Are Begonias Perennials? Overwintering Begonias in Winter

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Each year planting gardens, it’s wonderful to see which plants come back. A popular flower, have you ever wondered, “Are begonias perennials?” – well, I am happy to sort this one out.

Sweet begonias look lovely in the garden, often boasting pretty flowers that keep right on blooming.

Are Begonias Perennials or Annuals - Pink and Red Flowers
Are Begonias Perennials or Annuals – Pink and Red Flowers

Back before our daughters were born, my husband used to jokingly call me “brown thumb.” This all started because, once I couldn’t keep a begonia alive (indoors).

Apparently, he believes begonias are the hardest plants to kill. I’m not sure, but anyway, somehow, I killed it. I think it was too much or too little water.

Maybe we were away on vacation and it wasn’t even me.

Can anyone even remember back that far to how you cared for your plants before your kids were born?!

I can say with 100% certainty, I’ve become a much better gardener after becoming a mother.

It’s funny, because I have way less time to myself, but my plants are definitely thriving!

Anyway, back to the whole ‘are begonias perennials or annuals’ debacle!

Are begonias perennials?

If you find yourself wondering, are begonias annuals or perennials, consider where you live and which types you’re growing. In most grow zones, begonias are annuals, not perennials. Traditionally, begonias are not winter hardy and they cannot tolerate frost.

Most of the time, begonias prefer temperatures above 50 degrees. If your region gets colder than this, bring them indoors and overwinter begonias just like houseplants!

Are there perennial begonias?

Begonias may survive as perennials in zones 10 and 11; however, most gardeners treat begonias as annuals. Tuberous begonias in particular may survive in zones 9 through 11 without frost.

Tuberous Orange Begonias from Ott's Greenhouse
Tuberous Orange Begonias from Ott’s Greenhouse in 2019

Overwintering Begonias – Begonias in Winter

When the first frost threatens, do you know what you’ll do with your begonias in winter? Overwintering begonias indoors is the best plan if you don’t want to let your plants perish as annuals.

In most grow zones, begonias in winter will die if left outdoors during freezing and frosty temperatures.

You can solve this problem by simply bringing your flowers indoors and overwintering begonias.

I brought mine indoors in little nursery pots, fully intending to work on repotting begonias – except I never got time.

So, so far, they’ve stayed in little plastic pots from Lowe’s right in front of my kitchen sink window.

I’m pretty sure it’s actually kinda hard to mess up overwintering begonias.

As you care for your indoor begonias in winter, remember that you can move them outdoors again after the threat of frost.

First, though, you’ll have to harden them off to help them reacclimate to the outdoor temperatures and direct sunlight.

Are Begonias Perennials or Annuals

Bringing your begonias indoors for winter allows you to enjoy them again for an entire extra year.

You can always buy new begonias or plant some from seed in the spring. We love hunting for new plants – well, at least I do!

Some of my favorite places to buy annuals are Lowe’s, Produce Junction, Stauffer’s Farm Stand, and random other finds!

Begonias and Celosia sold as annuals at Produce Junction in 2019
Begonias and Celosia sold as annuals at Produce Junction in 2019

Wintering over begonias may be just another thing on your to-do list – But, what’s another houseplant or two?!

I brought in two begonias to winter over indoors, one for each of my daughters.

We never managed to get them situated in the girls’ bedrooms, but it’s probably for the better. I am not sure they’d remember to water them enough!

They’re still in training with succulents!

By the way, if you’re curious about whether other flowers are annuals or perennials, check out these posts: Are Zinnias Perennials, Are Marigolds Perennials, and Are Canna Lilies Perennials.

At any rate, let us know in the comments what you think about bringing in begonias in winter or how else you care for them as annuals or perennials if you’re that lucky!

Happy Gardening!

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