Begonias are part of the genus Begonia which contains over 1,300 species and over 10,000 varieties and cultivars! First discovered in Mexico in the 1500s, but found later on worldwide in the sub-tropics, this group can be divided into 7 distinct categories. These are cane-like, rex-cultorum, rhizomatous, semperflorens, scandent or trailing, shrub-like, and tuberous.
Begonias are generally hardy to USDA zones 9-11 and are usually grown as annuals in cooler climates or are overwintered indoors.
These plants are not only popular ornamentals, but some Begonia types are also used in cooking as potherbs and are popular snacks in some countries. They have medicinal properties and are a strong component in traditional medicine in the West Indies.
Begonias contain oxalates so can be toxic for cats and dogs. Consulting with a medical professional is always recommended before attempting to use these plants for consumption or otherwise.
The 7 different Begonia types have different growth habits, which make them the perfect plant for any job, whether it is for borders, beds, hanging baskets, or containers.
However, Begonias are not only prized in the garden but are also extremely popular as houseplants! Their beautiful flowers and foliage make them a top choice among gardeners and homeowners.
Common Begonia Varieties to Add to Your Garden
#1 Holly-leaf Begonia (B. aconitifolia)
Hardy to USDA zones 10-11, the Holly-leaf Begonia is a cane-stemmed variety that grows as tall as 4 feet. Stems are red and bamboo-like, while maple-shaped leaves are dark green with silver highlights. White flowers flushed with pale pink hang in clusters amongst the foliage.
#2 Mistral Pink (B. boliviensis)
Mistral Pink is a semi-trailing Begonia flower that is perfect for hanging baskets or window boxes. Flowering from late spring to fall, this plant grows up to 12 inches tall and is a prolific bloomer. Flowers are Fuschia-like with bright pink petals and red bases and stems. Leaves are dark green and arrow-shaped with serrated edges.
#3 Angel Wing Begonia (Begonia x corallina)
The Angel Wing Begonia is a popular cane-stemmed Begonia cultivar that was first bred in California in 1926. Hardy to USDA zones 10-11, flowers can be red, orange, pink, or white and hang in delicate clusters amongst the foliage. The foliage is striking with large, angel-wing leaves that are dark green with silver speckles and have a red underside. The intensity of flower and leaf color is dependent on how much light this plant receives.
#4 Fuchsia Begonia (B. fuchsioides)
Also classified as B. foliosa var. Miniata, this Begonia bush has flowers that very closely resemble a fuchsia. Leaves are dark green and glossy and contrast nicely with the pink or red blooms that can reach 1 inch across. It is hardy to USDA zones 10-11 and reaches heights of 24 inches. Great for a shady patio corner that needs brightening up!
#5 Heron’s Pirouette (B. grandis)
This tuberous Begonia is a hardy variety, growing in USDA zones 6-9. It forms bushy mounds up to 24 inches tall, with flowers hanging in clusters from red stems which rise above the low-lying foliage. The blooming season is from late spring to fall, producing sprays of delicate pink flowers. This shade-loving perennial is a lovely choice to bring some life into dark corners.
#6 Alba (B. grandis subsp. evansiana)
An award-winning flower (Award of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society), Alba produces sprays of delicate white flowers from midsummer to early fall. Blooms sit atop branching red stems which rise from the foliage below. Leaves are green with rich, red undersides. This variety is a hardy Begonia (USDA zones 6-9) and can reach heights of 24 inches. Plant these in borders and beds accompanied by other shade-loving plants.
#7 Star Begonia (B. heracleifolia)
The Star Begonia is a rhizomatous species native to Central America. It produces sprays of either white or pale pink flowers that are borne on reddish-brown stems. Foliage is dark green with white veining and burgundy undersides. Hardy to USDA zones 10-11, this Begonia grows up to 36 inches tall and makes a beautiful patio plant.
#8 Sunny Dream (B. odorata)
Sunny Dream is a beautiful and fragrant Begonia flower with rose-form blooms that reach up to 4 inches wide. Sunshine yellow flowers gracefully cascade down from containers, making this a great hanging basket or window box variety. This is a compact plant at only 12 inches tall.
