The Cane Stemmed Begonia derive the name from the tall cane like stems that form a clump. Depending on species and cultivar they will reach to 2.5m, however many smaller and even dwarf cultivars are also available that will form a low growing clump at around 80cm. Flowers can be exceptionally attractive depending on cultivar (see picture right)
A lot of misinformation is given about these plants liking shade, they do grow well in indirect light but cane stemmed begonias are not great in deep shade, semi shade or filtered light are the best conditions for good growth and flowering.
Grown both for the foliage and the flowers these begonias are easy to care for and do well in the garden or in a pot or container as an indoor plant. Long flowering with colors ranging from white through to pink and red when grown indoors in a warm position and with good filtered light they will flower almost year round. Foliage varies from green spotted with white to some with deeply cut foliage. This depends on the type usually classified as ‘superba’, ‘mallet’ and the others, sometimes divided into ‘intermediate’ and ‘rubra’
Care and Cultivation
The only real problems in terms of general care is frost, and as these are a sub tropical plant they really do not handle frosts at all, however with a little protection or if grown in pots that can be moved indoors they handle a range of climates from tropical to cool temperate. These plants require plenty of filtered light, not hot direct sun, a humus rich well drained soil and that’s about it for care.
Fertilize either with a general purpose slow release fertilizer, or a liquid seaweed fertilizer.
Pruning and Cuttings
In terms of pruning, cane stem begonias can be tip pruned throughout the growing season, and older canes can be cut right back and removed. They can also be hard pruned in spring if required. Propagation is easy through stem cuttings.
Begonia fuchsioides ‘Red Cascade’ is a low growing cultivar to around 1m, red flowers, good filtered light and a humus rich well drained soil in a frost free position. Begonia holtonis var. holtonis is another low growing species, lovely white flowers and reddish stems