Begonia BIG

Have you heard the news? After researchers looked into historic records and new collections, the Begonia genus has broken the barrier of 2,000 species! This is really exciting news for horticulturalists – with Begonia being the world’s sixth largest plant genus, it’s great to know that there are still many species yet to be discovered.

BIG Begonias for your garden

Begonia BIG

These discoveries are all well and good for the scientific community – but what about gardeners? With more species and varieties being recorded every day, we get an insight into what the future of gardening could look like! It can take years for plants to be developed for release to the public – but remember, new plants are being released all the time, so you don’t have to wait long before a beautiful new plant becomes available for your garden.

 

Begonia BIG

 

One such plant is Begonia BIG. Developed by Benary, this is a Begonia that was released in 2008, coinciding with the breeding company’s 165th birthday. They actually introduced the first F1 Begonia from seed. I flew all the way to China in 2019 to see the largest plantation of Begonia BIG (over 60,000 plants), and it really was a sight to behold. 

 

Begonia BIG

 

The plant itself is heat tolerant, colourful, versatile and has a long blooming time. But its main attraction is, of course, its big, buxom blooms (up to three times the size of traditional wax Begonias)! Ideal for home gardeners and landscapers, Begonia BIG makes a huge impact in spaces of any size. Fill up containers, baskets, beds and borders with this head-turning plant!

Colour

Currently, Begonia BIG is available in eight colours, with four colours on a green-leafed variety and four of dark-leafed. Choose from vibrant crimsons, through to soft pinks and eventually a brilliant white!

Region

This plant thrives in every region, from the UK to China! Begonia BIG is particularly well-known for its tolerance to hot and humid summers. 

 

Begonia BIG

 

Location and soil type

It grows well in moderately fertile, moist soils with good drainage. Plant in full sun, partial shade or shade. You can find another positively dazzling shade-tolerant Begonia here!

Maintenance

Begonia BIG is so easy to care for; even beginners would find this plant a breeze. There’s no need to water daily, and the flowers are self-cleaning!

Is Begonia BIG a big deal to you? Let me know your thoughts on this plant in the comments section below! See all the Begonia of the Month articles here to get more inspiration for your garden.

 

All about those Begonia discoveries 

In March 2021, the news was announced that the Begonia genus had amassed 2,000 species – a brand new record! It was actually Scotland’s leading botanic garden, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), that made the 2,000th discovery, dubbing the find ‘B2K’.

The plant in question is Begonia fasciculata – not a new species, but one that has been lost to time. The discovery required the examination of rare journals dating as far back as 1822, and is part of a worldwide partnership to properly catalogue plant species in view of the planet’s biodiversity crisis.

Since then, two more species have been recorded! The 2,001st is Begonia kekarmonyingensis, and was found by researchers on a mountain cliff called Kekar Monying, in Arunachal Pradesh, India. The most recent discovery (#2,002) is Begonia bangsamoro, which was found in the Bangsamoro region in Mindanao, The Philippines.

 

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