Begonia Grandis Species Profile & Care Guide

Begonia Grandis, affectionately called the Hardy Begonia, is a perennial flowering plant that’s appreciated by garden enthusiasts for its striking foliage and lovely blooms.

Native to East Asia, this plant is robust, able to withstand a range of climates, and possesses a wonderful ability to self-propagate, making it a delightful addition to any garden setting.

Begonia Grandis

Profile Overview

  • Common Name: Begonia Grandis or Hardy Begonia
  • Scientific Name: Begonia Grandis
  • Family: Begoniaceae
  • Origin/Native Region: China and Japan. However, it has adapted to a variety of climates across the globe.
  • Growth Habit: Perennial, usually grows in clumps and reaches a size of around 2 feet tall and wide under optimal conditions. Distinct for its late summer to early fall blooming period, the Begonia Grandis is deciduous, meaning it sheds its leaves annually. Its ability to withstand colder temperatures than most begonias makes it a popular choice for gardens in more temperate regions.


The Begonia Grandis, often referred to as Hardy Begonia, has an undeniably attractive look that holds aesthetic appeal for any garden or indoor space.

This plant has graceful cascades of oval-shaped leaves, ranging in color from light green to deep olive, often with a reddish underside, giving it a two-tone effect.

The foliage, coupled with the delicate, pendulous clusters of pink or white flowers, form an impressive display throughout summer till frost.

It’s not unusual for the foliage to adopt a beautiful bronze shade in late autumn, just before it dies back for winter. All these attributes add to the visual allure of the Begonia Grandis.

Leaf Size

The leaf size of Begonia Grandis, often referred to as Hardy Begonia, is impressively large considering its overall plant size. Each leaf can measure up to 4 inches in length, providing a dense canopy for the plant’s delicate, pendulous flowers.

These heart-shaped leaves don’t just stand out because of their size, but also due to their fascinating texture and color. Their substantial size plays a key role in the plant’s overall aesthetic, contributing to its popularity among plant enthusiasts.

Your Begonia Grandis’ leaf size is also a good indicator of its overall health and wellbeing. An undernourished or stressed plant may produce smaller leaves.

Leaf Shape

The Begonia Grandis exhibits a distinctive and unique leaf shape that contributes greatly to its aesthetic appeal. The leaves are described as rather heart-shaped or ovate, meaning they are broader at the base and tapering towards the tip.

The leaf edges are sinuate to serrated, with delicate and soft waves that add a sense of gentle movement to the plant’s overall appearance.

Each leaf is accentuated with conspicuous and beautiful veins that create a captivating pattern. This elegant leaf shape strengthens this plant’s status as a must-have for gardeners seeking to add interest and diversity to their plant collection.

Leaf Color

The leaf color of Begonia Grandis, commonly known as the Hardy Begonia, is one of its most attractive features.

The plant showcases a wide variety of shades, primarily in the range of shiny medium to dark green on top and a stark red hue on the underside.

This vibrant bi-colored feature is more noticeable in mature leaves, contributing to the plant’s overall impact in a garden or indoor setting.

The contrast of the shiny green upper surface against the red underbelly also serves as an indicator of healthy growth and can help in diagnosing potential plant health issues.

Stem Characteristics

The stems of Begonia Grandis are particularly noteworthy. They grow upright and can reach heights ranging from 12 to 24 inches.

Due to their robust nature, these stems bear the weight of the plant’s large foliage with ease. Additionally, the stems exhibit a succulent nature, meaning they are capable of storing water for drought conditions.

Their distinct crimson red color adds a striking contrast to the green leaves and pink flowers of the Begonia Grandis, making for a visually appealing plant.

These stems emerge from tuberous roots, an attribute that contributes to the Begonia Grandis’s capability to withstand cooler climates.

Mature Size

The Begonia Grandis, often referred to as the hardy begonia due to its resilience, can mature to impressive sizes. Under ideal conditions, your plant can potentially reach up to 2 feet in height and spread to a similar breadth.

Full maturation typically takes several growing seasons, with the most significant growth observed during the summer months.

