Even though Spring Equinox is in March, April is the month that really feels like Spring for many of us. April brings us the Easter holiday and for many a much needed Spring Break. April is also full of fun days for the gardening community… Earth Day on April 22nd is a great day to celebrate all of nature’s gifts. National Arbor Day on April 30th is a day to honor and plant trees. For us here at Weidners Gardens, April is a month to celebrate ‘All-things Begonias.’ Early Spring our customers start inquiring about when the retail center will fill with all of our colorful hanging baskets and we are happy that the time has finally come!
It all started with Evelyn Weidner’s love of begonias. The Weidner’s were growing houseplants when they decided to expand and plant fields of begonias. Evelyn would then take them out to the corner and sit under her umbrella to sell to passersby. This was so successful that they expanded to other flowering varieties like fuchsias and impatiens. To this day, the “Pick Your Own Begonia” field is a time honored tradition at Weidner’s!
Weidners is a local producer of begonias of many different types. Here we explain a few of the different varieties we carry…
Cane or ‘Angel Wing’ Begonia
We feel these are the most underrated Begonias! Cane Begonias have large leaves shaped like angel’s wings that come in many different patterns and colors. The cane description is due to their long, heavy stems that are cane-like. These are great shade plants in the ground or in pots. These larger varieties can grow to 3-4 feet with beautiful foliage and graceful sprays of pink begonia flowers.
Solenia is the first of the Reiger (elatior) type of begonias that is hybridized to be tough enough to be called a ‘Bedding Begonia’. That means you can plant them right in the ground in a shady area. Solenia will also go inside like a regular Rieger begonia, in a bright open window area.
Tuberous Begonias are adored for their amazing blooms. These include our Nonstop and Iconia varieties. Although many like to pot them for indoor use, Tuberous Begonias make an excellent bedding plant. Another variety grown here is Encanto – a very popular hanging basket begonia that makes a statement with it’s bright orange or white flowers. Encanto can take full sun but Nonstop and Iconia will need shade outdoors. Tuberous begonias are in season mid-March until the end of October when you can cut them back while they go dormant over winter.
These rhizomatous begonias are grown for their multicolored leaves. They have become a popular collectors plant with many different hybrids available. These will bloom but they are not grown for their flowers. Rex begonia needs shade.
By far the easiest Begonia. Green to reddish waxy leaves with pink or red flowers. Can be hung in baskets or put in the ground. Here in Southern California Begonia Richmondensis is a perennial plant that stays hardy year round. You will find Begonia Richmondensis is a popular landscape shrub that can take full sun.