Louisiana Super Plants: BabyWing Begonia

Maureen Thiessen, Edwards, Ashley, Fields, Jeb S.

LSU Ag Center, Research, Extension, Teaching. Louisiana Super Plants. LSU Ag Center Recommended Louisiana Super Plants.

Begonia x hybrida

  • Recommended Use: Warm season bedding plant, containers, shade gardens.
  • Exposure: Shade to partial sun
  • Size: 12-15 inches high, 10-12 inches wide
  • Habit: Mounded, upright
  • Bloom Time: Spring through fall
  • Maintenance Category: Low
  • Water Use: Moderate
  • Highlights: Tolerates more sun and heat than typical begonias, attractive foliage, drought tolerant, shade plant.
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BabyWing begonia in white.

Summary

Because of their beautiful waxy foliage and prolific flowering habit, begonias have been a popular shade garden plant in Louisiana. Many are familiar with the assorted colors, shapes and patterns of begonia leaves available today.

The BabyWing series is noted for its higher tolerance to heat, stress and drought than typical begonias. Begonias are best planted where they receive 4 to 6 hours of morning sun, with protection from hot afternoon sun. BabyWing has tolerated full sun exposure during Hammond Research Station trials and achieves best plant structure with afternoon shade.

BabyWing also blooms earlier and longer. This plant can be found in white, pink, red and bicolor blooming varieties, and the blooms appear in late spring, lasting until the first frost. Begonias are typically found as transplants and are available at local nurseries. Plant transplants in April in well-drained soil prepared with organic matter and a general-purpose fertilizer. Take care not to let the roots stay wet, which can cause root and crown rot problems. One or two deep irrigations per week should suffice in shady locations with more regular irrigations for sunnier locations. BabyWing begonias make great shade garden companions with impatiens, ferns, hostas, caladiums and ginger!

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BabyWing begonia in pink.

Requirements

  • Prepare beds by incorporating compost and general-purpose fertilizer into the top 2 inches of soil.
  • Plant transplants in April through August in shady or sunny areas with excellent drainage.
  • Optimal soil pH is 6.0-6.5.
  • Space plants 10 to 12 inches apart in the landscape. Also suitable for planting in containers, window boxes and hanging baskets.

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BabyWing begonia blooms earlier and longer.

Growth Habit

  • BabyWing Begonia has a mounding and upright habit, reaching 12 to 15 inches tall and 10 to 12 inches wide.
  • Suitable for shade gardens but tolerates sun; great for containers, border plantings as well.
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BabyWing Begonia has a mounding and upright habit and loves the shade!

Care and Maintenance

  • Do not overwater begonias. Typically, one to two irrigations per week will suffice in shady locations.
  • Avoid wet foliage if possible. Drip irrigation or microirrigation is preferred.
  • Higher sun exposure will require higher water needs.
  • Apply fertilizer directly to the soils nearby the roots only. Avoid applying fertilizer to the leaves.
  • vLate-season trimming maybe necessary to maintain appearance.

For more information on BabyWing begonia and other Louisiana Super Plants, contact your local
LSU AgCenter Extension office or visit LSUAgCenter.com/SuperPlants.

11/19/2021 5:45:39 PM
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