Indoor Wax Begonias Growing Instructions

Wax Begonias

Emma DowneyByEmma Downey
Updated on 8/13/2022

Wax begonias are the name of a vast genus of plants that consists of more than 2,000 annual, perennial, and woody shrub species native to tropical and subtropical climates worldwide. These species are found nowhere else in the world. Even though wax begonias are technically classified as warm-climate perennials, the Begonia x Semperflorens Group, also known as the Semperflorens Cultorum Group, is comprised of varieties of wax begonia that are most typically used as bedding annuals. The Semperflorens Cultorum Group is another name for this particular collective. These plants have fibrous roots and have a compact, bushy mounded look with meaty stems, dark green or golden waxy leaves, and loose clusters of flowers that bloom throughout the summer and into the fall. They bloom throughout the summer and into the fall.

Wax Begonias

The kind of begonia known as the wax is among the most popular types of bedding plants utilized in landscaping. Every spring, numerous flats of these resilient plants are planted in the ground to develop flower beds that are vibrant with life and color. This process takes place every spring. These flowers are utilized extensively because the plants from which they originate are hardy and persistent bloomers that give sweeping color in either single or double blooms. It should come as no surprise why they are used so frequently.

In the spring, wax begonias can be developed from bedding flats or potted plants that start in a greenhouse. These wax begonias are then ready to be planted in the ground. It is also possible to cultivate them from seeds; however, the initial development of the plants is relatively slow, and it may take several months for the plants to mature to the point where they can produce blooms. Because of this, seeds are often started inside about 12 weeks before the final frost that can reasonably be predicted to be expected.

In spite of the fact that the vast majority of people are under the impression that wax begonias are plants that can only be grown outside, the fact of the matter is that wax begonias make wonderful houseplants and, provided that they are maintained in the appropriate conditions, can even mature into genuine perennials.

Wax Begonias

  • Botanical Name: Begonia (Semperflorens Cultorum Group)
  • Known most commonly as the wax begonia.
  • Herbaceous perennials are the type of plant in question (frequently planted as an annual)
  • Mature Size: 6–12 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to half shade
  • The kind of soil is a moist, well-drained loam.
  • Soil pH: 5.5–6.5 (slightly acidic)
  • Bloom Time: Late summer until early autumn
  • Colors of the flowers include white, pink, red, and bicolors.
  • USDA Hardiness Zones 10–11; often grown as annuals across the country
  • South America was its original home.
    Toxicity dangerous for animals

Wax Begonia Care

Because the wax begonia is a plant native to tropical regions, it requires high temperature and humidity conditions to grow. They will do poorly in either exceedingly dry or icy surroundings since they are most likely to flourish in states with a constant presence of moisture. The growth of these plants requires relatively little maintenance as long as they are planted in an area that is exposed to full sun to partial shade and has reasonably rich soil and good drainage.

Wax begonias are not complex plants to cultivate indoors and may be included in a massed windowsill planting for the rich interior color. Wax begonias can also be grown outside in warm climates. Begonias may be successfully cultivated inside with a minimal amount of additional care. Pinch off wasted blooms and remove any brown or wilted foliage as soon as you detect them to keep the plants looking as fresh as possible. That will help maintain the plants' vibrant appearance.


Wax begonias do best in the garden when presented with bright, filtered sunshine; nonetheless, they can flourish in full sun in all climates except the hottest and most severe ones. The varieties with green leaves are inclined to tolerate the sun's unbearable heat a little better than those with bronze leaves because of the color of the leaves. If you are growing wax begonias inside potted plants, you need to ensure that they are exposed to as much bright light as possible. Winds facing east, west, or south are preferable since these orientations provide sufficient natural light to enter the residence. However, windows that face any other direction are acceptable.


When planted in the garden, wax begonias require a constant quantity of moisture, at least 0.5 centimeters (1/4 inch) per week, and this is the minimum amount of irrigation they can tolerate. When you need to go longer between waterings, applying a thick layer of mulch on top of the soil can help keep the soil wet and allow you to go longer between waterings. When the ground in an indoor potted plant has dried out to a depth of at least half an inch, it is time to give the plant some water. They have to drink a substantial quantity of water, and then the container should be allowed to empty its contents.


Plants that have been given sufficient time to grow established have a reduced water need and may be able to go for more extended periods without needing to be watered. When you water the plant, ensure it gets the right amount of water, and let the soil completely drain out of the container before reinstalling the top. They should not be allowed sit in water since this encourages root rot to develop, which is something that one should avoid.

Temperature And Hmidity

The development of wax begonias thrives in environments with temperatures that vary from mild to warm. They, like other begonias, are susceptible to drafts of cold air and cannot resist temperatures that drop below freezing; nonetheless, they will thrive well in situations with temperatures in the 60s. Extremely high humidity can be detrimental to the health of indoor plants because it encourages the growth of mildew on the plant's leaves, which can cause the plant to die. When cultivated outside, these plants thrive in conditions with a lot of moisture in the air.


