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Few plants beat begonias for their dazzling foliage. With a variety of sizes, shapes, patterns, and colors, there is an indoor begonia for you! In this post, I’ll introduce you to 21 gorgeous varieties of Begonias.
Begonias are native to the tropics and subtropics all over the world, including Mexico, South and Central America, Africa, India and many areas of southeast Asia. There are nearly 2000 accepted species of Begonias.
According to the American Begonia Society, Begonias are classified into three main categories:
- Tuberous: This group grows from tubers (they’re modified stems, which you can think of as similar to bulbs) and many have big and beautiful flowers.
- Fibrous: These have only fibrous roots (versus having rhizomes or tubers as well). Many are commonly used as summer bedding plants.
- Rhizomatous: These grow from a rhizome (thickened underground stem) that normally grows horizontally. These are mainly grown for their colorful foliage.
21 Beautiful Begonia Types For Your Indoor Garden
1. Begonia maculata ‘Wightii’
Begonia maculata ‘Wightii’ adds immense decorative value to your indoor space with its remarkable foliage. It’s aptly called the “Polka Dot Begonia” for the bright, uniform white spots on the leaves that perfectly contrast the olive green surface with red undersides.
The plant belongs to the angel-winged Begonia variety. ‘Wightii’ is a major attention grabber and is a relatively low-maintenance cultivar.
The plant grows best in an area that receives bright, indirect sunlight without extreme heat. Aerated, well-watered soil with min. Higher humidity is a must to keep the plant healthy. With the right care, the plant produces clusters of bell-shaped pinkish or white flowers.
2. Begonia ‘Gryphon’
Begonia ‘Gryphon’ is a gorgeous cultivar known for its majestic foliage. The maple shaped leaves are splashed with silver and purplish patterns that look spectacular against the dark green background.
Gryphon is an easy to maintain cultivar. It requires regular watering, bright and indirect sunlight with fair humidity levels. The soil has to be well-draining.
3. Begonia ‘Maurice Amey’
Begonia ‘Maurice Amey’ (a type of cane begonia) boasts of the one of the best looking foliage in the Begonia family.
It is named in honor of the late Maurice Amey, a member of the American Begonia society. The plant grows like a tall bush with big leaves, featuring alternate shades of green, metallic pink and coppery red.
The more sunlight it receives, the pinker the leaves become.
In ideal light and soil conditions, ‘Maurice Amey’ produces reddish flowers which go unnoticed amidst the beauty of the foliage. It is a vigorous cultivar.
4. Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’
If you are a collector of rare plants, the Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ is not to be missed. This rare variety of Begonia features round leaves in green to bronze colors with light green venation.
The plant is commonly known as the Beef Steak Begonia or the Kidney Begonia for its resemblance to an aged beef steak. It has hybrid qualities and can survive well in tropical and milder temperatures.
Beef Steak Begonia is not a fussy plant and is beginner-friendly.
5. Begonia pavonina
Begonia pavonina is an exotic Begonia species that is found in the cool mountains of Malaysia.
It looks like a normal Begonia until light falls on the leaves at certain angles to reveal a magical, iridescent nature. The green leaves turn into a beautiful peacock blue with copper undersides earning the plant its other name, Peacock Begonia.
This color-changing phenomenon is known to help the plant survive in extreme low-light conditions of its natural habitat.
This species requires very high humidity, and is best grown in a terrarium or greenhouse environment.
6. Begonia ‘Lucerna’
Begonia ‘Lucerna’ is another variety of the Angel-winged Begonia, known for its eye-catching foliage. The leaves have red undersides,are fairly large, and feature silvery spots against an olive green background.
The plant is also known as the Bat-Winged Begonia for the foliage’s resemblance to bat wings. It produces red to pink colored flowers which are only secondary to the foliage in beauty.
Lucerna is a fast grower and can reach heights up to 6 to 8 feet. It is a relatively low-maintenance plan which prefers shade to partial sun, warm temperatures and well-drained soil.