Keep in mind that these dimensions might vary depending on the particular cultivar of Begonia Grandis you are growing and the specific growing conditions you provide.

It’s therefore necessary to give your Begonia Grandis enough space to reach its full size without hindrance.

Care Requirements

In order to flourish, the Begonia Grandis demands specific conditions. These include appropriate lightening, regular watering, given humidity levels, certain temperature ranges and suitable soils with ideal pH balances.

Understanding and meeting these requirements will ensure your Begonia Grandis grow healthily and vibrantly. The sections detailed below delve further into these critical care aspects.

Keep reading to understand how you can create optimal growing conditions for your plant.

Light Needs

The Begonia Grandis thrives best in partial to full shade, preferring filtered or diffused light than direct, harsh sunlight. As a lover of understory conditions, it can tolerate some morning sun but should be shielded from the intense afternoon light.

Indoors, position it near a window receiving east or north-facing light. You should take care to provide just enough light as both excess and inadequate lighting can lead to a host of problems including leaf burn, discoloration, and stunted growth.

Monitoring the plant’s color and vigor tends to be a good indicator of whether it’s receiving its desired light conditions.

Watering Frequency

The Begonia Grandis prefers well-drained soil and requires moderate watering. As a general guide, you should water it when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

In cooler weather or during the winter dormancy period, watering should be reduced. Excessive watering or letting the plant stand in water can lead to issues such as root rot.

Moreover, when watering, ensure you water the soil and not the leaves to prevent disease. It’s beneficial to use a watering can with a long spout to directly target the plant’s base.

Humidity Preferences

The Begonia Grandis prefers a moderately humid environment. Its lush foliage thrives with humidity levels around 50-60%. While it can tolerate lower levels, prolonged exposure to dry air can lead to leaf discoloration and slower growth.

Providing a humid environment imitates the conditions of this plant’s native habitat in East Asia. Y

ou can maintain the desired humidity by placing the plant in a bathroom or kitchen where moisture levels are typically higher, using a humidity tray, or misting the leaves regularly.

However, be careful not to overdo it, as too much moisture can lead to fungal infection.

Temperature Range

The Begonia Grandis prefers a temperature range of 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit (15-24 degrees Celsius) for optimal growth.

These tropical plants can handle hotter temperatures during the summer months, as long as they receive adequate watering.

When it comes to colder temperatures, Begonia Grandis is one of the few begonia species that can survive winters, but they don’t handle frost well.

For continued growth during winter, maintain a temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

If nightly temperatures drop below the recommended range, move the plant indoors or into a greenhouse to protect it from the cold.

Soil Type & pH Preferences

Begonia Grandis prefers well-draining soil, rich in organic matter. This ensures that the roots remain healthy and do not become waterlogged. As for pH, these plants can tolerate a range, but ideally prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH 6.0-7.0).

It’s crucial to avoid overly alkaline or saline environments, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and overall poor plant health. If in doubt about your soil’s pH, consider getting a soil testing kit to ensure your begonia’s habitat is as conducive as possible to its growth and well-being.

Growth & Propagation

The Begonia Grandis commonly referred to as ‘Hardy Begonia’ has a moderate growth rate and can flourish optimally under ideal growing conditions.

The propagation of this understory perennial plant usually involves methods such as division and sowing of bulbils. The most remarkably active growth season of the Begonia Grandis is during the warm, summer months.

Achieving a fuller, healthier growth also requires adequate potting and repotting routines, making sure root systems are not too confined. As a gardener, you’d find joy in nurturing this begonia species as it transforms with lush, full foliage towards maturity.

Growth Rate

The Begonia Grandis is known for its moderate to fast growth rate. With adequate conditions such as the right amount of light, water, and proper care, this plant species can reach its mature size in relatively short periods of time.

It’s common to see significant growth during its active growing seasons, notably through the warmer parts of the year.

Keep in mind that your Begonia Grandis’s growth rate could be influenced by factors like the quality of its potting mix, its access to nutrients, and its general health.

