90515Oh, how breeding complicates things. Many years ago, there were only six basic types of wax begonia, Begonia semperflorens-cultorum, with three choices for floral color, and two choices for foliar color. Bloom was white, pink or red. Foliage was either green or dark bronze. Although these choices have not changed, some modern hybrids are difficult to distinguish from other species.

Wax begonia can be either a cool season annual or a warm season annual, depending on when it gets planted. It can be grown as a short term perennial if pruned back in both early spring and early autumn. By spring, winter growth is tired of the cold. By autumn, summer growth is worn out from warmth. Exposed plants can get lethally frosted in winter or roasted by sunlight in summer.

Therefore, wax begonia prefers to be somewhat sheltered. It is more tolerant of full sun exposure in summer if mixed with other annuals or perennials. Too much shade compromises bloom. Wax begonia expects richly amended soil and regular watering, and is just as happy in pots as other annuals are. Potted plants can be moved to sheltered spots when the weather gets too hot or cold.

5 thoughts on “Wax Begonia

    1. OH MY! I did not know you had a blog! (Spell ‘Nirsery’ correctly.) I have not seen one of your catalogues in a few years. It was one of my favorites because of the odd fruits that are not available from Dave Wilson. I added a few onto to orders of a friend in San Jose. I was amazed to see blue elderberry. (I did not get any because they grow wild here.) Black elderberries can not be sent to California. I will eventually be back for honeyberry and hawthorn because I did not get those yet. I got my apple understock and peach understock from your nursery back less than ten years ago. I did not quite get a paw paw yet, just because I tried to grow them from seed. (I prefer a pair of seedlings to a cultivar.) There are so many things I want to look through your catalogue for. That will not be until autumn of course. Although I got a Sorbus recently, I should look into your hybrid that i think was ‘Shipova’. I think you has sasatoons and aronia too. Oh my, I am getting carried away.


    1. I used to grow them in pots, and then bring them into the edge of the carport. Those in the garden looked tired after frost, so I dug them up, divided them, and replanted the bits of rooted basal stems with just the little bit of new growth sticking up above the surface. I cold have kept them looking better if I had cut them back earlier to prompt healthier growth for winter.

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