|Begonia masoniana Iron Cross Begonia|
Two weeks ago, we went to Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, MI. We were there during their annual Spring show. You can see those pictures here. In past visits I have taken pictures of the begonia collection. I decided to share those in this post. Many of the begonias have Logee's Greenhouse tags in them. Logee's is a mail order nursery in Danielson, Conn. with a large begonia collection and many of them are represented at Hidden Lake. Another great mail order place is Kartuz Greenhouse. For really great information on begonias, visit Brad's Begonia World page .
|Iron cross begonia|
The iron cross begonia is a rhizomatous begonia, meaning it grows from stems, (rhizomes) that creep along on the surface of the soil. This type is easily grown from these rhizomes. Cut pieces of them, lay them on the surface of a container of moist soil, pressing them down into the soil a bit so that they have good contact. I use florist pins to pin them down, to ensure they are in contact with the soil. Roots will grow from the stem pieces and send up new leaves from the top side. If your rhizomatous begonias start defoliating, they are either cold sensitive or staying too wet. Most begonias have very shallow root systems, thus needing only a shallow pot. I find that clay pots work well and look good with the begonia foliage.
|Begonia 'Mike's Mauve'|
'Mike's Mauve' is a rex begonia. These begonias have extremely colorful leaves. Some of the mini rexes need to be kept in a terrarium because their requirements for humidity are so high. All rexes appreciate high humidity, so keeping them on a tray of wet pebbles is a great idea. Do not keep the soil overly wet and good air circulation is essential, as well.
|Begonia listada leaf|
|'Northern Lights' begonia|
|Eyelash begonia- Begonia bowerae|
Begonia x erythrophylla or beefsteak begonia is a very old variety that almost everyone has seen. This is one of those "Oh, my grandma grew one of those" plants. It was hybridized in the mid 1800's and it is quite often passed down through families, not unlike the Christmas cactus.'Bunchii' below is a cultivar of erythrophylla.
|Begonia x erythrophylla 'Bunchii'|
|Begonia 'Palomar Prince'|
|Begonia 'Black Velvet'|
|Begonia schmidtiana - Schmidt begonia|
The Begonia schmidtiana, from Brazil, is a very hairy species. This is the species that the semperflorens begonia came from. It needs a warm, bright position out of direct sunlight.
|Begonia ricinifolia 'Immense'|
|Begonia 'Holley Beauty'|
|Begonia 'Holley Beauty'|
As you have seen, begonias are a very colorful and most are easy to grow. I would try a rhizomatous begonia first, as they seem to be the easiest to grow. But, let me warn you now, you won't be able to stop at just one. Soon you'll have a collection of begonias. They are a very diverse group of plants and the more, the better!