#9 Brazilian Heart (B. solananthera)
Brazilian Heart is a scandent or trailing Begonia flower from Brazil. An award winner of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society, this plant produces clusters of fragrant flowers from late winter to early spring. Hardy to USDA zones 10-12, its trailing nature makes it perfect for hanging baskets. Flowers are white with bright reddish-pink centers.
#10 Sun-Changing Begonia (B. soli-mutata)
This award-winning Begonia (Award of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society) is a rhizomatous type that reaches up to 12 inches tall and is hardy to USDA zones 10-11. Most notable for its foliage, this species is wonderful for patio containers or as a houseplant. Leaves are heart-shaped and dark green with prominent light green veining and red edges. However, under bright light, leaf colors darken, hence the name “Sun-Changing Begonia”. It has delicate clusters of small white flowers that rise above the foliage.
#11 Cocktail Brandy (Hybrid)
Cocktail Brandy (part of the Cocktail Series) is an upright, wax Begonia that is winter hardy to USDA zones 10-11. A compact variety, this plant only reaches 12 inches tall and is a common favorite for borders. Delicate and small pale pink flowers sit atop waxy, bronze-green foliage in a contrasting display.
#12 Cocktail Whiskey (Hybrid)
Cocktail Whiskey is a compact and upright, wax-leaf Begonia variety. Hardy to USDA zones 10-11, it reaches a height of 12 inches and is popular for borders. Flowers are white, while waxy foliage is bronze-green.
#13 Dragon Wing Pink (Hybrid)
This cane-stemmed Begonia is a mound-forming variety that grows approximately 18 inches tall. Popular for its angel wing style leaves and shiny, dark green foliage, Dragon Wing Pink has coral-pink flowers. Blooms cascade down to form attractive hanging clusters, making this plant a fantastic choice for window boxes and shady borders.
#14 Dragon Wing Red (Hybrid)
This award-winning flower (Award of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society), is an eye-catching, cane-stemmed Begonia variety. Growing close to 18 inches tall with dark green, shiny foliage, this mound-forming plant looks great as a stand-alone in containers or for window box displays. Blooms are bold scarlet-red and hang down in delicate clusters.
#15 Encanto Orange (Hybrid)
Encanto Orange is an award winner of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. This Begonia plant has vivid orange-red flowers which are Fuschia-like in appearance and hang down strikingly against the green foliage and red stems. Reaching heights of 18 inches, this is a tuberous Begonia that would look at home in a Japanese or Chinese-inspired garden.
#16 Garden Angel Blush (Hybrid)
This hardy Begonia grows well in USDA zones 7-11 and is a mound-forming, evergreen perennial plant. Most notable for its striking foliage, Garden Angel Blush grows as tall as 24 inches and produces clusters of small, pink flowers which rise above the foliage. The rich foliage resembles maple leaves in shape and is silver flushed with soft violet and red, with black veins.
#17 Garden Angel Plum (Hybrid)
Garden Angel Plum is a hardy Begonia that can grow in USDA zones 7-11. This striking plant has beautiful foliage which is maple-leaf shaped and a rich plum color adorned with prominent black veining. Reaching up to 24 inches tall, this is a mound-forming Begonia flower that has scarlet pink blooms which dangle in clusters above the foliage. This plant looks lovely paired with other shade perennials such as hostas and ferns, use it for garden beds and borders.
#18 Garden Angel Silver (Hybrid)
A hardy Begonia, Garden Angel Silver can be grown in USDA zones 7-11. This plant can grow 24 inches tall and has eye-catching foliage and delicate blooms. Small, pink flowers rise on stalks above the foliage and dangle down gracefully. Leaves are maple-like and silver in color with prominent silvery-green veining.
#19 Hanging Basket Apricot (Hybrid)
Also known as “Sun Dancer Apricot”, this tuberous Begonia flower is a perfect candidate for hanging baskets. A compact plant of 12 inches tall, this variety blooms heavily and produces extra-large, apricot flowers that grow 2-5 inches across. Flowers are fully double and hang down spectacularly over the edge of their container.
