How to grow Begonias as a Houseplant?

How to grow Begonias as a Houseplant?

Begonias are among the most visually appealing plants you can grow indoors. They can be picky about light and water, but not overly so, making them an excellent intermediate level plant design. Here’s whatever you need to know about the houseplant Begonias from Garden How.

Can Begonias grow indoors?

Can Begonias grow indoors?

Begonias are actually considered outdoor plants. Most Begonias are grown in the garden or as bedding plants, where they rarely survive the winter, but they also make excellent indoor plants that can live for several years.

In general, fibrous and rhizomatous Begonias make excellent houseplants, whereas you can grow tuberous Begonias as houseplants but require more humidity and light than the other two types.

Indoor Begonia varieties

Begonia is grown as an indoor houseplant. The plants stand out for their vibrant foliage color and ease of care. If you want to add it to your collection, here are types of houseplant Begonias.

Rex Begonia

Rex begonia
Rex Begonia

The Rex Begonia is a semi-tropical perennial plant that is commonly grown as a houseplant. Begonia rex is one of nature’s most stunning and dramatic plants. These plants are known for their variegated leaves and are also known as painted-leaf Begonias or fancy-leaf Begonias. They often have large (up to 6 inch long) colorful leaves in green, red, silver, and even purple. These houseplant Begonias are almost entirely grown for their foliage. Their blooms are small and less showy, and many growers pinch off blooms to maintain stunning leaf displays.

Fibrous Begonia (Cane Begonia)

Fibrous Begonia (Cane Begonia)
Fibrous Begonia (Cane Begonia)

These vibrantly colored bedding Begonias thrive in both full sun (except when temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit for days on end) and full but bright shade. Most wax Begonias are known for their uniformity: tight mounds of tightly packed leaves covered in blossoms. All four flower colors come with your choice of leaf color: chocolate-red or green-shade. The darker-colored or bronze-leaved varieties contrast especially well with flowers. There are also indoor Begonia varieties with double flowers that look like fat little rosebuds, as well as those with variegated foliage.

Tuberose Begonia


Tuberose Begonia (Tuberosa group) is a tuberous Begonia hybrid that includes 13 different types of summer flowering tender plants with colorful waxy petals. They are well-known for its spectacular flowers that bloom throughout the summer. The blooms can be single, double, or ruffled and come in a variety of colors, including red, orange, yellow, white, salmon, and pink. Flower shapes range from camellia-like to carnation-like, with variations in the number of petals (single, double), petal type (banded, ruffled), and habit (compact, weeping, cascading).

Angel Wing Begonias

Angel Wing Begonias
Angel Wing Begonias

Cane-type Begonias are among the best-performing and easiest-to-grow Begonias. They are only second to wax Begonias in terms of ease of cultivation and beauty.

Angel wing Begonias are the most well-known type of Begonia. The plant is native to Brazil and grows on upright stems with interesting dotted leaves, vibrant colors, and a spectacular display of flowers. The Angel Wing Begonias are not difficult to grow. So, you can plant them indoors all year long if you meet a few basic requirements for their growth. They’ll grow at a moderately fast rate, with noticeable growth visible in as little as six weeks.

Nonstop Rose Begonia

Nonstop Rose Begonia
Nonstop Rose Begonia

Begonia Nonstop Rose is an indefatigable bloomer that produces a plethora of magnificent and huge, fully double flowers up to 4 inches (10 cm) across from late spring to frost. Its flowers, which resemble roses with their packed rows of deep rose and white petals, are truly spectacular and do not require deadheading. These houseplant Begonias is a member of the well-known ‘Nonstop Series,’ which is among the best-selling tuberous Begonias in the world. This shade-loving plant deserves a place in your beds, borders, window boxes, containers, and hanging baskets and will reward you with constant cheerful notes of summer color!

Begonia Camouflage

The Begonia Camouflage has swirls of mottled green and warm red leaves that produce flower spikes in the summer. If you keep your plant outside, make sure it is in a shady spot so that its leaves do not burn. Because it has rhizomes, root division during the growing season is the best way to share it.

Red Kiss

Red Kiss
Red Kiss

The Red Kiss, also known as the Painted Leaf Begonia, is an excellent choice for an ornamental plant. Each leaf is a vibrant metallic red with a large black center and a black band around the edge.

