How to Grow Begonias
These elegant begonias make handsome features in a modern indoor arrangement. Choose tall simple containers to contrast with the heavily textured leaves.
When to Start: any time
At Its Best: all year round
Time to Complete: 2 hours
- silver-leaved Begonia rex hybrids
- Pilea depressa
- tall metal container
- plastic tray, such as vegetable packaging, or thick plastic bag
- plastic pots
- houseplant potting mix
Line the Containers
If your container has drainage holes, place a deep plastic tray in the bottom to prevent water from leaking out, or line it with a thick plastic bag. Then add gravel to the bottom. Also buy plastic pots that fit neatly into the container.
Arrange the Plants
Cover the drainage holes of the plastic pots with gravel, top up with soil, and plant the begonias and Pilea (one in each pot). Water and allow to drain. Arrange the pots in the container, adding more gravel to raise them up to the correct level, as required.
Caring for Begonias
Begonia rex hybrids come in many colors and forms, but all require the same treatment. Feed them weekly in summer and once a month in winter, and keep them away from bright sunlight to prevent the foliage from scorching.
Although they dislike strong sun, begonias produce the best colors in bright, diffused light, and prefer a temperature of 64–70 degrees F. Watering is the key to success, since they're prone to rotting if given too much or too little. Every two weeks, remove the plastic pots from the container and place them in a bowl of water that reaches just below the rims. Allow moisture to seep up from the bottom, and when the top of the soil is wet, take them out and allow to drain.
'Martin Johnson' (image 1); 'Benitochiba' (image 2); 'Tiny Bright' (image 3).