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Plants that fill a similar niche:
Dahlia Dahlia 'Knockout' Mystic Illusion flower
Dianthus deltoides Dianthus deltoides
Begonia Begonia
Begonia x benaratensis Big Series has some common insect problems:
Mealybugs Found on Flowers and Foliage
Thrips Found on Flowers and Foliage
Begonia x benaratensis Big Series has some common disease problems:
Bacterial Leaf Spot on Greenhouse Ornamentals

Big Series Begonia Begonia x benaratensis Big Series

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
be-GON-yuh ben-nair-a-TEN-sis
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Hybrid wax begonia, introduced by Benery Seed, is a seed-grown plant derived from hybridizing angel wing begonia with fibrous F1 begonia hybrids. It is in the Begoniaceae (Begonia) family.

Begoniaceae is a large, flowering plant family, the name of which honors Michael Begon (1638-1710), Governor of French Canada, and includes about 1500 different species and hundreds of hybrids. Mature begonia plants range in size from a few inches high to over 12 inches high, and the flowers, foliage colors, and sizes are very diverse.

Hybrid wax begonias are compact, bushy, and mounded with fibrous roots, fleshy stems, tough, waxy, dark green to bronze leaves, and loose clusters (cymes) of single or double flowers in shades of white, pink, or red plus bicolor versions. They are vigorous plants that flower reliably throughout the growing season (May to October). Big Series is noted for its early bloom, large flowers, and vigorous habit. The plants are generally low maintenance and grow 12 to 18 inches high with a similar spread.

Noted for its tolerance to hot and humid summers, Big Series begonia grows well in average to moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade, preferring sun-dappled part shade. Bronze-leaved varieties are more tolerant of full sun. Best results will be obtained by providing consistent moisture throughout the growing season. The plant will tolerate periods of drought, as the thick and waxy leaves help minimize water loss in hot weather. A frost-sensitive perennial, it is typically grown to be used as an annual in all but USDA zones 10a to 11b. If grown in a container, you can cut back the plant in the fall and overwinter it indoors in a cool location with reduced watering.

Growing from seed can be difficult; however, you can start the small seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Do not sow seeds directly in the garden. Alternatively, you can purchase starter plants or take cuttings from overwintered plants. Set plants out after the last frost date. Space the plants 12 to 15 inches apart to promote good air circulation and to reduce potential fungal disease problems. 

These begonias are excellent candidates for a border, mass planting, containers, hanging baskets, and as a houseplant.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Watch for mealybugs and thrips. Susceptible to bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew, blight, and stem/crown rots.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Fence Planter Shade Border
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Red With Bronze Leaf'
    red flowers with bronze leaves
  • 'Red With Green Leaf'
    red flowers green leaves
  • 'Rose With Bronze Leaf'
    rose-pink flowers with bronze leaves
  • 'Whopper Green Red Leaf'
  • 'Whopper Red Bronze'
'Red With Bronze Leaf', 'Red With Green Leaf', 'Rose With Bronze Leaf', 'Whopper Green Red Leaf', 'Whopper Red Bronze'
Tags:
#showy flowers#vigorous#perennial#frost tender#showy leaves#window boxes#edging#long bloom time#borders#bedding plants#indoor#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#container plants
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Red With Bronze Leaf'
    red flowers with bronze leaves
  • 'Red With Green Leaf'
    red flowers green leaves
  • 'Rose With Bronze Leaf'
    rose-pink flowers with bronze leaves
  • 'Whopper Green Red Leaf'
  • 'Whopper Red Bronze'
'Red With Bronze Leaf', 'Red With Green Leaf', 'Rose With Bronze Leaf', 'Whopper Green Red Leaf', 'Whopper Red Bronze'
Tags:
#showy flowers#vigorous#perennial#frost tender#showy leaves#window boxes#edging#long bloom time#borders#bedding plants#indoor#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#container plants
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Begonia
    Species:
    benaratensis
    Family:
    Begoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Borneo
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Loose cymes of single or double 2 1/2 inch flowers in white, pink, red, or tri-color bloom from May to first frost in the fall.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Thick and waxy leaves help minimize water loss in hot weather.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Fleshy.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Kidney failure (in grazing animals), vomiting, salivation in dogs/cats. The most toxic part is underground.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Soluble calcium oxalates
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No