Bright pink begonias

Try ‘Funky Pink’ begonias for masses of large, unusually-shaped, double flowers
Image: Begonia ‘Funky Pink’ from Thompson & Morgan

Here you’ll find the best begonia-related articles, videos, and Instagram stories from across the web – in fact, everything you need to know to help you grow your own beautiful begonia plants.

With so many different begonias to choose from and myriad ways to grow them successfully, we’ve turned to the true experts for advice – professional gardeners, garden designers and gardening bloggers who grow begonias. Here’s what they have to say…

This article was reviewed by the T&M horticultural team and updated on 14th December 2023.

Begonias make excellent house plants

Green beefsteak begonias

Jane shares a snap of her wonderful beefsteak begonia
Image: Jane Perrone

Begonias are brilliant houseplants! From Rex to luxurians, they come in all kinds of leaf shapes, colours and habits,” says Steve Rosenbaum, founder of Texas-based nursery Steve’s Leaves. To find out how to care for these wonderful plants, join Jane Perrone in conversation with Steve on her superb gardening podcast, On The Ledge. Former gardening editor at the Guardian, Jane has plenty of knowledge to share.

Keep indoor begonias out of direct sun

Closeup of green and brown begonia house plant

Houseplant, Begonia ‘BeLeaf Lima Love’ offers a wonderful display of striking foliage
Image: Pumpkin Beth

Having fallen in love with begonia ‘BeLeaf Lima Love’ Pumpkin Beth shares some excellent information on how to care for this stunning indoor plant. With its beautiful maroon-edged leaves, it manages best in even temperatures in a bright or shady spot – but doesn’t like harsh direct sun or cold drafts. If you’re wondering where to put yours, Beth says, “Beleaf Lima Love plants thrive in a humid environment, they flourish in a steamy bathroom.

Tuberous begonias are ideal for containers

Pink and white tuberous begonias

Tuberous begonias like ‘Camelia’ are grown from dormant tubers
Image: Begonia x tuberhybrida ‘Camelia’ from Thompson & Morgan

There are two kinds of begonias, says Alexandra at DIY Garden. “Tuberous begonias are best suited to growing in containers and hanging baskets, and are bought as dormant tubers from January to the end of March, while fibrous-rooted begonias are used in summer bedding schemes and are available as seeds, garden-ready plugs and container grown plants.” For comprehensive growing instructions, this article is a great place to start.

Fibrous rooted begonias are often used as bedding

Bright yellow begonia boliviensis

With the right care, Begonia boliviensis can reach great heights
Image: Begonia ‘Groovy Mellow Yellow’ from Thompson & Morgan

If you’re new to growing begonias, do watch Peter Seabrook’s excellent video about them over on GardenDotHelp. For a succinct description of the varieties on offer as well as tips on growing from cuttings, it’s hard to beat. Surrounded by proof of his own expertise – an array of spectacular blooms – once you see Peter’s huge begonia boliviensis you’ll definitely want to have a go at growing your own.

Begonias prefer a shady spot

Begonia koelzii in container

This Begonia koelzii was lucky to survive after accidentally ending up in a hot greenhouse
Image: The Blackberry Garden

Careful with those begonias, says Alison who writes the Blackberry Garden, the blog of a truly greenfingered lady. Not that you’d think that, given the near miss suffered by one of her favourite begonias. The take-home message – remember, begonias prefer shade, and won’t thank you for a spell in the greenhouse. Warning: once you start reading Alison’s blog, you won’t want to stop.

Try begonia plug plants for a clever shortcut

Begonia jumbo plug plants

Begonias are often sold as plug plants, or jumbo plug plants like these
Image: Begonia ‘Fragrant Falls Improved Lemon Delight’ jumbo plug plants from T&M

Don’t worry about those who think real gardeners only grow from seed, says Michelle of Veg Plotting. When she was offered some trial starter plants, she was only too willing to give begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ a try. She says that plug plants are “a great alternative when my seeds have failed, or I’ve got behind with my seed sowing.” A blogger who brings rich experience from a highly varied career to bear on her writing, Veg Plotting is not only informative, it’s original and entertaining too.

