It’s easy to fall in love with a plant that has blossoms as pretty as this Begonia boliviensis ‘Bossa Nova’, with its white flowers tinged with blush pink. I think they look a little like large fuchsia flowers, don’t you?
It has a trailing habit and looks fabulous in a hanging basket, so that the flowers can droop down from pendulous, fleshy stems. Be careful of the stems, though, because they are easily snapped off. For this reason, keep the plant away from strong winds. The leaves are attractive, too, with their elongated, serrated leaves.
The Bossa Nova is a tuberous begonia, which means the foliage and flowers die off during winter and only the tuber remains until the weather warms up again. I bought this with me when we moved and I wasn’t sure how well it would grow in a cooler climate but I kept the pot on our undercover verandah all winter to protect it from frost.
Apart from that, I did nothing special, just allowed it to lose the growth. I left the tuber in the pot and didn’t water it all all while it was dormant. Once the weather warmed and it started to send up leaves, I started watering it again.
Begonia boliviensis snapshot
Type: herbaceous perennial
Ideal situation: partial sun, partial shade
Dislikes: strong winds
Suitable for: containers or hanging baskets
Needs: moist, well-drained soil
Maintenance: do not over-water. Over-winter tuber in dry, protected spot.
Propagation: stem cuttings
Fun fact: The Bossa Nova comes in various colours, including red, orange, yellow and blush.
Safety note: These plants can be toxic to animals and young children, so keep out of their range.