Maybe some of you, like me, thought begonias were only available as annuals and house plants however, Begonia grandis is a hardy perennial and comes back every year in my zone 6a garden. You probably won’t find it at your big box store and maybe not even at the local nursery. I bought mine from Shields Herb and Flower Farm in Spraggs, PA several years ago and have been pleasantly surprised to find it thriving in my garden. One thing I have noticed is that it does come up late in the spring. Just when you think it died over the winter you’ll start to see the leaves pop out of the ground. Even after the polar vortex freezing cold this pretty begonia came back in full force.
Begonia grandis grows about two feet tall and wide, does best in the shady moist areas, but will tolerate some sun. I have it growing near my foundation and under the dogwood tree. It has a fairly shallow root system making it easy to transplant or remove completely. I even dug some up to bring indoors over the winter after hearing a friend of mine grow one in her classroom.
I really love the beautiful heart shaped leaves with pinkish red vining. Underneath the leaves are an interesting red. Later in the season around July it comes into bloom, continuing all the way into October, with the sweetest delicate pink flowers which then turn into attractive seed pods.
Something for your wishlist? Begonia grandis is sometimes also simply called hardy begonia. It’s certainly worth a look.