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The number of begonia varieties is estimated at around 12,000. So it is not surprising that the hobby gardener is spoiled for choice between the different types of begonias for the home or garden.

In a nutshell

  • almost infinite number of begonia varieties for home and garden
  • Flowers or leaves as ornamental value
  • not hardy
  • perennial


Begonia, also called slate leaf, form the Begonia plant genus in the slate leaf family (Begoniaceae). With a good 1,800 species, they are among the most species-rich genera in the plant kingdom. The ornamental value of Begonia species lies in the flowers and/or the leaves. They are kept in this country in the home and garden as house, bed or balcony plants. As a rule, begonias are perennial and grow as herbaceous plants. But there are also subshrubs and shrubs, as well as annual species.

Begonia species for balconies and terraces

The following begonia species are quite suitable for a location on your balcony or terrace.

Types from A - J

Begonia boliviensis

  • Flower: small, bell-shaped, slit
  • Flower color: red, white
  • Flowering period: May to September
  • Growth: hanging
  • Location: partial shade
  • Varieties and variety groups (selection): "Bonfire" (intense red), variety group "Summerwings" (pink, red, orange, white, vanilla)
  • can also be kept as a houseplant

Notice: Although Begonia boliviensis develops tubers, it is not counted among the tuberous begonias.

Ice begonia (Begonia semperflorens)

As the name suggests, ice begonias are not hardy in this country. They are very sensitive to frost. In addition, their chances of surviving the central European winter outdoors are extremely poor, as they cannot tolerate temperatures below plus 10 degrees Celsius. Therefore, they are often planted out in the garden or cultivated in a bucket on the balcony only once a year. Ice begonias are between 15 and 30 centimeters high. The flowering period lasts from April to October.

Begonia x semperflorens cultorum, polar begonia

Varieties and variety groups (selection)

Cocktail (variety group)

  • Flower: white, pink, red
  • Leaves: dark
  • Varieties (selection): "Gin", "Rum", "Whisky"

Doublet (variety group)

  • Flower: filled, in different flower colors
  • Leaves: bronze or green
  • Varieties: "Doublet Red" (red flowers and dark leaves), "Doublet White" (white flowers with dark foliage)

Oreb Pink

  • Flower: intense pink
  • Leaves: green

Ostas H

  • Flower: small, white with bright yellow stamens and styles
  • Leaves: green

Paso Doble (varietal group)

  • Varieties: "Paso Doble Candy Pink" (pink flowers and green leaves), "Paso Doble Cherry Red (red flowers with green foliage)

Volumia Rose bicolor

  • Flower: white with a pink edge
  • Leaves: green

Fuchsia begonias (Begonia fuchsioides)

  • Flower: drooping, bell-shaped (similar to fuchsia)
  • Flower color: red, pink
  • Flowering time: autumn to spring
  • Growth: bushy, overhanging
  • Location: partial shade

Notice: Fuchsia begonia grows upright when young, but begins to sag as it ages. Therefore, older plants are ideal for a hanging basket.

Kinds of K - Z

Tuberous begonias (Begonia tuberhybrida)

Begonia tuberhybrida, tuberous begonias
  • Container or hanging basket plants for the balcony or patio
  • Outdoor season: from mid-May to September/October
  • Location: bright but not hot and full sun
  • Hibernation: dug up tuber in a box with peat at plus 10 degrees Celsius

Variety groups of tuberous begonia (selection)


  • trailing begonia
  • Varieties (selection): "Soft Orange" (apricot-white), non-fading are "Cream", "Hot Orange", "Snow"


  • 'Cordelia': white flowers with pink edges
  • "Majesy": bright yellow
  • 'Snow Goose': pure white flowers

Illumination (“garland begonias”)

  • richly branched, overhanging shoots
  • Varieties (selection): "Illumination Orange" (orange, filled)


  • Flower color: changes during the flowering period; red-white and yellow-white varieties


  • Growth: bushy, compact
  • Growth height: 30 to 40 centimeters
  • Flower: small, filled, rounded petals
  • Flower colors: white, yellow, orange, pink and red
  • Varieties (selection): "Flamboyant" (red), "Goldinch" (yellow), "Richard Galle" (orange-yellow), "Linda Salmon" (orange-red), Lovebirds (pink)


  • Growth: overhanging, long shoots
  • Flower: narrow, elongated petals
  • Flower colors: depending on variety
  • Varieties: Orange Cascade (orange)

Begonia species for the garden

The following begonia species are suitable for planting out in the garden, but are only conditionally hardy. Therefore, they need a thick layer of foliage, leaves, brushwood and mulch for winter protection.

Japanese slate (Begonia grandis)

Source: Alpsdake, Begonia grandis (flower), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Flower: small
  • Flower color: Varietal dependent
  • Flowering time: August to autumn
  • Leaves: red underside, leaf upper side strong green with red veins
  • Growth: upright
  • Growth height: up to 80 centimeters
  • Hardy: down to minus 12 degrees Celsius
  • Varieties (selection): "Alba" (white), "Heron's Pirouette" (pink), "Sapporo" (deep pink), "ssp. evansiana” (subspecies, light pink), “ssp. sinensis” (subspecies, pink), “Red Undies” (intense red)

Tip: The Japanese slate comes into its own when its red underside is visible.

Begonia panchtharenis (formerly B. sikkimensis)

  • Flower: soft pink
  • Flowering time: from July
  • Leaves: atypical for begonias, deeply indented, up to 60 centimeters long
  • Hardy: down to minus 9 degrees Celsius
  • was only discovered a few years ago in Nepal

Begonia species for your own home

Leafy begonias are kept for their ornamental foliage. They are mostly cultivated indoors as pure houseplants, but can also be placed outside in summer. Here you will find a selection of suitable begonia species.