Crinkle Leaf Begonia

It’s a small Begonia with crinkled or ruffled leaves. This houseplant Begonias is quite appealing due to its glossy foliage! For the best display, combine it with other colorful varieties from this list! This Brazilian species is a prime example of nature’s engineering marvels. Its compact growth habit emphasizes the leaf patterns. Begonia Moysesii, while similar to Begonia Ghertii, is much easier to grow and adds a distinct presence to any collection. Summer brings white flowers on short stems.

Big Red Bronze Leave

The Big Red Bronze Leaf Begonia is a herbaceous annual that grows in an upright spreading habit. Its medium texture blends into the garden but can be balanced with a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a high-maintenance plant that requires regular care and upkeep. It looks best without pruning, but it will tolerate it.

From mid spring to mid fall, this houseplant Begonias produces dainty clusters of red orchid-like flowers at the ends of their stems. Throughout the year, its glossy heart-shaped leaves remain dark green with hints of coppery-bronze.

Salsa Rex Begonia

The Salsa Rex Begonia is one of the indoor Begonia varieties with foliage full of unique shades. Salsa rex Begonia has deep green leaves with splashes of silver, burgundy, and red. With proper care, the plant can reach a good height and spread while remaining compact.

The best conditions for the houseplant Begonias

Location for the houseplant Begonias

Begonias require bright, indirect light. Indoor varieties prefer a location near a large window with a sheer curtain to protect them from direct sunlight.Direct sunlight can cause their leaves to burn. However, because the light levels in the home are significantly lower than those outside, they will not thrive in a dark corner.

During the winter, you may need to provide additional lighting from a lamp with a full spectrum bulb for approximately 14 hours per day.

Begonias prefer temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep them away from drafty doors and windows.

Soil for the houseplant Begonias

Indoor Begonia varieties thrive in regular potting soil. If you discover that they require more drainage, you can add some perlite. As with any other houseplant, repot the Begonia only to the next largest pot size.

Humidity and water for the houseplant Begonias

Begonias are native to humid environments, so they do not push water to the edges of their leaves as well as other plants. Because of this, they are ideal for terracotta pots. When the air is dry, place a pebble tray under the pot or a nearby humidifier.

Checking the soil with your finger every few days is the best way to know when to water your Begonia. The houseplant Begonias prefer evenly moist soil but prefer to dry out slightly between waterings. Stick your finger up to the first knuckle in the soil; if it’s dry, water it. If possible, water your Begonia with distilled water or rainwater, as the plant can be sensitive to the dissolved salts in tap water. This sensitivity can result in some browning of the leaves, which is usually not fatal to the plant but can detract from the appearance of your Begonia.

Ensure that your Begonias have adequate drainage so that their roots are never submerged in standing water. Soggy roots will drop their leaves and make them vulnerable to root rot, pests, and other diseases. Dump out any remaining water in the catch tray 30 minutes after watering.

When your plant is actively growing, which is typically during the summer months, apply fertilizer according to package directions.

When watering, keep all the leaves dry
When watering, keep all the leaves dry


Indoor Begonia varieties, like outdoor Begonias, will require some grooming. This entails removing spent flowers so that the plant’s energy can be directed to new leaves and blooms. You should also remove dead leaves to prevent infections and thin the foliage if the plant becomes too dense.

How to care for the houseplant Begonia

If you want to enjoy the houseplant Begonias, it’s always a good idea to read up on the care requirements of the specific variety you’re interested in. However, in general, you can follow these guidelines for caring for these colorful, elegant, low-maintenance plants indoors!

Rex and other Rhizomatous Begonia

  • Keep plants shaded and watered liberally during the summer, but with good drainage and high relative humidity (humid atmosphere).
  • Never wet the leaves or the crown.
  • Reduce watering during the winter, allowing the compost surface to dry before watering again.
  • Except for Begonia bowerae, Begonia Masoniana, and Begonia Rex, which require a minimum winter temperature of 13 °C (55 °F), all of these types require a minimum winter temperature of 10 °C (50 °F).
  • From May to September, apply a high nitrogen fertilizer every two weeks.

Fibrous-rooted Begonia

  • To avoid scorching the leaves, keep them out of direct sunlight.
  • Keep the container moist by placing it on a tray of gravel, expanded clay granules (Hydroleca), or recycled lightweight aggregate (Hortag) and keeping the water level slightly below the surface of the gravel.
  • Begonia mildew can be a problem in damp, over-humid conditions, so do not mist or neglect ventilation.
  • Once temperatures reach 18°C (64°F), glasshouses should be ventilated.
  • From May to September, feed established plants every two weeks with a high potassium plant food.
  • Avoid overwatering by not allowing compost to dry out.
  • To avoid sciarid fly problems, grow in a multipurpose compost, ideally peat-free and based on coir.
  • Allow for a minimum winter temperature of 13°C (55°F).