Thus, constant proper care is necessary for it to thrive and grow at its potential speed.

Propagation Methods

The Begonia Grandis can be propagated by seeds, leaf cuttings, or division of the tubers. Seeds are the most common method but require more care and patience due to the period needed to mature.

Leaf cuttings are faster; you simply need to cut a healthy leaf at the base of the plant and replant it in moist, well-draining potting mix.

The division of tubers, on the other hand, is the quickest and easiest way to populate your garden with these beautiful plants, but it should be done in early spring, just before the growth season starts.

Season of Active Growth

The Begonia Grandis, like most Begonias, experiences its active growth phase during the warmer months, typically from late spring to early autumn.

During this period, the plant gains most of its foliage and undergoes substantial growth. It’s also the optimal season to propagate due to increased metabolic activities.

It’s crucial to adjust the care routines accordingly, with increased watering and feeding required to support the plant’s stepped-up growth rate.

However, it’s essential not to overdo it as saturated soil can lead to root rot. Remember, a healthy growth season will lead to a more substantial and vibrant plant.

Potting and Repotting Recommendations

Begonia Grandis thrives in containers that offer plenty of room for root development. When you initially pot your Begonia, select a container slightly larger than the root ball.

A well-draining soil mix is essential to prevent waterlogging. Repot your Begonia Grandis every 2-3 years during early spring or late winter.

When repotting, gently remove the old soil from around the roots and place the plant in a new pot that is one size larger.

Always ensure to add fresh, rich, well-draining soil and to water thoroughly after repotting.

Potential Issues

In this section of the Begonia Grandis care guide, we will address some key problems that you may potentially encounter during the growth and propagation process.

We cover common pests that could be threats to the overall health of your plant, frequent diseases that Begonia Grandis tend to be susceptible to, and other sensitivities unique to Begonia Grandis.

Information shared is designed to help you preemptively identify and resolve these issues, helping you to keep your Begonia Grandis in the best possible condition.

Common Pests

While sturdy, the Begonia Grandis is not immune to pests. Spider mites, mealybugs, and thrips are commonly found hitching a ride on these plants.

Spider mites feed on the plant’s cell content and can cause severe defoliation if left unchecked. Mealybugs present as tiny, fluffy white bugs often located on the undersides of leaves or in new growth and can sap your plant of its strength.

Thrips are tiny, slender insects that can cause visible damage to your Begonia Grandis leaves. Regular inspection and the use of eco-friendly insecticidal soap or treatments can help maintain a happy and healthy Begonia.

Common Diseases

Begonia Grandis, like any other plant, is susceptible to certain diseases. Among the most common is botrytis cinerea, a fungal disease which manifests as a grey mold on the leaf surface, usually during high humidity or cool, damp conditions.

Powdery mildew, characterized by white, powdery fungal growth, is another common issue, often triggered by dry, crowded growing conditions.

Less common but potentially serious is bacterial leaf spot and blight. Early intervention is recommended, which includes proper pruning, ensuring good air circulation, and using a suitable fungicide when necessary to keep your Begonia Grandis healthy and resilient.

Other Sensitivities

The Begonia Grandis has other sensitivities to be aware of as well. They display sensitivity towards excessive heat and poor ventilation.

Overheating can cause leaf burn, while poor ventilation promotes diseases such as powdery mildew and other fungal infections.

Their roots are sensitive to waterlogged soils, which can lead to root rot. These plants also don’t do well in cold temperatures and are frost-sensitive.

Any drastic changes in their environment, including rapid temperature shifts, might also stress the plant. Therefore, it is recommended to maintain a steady, suitable environment for your Begonia Grandis to thrive.

Special Features & Uses

The Begonia Grandis, apart from being a stunning addition to any garden, serves a multitude of purposes. Its unique characteristics and aesthetic appeal makes it a popular choice across various landscapes.

This species is often used in landscaping projects, both indoors and outdoors, to make the surroundings visually appealing owing to its lush foliage and impressive flowering habit.