Types from A - D

Begonia serratipetala

Source: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, Begonia serratipetala kz02, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Leaves: strongly wavy, pinnate, tapering to a point
  • Basic color of the leaves: olive green
  • Leaf decoration: pink-red, oblong points
  • Growth: up to 45 centimeters high
  • Location: bright, not blazing sun, at about 23 degrees Celsius

Porthole Begonia (Begonia conchifolia "Rubrimacula")

  • round, succulent leaves
  • Basic color: green
  • Leaf decoration: bright red dot in the middle of the leaf
  • resembles the UFO plant in appearance
  • Growth: Shrub begonia, up to 30 centimeters high
  • Location: temperature minimum 15 degrees Celsius (all year round), bright (morning and/or evening sun)

Types of E - J

Monkshood Begonia (Begonia aconitifolia)

  • large, palmately divided, deeply incised
  • Basic color of the leaves: green on top, reddish underneath
  • Leaf decoration: silvery - violet oblong spots on the upper side of the leaf
  • Growth: semi-shrub, up to a good 100 centimetres
  • Location: bright, without direct sunlight

Iron Cross Begonia (Begonia masoniana)

Source: Salix, Begonia masoniana-serre 02, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • leaves: rounded heart-shaped
  • Basic color of the leaves: strong green
  • Leaf decoration: dark brown stripe on each of the four to five leaf veins (reminiscent of the "Iron Cross" award)
  • Growth: up to 50 centimeters high
  • Location: very bright, no full sun, 18 to 22 degrees Celsius

Elatior begonias (Begonia x hiemalis)

Elatior begonias are among the typical types of begonias that are kept purely as houseplants. That is why they are also called "room begonias". Your preferred location is:

  • in a bright window (not too sunny)
  • at temperatures between 17 and 23 degrees Celsius (all year round, no winter quarters necessary)

Notice: Elatior begonias bloom almost year-round as houseplants.

Elatior begonia varieties (selection)

  • "Baladina" and "Barkos": intense red
  • "Borias": white with a red center
  • "Clara": white
  • "Camilla": pink"
  • "Carneval": yellow with red border
  • "Netya": pink
  • "Miss Moon": white with pink tinges
  • "Rosade und Resi": bluish pink

Angel Wing Begonia (Scarlet Begonia, scientific name Begonia coccinea)

  • Leaves: Leathery, slantingly elongated to ovate (similar to an angel's wing), slightly serrated and wavy leaf margin
  • Foliage decoration: depending on the variety
  • Growth: up to 100 centimeters high
  • Location: bright east or west window, partial shade during the outdoor season, 21 to 24 degrees Celsius during the day, no cooler than 16 degrees Celsius at night outdoors
  • Varieties (selection): "Flamingo Queen" (dark green leaves with a silver leaf edge and spots), "Sinbad" (foliage with a silvery shimmer), "Torch" (dark green leaf upper side, chestnut brown underside, upright stems with hanging leaves, suitable as traffic light plant)

Trout Begonia (Begonia maculata)

  • leaves: lanceolate, wavy
  • Basic color of the leaves: dark green to grey-green with a red underside
  • Foliage decoration: white-silver points
  • Habit: Upright semi-shrub, up to 60 centimeters high
  • Location: bright to semi-shady at 20 degrees Celsius

Kinds of K - Z

King Begonia (Begonia rex)

  • leaves: ovate, toothed
  • Basic color of the leaves: dark green to grey-green
  • Leaf decoration: white, pink or lilac patterned
  • Growth: upright, up to 25 centimeters high
  • Location: no direct sun, no heat source in the vicinity, morning and/or evening sun, all year round at room temperature
  • Varieties (selection): "Helen Lewis" (blackish leaves, light outline in the middle), "Merry Christmas" (pink, almost violet middle; getting lighter towards the outside and merging into green)

Coral Begonia (Begonia corallina)

  • leaves: ovate
  • Basic color of the leaves: dark green
  • Foliage decoration: white-silvery points, clearly smaller than in the trout begonia
  • Growth: upright, up to 200 centimeters
  • Location: bright to semi-shady at 20 degrees Celsius

Silver haired begonia (Begonia venosa)

  • kidney shaped leaves
  • Basic color of the leaves: medium to dark green
  • Leaf decoration: velvety hairs, shimmers silvery
  • Growth height: up to 90 centimeters
  • Location: bright to semi-shady

Eyelash Begonia (Begonia bowerae)

Source: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, Begonia bowerae `Tiger` kz03, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Leaves: ovate, entire
  • Basic color of the leaves: light green interspersed with dark green, brown or black
  • Foliage decoration: intensive pattern in different shades of green
  • Growth: compact, up to 25 centimeters high
  • Location: all year round at room temperature, bright (morning and/or evening sun)
  • Varieties: "Tiger" (brown-patterned leaves, white-pink flowers), "Rubra" (reddish-brown effect)

frequently asked Questions

Are there begonia species with shiny metallic leaves?

The evergreen Begonia metallica has shiny metallic leaves. Since it needs a constant temperature for optimal growth, it is kept as a houseplant.

Which Begonias Have Blue Flowers?

No begonia varieties with blue flowers have yet been bred, either for the home or for the garden.

Do begonia species also bloom at Christmas?

In your own home, the Christmas begonia, also known as Advent begonia, is a special winter bloomer. Its botanical name is Begonia socotrana.

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