How to Care for Wax Begonia


Wax begonias are a landscaper's favorite and for good reason. The plump, waxy leaves and the bright blooms do well in full shade or bright sunlight. Once planted, wax begonias require very little care, do well with little water and are resistant to most garden pests. A wax begonia will produce a thick mass of blooms from the time it's planted in early spring until the first freeze of autumn. Wax begonias make outstanding houseplants as well.

Step 1

Feed wax begonias about a tablespoon of timed-release fertilizer when they are planted in early spring. If the soil is very rich or has been composted, cut the amount of fertilizer in half.

Step 2

Spread a thick layer of organic material around the plants after they are established. Chopped leaves, mulch, wood chips or dry grass will all provide nutrients and help to maintain moisture.

Step 3

Cut back on water if the begonias are in a shady spot. Although begonias need very little water, they'll need a bit more in periods of very hot weather or prolonged drought.

Step 4

Pinch back up to a third of the plant in mid-summer. Pruning will keep the begonias from becoming leggy and will promote thick blooms. Remove any dead, yellowing or brown leaves.

Step 5

Dig up the begonia before the first frost, and move them inside. You can also leave them in the garden or flower bed, and add them to the compost pile after they freeze.

Things You'll Need

  • Timed-release fertilizer
  • Organic material for mulch


  • Caring for Wax Begonias/Planting Wax Begonias
  • Growing Wax Begonias from Seed
  • Wax Begonia is a Summer Garden Hit
Keywords: wax begonias, shade, fertilizer

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a longtime writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the "East-Oregonian Newspaper" and "See Jane Run" magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.