#20 Hanging Basket Pink (Hybrid)
This Begonia plant is also known as “Sun Dancer Pink” and is a tuberous variety. Perfect for use in hanging baskets or spilling over shady window boxes, this beautiful plant would bring delight to any garden. Fully double blooms are large, growing 2-5 inches wide, and are a bright pink color.
#21 Little Brother Montgomery (Hybrid)
This rhizomatous Begonia bush grows close to 4 feet tall and is popular for its attractive and unique foliage. Leaves are maple-leaf shaped and begin as pink-ish before maturing to a dark silvery-green with speckled silver-leaf edges and dark pink veining. Stems are reddish-brown and produce clusters of small pink flowers from January to December. This plant is perfect for bringing some cheer into the garden during the winter months.
#22 Non Stop Fire (Hybrid)
Part of the best-selling Non Stop series, Non Stop Fire is a mound-forming Begonia plant that grows up to 12 inches tall. Great for use in beds, borders, containers, hanging baskets, and window boxes, this variety can do it all, and it’s of no surprise as to why this is a firm favorite worldwide. Flowers are fully double with a mixture of gold and orange hues and resemble roses. They can be as wide as 4 inches.
#23 Non Stop Rose Petticoat (Hybrid)
Another member of the best-selling Non Stop series, Non Stop Rose Petticoat is a beautiful Begonia flower. Blooms are large at 4 inches wide and have a fully double, rose-like form. Petals are white with deep pink petal edges. This plant is mound-forming and grows 12 inches tall. This is a truly diverse variety, use them in beds, borders, containers, and more!
#24 Picotee Calypso (Hybrid)
This Begonia is a tuberous variety that reaches up to 15 inches tall. This is a great option for container growing in a patio garden as blooms are bold and eye-catching. Flowers grow up to 8 inches wide and are fully double. Semi-ruffled petals are cream with bright orange edges.
#25 Picotee Flamenco (Hybrid)
Picotee Flamenco reaches heights of 20 inches tall and has large flowers that can be 8 inches wide. Flowers are fully double and rose-like, with white petals mottled with brilliant red, and red semi-ruffled petal edges. This is a tuberous type that blooms from mid-summer through to frost and would look fantastic in window boxes, containers, and hanging displays.
#26 Picotee Lace Red (Hybrid)
This tuberous Begonia flower is hardy to USDA zones 10-11 and is a compact plant growing approximately 14 inches tall. A prolific bloomer, double flowers have semi-ruffled edges and grow up to 6 inches wide. Overlapping petals are warm cherry-red and have white edges. Grow this Begonia flower in shaded borders in cottage-style gardens.
#27 Picotee Lace Pink (Hybrid)
Hardy to USDA zones 10-11, this tuberous Begonia produces magnificent soft pink flowers that can reach 6 inches wide. Fully double flowers have semi-ruffled petals with lacy edges that stand out against the deep green foliage. A mound-forming, tuberous variety reaching heights of 14 inches, Picotee Lace Pink would look beautiful in cottage-style borders or patio gardens.
#28 Roseform Orange (Hybrid)
Roseform Orange forms busy mounds that can reach as tall as 20 inches. Brilliant, tangerine orange flowers resemble delicate roses and are as wide as 8 inches across. Flowering from mid-summer to the winter frosts, grow this tuberous Begonia plant in window boxes or containers in city gardens for an extra pop of color!
#29 Roseform White (Hybrid)
This Begonia flower has delicate and beautiful rose-like flowers that are close to 8 inches across. Blooms are a crisp white and contrast against the dark green foliage nicely. Growing up to 20 inches tall, this is a tuberous, mound-forming variety. Well suited to container growing, plant them in window boxes or hanging baskets in a country-style patio garden.
#30 Ruffled Red (Hybrid)
Ruffled Red is a prolific bloomer, and produces bright red, semi ruffled double flowers. Flowers may reach 9 inches wide and stand out against the dark green leaves which have pale green veining. This is a tuberous variety that grows up to 20 inches tall and would look fantastic planted en masse in a cottage-style garden bed. These romantic blooms would also look lovely as a stand-alone in a patio container.