Wax begonias are not very particular about the type of soil in which they grow; as long as the ground in the garden has adequate drainage, they should be able to thrive there. You can improve dense soils by working with organic matter such as peat moss or comparable organic supplement. In addition to such organic modifications, you might also utilize others. Wax begonias do best when grown in pots indoors, where they demand a soil that is open, light, and well-drained; who may find these qualities in a regular all-purpose potting mix. Growing wax begonias in containers also provides the best opportunity for them to thrive.

Wax Begonias


It is essential to fertilize the plants in your garden at least once a month using a granular or liquid fertilizer with a proper nutritional balance. If you have potted indoor plants, you should fertilize them once a week at one-fourth strength or twice a week at a concentration of one-half power using liquid fertilizer. Applying fertilizer to your plant that is high in phosphorus content every third or fourth time you feed it is optimal.

Wax Begonia Varieties

The vast majority of plants currently sold as wax begonias in nurseries are hybrids created from a relatively limited number of parent plants. The B. cucullata, which was once referred to as the B. semperflorens, is the progenitor regarded as the most essentially significant. This plant has been subjected to extensive breeding attempts over several years. The Semperflorens cultorum group is the name that has been given to the collective name of its countless progeny. The breeder is responsible for determining the plants' characteristics, even though these plants have been hybridized to generate various colors and heights. Additionally, the B. schmidtiana species is included in the semperflorens group as a member species in both of those groups. According to the American Begonia Society, this plant has a velvety feel that you can feel on both its tiny leaves and its many branches.

light for wax begonia

Some superior cultivars include:

  • 'Super Olympia' is a cultivar that blooms early and is famous for its extensive white, pink, or red blossoms. It is named for the city of Olympia in Washington.
  • "Varsity" refers to the fact that this particular cultivar is ideally suited for cultivation in containers. Depending on the kind, it can have red, white, or pink blooms.
  • 'Paint Splash Pink' is a type of plant known for its colorful leaves, which are green and marked with cream dots and blotches. It is distinguished by its blossoms, a peculiar shade of light pink.
  • This series is known as the 'Victory series,' and its members have leaves that are bronze in color and produce huge, beautiful blooms.
  • The 'Cocktail series' refers to a group of dwarf cultivars that grow to a height of between 6 and 8 inches.

Wax Begonia Repotting And Potting

Once they have achieved their total capacity, wax begonias cultivated indoors in pots may quickly establish themselves as hardy specimens that require very little upkeep once they have reached their full potential. Most people transport their houseplants in jars onto an outside space such as a deck or patio for the duration of the warm weather months and then bring them back inside when the temperature drops.

When growing wax begonias, the most excellent potting soil to use is one that can be used for various plant cultivation and includes peat. In addition, the container's size ought to be on the more little side. Wax begonias love to have some of their roots contained, and they won't need to be repotted every often—at most, once or twice in their lifetimes. That reduces the frequency with which they need to be done. Wax begonias have a potential lifespan of up to fifty years. Instead of dealing with the hassle of reporting and recovering lanky specimens. That is accurate in the vast majority of circumstances.

Wax Begonia Repotting And Potting

In the spring, if you need to repot your plant, do so into a container that is somewhat larger than it was previously, and use potting soil that is fresh, rich in organic matter, and has good drainage.

Propagating Wax Begonia

Large-scale nurseries were responsible for developing and breeding the great majority of the wax begonias currently available for purchase. These hybrids are classified as F1. These plants are unable to reproduce from seed correctly; nevertheless, just like wide other varieties of begonias, they may be easily propagated by cuttings taken from the leaf tips. Take cuttings from the plant that are not producing blooms but have at least two nodes each, bury them in the moist potting soil mix, and then place the potted plant in a warm spot where who will somewhat shadow it? Until new growth begins. If you want the best possible outcomes, it is advised that you collect cuttings throughout the spring.

Typical Pests And Illnesses

Wax begonias are susceptible to diseases like powdery mildew, botrytis, and stem rot when the atmosphere around them is humid and there is little air circulation. That is true whether they are planted outside or indoors in containers.


The use of insecticidal soap is an effective method for getting rid of a wide variety of insect pests, including mealybugs and thrips.

Begonias of the variety known as wax begonias are consistently ranked among the most popular bedding plants used in landscaping. Many flats of these hardy plants are planted in the ground during the spring months of each year to create flower gardens that are bursting with life and color. This procedure is carried out once a year in the spring. These flowers are used extensively because the plants from which they originate are tough and persistent bloomers that produce sweeping colors in either single or double blooms. Because of these qualities, the plants themselves are employed extensively. Why they are utilized in such a widespread manner should not come as a surprise to anyone.