Check out these 25 dazzling blossoms resembling begonias. The flowers are not the only stunners here. Their foliage has also fascinating charms boasting their psychedelic leaves making them a total package.
Begonias are a super diverse group of plants belonging to the Begoniaceae family. There are over 1800 different species in the Begonia genus. Begonias grow naturally in subtropical and tropical regions of the world. Cultivated begonias enjoy hot, humid conditions and prefer growing in the shade.
Gardeners and horticulturalists are dazzled by the variety of flowers and fascinating foliage that begonias have to offer. Some species are grown for their showy, rose-like flowers in neon colors, while others are grown for their multicolored, psychedelic leaves.
Begonias are grouped into the following types, according to the kind of roots they have:
- Fibrous-rooted begonias have a regular ball of thin roots. Some have been cultivated to be hardy to zone 6, so they are often grown as perennials. Species like Begonia grandis have large heart-shaped leaves. Most species have relatively small flowers with waxy white or pink petals. There are many different cultivars in a wide range of colors.
- Tuberous begonias, like Begonia × tuberhybrida,and Begonia semperflorens are usually grown as annual flowers. They are hardy to zones 10 through 11 and can perennialize. These types of begonias have a round, tuberous root. They have really showy flowers in many different neon colors.
- Rhizomatous begonias have fleshy stems and roots that crawl along the surface of the soil. These begonias are most often grown for their weird and wonderful foliage. They are the most shade-loving of all begonias and make great houseplants as they are only hardy in zones 10 and 11.
Begonias are summer flowering, but if you treat them carefully, they can flower for most of the year. All begonias are easy to grow and take care of – perfect for beginner gardeners. They grow very well in pots, containers, and hanging baskets.
The following plants share many characteristics with begonias:
Table of Contents
- 1. Hardy Geraniums
- 2. Pelargoniums
- 3. Coleus
- 4. Impatiens
- 5. Lobelia
- 6. Angelonia
- 7. Moss Rose
- 8. Vincas
- 9. Silver Ponysfoot
- 10. Creeping Jenny
- 11. Coral Bells
- 12. Wishbone Flower
- 13. Fuchsias
- 14. Persian Shield
- 15. Petunias
- 16. Dahlias
- 17. Bellflower
- 18. Barrenwort
- 19. Creeping Veronica
- 20. Siberian Bugloss
- 21. Green and Gold
- 22. Yellow Wood Poppy
- 23. Purple Coneflower
- 24. Cosmos
- 25. Pansies
1. Hardy Geraniums
Hardy geraniums, like Geranium sanguineum, are significantly different from the annual geraniums (which are actually pelargoniums) we buy for patio containers or bedding flowers. Hardy Geraniums grow in low bushes and bloom in white, red, purple, pink, or blue from spring through fall. The flowers look very similar to some tuberous begonias.
They perform well in partial shade, and some varieties flourish in full shade. Hardy geraniums are grown as perennials in zones 4 through 8. Plant them in soil amended with perlite for drainage and water them regularly, especially during the growing season.
Annual geraniums belong to the genus Pelargonium and are therefore not actually geraniums, but pelargoniums. These popular container and bedding flowers are grown as annuals but are hardy in zones 10 and up.
They produce clusters of pink, red, orange, salmon, violet, and white flowers for a long time in summer. They grow 10 to 18 inches tall, creating a carpet of color. The flowers are strikingly similar to tuberous begonias.
Pelargoniums enjoy rich, well-draining soil that is kept moist. They will benefit from a monthly feed with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer. Deadhead them to keep the flowers coming!
Coleus or Plectranthus scutellarioides, has bold, multicolored foliage, similar to Rex begonias, and is grown for its leaves rather than its flowers. These shade-loving plants are hardy in zones 10 and 11 but are grown as an annual elsewhere. They are fabulous for adding texture and color to mixed containers and hanging baskets.
Coleus likes to grow in fertile soil that drains well. Water them regularly for the first few months, but once they have been established these plants can be quite drought tolerant. They grow into colorful 18- to 24-inch-tall bushes.
Like begonias, impatiens is a shade-loving plant, although cultivars that tolerate full sun have been developed. Because of their brilliantly colored blossoms and ability to grow in gloomy corners of the garden, impatiens is a well-loved staple for gardeners around the world.