Semi-tuberous Begonias

  • Put it in the shade.
  • Maintain adequate moisture but do not allow the plants to dry out.
  • You need to meet the high humidity levels for your plants.
  • During flowering, keep the temperature between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius (50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit).

Cane-stemmed Begonias

  • They need a lot of light to grow strong stems and lots of flowers, but you also need to protect them from direct sunlight to avoid scorching the leaves.
  • Temperatures between 15 and 22 degrees Celsius (58 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit) are ideal for growing.
  • Avoid overwatering by not allowing compost to dry out.
  • You should reduce watering in the winter.
  • Keep the container moist by placing it on a tray of gravel, expanded clay granules (Hydroleca), or recycled lightweight aggregate (Hortag) and keeping the water level slightly below the surface of the gravel.
  • From May to September, feed established plants every two weeks with a high potassium plant food.
  • To avoid sciarid fly problems, grow in a multipurpose compost that is ideally peat-free and based on coir.

How to propagate the houseplant Begonias


Propagation of the houseplant Begonias from seeds

  • You should sow fibrous-rooted Begonia seeds in seed compost pots or trays in February or March and keep them at 21–25°C (73–80°F).
  • Because the seeds are so small, you should sow them on the surface of the compost and cover them with only a light dusting of silver sand, or pots should be covered with cling film.
  • When the seedlings have produced their first true leaf, prick them out into fresh compost boxes and continue growing them in 7.5 cm (3 inches) pots, then 13 cm (5 inches) pots.

Propagation of the houseplant Begonias from stem cuttings

  • Fibrous-rooted and cane-stemmed Begonias can be propagated using stem cuttings.
  • In April, take 7–10 cm (3–4 inches) cuttings, place them in a sandy cutting compost, and root them with a bottom heat of 18–21°C (64–70°F).
  • Cuttings for rhizomatous Begonias may need to be longer than 10cm (4in) to include a leaf node at the base.

Propagation of the houseplant Begonias from semi-tuberous

  • Semi-tuberous Begonias are typically replaced by cuttings each year.
  • After flowering, you should allow your plants to rest for six weeks by lowering the temperature to 7°C (45°F) and reducing the water but not allowing them to dry out.
  • You should prune back your plants to within 15 cm (6 inches) of the base at the end of this period, and keep the temperature between 10–13°C (50–55°F).
  • Take basal cuttings of these shoots and root them at 18–22°C (65–71°F) when the new growth is 5–7.5 cm (2–3 inches) long.
  • Keep them in the light shade until well-rooted, then pot them up. Pot the plants on as needed until they are in 12.5–15 cm (5–6 inches) pots.

Propagation from leaf cuttings

  • Certain types, such as Begonia masoniana and Begonia rex hybrids, can be cut for leaf cuttings in May or June.
  • Select newly matured leaves.
  • Remove the leaf stalk, then carefully cut through the major veins with a sharp blade, spacing cuts about 2.5cm (1 inch) apart.
  • Then, with the top surface of the leaf facing up, place it on a seed tray of sandy cutting compost.
  • Water thoroughly and place in bright light but not direct sunlight, then peg or weigh down at intervals to ensure the cuts are in contact with the compost.
  • Place in a propagator with a temperature range of 18–24°C (64–75°F) and a high relative humidity.
  • Individual plantlets that form at the points of vein cutting should be potted up and grown on once they have two or three leaves.

Besides, you can propagate the “houseplant Begonias” by dividing Rhizomatous Begonias in the spring. You make sure that each section of the rhizome has one or more growing points.

Common problems

Petals turn brown

Browning Begonia petals indicate insufficient watering. When you water too much and the soil is wet, it causes an overwatered situation. This results in root rot for your plants.

In order to fix this situation, you need to allow the soil to dry out first, and then reduce the amount of water you give your plant. Also, make it a rule to wait until the soil is dry to the touch before watering it.

Flowers turn black

If your flowers are turning black and wilting, it could be due to a fungal infection or from using too much fertilizer.

