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Species Begonias & Cultivars

Species begonias are begonias that grow in the wild somewhere in the world.

There are several hundred species of begonias in the world, many still waiting to be discovered. Many species of begonias have been in cultivation for a few hundred years. They come in the full range of cultural requirements. Some are nearly indestructible and some may require terrarium care.

Unlike hybrid begonias, which were developed specifically for our gardens and homes, species begonias evolved over eons to adapt to the specific climate where they live. Many can be a challenge to grow but nearly all species can be grown if you keep in mind their native habitat.

Species begonias also have a plus in their favour in that they can be grown true from seed, unlike the hybrids which must be propagated by cuttings.

Note of interest: the word species is both singular and plural. One plant is a species and a group of species are species. There is no specie. I’ve commonly seen someone say “I have a begonia specie” but correctly it should be “I have a begonia species”.- by Brad Thompson

Begonias are categorised according to their root type, fibrous, rhizomatous or tuberous. Within these three types, they are further divided into sub-groups according to their leaf shape, size, and colour, and by the type of bloom and growing requirements.

In this section

  • Naming
    Many begonias are either wrongly named or not named at all, especially in garden centres. In this section, we look at the standard ways of writing all plant names.
  • Classification
    Botanists divide the many species of begonias into 66 sections. However, growers use far fewer.
  • Cultivation
    Most growers of double Begonias use a loam based compost…
  • Exhibition
    Moving plants to a show can be a traumatic experience if you have not done it before!
  • PropagationThis page will describe the various ways to propagate begonias through cuttings
  • Growing Begonia SeedGrowing begonias from seed can seem like something that only commercial growers and experts can do, right? Wrong. In this section, we show you that it is possible for anyone to grow from seed.
  • Hybridising BegoniasDon’t be afraid to try hybridising a new variety of your own; you learn by trying…
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