Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 18, 2021)
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2021
A begonia “Spectre Silver.” COURTESY OF TERRA NOVA NURSERIES.
Oregon State University Extension
CORVALLIS – Thanks to zealous breeding and
new hybridizing techniques, begonias are booming
right along with the renaissance of houseplants.
Nicole Sanchez, horticulturist for Oregon State
University Extension Service, knows ﬁrst-hand how
rewarding begonias can be for both beginners and ex-
perts. She became a convert as a teenager when she
worked at a garden center. Now, her ﬁve plants reside
in an east window and thrive with little input. Water-
ing properly – not too much – and light fertilizer are
all it takes to grow beautiful begonias of every kind.
The variety of begonias is stunning. The leaves,
which come in many colors, can be ﬂat, pebbled,
shiny, hairy, fuzzy or spiraled. Flowers come in many
colors and grow as tiny single blossoms to foot-wide
clusters to giant double blossoms 10 inches or more in
Sanchez is particularly fond of the spiraled leaves
of the ﬁve-plant Nautilus series from Terra Nova
Nurseries in Canby, Ore. Particular favorites are “Ru-
by” with spectacular large, ruby red foliage and “Li-
lac” with violet-rose and ruby purple leaves outlined
with a glossy black margin.
“Cocoa ‘Enchanted Sunrise’ is an example of new
colors from breeding,” Sanchez said. “It has dark,
dark leaves with a salmon bloom. And there are even
interesting yellow-blooming varieties like Daystar
Sanchez credits begonia’s popularity to its exotic,
tropical look and colorful, long-lasting blooms that
can be brought into the home.
According to the American Begonia Society, there
are 1,800 species of begonias and hundreds of culti-
vars. Native to tropical and sub-tropical regions in
South and Central America as well as islands in the
Caribbean, begonias were named after Michel Begon,
a French politician and ardent plant collector. French
botanist Charles Plumier discovered a begonia in An-
tilles in 1690 and named it after Begon.
“That shows you they’ve been interesting to peo-
ple for at least 300 years as a collectible plant,” San-
chez said. “The current begonia frenzy started heat-
ing up in the early 2000s. In 2011, ‘Escargot’ was the
ﬁrst one to come on the market and it illustrated a
new era in begonias. It’s the ﬁrst one everyone got
excited about with its dramatic crinkly swirling, spi-
ral leaves that give it a lot of dimension. And it has
green and silver and burgundy to its leaves. Fantas-
Parent to many of the new hybrids is Begonia ma-
soniana ‘Iron Cross,’ a star in Sanchez’s eyes even if it
is old-fashioned because of its super-textured, dark
“The current begonia frenzy started
heating up in the early 2000s. In 2011,
‘Escargot’ was the ﬁrst one to come
on the market and it illustrated a new
era in begonias. It’s the ﬁrst one
everyone got excited about with its
dramatic crinkly swirling, spiral leaves
that give it a lot of dimension. And it
has green and silver and burgundy to
its leaves. Fantastic.”
horticulturist for Oregon State University Extension Service
green leaves with a dark patch in the middle similar to
Sanchez pointed to the 1970s, another era of house-
plant enthusiasm, as a brief ﬂing with begonias. The
begonias then had average foliage, but the long-
blooming ﬂowers – like orchids and African violets –
took them to another level. The foliage of many new
varieties is all it takes to fall in love. The beautiful ﬂow-
ers are a bonus.
Sanchez oﬀers tips for growing begonias:
Begonias prefer temperatures in the high 50s into
the 70s, which is compatible with most homes. They
take moisture from the air so you may want to consider
a humidiﬁer, or place the plant near the shower.
Begonias are easy to overwater. Check the soil for
moisture by sticking your ﬁnger in up to the ﬁrst
knuckle or picking up the pot. If it’s light, it’s time to
water. After ﬂowering, cut back on watering, lightly
fertilize and let the plant rest for a while. Don’t let a
begonia sit in water. Either drain the saucer after wa-
tering or put the pot in a saucer lined with pebbles.
Begonias like bright light, but indirect rather than
hot sunlight. Sanchez has hers in a room with windows
facing east. She suggests experimenting with light by
moving the plant from place to place. If the plants be-
gin to stretch, they need more light. If they are stunted
and/or burning, they need to be farther from the win-
dow or moved to a window with less hot light. A good
share of begonias will grow in a south window and
most will grow in either an eastern or western expo-
Begonias thrive outside in the shade when temper-
atures are above 55 degrees F.
Begonias should be fed with a fertilizer with a high-
er middle number on the label, which tells you the per-
centage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium the
fertilizer contains. African violet fertilizer is a good
choice. Dilute it to half strength before using.
Begonias have few problems if watered correctly.
When overwatered, roots will rot and the plant will die.
Sometimes, aphids will ﬁnd a begonia, but they aren’t
hard to eradicate.
Public Notices are published by the Statesman Journal and
available online at w w w . S t a t e s m a n J o u r n a l . c o m . The
Statesman Journal lobby is open Monday - Friday from
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can reach them by phone at 503-399-6789.
In order to receive a quote for a public notice you must
e-mail your copy to SJLegals@StatesmanJournal.com , and
our Legal Clerk will return a proposal with cost, publication
date(s), and a preview of the ad.
LEGAL/PUBLIC NOTICE DEADLINES
All Legals Deadline @ 1:00 p.m. on all days listed below:
***All Deadlines are subject to change when there is a
The Silverton Appeal Tribune is a one day a week
(Wednesday) only publication
• Wednesday publication deadlines the Wednesday prior
LEGAL/PUBLIC NOTICE RATES
Silverton Appeal Tribune:
• Wednesdays only - $12.15/per inch/per time
• Online Fee - $21.00 per time
• Affidavit Fee - $10.00 per Affidavit requested