Hardy Begonia: A Shade Only Perennial

Hardy begonia gracing a shady walk

Hardy begonia gracing a shady walk

Oftentimes these begonias are in crack and crevices along walks

Oftentimes these begonias are in cracks and crevices along walks.

In bloom now the pink flowers can last for weeks

In bloom now, the pink flowers can last for weeks.

Good example of the foliage flower combination

Good example of the foliage flower combination

If you have been given this plant for your garden, great. If not, you can get a start from a friend or order from Plant Delights Nursery. I have had mine for years, and I cannot remember giving them any care except watering in very dry weather. But every time they creep out into the sun, the leaves scald, and I pull them out. I am not sure I have ever seen these for sale in a local nursery, as they are basically pass along plants. They transplant easily, as long a you get a good clump of roots. There are two named selections in the Plant Delights’ catalog (online), and I am sure they will do well here in Birmingham. While begonia seeds are so small I almost cannot see them, they do seem to spread to niches close to the parent clump, if there are good conditions for germination. The ones in the images above are from my friend Lousie’s garden, and they are in cool shady locations. The ones pictured in the wall I am sure are seedlings, but boy are they attractive. The pink flowers are beginning to put on a show, and both the foliage and flowers do well as short term cut flowers. Just remember, they like to be in water not florist foam (Oasis,etc). It is just fine to transplant these hardy begonias now, and you can enjoy this perennial for years to come.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

2 thoughts on “Hardy Begonia: A Shade Only Perennial

  1. I purchased a hardy begonia at Green Up Garden Shop in Leeds this year. Lovely little nursery. I enjoyed talking with Lisa, the owner. She had some different plants.

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