Remove the plant’s dead parts and stop fertilizing it. Also, allow the soil to dry before watering again, and make sure it gets enough indirect sunlight.

In most cases, the plant should be able to recover, but if it doesn’t, your best bet is to find a healthy part and try to propagate it.


Low humidity or excessive heat can cause brown edges on the leaves. Excessive humidity, over-watering, or a lack of light can all cause rotted leaves and leaf drop. Yellow leaves can result from a lack of light or from over- or under-watering. The majority of casualties reported have been over-watered or kept in an overly dry environment.

Root rot

Houseplant Begonias are particularly prone to root rot and overwatering. When caring for Begonias, make sure to only water them when they are thirsty. Many experts recommend waiting until the plant shows signs of being dry, such as drooping leaves, before watering it. This will help to avoid accidental overwatering, which is the leading cause of Begonia death when grown indoors. Additionally, when watering your Begonia houseplant, make sure to water below the leaves to avoid inviting a fungal disease.

Fungus issues

Another advantage of houseplant Begonias is their natural pest resistance. It is extremely uncommon for a Begonia to develop a pest problem. However, they are still susceptible to fungal issues, such as powdery mildew, so keep the leaves dry.

Bacterial spot disease

On the underside of the leaves, you can see tiny watery and glassy spots. There is no effective treatment; you must remove the Begonia and disinfect the soil in which it was planted. You can prevent the disease by spraying it with a 5% solution of copper oxychloride.

Ring spot disease

It will appear as yellow-green stripes on the leaves, then as bronze spots followed by necrosis. Regrettably, you must remove the sick plant. You can prevent Ring spot disease by keeping Begonias free of plant lice, thrips, and other sucking insects. You should also remove weeds on a regular basis.

When do houseplant Begonias bloom?

Houseplant Begonias will bloom for 3-6 months indoors, from late spring to late fall, if properly cared for. One important aspect of keeping Begonias flowering is to remove faded or dead flowers so that the plant can focus its energy on producing new flowers.

Many plants never flower indoors, but Begonias are well-known for their ease of flowering.

You will still need to provide the best conditions for the plant to flower, but houseplant Begonias flower easily as a rule of thumb.

The most important aspect is to maintain a consistent watering schedule. It is important to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

It’s time to water if the soil is dry to the touch but humid when pressed firmly against it. On the other hand, if you water while the soil is still wet, this can cause root rot.

Place the plant a few feet away from the window to keep it in bright, indirect sunlight.

If it is still not blooming, check to see if the room is warm enough. Begonias prefer warm temperatures ranging from 65°F to 72°F, but always higher than 65°F.

If you meet these conditions but the plant still does not bloom, feed it a balanced fertilizer every two weeks and remove any dead or dying foliage.

Questions and Answers

How long do indoor Begonias live?

Begonias typically live for 2 to 3 years indoors, though some varieties can live for up to 5 years with proper care. If you want to keep growing your Begonia after two years, you should propagate it.

How fast do Begonias grow indoors?

Begonia growth rates differ by variety, but they are generally considered fast growers. The plant usually triples in size during the first year, after which its growth slows.

Regardless of variety, the majority of Begonia growth occurs during the first year.

Moving the plant closer to indirect light and applying liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season can help Begonias grow even faster.

That will cause it to explode in volume and produce larger blooms.

How big do indoor Begonias get?

Begonias grow to be 12 to 18 inches tall and wide, with lush foliage and lovely flowers. They will grow faster if fertilized and kept in ideal conditions, but they rarely grow larger than 18 inches regardless of what you do.

This size is ideal for many people, and it is one of the reasons Begonias are so popular in the first place.

They are very attractive and will stand out in any room while not requiring a large amount of space.

Final thoughts

Begonias, regardless of variety, are excellent houseplants with an incredible ability to recover from near-death situations. Your Begonia will thrive for many years with a little care and a good location. So, if your plants aren’t flowering, check the soil, location, water, and nutrition. Also, with a variety of houseplant Begonias available, learn what kind you have so you can meet their specific care requirements. Finally, Garden How wishes you the best of luck in your plant selection and care.

Related posts:
What are the best Begonias for hanging baskets and how to make a hanging Begonia in your garden
Top Secrect Gardening Tips and Hacks for Tuberous Begonias care
Step-by-step guides on How to planting Begonias in pots from seeds and bulbs
How to keep Begonias blooming?
What are the methods of Begonia Rex propagation?

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