In all save the hottest climates, these plants are cultivated as annuals, despite the fact that they are actually tropical perennials (zones 10 to 12). Impatiens walleriana is the common garden variety. In spring and summer, they produce a profusion of white, red, pink, violet, coral, purple, and yellow flowers.
Named after the Latin word impatiens, which means “impatient”, their name comes from the fact that even a gentle touch may trigger their mature seed pods to burst open (as if they cannot wait to open).
Impatiens likes to grow in rich, fertile soils that are slightly acidic. They grow 6 to 36 inches tall, depending on the cultivar. It is better to grow them from seedlings from the nursery than from seeds.
Lobelia erinus is a delicate perennial plant that is cultivated as an annual in most USDA zones. They have a trailing growth habit, come in a variety of hues, and are wonderful plants for hanging baskets, mixed containers, and in the border.
Lobelia does not need a lot of upkeep. Because the plant self-cleans, there is no need to deadhead it. Lobelia prefers growing in shady areas in the garden, like begonias.
It tends to wilt in full sun during extremely hot summers. Sun scorched lobelias can be rescued by pruning them and watering them on a regular basis.
Angelonia angustifolia, also known as the summer snapdragon, is a flower native to Mexico and the West Indies. Angelonia’s beautiful spires of colorful flowers are a refreshing addition to your summer landscape. Like begonias, they flower during summer and are popular annual flowers in the border or in containers.
These low maintenance plants grow into 18-inch-tall bushes and produce tall spikes of white, purple, and pink flowers that smell like grapes.
In frost-free regions, Angelonia is a perennial. Unlike begonias, it prefers full sun and grows best in well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Once established, it can handle drought well. It tolerates heat and humidity well too.
7. Moss Rose
Portulaca grandiflora, known simply as portulaca or moss rose, is a tough little succulent native to South America. They have a sprawling growth form and form a mat of vegetation that makes a great groundcover. Moss rose only reaches a height of 3 to 9 inches.
Because of its attractive, bright flowers and drought tolerance, portulaca is a guaranteed winner for any container or hanging basket. Cup-shaped blooms in red, fuchsia, orange, purple, pink, yellow, and white adorn this easy-to-grow annual succulent.
Plant portulaca seeds or seedlings in a sunny location and water them during periods of drought. They are quick-growing and enjoys heat and humidity, making it a solid summer performer. Moss roses are hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11.
Catharanthus roseus, or vinca, is a tropical perennial from Madagascar that is cultivated as an annual bedding plant worldwide. Annual vinca has blooms that resemble impatiens and begonias, but rather than preferring the shade, it thrives in full sun.
They grow into small shrubs, between 6 to 18 inches in height and are a brilliant filler plant for empty spots in your summer border. All through summer and fall, they produce white, pink, red, or mauve flowers. After the last frost date in your area, plant vinca seedlings in sandy, loamy soil that drains well.
Vincas have been well-loved garden plants for a long time, and until recently, were considered a little old-fashioned. Horticulturists have worked hard to develop new colors of vinca with spectacular blooms that are easy to grow from seed, drought-tolerant, and pest free.
9. Silver Ponysfoot
Dichondra Argentea, or silver ponyfoot, is a low-growing, creeping, trailing plant that is native to the deserts of Central America. Like begonias, they are mostly grown for their beautiful metallic foliage, and they are excellent plants for hanging baskets because they cascade down. They can also be used as groundcover.
It is named after the shape of the leaf, which resembles the underside of a horse’s hoof. The flowers are tiny and yellow-green. Because it is native to arid areas, silver ponyfoot is a very drought hardy species.
Silver ponyfoot is a low maintenance plant if they are established properly. When planting it, add horticultural grit or sharp sand to increase drainage. They need a lot of water initially, but if the soil stays wet for prolonged periods, it will harm the plant.
10. Creeping Jenny
Lysimachia nummularia, or creeping Jenny is an evergreen plant native to Western Asia and Europe. It is a low-growing, trailing plant that is grown mainly for its foliage. It grows long tendrils of small, round, semi-succulent leaves that are bright lime green. They produce small, yellow flowers in the summer.
