The begonia comes from the family of the slate leaf family. There are about 900 different varieties and species of begonia.
Depending on the species, begonias have a different growth habit. You can get begonias as hanging, upright, shrubby, climbing and clambering varieties. In botany, begonias are divided into 7 main groups.
The flowers of begonias are pentate, and the petals are all of the same shape. Accordingly, they are not separated into calyx and corolla. Male flowers of begonia usually have two or four petals and very many stamens. Female flowers have two to five and sometimes even ten petals. There are two to five carpels, which fuse to form a winged inferior ovary. The capsule fruits are usually formed there, which are again asymmetrically winged. They contain very many small seeds that are dispersed by the wind.
Berry-like fruits form on some flowers, which in turn are eaten by wild animals.
Originally, the begonia comes from the tropical and subtropical regions around the equator. There, the begonia has been cultivated for about 200 years. The Begonia Grandis, on the other hand, thrives in the western hills near Beijing. In sheltered places in Central Europe, the begonia species is also hardy.
The begonia immediately catches the eye, especially because of its festoon shape. In hanging baskets, the overhanging shoots in sunny yellow, fiery orange or strong red make for a real eye-catcher. In addition to the differences in leaf and flower shape, there are also differences in growth. Especially for high tubs or for hanging baskets, the hanging varieties come into their own very well. If the begonia is planted as a soloist or in combination with other flowers, you should go for the standing varieties. The varieties with unfilled flowers can withstand heavy rain without damage.
Begonias belong to the low-maintenance flowers in the garden. They can be planted in the shade and still enjoy the long-lasting blooms. The soil for begonias should be fresh, loose and rich in humus, if possible. Begonias do not tolerate waterlogging – the roots would die immediately. Begonias can be planted outdoors from the middle of May. However, begonias can be grown indoors as early as February, so that they have a certain head start. If you plant begonias in a tub or box, the distance between the plants should be at least 20 cm, because the plants grow very strongly and soon compete with each other. The tubers of begonias can be overwintered very well in a cool and dry place, so that the next year you can enjoy your pretty flowers again.
Begonias often suffer from powdery mildew. Begonias are also very susceptible to other rot fungi. Therefore, do not plant the plants too close together and do not keep the soil too moist. In begonias, aphids and thrips are among the rather rare pests. From time to time, the begonia is also attacked by the thick-mouthed weevil. This can be recognized by the eaten leaves. In the dark, the pest can be easily collected.