Learn about Begonia Grandis, a hardy begonia that easily overwinters here in my zone 6 garden. A good shade lover, with pretty pink flowers in late summer when all other plants are dying back.
Maybe some of you, like me, thought begonias were only available as annuals and house plants however, Begonia grandis is a winter hardy perennial and comes back every year in my zone 6a garden. You probably won’t find it at your big box store and maybe not even at the local nursery.
I bought mine from Shields Herb and Flower Farm in Spraggs, PA several years ago and have been pleasantly surprised to find it thriving in my garden. One thing I have noticed is that it does come up late in the spring.
Just when you think it died over the winter, you’ll start to see the leaves pop out of the ground. Even after the polar vortex freezing cold this pretty begonia came back in full force.
Begonia grandis 'Heron's Pirouette' grows about two feet tall and wide, does best in the shady moist areas, but will tolerate some sun. I have it growing near my foundation and under the dogwood tree. As shade lovers, they grow well with other shade-loving plants such as hostas and ferns.
It has a relatively shallow root system making it easy to transplant or remove completely. I even dug some up to bring indoors over the winter, after hearing a friend of mine grew some in pots in her classroom.
Hardy Begonia Basics:
- Perennial flowering plant type
- USDA Zones: 6 to 9
- Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
- Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
- Bloom Time: July to October
- Bloom Description: Pink
- Sun: Part shade to full shade
Hardy begonias have beautiful foliage with lovely red stems and the leaves are heart-shaped with pinkish red veining. The underside of the leaves are a beautiful red color. They were perfect for making pretty leaf printed pillows for our screened in porch.
Later in the growing season around July, it comes into bloom, continuing all the way into October, with the sweetest delicate clusters of pink flowers which then turn into attractive seed pods. In the right environment, you may find that it readily self seeds.
Something for your wish list?
Begonia grandis is sometimes also simply called hardy begonia or perennial begonia. It’s certainly worth a look.