Creeping Jenny is a popular species of groundcover as it only reaches 2 to 4 inches tall. They are also beautiful plants in containers and hanging baskets due to their trailing growth form.
Hardy to USDA zones 4 through 9, creeping Jenny is relatively cold tolerant and will perennialize in most gardens. They like growing in very wet, boggy soil but still need good drainage. Creeping Jenny can grow in partial shade or full sun.
11. Coral Bells
Native to North America, Heuchera, or coral bells are shade-loving perennials that are grown for their foliage. The hairy, evergreen leaves grow in shades of maroon, purple, rose, gold, and chartreuse, much like many Rex begonias.
These plants are great for growing in containers to add year-round interest to groupings of pot plants. They grow to a height of about 10 to 20 inches and make fantastic border plants. Coral bells can grow in sunny or partially shaded areas of the garden. Plant them in fertile, well-draining soil and keep them moist.
12. Wishbone Flower
Torenia fournieri, or the wishbone flower, is a shade-loving plant, like begonias. They can grow and flower in full shade. These herbaceous annuals are native to Asia and are hardy in zones 2 to 11.
Like begonias, they flower all summer long, producing small trumpet-shaped flowers in lavender, pink, rose, white or blue-purple with yellow markings inside.
They grow around 6 to 12 inches tall and enjoy growing in moist but well-draining, loamy soil that is slightly acidic. These plants are low-maintenance, resistant to pests, and hummingbirds and bees love them.
Fuchsia is a genus of over 100 trees and woody shrubs that is native to South America and the Caribbean. These evergreen shrubs have been cultivated and hybridized to produce many different garden varieties.
Fuchsias are ornamental plants that produce breathtaking little ballerina-like flowers in shades of pink, red, white, violet, and purple. They are grown as annuals or perennials in zones 10 and 11. Like begonias, they grow well in shady parts of the garden.
Annual fuchsias grow into a bush around 6 to 10 feet tall. They look fantastic in containers or hanging baskets as well as planted in the border. They add color and interest to the garden when they flower in summer and fall.
14. Persian Shield
Strobilanthes dyeranus, or Persian shield, is named for its ornate foliage that resembles metallic shields of armor. It has similar foliage to Begonia Rex – iridescent purple and silver patterns. In fall and winter, they flower, producing bluish-purple blooms. They make gorgeous houseplants because, like begonias, they prefer to grow in shady areas.
Persian shield is very easy to grow as an annual, and they can be grown as evergreen perennials in zones 8 to 11. They like to grow in fertile soil that is slightly acidic. Keep it well watered and they will grow into a beautiful bush around 4 feet tall.
Petunias are South American plants that have become favorite garden flowers worldwide. They work very well in pots or hanging baskets. Petunia grandiflora shares characteristics with annual begonias: they are herbaceous annuals, simple to grow and care for, and produce masses of blooms all summer long.
Unlike begonias, petunias have large, trumpet-shaped flowers in a variety of colors – pink, salmon, red, white, purple, maroon, and yellow. Some varieties grow into small shrubs, around 16 inches tall, while other cultivars can trail for up to 4 feet
Petunias flourish in any soil type as long as the soil drains well. They can grow in full sun or partial shade. Water them regularly until the plants have been established. Once they have developed a large enough root system, they can tolerate hot, dry conditions.
Dahlias are beloved summer garden flowers. Dahlia pinnata is native to Mexico. These herbaceous perennials thrive in hot, humid climates. Dahlias are grown as annuals in zones 7 to 10 but can perennialize in warm regions.
The blooms have red, orange, yellow, purple, lavender, pink, or white petals and a yellow center. They grow to over 4 feet tall, and the long stems make them excellent cut flowers.
Like tuberous begonias, dahlias are grown from bulbs. They should be planted in spring to flower in the late summer and fall. However, unlike begonias, dahlias grow well in full sun and require moist but well-draining soil.
Campanula persicifolia, or bellflower is a classic English cottage garden plant. Like begonias, bellflowers can grow in the shade, and they flower all summer long. The blooms are bright blue to violet and shaped like upward-facing little bells.
These cold-tolerant plants are hardy down to zone 3, so they are grown as perennials in most areas. They can grow in any soil type, as long as it has adequate drainage. Bellflowers need moderate watering, but established plants are quite drought hardy.
