Indoor Begonia Elatior - Lush Bloom Almost All Year Round. Home Care. Photo

Table of contents:

Indoor Begonia Elatior - Lush Bloom Almost All Year Round. Home Care. Photo
Indoor Begonia Elatior - Lush Bloom Almost All Year Round. Home Care. Photo

Video: Indoor Begonia Elatior - Lush Bloom Almost All Year Round. Home Care. Photo

Video: Indoor Begonia Elatior - Lush Bloom Almost All Year Round. Home Care. Photo
Video: Non stop begonia - grow & care (Great also as Houseplant) 2023, December

Among begonias, there are many plants that can be grown in indoor format. But only one became really popular - the winter begonia from the Elatior group, which is often confused with the tall begonia. Elatior begonia is grown mainly as an annual, and in vain. The magnificent palette of flower colors and the ability to bloom almost all year round without a break are unparalleled. It is not the most undemanding plant, but if you are ready to pay attention to it, it will pleasantly surprise you.

Indoor begonia Elatior - lush bloom almost all year round
Indoor begonia Elatior - lush bloom almost all year round


  • Begonias of the Elatior group - description of plants
  • Elatior begonia varieties
  • Growing conditions for indoor begonias Elatior
  • Home winter begonia care
  • Diseases, pests and problems in the cultivation of begonia Elatior
  • Reproduction of room begonia Elatior

Begonias of the Elatior group - description of plants

Confusion in the names of Elatior begonia

The name of the begonia Elatior is familiar to everyone, but it should not be confused with the specific name. The Elatior begonias that are sold as indoor plants are not at all varieties of high begonias (Begonia elatior, reclassified as Begonia reniformis), but a group or race of hybrid begonias with a complex origin that bears little resemblance to one of the original plants.

This is one of two groups of hybrid varieties of beautifully flowering herbaceous begonias (and completely outshines the competitors in the Lorraine group.

Disputes about how to correctly designate elatiors are quite active. Some breeders insist on the formulation Begonia x hiemalis, Begonia x hybrida, Begonia x hybrids subsp. elatior. Others insist on the simple trade name Begonia Elatior Hybrids, Begonia Hybrids, and the wording of the race Elatior Rieger is also popular. Most catalogs today prefer not to mention the specific name at all. Be that as it may, it is very easy to recognize plants.

Winter begonias, begonias of the Elatior group, or simply Elatior begonias are hybrid begonias of compact size, capable of blooming all year round and differing in fairly large flowers. They are called winter ones, because no other species is able to please with abundant flowering in the most cloudy time. But the main advantage of Elatior begonias often remains unnoticed - they are the most resistant begonias to fungal diseases.

Begonia Elatior 'Baladin'
Begonia Elatior 'Baladin'

Legendary winter begonia hybrids

With the change in trends in the begonias market in favor of flowering beauties, who began to displace the once dominant decorative deciduous species from the shelves, the inimitable Elatior begonia has invariably entered the list of the best plants for long and bright flowering.

It blooms almost all year long, without interruption, magnificently, offers the brightest color palettes and looks flawless with quite ordinary care. Bushes do not disappear from the shelves almost all year round.

Hybrid begonias from the Elatior group are undersized, compact, herbaceous plants with evergreen leaves. The maximum height of the bushes is limited to a modest 40 cm, although most elatiors are 20-25 centimeters compact and lush plants, more like living bouquets.

Despite the presence of several ampelous varieties with drooping, hanging shoots, most Elatior begonias are bushy and upright growing.

The begonias from the Elatior group can hardly be called ugly. They boast larger and more decorative leaves than their main competitors. Reaching up to 8 cm in length, with jagged edges, the leaves appear flawless - dense, shiny, dark-colored, neat-looking, although the foliage of the elatiors is as asymmetrical as that of other begonias.

Despite the fact that all elatiors are associated with dark leaves that emphasize the color of the caps of the inflorescences, the shades of green in the leaves differ in different varieties. The usual dark emerald, warmer tones of dark colors, rather light herbaceous shades or original options for the color of greens with a reddish, bronze, brown bloom allow you to choose the variety in the same way as in the palette of flower colors. Elatior purple-leaved begonias are becoming more and more popular today.