7. Begonia ‘Pink Minx’
Begonia ‘Pink Minx’ is a gorgeous variety of Begonia that captivates our senses with its pink foliage and flowers. The leaves feature deep cuts with splashes of silvery-pink against the dark green background.
The pink colored flowers hang in clusters and are captivating.
Pink Minx is a humidity lover and prefers slightly higher humidity levels than other Begonia types. Along with providing its ideal growing conditions, pinching out the tips will encourage a bushier, fuller appearance.
8. Begonia ‘Bower’s Black’
It’s not hard to explain why the Begonia ‘Bower’s Black’ is one of the most beautiful varieties of Begonia.
This bewitching beauty has small leaves with a greenish-black, velvety surface and stripes of yellowish green.
A closer look at the plant reveals its true grace and charm in the form of tiny ‘eyelashes’ at the ends of the leaves.
It produces pinkish-white blooms which contrast nicely with the foliage.
Bower’s Black or Eyelash Begonia is a dwarf Begonia type which works well as an indoor and terrarium plant. It is fairly easy to grow and does well in bright, indirect sunlight with warm temperatures and high humidity levels.
9. Begonia egregia
Begonia egregia is a rare species of Begonia, endemic to the southeast of Brazil. The foliage looks remarkably different from the other species in its family as the leaves fold inwards, and are long and coarse with reddish serrated edges.
It produces clusters of white flowers that add additional interest.
10. Begonia sericoneura var. lindleyana
Begonia Sericoneura var. Lindleyana is an unusual variety of Begonia that is grown for its exquisite foliage. The fairly large leaves display a bright green color with red markings and bullate appearance.
The foliage has a fuzzy texture with tiny hairs that grows on the surface, inviting you to touch and feel the plant.
As a bonus, the plant also produces small, white flowers, which take a backseat to the impressive beauty of the foliage.
The plant is terrarium and indoor friendly and prefers bright, indirect sunlight with aerated, well-draining soils and consistent humidity levels.
11. Begonia melanobullata
Begonia melanobullata is a unique Begonia variety that looks attractive and intimidating at the same time. The plant gets the name melanobullata from the black teeth-like projections or bullae that grow on top of the bright green surface of the leaves.
It looks otherworldly and adds incredible decorative value to your home.
Melanobullata grows in the mountainous regions of Vietnam and grows well in terrariums and greenhouses. It requires high humidity levels, bright, indirect sunlight, and aerated potting mix.
12. Begonia amphioxus
Begonia amphioxus or Pink Spotted Begonia is an exotic Begonia species with foliage that commands attention. It is a newly discovered species that was first spotted in the tropical jungles of Borneo.
The leaves are lance-shaped with pointy ends and feature pinkish-red spots against the green background. Although it produces small green flowers, they are less attractive than the foliage.
Owing to its tropical origin, the plant is naturally a humidity lover and requires more than 60% of consistent humidity levels to survive. It also demands precise care and attention, making it not-so-beginner-friendly.
13. Begonia brevirimosa
Begonia brevirimosa tops the of list of Begonia species with the most beautiful foliage. The leaves have a natural variegation of pink and black which look as though someone painted them.
The foliage colors deepen in warmer temperatures with exposure to bright light, compared to cooler temperatures. The showy pink and white flowers grow all year, adding charm and beauty to the plant.
Brevirimosa needs high humidity (if you can’t provide this, you might want to skip this plant), bright, indirect light and high humidity levels. In addition, fertile, well-draining potting mix is important to keep the plant healthy.
14. Begonia ‘Escargot’
Begonia ‘Escargot’ has one of the most interesting and dramatic foliage in the
Begonia family. The hairy leaves look like escargot or snails with spiral leaf shapes and stunning patterns.
It’s also called a Painted-leaf Begonia for its beautiful greenish-silver variegation.
It will even reward you with pretty pink flowers if you provide the right conditions.
Escargot prefers moderate to bright indirect sunlight with high humidity levels. The top layers of soil must get dry between waterings and the potting mix should be loose and well-draining.
