Are you looking for a beautiful and easy-to-care-for flowering plant? If so, then wax begonias are the perfect choice! Wax begonias are an ideal addition to any garden or home as they have gorgeous flowers, lush foliage, and require minimal care.
In this guide, we will cover all aspects of wax begonia care from how to water them to how to propagate them.
With just a little bit of effort and knowledge, you can grow these stunning plants and watch them transform your space into something truly special.
Begonias are a popular ornamental plant that has been cultivated for centuries. The history of begonias dates back to the 17th century when the first species of begonias were discovered in South America by a French botanist named Charles Plumier.
Plumier named the plant after his friend Michel Begon, who was a governor of the French colony in the West Indies.
The first species of begonias were found in Brazil, and from there, the plant spread to other parts of South America, Central America, and Mexico.
In the 18th century, begonias were introduced to Europe and quickly became popular among gardeners and horticulturists. Begonias were prized for their beautiful flowers and unique foliage, which came in a variety of colors and patterns.
During the Victorian era, begonias became even more popular and were grown in elaborate gardens and conservatories.
Many new species and hybrids were developed during this time, and begonias became one of the most popular plants for indoor and outdoor decoration.
Today, there are around 1,900 begonia species and they are grown all over the world. Begonias are still popular among gardeners and horticulturists, and new hybrids and cultivars are constantly being developed.
Begonias are known for their versatility, and they can be grown in a variety of conditions, from full sun to deep shade. They are also easy to propagate, and many gardeners enjoy sharing their plants with friends and family.
Overall, the history of begonias is a rich and fascinating one, and this beautiful plant will continue to be a popular choice for gardeners and plant enthusiasts for many years to come.
Wax Begonia Varieties
These plants come in a variety of colors and shapes so you’ll be able to find one that perfectly suits your garden. Some of the more popular varieties include:
- Super Olympia, which has large red, white, or pink blooms and is easy to grow
- Paint Splash Pink, which has green leaves with cream-colored spots and dots
- Varsity, which grows well in pots and has large red, pink, or white flowers
- Victory, which also has large red, pink, or white flowers.
Other varieties include|:
- Dragonwing Begonia
- Rhizomatous Begonia
- Tuberous Begonia
- Rex Begonia
- Semperflorens Begonia
- Angel Wing Begonia
- Shrub Begonia
- Railing Begonia
- Cane-like Begonia
No matter what type of wax begonia you choose for your space, they’re sure to provide your garden with a stunning pop of color throughout summer.
Caring For Your Begonias
Caring for wax begonias is super easy but there are a few variables. These plants prefer indirect sunlight, so make sure to place them in an area that gets dappled sunlight throughout the day.
You don’t have to worry too much about finding the perfect spot, as they can tolerate some shade as well.
When it comes to watering your wax begonias, just give them a good drink every couple of days. As far as feeding goes, you only need to provide them with a balanced fertilizer once a month or so.
Wax begonias will bloom from late spring through early fall and provide your garden with beautiful pops of color all summer long.
Although Begonias are fairly hardy and easy to maintain there are certain things that will help them along and make them thrive, so let’s take a look in a bit more detail on how to best care for your Begonias.
When it comes to wax begonias, temperature is key! These plants thrive in temperatures ranging from 60 to 87 degrees F—any higher or lower and they won’t be happy.
If you live in an intensely hot area you’ll need to water your wax begonia more regularly than if you resided in a cooler climate. Also, make sure that your plant isn’t getting too much direct sunlight during the day as this could be too much for it.
On the other hand, if temperatures drop too low, your plant may start to look droopy and its leaves could turn a bluish color.
If this happens, move your wax begonia under cover or put a cloth, designed to trap in heat to keep it warm though the colder months.
Allowing your wax begonia to experience moderate temperatures will keep it looking vibrant and healthy all summer long!
Wax begonias need light to thrive. Give them plenty of sun, but not too much! If the plants are exposed to bright sunlight for too long it can scorch and discolor the leaves. Aim for about half a day of sunlight for best results.
If your plan is to grow the plants outside it is best to select varieties with darker leaves, as they are more resistant to heat and can tolerate more sunlight than green varieties.
If you live in a hot climate or have the plant indoors, position it to ensure it receives the ideal amount of light without getting too much. Doing this will help keep your wax begonia healthy and vibrant!
Watering your wax begonia is an important step for keeping it healthy. Make sure to water your plant each week If growing in pots and aim for about 2-3 cm of water.