Flowering begonias of the Elatior group

Flowers of all varieties of the Elatior group cannot impress with their size, but their beautiful shape and extraordinary amount fully compensate for this deficiency. Besides, small flowers are only in comparison with other plants, because they are much larger than flowers of other lush species - up to 3–5 cm in diameter.

The begonias of the Elatior group have flowers that can be either simple or semi-double or densely double. The shape of the latter is often compared with heads of cabbage, although the flowers of individual elatiors are most reminiscent of mini-roses. Pointed, star-shaped or rounded, even, jagged or wavy, the petals look like a living atlas.

The color range of Elatior hybrid begonia includes all shades of the warm spectrum - from white to yellow and pink-red. Bright, acrylic, pure shades feel particularly modern. Two-tone combinations with a smooth transition of a bright border to the main color are not uncommon, as are varieties in which the buds gradually brighten as they bloom.

Begonia Elatior 'Borias'
Begonia Elatior 'Borias'

Elatior begonia varieties

These amazing hybrid begonias have more than a hundred varieties. Among the begonias of the Elatior group, there is an internal division into ordinary small-flowered varieties and large-flowered hybrids, which are also called Rigen-begonias. They are more stable and large-colored, most often terry.

Such varieties as:

  • dark-leaved pink-red with almost purple leaves 'Grace';
  • snow-white dark-leaved variety 'White Pearl';
  • dark-leaved variety with apricot-salmon shade of flowers 'Lax';
  • double dark pink with wavy leaves variety 'Borias';
  • raspberry variety 'Berseba';
  • red-orange-yellow watercolor varieties of the 'Bodini' series;
  • semi-double ampel series with bunches at the ends of shoots 'Cottage Collection';
  • bright yellow variety 'Nadine';
  • pink with teardrop-shaped petals variety 'Sweet Dreams';
  • semi-double green-white graceful variety 'Clara'.

It is worth choosing varieties purely by color - both flowers and leaves. They often remain unnamed in catalogs.

Growing conditions for indoor begonias Elatior

Stable warmth and good soft lighting are all begonias need to bloom relentlessly. They are gentle and do not tolerate drastic changes in cultural conditions.

Winter begonias remain primarily indoor plants. But they are increasingly grown for garden purposes as well - decorating balconies, terraces, potted gardens and even open soil. They are used in urban landscaping and transferred to sites - like plants blooming one season. As a perennial, this begonia is preserved only in indoor format. But even in the interior, it can be thrown away immediately after flowering.

Begonia Elatior 'Berseba'
Begonia Elatior 'Berseba'

Lighting and placement

Despite the abundant flowering, begonias of the Elatior group are not sun-loving. They need to be protected from direct sunlight by choosing secluded places with diffused, but still bright lighting. Light partial shade for them is the best choice.

The Elatiors got their name for winter begonias for a reason. These are plants with a pronounced short day, thanks to which they bloom most magnificently in the coldest season. Plants for flowering in spring and summer require daylight control 8-10 weeks before flowering.

Supplementary lighting with shading for two months allows you to achieve lush flowering from the plant at any time, but during the preparation period, the duration of daylight hours should be exactly 9 hours a day. Natural conditions in October-December are already sufficient for the winter flowering of begonias.

One of the secrets of the spectacular bloom of Elatior begonias is the stability of lighting. From the moment of budding and until the end of flowering, it is better not to turn the bushes or shift them in relation to the light source, not to transfer them to a new place or to new rooms.

Therefore, you need to choose a place for this plant carefully, thinking over the location of flowering begonia in the interior and making sure that the lighting is comfortable for further growth a few months before the start of the main "show".

Temperature regime and ventilation

Any flowering begonias should be protected from heat. But Elatior begonias will prefer very stable and moderate temperatures within the range of 16 to 21 degrees Celsius, even in summer. Any excess of 22 degrees will shorten the flowering period and require air humidity control.

