Plant DetailShow Menu

Climbing Begonia

Phonetic Spelling
beh-GO-nee-ah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Metallic leaf begonia is a member of 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.

Metallic leaf begonia is a dense, rounded, low-maintenance houseplant in USDA zones 9b and higher. A native of Mexico and Central America, it can be grown as an herbaceous perennial in USDA zones 10 to 11b. Its showy, glossy green leaves have a metallic sheen, thus its common name.

The plant has a medium growth rate and is a moderate bloomer, producing large clusters of small, hairy, pink flowers on sturdy, thin, erect stems from summer to fall. The leaves are dark green at maturity, with red veins underneath. It does not tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees F. Grown indoors, the plant does best under bright but no direct sunlight to form great foliage, but can take some sun in winter. It does not do well in dry air and prefers humidity and constant temperatures. The plant is susceptible to overwatering and fluctuating temperatures.

It tolerates a range of well-drained soil types with pH ranging from neutral to acid. The plant sends up stems from below the soil in spring and early summer, and more new growth can be generated if you pinch or prune the older stems. In turn, the remaining older stems produce more side growth after pruning. As with most begonias, division is by leaf or stem cuttings.

In addition to its value as a houseplant, metallic leaf begonia is useful planted in locations with at least partial shade in a container or massed in beds or borders. Useful at the edge of woodland, natural or Asian-themed gardens.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Keep an eye out for powdery mildew.

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:
Garden "Bed" Border Landscape Pinewild County Club, Moore County Coastal Shady Garden Border Landscape Pinewild County Club, Moore County Garden "Bed" Border Landscape Pinewild County Club, Moore County Garden "Bed" Border Landscape Pinewild County Club, Moore County Pond Garden Coastal Shady Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Argenteo-guttata', Belgian begonias, 'On Top Sun Glow', Rex begonias
Tags:
#red#white#bulb#showy flowers#yellow#annual#pink flowers#not hardy#showy leaves#colorful#interiorscape#apvg#fall interest#hanging baskets#dappled shade#window boxes#cpp#bicolor#summer flowers#division#double flowers#summer bulbs#apvg-a#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#container plants
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Argenteo-guttata', Belgian begonias, 'On Top Sun Glow', Rex begonias
Tags:
#red#white#bulb#showy flowers#yellow#annual#pink flowers#not hardy#showy leaves#colorful#interiorscape#apvg#fall interest#hanging baskets#dappled shade#window boxes#cpp#bicolor#summer flowers#division#double flowers#summer bulbs#apvg-a#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#container plants
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Begonia
    Family:
    Begoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Stem Cutting
    Bulb Storage:
    Harvest enlarged hypocotyls in fall, dry, store in dry peat at 35-41 degrees F (2-5 degrees C)
    Edibility:
    The flowers are citrus flavored with a slightly bitter aftertaste. They can be eaten raw, or cooked in sauces.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Bulb
    Houseplant
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Winged capsule, seeds numerous and small.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Showy blooms range in color from pink, red, yellow, white, or bicolors and can be found in doubles.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Showy leaves can be 6 inches long, asymmetrical with tapered ends and toothed edges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Erect, with rhizomes or tubers, generally fleshy.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation 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