Begonia ‘Freda’

$18

This Begonia was hybridized by Freda Holly, a longtime Begonia keeper and an excellent hybridizer.  She has written many articles for the American Begonia Society as well as a book titled ‘Begonia Hybridizing by the Begonia hybridizers.’

This is far and away my favorite hybrid of all time, of any genus of plant.  It doesn’t look like a hybrid to me, which is why it appeals.  It is also very easy to grow and does well in open air or in a terrarium  The one below only had two leaves in October, and despite its positioning right above a heat vent, it has grown steadily over the past five months.

I placed B. ‘Freda’ and a few other Begonias with reddish tints in this window because of the light.  Every evening these plants are backlit to display their fullest red colors for a few hours at a time (less in winter).  Freda is closest to the window, and B. rex (species) sits in the pot on the left, and two other unknown rex hybrids to the sides.

The plants available are well rooted in 2.5″ pots with many leaves.  They are vigorously growing.  This is a fast-growing species in high humidity, but I have found the leaves to stay a smaller size, than when kept in open air.  For this reason, I prefer to grow as a houseplant to enjoy the full foliage.  Kept in high humidity, Freda will, like many other Begonias, produce many smaller leaves.  The plants will be shipped bare root.

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