Heat leads to loss of terry and stretching of the plant, especially if temperatures exceed 28 degrees in the fresh air. At the same time, during the budding period, the temperature is critical: the better the indicators stabilize at a value of 20 degrees or slightly higher, the more luxuriant the begonias will bloom.

If it is possible to control the temperatures stricter, you can use the secret for the longest possible flowering of the Elatior begonia: increase the temperatures by at least 3-4 degrees at the budding stage and lower them to coolness at the flowering stage.

The minimum temperatures that elatiors can withstand are about 12 degrees. But the cold will not pass without a trace. Plants will prefer to spend even a dormant period at a temperature of 16 to 18 degrees. If the plants continue to bloom in winter, then such a decrease is unacceptable.

For almost all new varieties of Elatior begonias, it is preferable to keep them even at the height of winter at a temperature of at least 20 degrees. The minimum indicators at which flowering continues is 18 degrees Celsius. At the same time, any fluctuations in temperature have an extremely negative effect on flowering.

These plants need to be protected from any sudden changes in temperature, especially cold snaps and drafts. The more stable the environment, the more abundant and longer the elatiors will bloom. Even from a period of active development to a dormant period and back, plants should be transferred gradually, with intermediate transitions.

Elatior hybrid begonias love fresh air. Frequent airing to protect the plant from drafts is a prerequisite for plant health. Drafts, especially cold ones, cause the begonias of the Elatior group to shed their buds.

All elatiors bloom successfully in the fresh air. Plants can be taken out on balconies and in the garden, placed in sheltered places and in partial shade, not in too bright sun. But you should be prepared for the fact that after returning to the rooms, in the absence of a soft transfer to new conditions, flowering in the rooms may not continue.

Begonia Elatior 'Eva'
Begonia Elatior 'Eva'

Home winter begonia care

These plants require quite normal, neat care. By protecting begonias from extremes, overflows or droughts, pollution and soil depletion, they can ensure their relentless bloom. These types of indoor begonias only need attention.

Watering and air humidity

Gentle but abundant watering is a general requirement for all elatiors during the period of active growth. Stagnant water, too wet substrate for these plants is most often destructive, but they cannot stand drought either.

To admire the relentless flowering of Elatior begonias, you will have to constantly monitor the moisture content of the soil and not let it dry out completely, only slightly drying the upper third of the substrate in containers.

To avoid the risk of waterlogging, it is better to immediately drain the water from the pallets and constantly check the degree of drying of the substrate.

During the dormant period, these varieties of begonias require a completely different approach. After flowering, the plants are smoothly transferred to a new watering regime, drying the earthen lump more strongly (almost completely) and watering them rather poorly. But all the same, complete drying of the substrate for elatiors is unacceptable. If the plants bloom all year round, including in winter, watering should be adjusted according to temperature changes and the humidity should be kept the same.

Despite the fact that any begonias put up well with the dry air of living rooms, the maximum flowering from elatiors can be expected only with average humidity, without extremes. Spraying is permissible, but only misty and very gentle, not affecting buds and flowers.

To stabilize conditions for these blooming begonias, it is best to install simple humidifiers - trays of wet moss or pebbles, small fountains. You can group plants with moisture-loving crops, for which additional measures are taken to increase air humidity.

These plants are best kept clean to maintain health and prevent problems with pests and diseases. Dust and dirt on the leaves of begonias from the Elatior group should not accumulate. In this case, washing is unacceptable, the bushes must be carefully wiped by hand, carefully handling the leaves.

For any "water" procedures on Elatior begonias, it is better to monitor the water quality. Its temperature should always exceed room temperature by several degrees. The water must be soft, filtered or allowed to settle for a long time. When watering Elatior begonias, you need to be very careful and try not to soak not only the flowers, but also the leaves.

Top dressing and composition of fertilizers

No matter how magnificent the flowering of Elatior begonias may seem, you should not feed them in the same way as flowering summer plants. Top dressing for these begonias can be carried out only during the period of active growth, halving the standard dose for dressing, with a frequency of 1 every 2-3 weeks.

For elatiors, special fertilizers are used for begonias or flowering plants. They don't like organic food and generic preparations.

