February 26, 2014
Beautiful Begonias In The Greenhouse
Although there are thousands of species and varieties of begonias, they’re usually divided into groups based on the differing root structures of the plants. Some are classified as tuberous, and others as fibrous. But it’s the rhizomatous begonias that make stunning houseplants all year long because of the amazing colors, shapes, sizes, and textures of their foliage. Leaves can be a half-inch across or measure more than a full foot. They can be rounded, star-shaped, or look like bird wings. Their texture can be smooth and glossy, or soft and fuzzy. And although the foliage is often green and red, it can be splashed with silver, purple, and even pink.
These begonias are called rhizomatous because of their thick, fleshy stems, called rhizomes, which either spread out over the soil, or rise up in short gnarled trunks. And new leaves can grow from every joint of the rhizome to form a solid canopy of foliage. During the winter months, the plants will flower, but compared to the extravagant foliage, the blooms are modest. Rhizomatous begonias are remarkably pest resistant, and thrive in warm temperatures, in bright, indirect sunlight. And because the rhizomes store up quite a bit of moisture, the biggest mistake people make with these plants is over-watering.
By the way, a good source for begonias and many other tropical plants is Logee's.
1 My begonia collection is massed together on one of the middle sliding tables in the main greenhouse. Many are displaying their pink or white blooms.
2 Begonia 'Soli-mutata' has copper textured foliage with silver-green striping.
3 This 'Soli-mutata' was grown from a leaf cutting off the parent plant.
4 A similar begonia has lush and puckered foliage.
5 Begonia 'River Nile' has vibrant green foliage with chocolate brown around the edges.
6 Again, this plant was propagated from a leaf cutting.
7 Begonia carolineifolia is an exotic looking begonia that has large, glossy leaves divided into leaflets joined at their bases.
8 Begonia gehrtii has large, rippled glossy leaves.
9 Begonia 'Royal Lustre' has a silverish leaf with tones of purple and green.
10 Begonia 'Iron Cross' is notable for its thick, chocolate-brown markings which radiate to the leaf margins, resembling the German Iron Cross. The leaves also have a pebbled texture.
11 Begonia 'Lopse-tu' has fuzzy green upright leaves that spiral.
12 A closer look at that spiraling leaf
13 Begonia 'Shadow Box' has bright green foliage with darker margins.
14 This variegated begonia has many, many flower stems.
15 Begonia ‘Marmaduke’ has maple-shaped leaves of neon yellow speckled with a rich burgundy. It has tall sprays of white flowers in late winter.
16 Begonia 'Snoopy' is a large variety with vibrant chartreuse foliage.
17 Begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery' has colorful star-shaped leaves with a sparkling silver background and pronounced bronze and green speckled veins.
18 Begonia 'Wightii' is nicknamed "Polka Dot." It boasts leaves with large, dramatic silver spots.
19 Begonia 'Red Planet' has leaves with a greenish color with chocolate speckles.
20 Begonia ‘Caravan’ has a leaf pattern of chartreuse veining on chocolate-green and a velvety texture.
21 Begonia 'Lotusland' has giant leaves.
22 A shiny green leafed begonia with lovely pink flowers
23 Begonia peltata has fleshy silver-pelted leaves which become thick and waxy during winter.
24 Begonia 'Midnight Twist' has deep charcoal gray coloring and distinctly spiraled leaves with a deep reddish underside.
25 Begonia 'Phoe's Cleo' has chartreuse leaves with copper-red highlights and pink flowers during the winter months.
26 Begonia 'Madame Queen' has large, ruffled-edge leaves that rise up from the pot in an impressive manner. The olive-green color boasts a rich red underside.
27 Another begonia with great color and texture
28 The next photos show a variety of begonia flowers.
34 A shot of the begonia table taken from the other end