Virtues: Surefire Begonia comes in a red and rose variety. This bedding annual doesn’t require much, if any, pruning, and deer aren’t very fond of it. This plant is colorful throughout the summer and fall, blooms persistently and requires no deadheading. It has a medium texture and can be combined with finer or coarser plants to create a balanced garden.
Common name: Surefire begonia
Botanical name:Begonia benariensis Surefire Series
Flowers: Surefire begonias have delicately clustered flowers that are oval shaped and bring orchids to mind. The 2.5-inch flowers are quick to bloom and are supported by stems that end with a yellow throat.
Foliage: The Surefire is an evergreen where hardy, with dark, glossy green leaves that are pointed at the end. It will tolerate pruning, but is most attractive without it. The foliage normally stays dense all the way to the ground
Habit: Surefire begonia grows upright and spreading. At maturity, the plant can be expected to reach 12 to 24 inches tall and spread 18 to 24 inches. It is drought tolerant, but can withstand substantial downpours.
How to grow it: This begonia can be raised in full sun, partial shade and even full shade. For optimal growth, keep the soil moist but well drained. Applying mulch around the roots throughout the growing season will help lock in moisture. The plant isn’t extremely sensitive to soil pH, but it flourishes in rich soils. Surefire begonias will eventually die in standing water. With all begonias, watch out for aphids, botrytis and powdery mildew. This is a great landscaping plant and also does well in hanging baskets, pots and window boxes. USDA Zones 9–11; grown as an annual elsewhere.
Find the best flowering and foliage plants for shaded spaces in the book Top Ten Lists for Beautiful Shade Gardens by Kerry Ann Mendez.
Get a step-by-step tutorial on getting a new garden off to a great start with the download Preparing a New Bed.