colours are phenomenal too; these are exhibition-quality Begonias are a fraction of that price!
You only need ONE of these plants per 30cm (12in) patio container, and despite their showy blooms, they are also remarkably weatherproof. You could be mistaken for thinking they’re made of plastic! You can even keep the tubers for a second, and third, year display too!