Begonia coccinea (Scarlet Begonia)

Scientific Name

Begonia coccinea Hook.

Common Names

Scarlet Begonia, Angel Wing Begonia, Coral Begonia, Begonia Dragon Wing, Cane Begonia

Synonyms

Begonia rubra, Pritzelia coccinea

Scientific Classification

Family: Begoniaceae
Genus: Begonia

Flower

Color: Coral red
Bloom Time: Early summer to mid-fall

Description

Begonia coccinea is a herbaceous evergreen perennial with only a few bamboo-like stems. It grows up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall. Leaves are leathery, obliquely oblong to ovate, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide, with slightly toothed, undulate edges. The leaf surface is grass green-tinged at the edges with red above and dull red bellow. Flowers are irregular, unisexual, and in axillary, pendulous cymes with red peduncles. The waxy, coral red flowers are up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide and appear in large, drooping clusters on red stalks from early summer to mid-fall.

Begonia coccinea - Scarlet Begonia
Photo via plantsrescue.com

Hardiness

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. For containers or hanging baskets, look for Begonia boliviensis and Angel Wing types, 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.

Origin

Native to the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.

Hybrids

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