How to Mound Annual Begonias


Begonias produce attractive foliage and abundant blooms ranging in color from soft pastel pink, white and salmon to brilliant yellow and orange. With over 1,000 species, begonias range in size from small mounding varieties that reach 6 inches in height to towering cane-like begonias that reach 10 feet or more if grown outside in a tropical climate. The wax begonia grows in rounded mounds, making it ideal for bedding plants in outdoor gardens.

Step 1

Select one or more the many wax begonias from the nursery. Often sold in flats of six or more, planting several plants together in one location creates a blanket of color.

Step 2

Plant begonias in a location that receive bright filtered light, but no direct sunlight. They tolerate morning light, but suffer under the hot sun. Some varieties thrive in shaded areas where many other plants struggle.

Step 3

Pinch out the center leaves on the terminal ends of branches to encourage the begonia to send out new foliage along the main stem and branch. Use your thumb and finger to pinch the leaves free of the stem. This forces dense compact growth that creates a mound of foliage.

Step 4

Cease pinching when your begonia develops the shape you desire and allow it to begin blooming.

Step 5

Trim or pinch back any stray branches that grow outside of the overall form of the plant to maintain a rounded mound. Typically, pinching is required every 3 to 4 weeks to maintain shape.

Tips and Warnings

  • Begonias do not tolerate frost. Bring inside or cover if frost threatens.

Things You'll Need

  • Clippers/knife (optional)


  • American Begonia Society: Pinching Your Begonias
  • Clemson Extension: Growing Begonias Indoors
  • Ohio State University Extension: Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum

Who Can Help

  • American Begonia Society: ABS Registered Begonias
Keywords: mounding begonias, pinch begonias, shape begonias, wax begonias

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.