This is one of the not so many plants that do not like abundant feeding, which can also be grown on long-acting fertilizers. Capsules or sticks introduced into the soil make it easier to care for the Elatior begonias.

Begonia Elatior 'Care'
Begonia Elatior 'Care'

Pruning and shaping Elatior begonias

The main method of forming begonias of the "Elatior" group remains a simple pinching of the tops of the shoots. It is sufficient both to stimulate the growth of new branches and to maintain a compact form. In fact, even removing wilting buds is almost a plucking process.

If the plants are grown as perennials, then after flowering, the plants are cut to save for the next year. This procedure is carried out immediately after the transplant. Cardinal pruning to short stumps allows begonias to enter the dormant stage with careful watering and without additional feeding and quickly recover when signs of growth appear. If the transplant is postponed until spring, then it is better to wait with pruning.

Transplant, containers and substrate

Begonias of the Elatior group are transplanted immediately after flowering. Plants are carefully transferred to a fresh substrate, removing damaged roots if there are signs of decay. The timing of the transplant depends on when the plant has bloomed. If the transplant is postponed until spring, then it is carried out from April.

Containers for elatiors should be compact. Plants are grown in classic, slightly tall, upwardly expanding pots with a diameter from "starting" 10 cm to 14 cm for large bushes. Increase the containers by 1-2 cm.

Experimenting with Elatior begonias substrate is not worth it. They will be able to bloom magnificently only in a high-quality substrate with controlled characteristics. For begonias of this group, only special substrates for begonias are used - and it is advisable to look for soils for flowering flowers, and not universal begonias types of soil mixtures.

If the soil mixture is made up independently, it is worth choosing a complex combination of leafy soil with peat and sand with small additions of sod and humus soil (12: 10: 4: 1: 2) with a pH value of 6 to 6.5 or a mixture of different types of peat with inert additives. Peat in the soil is required.

When transplanting Elatior begonias, do not deepen the root collars and compact the soil around the plants, leaving it loose and filling as it shrinks. An accurate transplant without unnecessary contacts is the best option. After transplanting, light watering is carried out.

Diseases, pests and problems in the cultivation of begonia Elatior

Under the right conditions and good care, Elatior begonias never get sick. They are much more resistant than all flowering begonias. In fact, they can only suffer from rot due to inaccurate watering and dampness.

When taken out into the garden or placed on balconies, Elatiors often suffer from powdery mildew. Fighting with fungicides on flowering begonias is useless, it is better to destroy the affected bushes as soon as possible. Occasionally, in the open air, plants are also threatened by aphids, which are best dealt with with insecticides.

Under the right conditions and good care, Elatior begonias never get sick
Under the right conditions and good care, Elatior begonias never get sick

Reproduction of room begonia Elatior

The adorable flowering begonias reproduce just like everyone else. Elatiors are very rarely grown from seeds due to the loss of varietal properties of the offspring, but when buying individual varieties from trusted producers or bright mixtures, only pleasant surprises are likely to be expected.

The seeds are sown superficially, they are very small and require preliminary mixing with sand or sowing on sand. Germination requires a high temperature of 25 degrees and bright lighting. Plants develop slowly, they dive 2-3 times, several plants are placed in containers for a more decorative effect.

Very lush bushes of elatiors are most often in groups of several separate plants, and they willingly release side shoots. Separation is a very simple way to breed and renew these hybrid begonias. It is carried out during transplantation, carefully, removing all dry and damaged parts of both roots and shoots.

But nevertheless, cuttings remain the main breeding method of Elatior begonias. Non-flowering, vegetative shoots are chosen for him. You can cut green cuttings in both spring and summer. Apical and stem cuttings are rooted in sand or any light / inert substrate that has been disinfected to protect plants from rot.

For Elatior begonias, a temperature of about 20 degrees is required. Rooting is slow, up to 1 month, the plants require light moisture of the substrate and careful handling.

Reproduction by leaf cuttings for elatiors is very rarely used, but if all the rules are followed and very careful moistening, you can get new bushes in this way. Petioles about 3 cm long are carefully buried into the substrate in the same way as ordinary stem cuttings. Leaves take root in 2-3 months.