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Lily Pad Begonia

Begonia nelumbiifolia

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Lily Pad Begonia (Begonia nelumbiifolia) at Satellite Garden Centre

Lily Pad Begonia

Lily Pad Begonia

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spacing:  3 feet

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Lilypad Begonia, Lotus Leaved Begonia

Description:

An outstanding begonia with huge, rounded glossy green leaves for a visual impact in the garden; clusters of white blooms rise above the foliage in late winter into spring; grows well in humid conditions and can get quite large in frost free climates

Ornamental Features

Lily Pad Begonia features showy clusters of white orchid-like flowers with gold throats rising above the foliage from late winter to early spring. Its attractive large glossy round leaves remain dark green in colour with distinctive crimson veins throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Lily Pad Begonia is a dense herbaceous annual with a mounded form. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. It is a good choice for attracting birds, bees and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Lily Pad Begonia is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Lily Pad Begonia will grow to be about 30 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 3 feet apart. Although it's not a true annual, this plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

Lily Pad Begonia is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features