More Fabulous Foliage

Begonia ‘Escargot’

What a fabulous–if somewhat pretentious–name for this rhizamatous begonia. My plant is still very young but you can tell by the leaves that it will get quite large someday. I think that I got it just this spring and its already been through 2 container upgrades.

I am hoping to keep it in this container through winter just because of windowsill space but I am not sure that’s going to be possible. We’ll see.

Begonia ‘Marmalade’

It’s easier to see why these begonias are called rhizamatous begonias–the rhizome is visible curling over the edge of the container with the leaves growing down at the front of the plant in this photo.

This is one of my favorite begonias. I actually have 2 of them because I like it so much. It just brightens up a window and cheers up a place through a long dark winter. Mine have never bloomed but with leaves like this, I don’t care.

I find in general that rhizamatous begonias are more forgiving than other begonias about watering practices, particularly once the cooler, darker days of winter sets in. As a general rule, indoor begonias are temperamental and can easily be overwatered in the cold days of winter. But these will forgive an occasional dousing without rotting. Just don’t do so on a regular basis!

As with all begonias, if you have to err, keep them on the drier side.

And these will live a long time. I had one rhizamatous begonia for over 40 years. I shared pieces of it with many people. And then it just faded away. I think plants, like people, have a natural lifespan. It had had a good life.

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