Begonia 'Casper'

Common Name: begonia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Begoniaceae
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Pink-red
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful

Culture

Grow in well-drained, humusy soil in bright light but not too much direct sunlight. Water regularly when actively growing but reduce watering in winter or when plant growth is slow. Wet soil, especially cold wet soil, can lead to root and stem rots. Many cane-like begonias are suitable as indoor plants, others do well as summer bedding plants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Begonia is a genus of about 1,300 species of annuals, perennials, shrubs and climbers. Most have fleshy stems. Some produce underground tubers or rhizomes. They are grown for their showy flowers, leaves, or both. Begonias can be divided into 7 informal groups by growth habit: Cane-like, rex-cultorum, rhizomatous, semperflorens, tuberous, trailing or scandent, thick-stemmed and shrub-like.

Cane-like begonias are evergreen, perennial plants primarily from Brazil. They are generally upright growing with bamboo-like stems and are grown for their interesting form as well as attractive leaves and flowers. They have semi-woody stems and fibrous roots.

Genus name honors Michael Begon (1638-1710), Governor of French Canada.

'Casper' is a selection of cane-like begonia that features upright stems topped with gently arching clusters of pink-red flowers. The dark green leaves have wavy margins and splashes of silver. Mature plants will reach up to 1.5' tall with a similar spread.

Problems

Subject to whitefly, thrips, mites and mealybugs. Susceptible to powdery mildew, botrytis, and stem rot, especially in humid conditions with poor air circulation.

Garden Uses

Can be grown as an indoor plant or summer bedding/container plant for its showy foliage.