Unusual indoor begonias

Published: Dec. 6, 2019 at 3:04 PM EST
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It may be snowing again today, but it's always nice to have some greenery inside through the winter. Garden expert Charlie Nardozzi showed our Sharon Meyer some varieties of begonia you might not be familiar with.

Sharon: Charlie, are we talking about coleus today?

Charlie: No, these are all begonias!

Sharon: Even these ones?

Charlie: Even these! We're very familiar with this kind of begonia. You see this as a plant you plant in the spring in the shade. It's called a wax begonia. But for the winter, some of the most beautiful begonias are great for indoor house plants.

Sharon: They don't need as much light?

Charlie: They don't need as much light and you don't have to wait for the flowers. Look at the color on these leaves! This one's called "Fireworks." It has beautiful pink and white colors and a little fringe.

Sharon: That's what made me think these were coleus.

Charlie: Exactly. This one is called "Silver Streak." It has a beautiful silver ring in it. They have some that have little whirls and swirls on the leaves. Look at that! It's beautiful.

Sharon: That one is really cool.

Charlie: So these are all called Rex begonias. They're more of a rhizomatous begonias. This one and this one are called angel wing begonias, because...

Sharon: Because of their angel wings. Very fitting!

Charlie: Exactly. Both types are really nice as houseplants if you can keep the humidity high. That's the key with these. So put them in a part sun location with bright, indirect light. You don't want to put them in full sun. But the key to keeping the humidity high is putting them on a pebble tray. Place the begonias on a pebble tray that has water in it. You can see the water is just at the level of the stones. It will evaporate and keep the air nice and moist. You also want to group them together. That way they'll stay really nice all winter long and you won't get brown edges on the leaves. If they get a little ratty, you can always just cut them back which they did here. Cut the plant back and it will start to grow again and it will just come right back.

Sharon: I like that.

Charlie: It’s a nice plant for indoors throughout the winter, and good for the spring in a shady spot outside, too.