Begonia 'Black Mamba'
Black Mamba Begonia
Begonia rubra, Pritzelia coccinea
Bloom Time: Winter
Begonia 'Black Mamba' is a medium-sized Begonia with very large star-shaped, almost black leaves on mature plants. The leaves are up to 12 inches (30 cm) across. In winter, the plant produces pink flowers that contrast with the foliage nicely. Flower stalks are held above the foliage.
USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Begonias are rather versatile in their requirements: Old-fashioned Wax Begonias are great in the shade, but several newer Wax Begonia varieties are perfectly happy in full shade to full sun. No matter where you plant begonias, it's a good idea to give plants a regular dose of fertilizer to help fuel the constant barrage of blooms they're bound to throw at you.
When it comes to watering begonias, finding a good balance is key for healthy plants. Most Begonia varieties need to be consistently watered but shouldn't get too wet (too much water can kill them). So, don't be afraid to let the plants dry out a little between each watering. Begonia boliviensis varieties particularly like sharp drainage, as they're native to growing on cliff walls.
Most Begonias grow upright. Look for Begonia boliviensis and Angel Wing types for containers or hanging baskets, which have a more cascading habit.
Begonias perform best in warm environments, so planting after there's no longer a chance of spring frost will help your Begonia thrive. Be patient after planting. Begonias take a bit of time to get going, and you usually won't see a burst in growth until after the summer heat kicks in. See more at How to Grow and Care for Begonia.
This plant was created by Brad Thompson in 1993. Mr from a cross between Begonia' Peggy Frost' and Begonia' Dr. Cleo'.
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