Begonia plants don’t tolerate cold temperatures, but are hardy in warm temperatures with some shade. According to the University of Florida, there are more than 1,000 species of begonia, all with different appearances but the same basic requirements for care.
Begonias have single or double flowers with smooth or ruffled petals, and range in size from 8 inches to 2 feet high depending on the variety. Begonias’ variegated foliage ranges in color from grayish green to cream and bronze.
Begonias will bloom all year when grown in USDA zones 10 and 11. When grown in other zones, the begonias are grown as annuals and bloom in season. Begonias need some sun, but a morning sun with afternoon shade is the best. The afternoon sun is the hottest and can burn the leaves of the begonia plants.
Indoor and outdoor begonias are vulnerable to white flies, spider mites and mealybugs. Plants grown outdoors are prone to snails, slugs and scale. Fungus attacks the begonias when the plants are left sitting in water for long periods. Fungal diseases include stem rot, powdery mildew and Botris blight.