Begonia boliviensis

(2010) - The first thing that must be noted about this plant is that it goes dormant from winter until May or June. And by ‘dormant’ I mean nothing happens – nothing shows above the ground. So, as recommended by Annie’s Annuals, I planted the begonia in a pot so I could keep track of it. And I waited and I waited. While every other plant in the garden was growing like crazy and happily showing off their flowers, this Begonia hid quietly under the soil. By mid May, without even a bud showing, I was becoming concerned that I’d killed it.  But, thankfully, by June the first leaves emerged from the soil.

Begonia boliviensis

The Begonia quickly kicked into gear sending out a large stem. By July the first flowers appeared. I was totally unprepared for the brilliant orange colors. They were like  strobe lights, so striking that they overwhelmed all the other nearby plants. There was no other choice but to put the Begonia on a pedestal and give it a prominent place in the garden.

It is now August and it continues to flower and my admiration continues to grow.

The one drawback to the begonia is that the blooms hang downwards, so the flower is probably better suited to a hanging pot or some other means of elevating the plant.

Begonia boliviensis
begonia boliviensis

(4/17/2011) - Based on its first year of growth, I wasn't expecting the Begonia to even peek out of the soil until June. But here it is mid-April and it's well on its way. And again, I'm thankful I kept it in a pot so I could give it close attention.