It could be a centerpiece in a container garden, or an accent plant in your flower beds. However, it is important to note that the Begonia Grandis possesses a certain level of toxicity, so it should be placed strategically around kids and pets.

Unique Characteristics

Begonia Grandis is characterized by its unique tuberous growth habit, making it a standout in the world of Begonias which are predominantly fibrous-rooted.

This hardy plant features a dense bushy growth, often producing clusters of foliage that give it an attractive appearance. Its flowers, ranging from pink to soft red, are also unusual among Begonias and bloom from mid-summer until frost.

Another distinct characteristic is the plant’s dual-colored leaves, green on the surface with a red tinge underneath, adding visual interest even when the plant is not in bloom. This dual coloration may be more pronounced depending on light exposure.

Decorative Use

Your Begonia Grandis serves as an outstanding ornamental plant due to its unique and vibrant foliage. Its large, heart-shaped, jade-green leaves with red undersides can add a splash of color to any indoor or outdoor space.

You can grow them in hanging baskets, allowing their trailing stems to drape over edges. Likewise, they can be a beautiful addition to patio pots, window boxes or as ground covers.

This versatile species, with its showy, pink or white flowers that bloom during the late summer and early fall, will surely be a head-turner.

Just remember, their aesthetic value is best appreciated in a spot where there is partial shade.


While Begonia Grandis adds a vibrant splash of color and lush foliage to your garden or indoor space, care should be taken if you have curious pets or small children.

All parts of the Begonia Grandis plant are toxic if ingested. Ingesting the leaves or flowers can cause nausea, vomiting, salivation, and even difficulty swallowing in both humans and pets.

Additionally, the sap can cause skin irritation or rash upon contact. Therefore, it’s best to keep this begonia species out of reach of pets and children, and consider wearing gloves when handling or caring for your Begonia Grandis.

Additional Tips & Tricks

Managing Begonia Grandis effectively may require additional steps beyond the basic care guide. This section provides some insights and recommendations, enhancing your experience in the cultivation and upkeep of this species.

Herewith, we’ll cover pertinent topics such as tailor-made fertilization recommendations for nutrient enrichment, pruning best practices that promote healthy growth and the possibility of adding supportive structures to help the plant maintain its form.

It is of utmost importance that these guidelines be utilized to ensure the aesthetic and health of your Begonia Grandis as it grows.

Fertilization Recommendations

For your Begonia Grandis to thrive, a balanced diet is crucial. Provide a general-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength every few weeks during the growing season.

However, be careful not to over-fertilize as this can lead to excessive salt accumulation, damaging the plant. Always water thoroughly after fertilizing to help distribute the nutrients evenly around the root zone.

During the dormant season (winter), you may stop the fertilization process until active growth begins again in spring. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding application rate and frequency.

Pruning & Maintenance

Pruning and maintenance are crucial aspects in taking care of your Begonia Grandis. This mainly involves the removal of dead or dying leaves and flowers to promote a healthier and lusher growth.

Regular pruning helps in controlling the plant’s size and spread, and it also promotes a balanced, symmetrical growth. The best time to prune Begonia Grandis is during late winter or early spring, just before the start of the new growth season.

Make sure to use clean, sterilized tools to avoid the risk of disease transmission. In terms of maintenance, remove any fallen leaves from the plant’s base to ensure cleanliness and avoid potential pest issues.

Support Structures

Begonia Grandis does not typically require any support structures for healthy growth. This is mainly because it is a low growing plant, with strong, thick stems that are capable of supporting the weight of the large leaves.

However, in the event of excessively rapid growth or stormy weather conditions, you might consider using light stakes to prevent toppling. Keep in mind that these plants appreciate a degree of freedom to spread, so avoid tightly binding or restricting them.

The use of structures should merely be preventative, and not restrictive to the plant’s natural inclination to sprawl and display its attractive foliage.

Begonia   Updated: November 11, 2023
avatar Hi, I'm Amy, a devoted horticulturist and the creator of, where I use my expertise to help beginners foster their green thumbs. My blog is a vibrant community where I unravel the complexities of gardening and share my profound love for nature.
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