Santa Cruz and San Francisco Begonia

6-28 Corner Begonia Bed
Santa Cruz, San Francisco Begonia top-level, Big Begonias in Rose and Pink lower level

Last year, after the fence went up I threw together this raised bed for the corner that was too shady for vegetables but still needed something. Once the monsoons we had last year started, I was grateful it was a raised bed or everything would have been underwater and probably rotted.

I planted top-level with Santa Cruz (the red) and San Francisco (the coral-pink color) a 2016 Intro, and the bottom with begonias from the Big series, Rose Green Leaf and Pink Green Leaf.

Santa Cruz and San Francisco are both boliviensis type begonias, so they’re perfect for hanging baskets or planters. The leaves are smaller than Dragon Wing and not as glossy, while the plants themselves are a bit more compact.

Sun Cities Begonia series

For 2017 Santa Barbara with a white flower joins the collection, you can see it above mingled with Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara – a new intro for 2017.

I have three Santa Barbara to try this year. I added them to a sorry-looking palm that I have and nearly lost them because there were no drainage holes in the planter.

2016-06-01 14.11.42

Of the three, one is fine, one is maybe and I’m doing my best to salvage something from the third one.

The bed below has 3 each of the Santa Cruz and San Francisco along with 3 large-leaved hosta in the top-level. The bottom level has 3 each of Big Rose Green Leaf and Big Pink Green Leaf.

Begonia in Corner Bed
Santa Cruz and San Francisco top-level, Big series begonia in Pink and Rose.

Everything was planted in a mix of fresh soil and compost but never fertilized. Once the plants were established I rarely watered or weeded either. This bed gets a couple of hours of morning sun and shade for the rest of the day. It’s roughly 10′ across the front and each side of the triangle is about 85″

All of the colors in the Sun City Collection will handle sun or shade, and they are heat and drought tolerant. They’ll reach a height of roughly 12″,  Long after my petunia were sad and scraggly, these were still gorgeous and worthy of a spot in your planters and hanging baskets.


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Author: The Shade Gardener

Hi there! I'm Vanessa, the Shade Gardener. I live in a tiny little house in Ontario with my 2 grown boys, 2 dogs and a cat, where I do my best to grow plants in a heavily shaded yard and soil like cement. I am passionate about my family, my pets, MCM furniture and cheese. When I'm not in the garden I do a bit of crafting and sewing. Sometimes I build topiary animals from chicken wire for fun.