Wax Begonia – Colorful Flowering Perennial

The Wax Begonia (also known as the Begonia semperflorens-cultorum and Fibrous Begonia) is known for its round, thick, waxy leaves – giving this colorful flowering plant its common name. The leaves are usually dark-green in color.

Some hybrids may be tinged with bronze, while others have burgundy leaves or are variegated with white. 

The flowers of the Wax Begonia are available in a variety of shades, including pink, red, or white. The leaves can be green, bronze, or variegated.

This begonia can be grown almost anywhere as an annual. In USDA Hardiness Zones 9 – 11, it can be grown as a perennial.

Begonia semperflorens-cultorum will grow up to 1.5 feet tall, with aWax Begonia spread of 1 foot wide. The leaves are two to four inches in length; blooms can be single or double. As a house plant, begonias will bloom throughout the winter if placed in a sunny location.

If you live in a cold climate, you can still enjoy the vibrant blooms of the begonia plant. Plant containers are ideal for displaying begonias in the garden or landscape during the summer. Containers can be easily moved indoors during the cold months for over wintering.

Wax Begonia Plants - Growing Conditions and Tips for Plant Care

Location and Lighting

Place potted wax begonias in a bright, sunny window (indirect sunlight). They will also grow well under fluorescent light. If planted or displayed outdoors during the summer months, choose a location protected from hot, direct sunlight.


Water plant thoroughly, water should run out of the drainage hole in the bottom of the container. Allow soil surface to dry before the next watering. Remember, over-watering plants can cause root damage.


These plants thrive in moderate to high humidity. Place pots on trays filled with moist pebbles, use a humidifier.


To activate flower buds, warm day temperatures of 65 - 75°F / 18 - 24°C and cool night temperatures of 60°F / 16°C are ideal.


Use any high quality houseplant potting soil. If planted outdoors, choose a location with well draining soil.


Feed every 3-4 weeks (during growing period) with half-diluted water soluble fertilizer.


Re-pot if plant begins to look over-crowded and roots have filled the current container.


Take stem cuttings in spring and root in a fresh potting mix. Keep soil lightly moist. Cover the whole container and newly planted cuttings with a plastic bag to hold in humidity. Cover the container with a plastic bag to hold in humidity.

Display Tips

Wax Begonias can be displayed in containers or hanging baskets. They can also be planted as a border or mass planting in the landscape.

Outdoor Wax Begonia Care

Begonia plants become available at nurseries starting in spring through summer. Look for ready-to-plant bedding begonias (usually displayed in four to six inch containers).

Choose plants with signs of new flower and leaf growth. They can be planted as borders or ground cover.

Tips for Planting, Care, and Maintenance

Steps for Planting:
  1. Choose a location with well draining soil that receives partial shade.
  1. Dig a hole that matches the depth of the original container.
  1. Carefully remove the plant from the container.
  1. After placing the plant in the hole, fill in the hole with soil.
  1. Space plantings twelve inches apart to allow room for proper growth.
Care and Maintenance:
  • Place a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant to conserve moisture and prevent weed infestation.
  • Apply fertilizer twice a month during growing season.
  • Keep begonia plants evenly moist throughout the growing season.

Additional Begonia Plant Information

Begonia Plant Care - Basic Tips and Information

Plant Containers - Choosing the Right Containers for Your Plants and Flowers

Watering Plants - Tips and Techniques


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