Wax Begonia Plant Care

Wax begonias are a species of Begonia semperflorens (part of the semperflorens cultorum hybrid group).

What makes the Begonia semperflorens species so interesting is that there are over 1500 species that fall under this classification.

While it is typical to have many species in one group, this begonia species can all be used to create hybridized variations.

The waxy leaves of the wax begonia are usually seen in one of two colors; they can have bronze foliage and deep green leaves with hints of red.

Wax-Begonia-Plants-introduction

There are several different shades of color of the begonias flowers.

Colors include white, pale pink, pink, light red, dark red, and a mix of the colors mentioned earlier.

Because the wax begonia plants bloom double flowers, they are great annual plants to add color to your garden.

The wax begonia grows between six to eighteen inches tall with a width of around six to twelve inches. You can plant them either indoors or outdoors.

They make colorful additions to the garden and also flourish as potted plants both inside and outdoors. The wax begonia is one of the most popular plants for use in gardens and indoors.

Why Grow Wax Begonia in Your Garden

The reason to grow Wax begonias is that it will instantly add more curb appeal to your garden.

them to an annual garden, their growth allows them to become an eye-catching centerpiece for any garden.

With its significant width and pop of color, the plant can be used to create a lush look between perennials.

If your garden has a mix of perennials and annuals, it is essential to note where it should be planted. Otherwise, they can smother perennials with the density of their coverage.

How to Plant Wax Begonias

How-To-Plant-Wax-Begonias

When growing wax begonias, you can start them from seed or get already established potted plants found in garden centers.

When it comes to starting them from seed, wax begonias are an excellent choice for beginner gardeners. They are accessible to seed both inside and in indoor pots.

When seeding the plant, they need to be spread over nutrient-rich soil and merely be ‘pressed’ into it. The seeds should not be covered.

After planting, the seeds should be in an area with light and provided with adequate moisture.

Because they spawn from tropical regions, the wax begonia flourishes in warm, humid environments. It is essential to ensure that they have a constant source of moisture – if they are exposed to unusually dry or cold conditions, the plant with die.

With this in mind, if you are in an extraordinarily arid or cold environment, consider having potted wax begonias, or plant them early on in the warmer summer months and ensure that they have plenty of water.

As they can also grow in the shade, planting your wax begonias in the shade can help protect them from moisture loss if you live in an arid environment.

Temperature and Climate

The ideal growing temperature for Wax begonias during the day should be around 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wax begonia definitely likes warmer weather.

Most begonias can handle differences in temperatures well. In a frost or arid climate, you face the risk of the plant dying. 

The wax begonia is most widely found in areas that are in USDA hardiness zones 10 or 11.

These include zones a and b, with a general temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit and up. They do best in areas that have a late frost date.

The growing season begins in early summer and runs up until the first hard frost.

Light

light-for-Wax-Begonias

Wax begonias can handle sun – unlike their begonia cousins, such as tuberous begonias.

However, it depends on the variety of the plant as to how much sun it can tolerate.

If being planted in an area of full sun, the darker bronze or brownish leaf variety does better in the hot afternoon sun.

Otherwise, the green flourishes in partial sun in the afternoon shade. When deciding to plant indoors, the more sunlight that the wax begonia gets, the better.

Window sills are an excellent place for pots or hanging baskets to be placed.

For the begonia, a spot that has morning sun is ideal.

Watering

If planted outside, Wax begonias need around 1 to 2 inches of water per week.

Keeping an eye on temperatures and sun conditions is a must.

If there are days when temperatures soar, giving your outdoor begonias, a light mist can protect the large flowers and leaves from dying.

With indoor potted wax begonias, they should be watered when the soil is dry.

Always make sure to keep the soil moist. Keep in mind that the plant should never be in standing water. Ensuring the begonia has well-drained soil will prevent root rot.

Pruning

Pruning-Wax-Begonias

While they are relatively low-maintenance plants, Wax begonias do require a bit of pruning.