Barrenwort refers to the different species in the Epimedium genus. These plants are shade-loving, like begonias, and have heart-shaped leaves. Only reaching around 12 inches tall, barrenwort makes an excellent medium-height groundcover. They are valued more for their foliage than their subdued blooms.
Barrenwort is grown as a perennial – they are hardy from zones 5 to 9. It needs fertile, acidic soil to flourish. Once plants have been established, they tolerate dry soil but keep them regularly watered while they settle in.
19. Creeping Veronica
Veronica umbrosa, more commonly known as creeping Veronica, is a low-growing, trailing plant that produces many small blue and white flowers. Like begonias, they can grow in shady areas of the garden, but also thrive in sunny areas.
Creeping Veronica is hardy to zones 4 to 8 and is mostly grown as a perennial groundcover. They reach just over 6 inches in height. These tough plants can grow with a little too much vigor, and you may need to trim them back to prevent them from taking over your borders.
They enjoy growing in rich, fertile soil that has enough drainage. With regular watering these plants thrive, but they can tolerate periods of drought. They really benefit from a feed with organic slow-releasing fertilizer in spring.
20. Siberian Bugloss
Brunnera macrophylla, or Siberian bugloss, has much in common with begonias. It has beautiful, patterned foliage and loves growing in shady areas in the garden. They are perennials, hardy in zones 3 to 8 and will self-seed and spread in your garden.
Small clouds of blue flowers bloom in spring. They look very similar to forget-me-nots. Growing to around 18 inches tall, Siberian bugloss makes a good groundcover plant. They grow successfully in any soil, as long as it has enough drainage, and they need very little care and maintenance. Just water them regularly.
21. Green and Gold
Green and gold, Chrysogonum virginianum, is a North American native plant that has become a widely cultivated perennial groundcover. It has a low-growing habit, only reaching 6 inches tall, and plants form a dense mat.
Five-petalled, canary yellow flowers appear in early spring and continue blooming through summer. Green and gold is hardy in zones 5 to 9, and these low-maintenance plants will spread over the soil surface via their rhizomes, like some begonia types.
22. Yellow Wood Poppy
Stylophorum diphyllum, or yellow wood poppy, is native to North America and is a cool-weather species that grows happily in the shade. They flower in early spring and all through summer, producing beautiful yellow and orange poppy-like flowers.
These plants are easy to propagate from seed, and self-sows so they will perennialize in your garden. They are great plants for wildflower meadows, rockeries, and under bigger shrubbery and trees. It grows about 12 to 18 inches tall. Yellow wood poppy prefers growing in slightly acidic soil that is fertile and has good drainage.
23. Purple Coneflower
Purple coneflowers can bring color and texture to shady areas of the garden. While they grow best in full sun, they can tolerate dappled shade, and like begonias, they flower in early spring, all the way through summer and fall until the first frost.
Echinacea purpurea likes to grow in average soil, amended with some grit. In their native habitat, they grow in poor, rocky soils. Ensure they have good drainage and keep them well watered, ensuring the soil dries between watering.
Cosmos bipinnatus are easy to grow, reliable annual bloomers that bring a big cloud of color to the summer garden. They produce large, daisy-like flowers in white, pink, maroon, red, and yellow. Their foliage is light green and finely cut, giving an airy, fern-like impression.
Cosmos is almost impossible to kill – they are tolerant of the poorest soils, drought hardy, and pest free. You can relish the flowers all summer long if you keep deadheading them. Like annual begonias, cosmos is grown as an annual. Seeds are sown in early spring, after the first frost.
Viola x wittrockiana is a horticultural cultivar of wild violets. Pansies are quintessential garden flowers, well-loved around the world. The purple, violet, white, and yellow face-like flowers are edible and look wonderful in salads.
Pansies grow well in cool conditions in partly shaded areas of the garden. Like annual begonias, they are low-growing – about 5 to 8 inches tall – and make are a great edging plant to use in herbaceous borders. Pansies also work well in hanging baskets, as long as they are watered often.
Pansies are hardy in USDA zones 7 to 11, but because they are short-lived ad sensitive to heat, they are mainly grown as annuals or biennials.