Name: Begonia X Hiemalis aka Rieger begonias aka the Solenia Series Begonia
Type of Plant: Begonias that are a cross between the wax begonias and the tuberous begonia, producing a plant with a larger flower that can be grown in sun or shade.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: First of all, I love annuals that flower from the end of May until hard frost with no deadheading required. The Solenia begonias fall into this group. Secondly, I love an annual that grows in sun or shade. This is especially useful if you have window boxes or containers that get varying levels of sunlight and yet you want the plants that fill them to match. And I love annuals that come in a range of colors so that I can play with different combinations every year. The Rieger begonias check all of those boxes.
These begonias have a solid presence, in both foliage and flower, so they combine well with plants that are finer, such as Juncus reeds, asparagus ferns, thinner salvias, or Diamond Frost Euphorbia.
A Word to the Wise: Like most begonias, you don’t want to keep these too wet because if you do they are prone to crown rot. Just try to water the containers in the morning, so that the soil isn’t wet around the plants all night, and let the surface of the soil dry out between soakings.