For indoor plants, try using a spray bottle to give the plant a quick spritz. This will help ensure that the plant is getting a reasonable amount of moisture without having saturated roots or leaves that are sitting in dirt.
Avoid over-watering as this can cause root rot and other diseases. Test the soil before watering to make sure that it’s not already wet or soggy. Wax begonias like moist soil but not wet soil so be sure to find the right balance for your plants!
Fertilizer is an important part of keeping your wax begonia looking its best!
Fertilizing your plant once every two weeks or once a month depending on variety, with a weak liquid fertilizer or an all-purpose plant food diluted at half strength can help give it the nutrients it needs to thrive.
When applying the fertilizer, make sure to avoid getting any of it on the leaves as this can cause burning.
Instead, focus on feeding the soil directly so that the roots can absorb the nutrients they need. Be sure not to overdo it—too much fertilizer can lead to nutrient burn and discoloration of leaves.
Finally, if you’re planting in containers, be sure to use a potting mix that doesn’t contain mycorrhizae fungi as this could cause root rot.
Humidity is an important factor to consider when it comes to growing wax begonias. Too much moisture in the air can lead to problems with rotting so it’s important to monitor your plant’s environment and make sure you’re not overwatering.
To raise the humidity outside, place pots or containers on stands that are higher than the ground, and cover the pots with plastic sheeting when it’s very hot.
You may also want to invest in a humidifier indoors if you’re keeping your plants inside. Just be sure to keep an eye on how much moisture is in the air, as too much can cause problems just like too little!
Soil is the foundation of a strong and healthy garden, so it’s important to make sure that you’re using the right kind when planting your wax begonias.
As mentioned, a mixture of peat moss, sand, and compost makes for an ideal potting soil, as it will both retain moisture and allow for drainage.
You can also mix in some mulch on top of the soil to help keep moisture levels consistent. If begonias are being planted into the ground, opt for a potting mix with a high percentage of organic material such as humus or manure.
Whichever soil type you choose, make sure that it has plenty of nutrients and that it’s not too compacted or dense. This will ensure your wax begonias get enough oxygen and have all the resources they need to thrive!
Pruning your wax begonias doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. In fact, you’ll only need to prune them monthly at most! All you need is a pair of sharp shears and a bit of patience.
After the flowers have faded on your plants, cut off the ends before the emergence of new leaves. This will help keep your wax begonias in shape and looking great.
If they’re getting too tall or leggy, don’t worry – just cut them back until they are level with the ground and wait for new growth.
Pruning doesn’t have to be difficult; with some simple care and attention, your plants will look beautiful all year round!
Repotting wax begonias is a great thing to do for your plant’s health! It allows your wax begonia to get a fresh start in new soil and gives it more room to grow.
When repotting, choose a pot that is just large enough for your plant and ensure there is a large hole or several small holes for drainage.
Gently remove the begonia from its old pot, carefully loosening the soil around its roots as you go. Fill up the new pot with fresh potting mix and place your wax begonia inside. Give it a good watering and it should be all set to thrive in its new home!
Repotting should be done every two or three years, making sure you choose a slightly larger pot each time. With some patience and care, your wax begonias will be looking full and healthy in no time!
Overwintering your wax begonias is a great way to keep them alive and thriving all year round! The key to successful overwintering is preparing your plants in the fall.
When you start bringing your plants indoors, make sure they are free of pests before bringing them inside.
You should also adjust the light levels for your wax begonias—while indoor lighting may be lower than outdoor sunlight, you still need to make sure they get plenty of light.
Finally, be sure to water regularly and fertilize once in a while so that your wax begonias stay healthy during their time indoors. With some careful preparation and a little TLC, you can keep your wax begonias blooming all winter long!
Propagating wax begonias is a great way to increase your collection of these beautiful blooms! There are two main ways to propagate wax begonias: stem cuttings and seeds. Be sure to take cuttings in the warmer months such as spring or summer.
Make sure you use a sharp clean blade and cut just underneath new leaf growth. Don’t use large cutting tools as they are likely to damage the delicate leaves. The cutting should be about 4 inches long for best results.
You can also choose to grow wax begonias from seed if you prefer—just be sure to follow the package instructions carefully for best results! With some patience and a bit of TLC, you’ll soon have lots of wax begonias blooming in your garden!
Growing From Seed
As we’ve just mentioned, unless you have a lot of patience and the know-how, growing wax begonia from seed can be quite a challenge.
