Looking Glass Begonia
Begonia 'Looking Glass'
Looking Glass Begonia foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 24 inches
Spacing: 18 inches
Hardiness Zone: 9b
Other Names: Cane, Angel Wing
Group/Class: Wax Begonia
This attractive variety with highly ornamental leaves that are bright silver with dark green variegation along the veins, and deep red undersides; a bushy habit that branches freely; great for garden beds or containers
Looking Glass Begonia's attractive textured lobed leaves remain silver in color with distinctive dark green veins throughout the year. It features dainty clusters of pink flowers at the ends of the stems from mid summer to early fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Looking Glass Begonia is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Looking Glass Begonia is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Planting & Growing
Looking Glass Begonia will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 3 years.
This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Looking Glass Begonia is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.