Create a striking scheme with white begonias

White and pink begonias

Try planting single coloured begonias like this white specimen, en masse
Image: The Frustrated Gardener

When it comes to begonias – and growing in general, Dan Cooper from The Frustrated Gardener says: “Just occasionally I exercise restraint and restrict myself to a mass of one single variety, but it has to be a cracker to justify such an honour.” Take a look at the blog post to discover which variety this time-poor gardener opted for – it’s worth it for the photography alone – think drifts of sumptuous white blooms.

Pinch out first cluster of buds for better flowers

Block planted begonias

Block-planted Begonia ‘Peardrop’ creates a carpet of colour
Image: Gardeners Tips

Begonias are very free flowering and may try to flower before enough energy has been built up,” says Tejvan at Gardeners Tips. “When the first small bud cluster is as large as a 10 pence piece, lift it upwards and backwards and snap it off.” It’s worth the effort as the photos of this grower’s carpet of Begonia ‘Peardrop’ show. This is a great article – a veritable masterclass on growing begonias.

‘Non-Stop’ begonias are worth the effort

Orange, yellow and white begonia

Try ‘non-stop’ begonias whose long flowering season runs from late spring
Image: Begonia ‘Nonstop Citrus’ from Thompson & Morgan

Looking for begonias to grow in pots and containers? John Moore from Pyracantha recommends ‘non-stop-begonias’. He says these varieties “form compact plants with large green or bronze foliage and stunning double flowers from late spring/early summer onwards.” Perfect for borders too, John advises taking the trouble to overwinter these varieties because they’ll get bigger and more impressive with each passing year.

Slice up the leaves to propagate new plants

Propagating begonias with scissors

Blogger Jack Wallington offers simple, step-by-step instructions for propagating begonias
Image: Jack Wallington

I love leafy begonias with their wonderful patterns, colours and shapes. In fact, I can’t have enough of them,” says RHS qualified garden designer, Jack Wallington. Join him as he selects the best young leaves from his begonias to grow into new plants ready for next year. Find out how to choose, prepare, and propagate your favourite begonias from Jack’s simple and well photographed instructions.

Propagate new plants from whole leaves

White, red and yellow begonias in container

Choose only the best & healthiest leaves for propagation
Image: Begonia x tuberhybrida ‘Double Flowered Mixed’ from Thompson & Morgan

For another simple way to grow begonias from leaf cuttings, head to YouTube channel, PlantingMemories, where presenter Jerry shares a wealth of gardening tips. Here he offers a really excellent demonstration, showing you exactly how to take the cutting and plant it, along with one he made earlier. Jerry says it only takes about three weeks for the magic to happen, so what are you waiting for?

Overwinter tender begonias for next year

Begonia luxurians in garden

A begonia luxurians thriving outside during the summer
Image: Garden Ruminations

Jim Stephens of Garden Ruminations plants his non-hardy B. luxurians into the ground. He says this wonderfully architectural plant thrives during the summer but dies off at the first sign of frost. However, as he’s found with hardier varieties, “cuttings and small plants are easily overwintered to start the cycle again.” Do read Jim’s article for more excellent insights into growing begonias.

For more information and advice about growing begonias visit our dedicated hub page. Or, try our summer flowers resource for tips on how to keep your garden looking beautiful through the warmer months.

Expert contributor list

  • Jane Perrone, Houseplant expert, former gardening editor at the Guardian.
  • Alexandra Uren, Experienced horticulturist.
  • Peter Seabrook, MBE (1935 – 2022) Gardening writer and television broadcaster.
  • Jack Wallington, RHS qualified landscape designer.
  • Jerry Bone, Horticulture BSc, YouTube gardener, houseplant expert.
  • Jim Stephens, Retired nurseryman, no-dig allotmenteer, camellia enthusiast.
  • Alison Levey, Garden writer, Garden Media Guild Blog of the Year 2019.
  • Michelle Chapman, Agricultural and Environmental Science degree, garden writer.
  • Dan Cooper, Landscape Management degree, exhibitor in National Gardens Scheme.
  • Tejvan Pettinger, Gardeners Tips writer.
  • John Moore, City and Guilds horticultural qualifications, former nurseryman.
  • Beth Otway, Horticulturist, garden writer.

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