Begonia boliviensis BOSSA NOVA RED

Common Name: begonia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Begoniaceae
Zone: 8 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 1.25 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.75 feet
Bloom Time: April to frost
Bloom Description: Red
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Heavy Shade


Best grown in evenly moist, rich, fast-draining soil in part sun. The tubers will rot in overly wet or poorly drained soils. Hardy in Zones 8-11. May be hardy in Zone 7 if sited in a protected location with well-draining soil and plenty of winter mulch. The tubers can be overwintered indoors in colder zones. Cut the stems back fully after the first frost and store the entire container in a cool, indoor location such as an unheated garage or basement. Water sparingly to keep the tubers from rotting but also not fully desiccating.

BOSSA NOVA RED is tolerant of a wide range of sun conditions, from full sun to full shade. Best performance in partial shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Begonia boliviensis is a species of tuberous begonia native to the cloud forests of the Andes in Bolivia and Argentina. Mature plants can reach up to 2' tall with an equal spread and will take on a gently arching habit. The leaves are lanceolate to slightly ovate in shape, can reach 5" long and 1.5" wide, and typically have a single lobe at the base. The crimson-orange, pendant flowers are held in loose, axillary clusters of two or three blooms. Male flowers will reach around 2" long and female flowers will reach around 1" long.

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

The specific epithet boliviensis means "of Bolivia", in reference to the native range of this species.

BOSSA NOVA RED is a compact, floriferous begonia selection that features a dense, well-branched habit and pendulous, red flowers. The 2-3" long flowers bloom all season from spring to frost. Mature plants will reach 16" tall and 20" wide.


Susceptible to bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew, botrytis, and stem rot, especially in humid conditions with poor air circulation. Watch for mealybugs and thrips. The tubers can rot if grown in overly moist or poorly drained soil.


Greenhouses, conservatories, containers, hanging baskets, window boxes.