15. Begonia ferox
Begonia ferox has an uncanny resemblance with the Begonia melanobullata because of its spiky leaves. It is native to China and grows as a lithophyte.
The major difference between the two is that ferox develops the thorny projections on mature leaves while melanobullata has them much earlier.
Ferox looks unfriendly because of its ferocious appearance but is actually a lovely, non-fussy species if you can provide higher humidity with good air flow . It also prefers moist soils with bright indirect sunlight.
In ideal conditions, the plant can grow around 12 to 15 inches tall and works well for terrariums.
16. Begonia kingiana
Begonia kingiana is a rare Begonia species, native to Thailand and Malaysia, that features the most unusual-looking foliage.
The plant has teardrop-shaped leaves with bright green venation and deep green to maroon spots, forming beautiful, iridescent patterns. With age, the colors get deeper and the patterns turn more prominent.
Kingiana is a compact-sized plant that grows well in pots and terrariums. The plant appreciates moderate to high humidity levels and bright, indirect light. Soil needs to be medium-draining to retain certain amount of moisture in between waterings.
17. Begonia luxurians
Begonia luxurians or Palm tree Begonia is an unusual species of Begonia, native to Brazil, that features long, palmate leaves. The leaflets have a green surface with reddish copper undersides and crimson red stems, giving an appearance of a palm tree.
Apart from its eccentric foliage, the plant also produces clusters of white fragrant flowers from early spring to summer.
Luxurians prefers medium humidity levels, warm temperatures and bright indirect sunlight. It can grow up to 6 to 8 feet tall in good conditions.
This plant prefers cooler temperatures and very high humidity.
18. Begonia acetosa
Begonia acetosa is a popular Begonia species, native to Brazil, and grown for its glamorous foliage.
The cupped leaves have a lavish, velvety appearance with yellowish venation and red undersides. It
produces clusters of small white flowers that add to the beauty of the plant.
The growing needs of acetosa are very similar to those of other Begonia types. It is a humidity lover which needs warm temperatures and bright, indirect sunlight to thrive. Well-draining potted mix with consistent moisture levels are important to maintain its health.
19. Begonia ‘Marmaduke’
Begonia ‘Marmaduke’ holds a special place in the family of Begonias with its theatrical appearance.
The maple-shaped leaves feature chocolatey brown speckles on neon yellow background, a color combo that looks too good to be real.
In addition to its extraordinary leaves, it also produces pretty white flowers in late winter.
Marmaduke demands lot of humidity and well-draining soil with consistent moisture levels.
20. Begonia soli-mutata
Begonia soli-mutata is a variety of Begonia that comes with a striking foliage and a very special feature unique to the plant.
The heavily textured leaves have a color-changing ability when exposed to sunlight, earning the plant its another name, Sun change Begonia. The green surface with light green veins turns into darker shades of green with red venation and undersides.
Although the plant loves sun and responds well to light, you must keep it away from harsh afternoon rays. Part sun with warm temperatures and high humidity is ideal for the plant’s growth.
21. Begonia ‘Fireworks’
Begonia ‘Fireworks’ has some of the most dramatic foliage in its family, resembling a spectacular display of fireworks. The leaves are covered with shades of pink, purple and metallic silver which create an unusually artistic pattern.
The plant also produces gorgeous pink flowers which makes it an irresistible pick for an indoor garden.
The best part about this plant is its low-maintenance, non-fussy nature. You can easily grow it by maintaining part to full shade, high humidity and warm temperatures in the room.
Giving a good amount of fertilizer during its initial stages guarantee a stronger and taller growth rate.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on beautiful Begonia types. Do you have any begonias indoors? Comment below. I’d love to hear!
Tuesday 14th of March 2023
Great post! Is there anywhere I can order some of these, particularly the Begonia Escargot?? For shipment to northern California? Thanks
Wednesday 15th of March 2023
Glad you enjoyed the post! I don't know of a source offhand, but I'm sure you can easily find one with a quick google search.