As they grow, the plant runs the risk of having leaves or stems die off due to the time of year or the temperature and climate conditions.

When dead or dying leaves are spotted, they should be pruned.

Pruning the plant helps keep it healthy and allows it to form new stems with healthier leaves and flowers.

Pruning away dead parts prevents fungal diseases and powdery mildew that can kill wax begonias.

If you’re looking for a pair of shears to prune your Wax begonias, we suggest these pruning shears. They are affordable and are always sharp.

VIVOSUN 6.5 Inch Gardening Scissors Hand Pruner Pruning Shear with Straight Stainless...
  • Reduce Hand Strain: These micro tip snips are built spring-loaded so that...
  • Ultra Sharp Blades: These quality snips come with stainless steel...
  • Secure, Easy to Lock: These micro tip snips feature a safe and secure...

Winterizing Wax Begonias

Before the frost sets in, Wax begonias must be winterized. There are two main methods to winterize them:

  1. They can be transplanted from the ground to a pot and moved indoors.
  2. If the winter climate rarely falls below 60 degrees, simply trimming the plant back so that nothing of the ground can be seen can ensure that the begonia will return the following summer.

If you’re looking for a pot with drainage holes to plant your Begonia in, how about one that waters itself? This self-watering container is what we use for our indoor plants. There’s no need to worry about overwatering, which helps in preventing root rot.

Unique 10" Self-Watering, Aerating, High Drainage Plant Pot with Deep Saucer (10 Inch,...
  • SELF-WATERING, 2-WEEKS+ DEEP RESERVOIR: No more troublesome wicks that clog...
  • SELF-AERATING, HIGH DRAINAGE, MINIMIZE ROOT ROT: No need to keep poking...
  • WATER FROM THE BOTTOM + NO MORE OVERFLOW: Each planter comes with a clip-on...

FAQ

Do wax begonias like sun or shade?

Wax begonias are a versatile plant and can grow in both sun and shade. When growing them in the shade, you need to consider how shady the area is. If there is too much shade, the plant will produce fewer flowers. In the sun, they thrive, but obviously, too much of anything, including the sun can make them burn.

Do wax begonias come back every year?

Yes, Wax begonias can come back every year. However, it will depend on the type of environment where your begonias are planted. As begonias are both considered perennial and annual plants, they will grow back every year in tropical and sub-tropic climates. In contrast, in cooler weather, they die off after the growing season.

Do wax begonias spread?

Wax begonias can spread and grow up to six to 18 inches tall and six inches to a foot wide. They are also pretty deer-resistant and non-invasive plants.

Conclusion

For both experienced and inexperienced gardeners, the wax begonia can make a great addition to any garden.

The versatility of growing wax begonia plants as outdoor garden plants or indoor plants means that they can be a great choice no matter the location.

Wax begonias are delicate flowers that are part of the attractive foliage of the wax begonia. Growing wax begonia can create an impressive garden.

Many gardeners use them as a staple piece in their gardens. With so many varieties to select from, making your front yard with curb appeal will become easier.

Other Types of Begonias to Consider

There are many types of begonias to think about when choosing a plant for your home or garden.

For example, cane begonias have tall, tuberous begonias are small, compact plants used for bedding or fibrous begonia for their flashy blooms.

Look further for other types of Begonias to grow in your garden. 

References

Show More
  • Missouri Botanical Garden. (n.d.). Begonia (Semperflorens Cultorum Group). Anthurium andraeanum. Plant Finder, Missouri Botanical Garden website. URL: https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a562
  • Heywood, V. et al. (1993). Flowering Plants of the World. New York: Oxford University Press. URL: https://www.academia.edu/28825639/Flowering_Plant_Families_of_the_World_-_by_V._H._Heywood_R._K._Brummitt_A._Culham_and_O._Seberg
  • About/Mentions: Wax begonias, begonias, flowering plants

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.