The seeds themselves are almost microscopic particles of dust, making them very difficult to handle. Not only that, they have an incredibly long germination period, sometimes lasting up to 14 days before sprouting.
Furthermore, successful cultivation requires careful attention to lighting and temperature conditions as well as use of special soil mixes so it may just be easier to purchase a begonia plant form a local garden center.
No one likes to think about the possibility of their beloved plants getting sick, but unfortunately diseases can strike wax begonias just like any other plant.
Begonias are generally vulnerable to single space stem rot, leaf spot, botrytis and powdery mildew.
Leaf spot is marked by dark brown spots on the leaves. It is usually caused by fungi that spread through wind, rain or contact with other infected plants.
Powdery mildew looks like a white, dusty layer on the leaves and stems. It is caused by high humidity levels, lack of air circulation and warm temperatures.
Wax begonias may suffer from a disease called Botrytis or gray mold. If you notice any signs of illness in your plants, it is important to take action quickly to stop the disease from spreading.
Pruning away affected areas can help reduce further damage from occurring while also removing potential sources of infection.
Additionally be sure to keep your garden clean and free of debris as this will help reduce the chances of disease spreading throughout your garden!
When it comes to pests, wax begonias are generally more resistant than other begonia types. However, they can still be affected by spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, scales, mealybugs, and thrips.
If you notice any of these pests on your wax begonias you should take action quickly to prevent the infestation from spreading.
Insecticidal soap is one of the best options for treating these pests as it’s effective and won’t cause further damage to your plants.
Additionally be sure to clean up any garden debris or fallen leaves that could become a breeding ground for these unwanted visitors! With proper care and vigilance you can keep your wax begonias healthy and pest-free in no time!
Toxic To Animals
It’s important to remember that wax begonias can be toxic to animals, so if you have any pets in your home, it’s best to keep them away from the plants.
The toxic components of wax begonias are calcium oxalates which can cause vomiting and kidney failure in animals.
Thankfully, these elements aren’t thought to be harmful to humans. To ensure your pet’s safety, it might be a good idea to plant your wax begonias in an area inaccessible to animals or kids. That way, you won’t have to worry about their health being at risk!
Wax Begonia Care Summary
Caring for wax begonias is relatively easy, but there are a few quick tips to keep in mind that will help keep your plants looking their best.
Light and Temperature: Wax begonias prefer bright, indirect light and temperatures between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re keeping your wax begonia indoors, try to find a spot near a window with plenty of indirect sunlight. Outdoors, place them in an area where they’ll be protected from direct sunlight or strong winds.
Watering: Wax begonias need to be watered regularly but not too much; aim to water the soil when it’s dry about two inches below the surface. Be sure to drain any excess water that accumulates at the bottom of the pot as this can cause root rot.
Fertilizing: Fertilize your wax begonias once every two weeks during their growing season (spring and summer).
Use a balanced liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for use on houseplants or annuals, diluted according to package instructions. During winter months, fertilization isn’t necessary.
Pruning: Pruning your wax begonia is important for keeping it looking neat and healthy. To do so, simply snip off any dead or damaged leaves and stems with sharp scissors or pruning shears. This will also encourage new growth!
With just a bit of care and attention, you’ll have beautiful wax begonias all season long!
Where To Purchase Begonias
As we’ve discussed, begonias are wonderful flowering plants that can add beauty and life to any area. If you are looking to purchase begonias, there are many places where you can find them.
One of the most common places to purchase begonias is your local garden center. Here, you can find a variety of varieties of begonias in all shapes, sizes and colors.
You will also be able to find any necessary supplies for their care, such as potting soil, fertilizer, and containers.
Another advantage of buying begonias from a garden center is that you can ask the staff questions about specific varieties, care, and planting.
Another great place to purchase begonias is online. There are many websites that specialize in selling a wide selection of begonias, often at discounted prices.
Many websites also offer helpful advice and tips on how to care for begonias, as well as helpful reviews of different varieties. When shopping online, be sure to read all of the terms and conditions before making your purchase.
Wax begonias are beautiful plants that can add life and color to any area. With proper care, these vibrant blooms will bring joy for many seasons.
Be sure to keep up with regular maintenance such as pruning, watering, and fertilizing; and protect your wax begonias from pests by using insecticidal soap when necessary.
Keep in mind that wax begonias can be toxic to animals, so it’s best to keep them away from pets and small children. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your wax begonias for years to come!