Begonia: Houseplant of the Month for April

Whether you prefer opulent flowers, fabulous foliage or both, the begonia is a plant with which you can bring colour and softness into your home.

Colours and patterns
The flowering begonia has full, plump flowers and cheerful colours such as red, pink, orange, white and yellow. The enthusiasm with which the plant blooms means that in practice that you can hardly see the plant for the flowers. Foliage begonias have their own distinctive beauty in the form of velvet leaves that are beautifully marked with silver, pink, burgundy and green patterns that more than make up for the absence of flowers. Both are plants with a luxurious look which are still surprisingly simple and easy to care for.

Begonia fun!
• A begonia’s structure is completely incomprehensible
• Flowers appear in places that you don’t expect.
• Foliage begonias come in sizes from mini to garden giant.
• Surprise: small foliage begonias can have XXL leaves.
• The flowering versions can have single and double flowers, and there are also ambitious varieties with full double flowers. And then you also have the choice between hanging flowers and smooth or curling leaves: whatever suits you and your interior style.

Looking for an overview
The begonia fits well with the lifestyle trend in which there is a growing need for an overview. We don’t want lots of stuff any more, but prefer to have a couple of attractive items with the rest safely stored in the cloud. Knowing where your food comes from, cooking your own meals from fresh ingredients. Less fake news, more good news and enough rest, purity and regularity. The plant’s compact shape results in arrangements in which a lot is happening, but which are still confined: in home decor they represent power and essence.

Whether you opt for the flowering version or the foliage plant with the eye-catching leaves, the begonia is a fantastic plant to bring 2019 themes such as peace, health and sustainability into your home.

Care
Begonia needs a lot of light, but doesn’t like bright sunlight.
Some water twice a week is appreciated. The soil should be damp.
Try to avoid spraying your begonia; it can cause mildew (a fungus).
If you remove the wilted flowers, the plant will make new ones.
Plant food once a week will keep your begonia blooming.

Forest beauty
There are 1895 different species of begonia, which grows in warm, damp forest regions in New Guinea, southern Africa and the Andes. The wild version is spikier and more slender than the cultivated version, which has much fuller leaves and flowers considerably more profusely.

Trivia
• In the symbolism of flowers the begonia represents alertness, clear-speaking and a lighter life.
• In 1690 Charles Plumier, a French botanist and monk, named the Begonia after his patron Michel Bégon. He was a French botanist and diplomat in the 17th century.
• Investment tip: begonia seeds are worth lots of money. In fact, the price of one gram of begonia seeds is more than the price of a gram of gold. That’s because the seeds are very small, the size of a dust particle. 30 grams of begonia seed contains more than 2 million seeds.

Begonia – the 2019 look
Place flowering and foliage begonias in low, simple bowls. Opt for one colour as the base. At most vary the shade of colour within a group. The compact plants will then form flowering ‘cushions’ together to absorb stress. The low lines keep a room feeling spacious, the beautiful colours of the flowers and leaves provide an energised feeling and green peace respectively.