The 12 Best Leaf Begonia Plants That Thrive Indoors

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A leaf begonia plant is commonly known by a number of names, including begonia rex, a fancy-leaf begonia, painted leaf begonia, as well as king begonia, and Beleaf begonia. This flowering plant originates from India and is known for its beautiful colors. There are hundreds of cultivars of leafy begonias to choose from, and some are the most beautiful, visually interesting plants you can grow indoors.

The 12 Best Leaf Begonias

These begonias are known for their show-stopping leaves. However, many of them can be a bit picky about light and water, which is why in this article you’ll find the twelve best and most beautiful leaf begonia plants that are not overly delicate and will thrive indoors.


Begonia Maculata a.k.a. Polka Dot Begonia


The Best Leaf Begonia

There is virtually no end to begonia variety. With over 1,000 species and many more varieties and hybrids, begonias come in countless colors, sizes, and shapes. You’ve probably heard of the Rex Begonia types. ‘Rex’ means ‘king’ in Latin, a fitting name for this group with the biggest, most extravagant leaves. While you can get many varieties everywhere, nowadays the best varieties of Begonias that you can find at your local flower shop or garden center have been created by specialized breeders such as Koppe Begonia. You can recognize some of those easily by the mark Beleaf. Extravagant Leaves, combined with very good performance at home.


The Beleaf series of leaf begonias
The Beleaf series of leaf begonias


Most of the twelve best leaf begonias originated from crosses between begonia rex and other cross parents, that have been selected and created by Koppe Begonia. The selected plants form many new shoots from below, so you get full plants. Traditional begonia rex has larger leaves and less shoot formation, so you have a more open plant, which is especially suitable for larger pot sizes. The Beleaf begonia is ideal for a small pot and is available in many colors with short and firm leaves. This also makes it less susceptible to fungi.



Begonia Plants That Thrive Indoors

Before new begonia varieties are marketed, they undergo a very extensive selection procedure. They are then selected on criteria such as hardiness, looks, health, and growth. Begonias are native to areas with high humidity, so naturally, they don’t pump water to the leaf edges very efficiently. Because most leaf begonias are for indoors when selecting the best (Be)leaf begonia plants, a lot of attention goes to this aspect so that the begonias will thrive indoors.


Beleaf Begonia Arctic Breeze
Begonia Beleaf Arctic Breeze 


The 12 Best Begonia Plants

Houseplants were already loved by millennials. But because of the pandemic, many plant enthusiasts are more at home, and the savings in the bank for the holidays remains untouched. There’s money to be spent on plants as interior design objects. Added to this is the increased time on socials, Pinterest, and Instagram in particular. Those are ideal platforms for interior trends and they are boasting with greens. Leaf begonia plants are the new kittens. And these are the twelve most wanted leaf begonia plants (in no particular order):

1. Begonia Beleaf Alaska Creek

This is the first of many from the Beleaf Series. It’s no surprise that in this top 12 you’ll find many Beleaf Begonia’s. The Beleaf Begonia Alaska Creek has sturdy, velvety leaves, and is a true painted leaf begonia as it should be. The plants are filled with many leaves. A compact, and easy-to-take-care-for leaf begonia. Begonia plants are Native to Myanmar, southern China, and the Assam region of India, if you want not just something green, but want to stay in the green color palette, to brighten up your interiors, this is the plant for you.


Fancy Leaf Begonia Begonia Beleaf Alaska Creek
Begonia Beleaf Alaska Creek


2. Begonia Beleaf Inca Flame

A Begonia that really stands out from the crowd due to its vibrant red color is this Begonia Beleaf called Inca Flame. As red as a flame. That is this compact, full Leaf Begonia Inca Flame. The second from the Beleaf series in this top 12.  Begonia Beleaf Inca Flame looks like a tropical foliage houseplant with its large heart-shaped leaves with a beautiful shimmer. A colorful and original addition to your interior.


Red Leaf Begonia Beleaf Inca Flame
Begonia Beleaf Inca Flame


3. Begonia Beleaf Jungle Black

It’s no wonder that the leaf begonia trend is so hot at the moment. Especially with this dark-looking Jungle Black Begonia. Begonia Beleaf Jungle Black is a real must for all plant enthusiasts. This one is known for its black-colored, velvety soft leaves with beautiful and curled ‘hairs’ at the edges of the leaves. This begonia has a black, purple mysterious color on top and red below. It stays small in size but is big in color. The interior jungle is back. In black.


Leaf Begonia Beleaf Jungle Black
Begonia Beleaf Jungle Black



4. Begonia Maculata

The Begonia Maculata is one of the most wanted and well-known begonias. It is definitely one of the most photogenic houseplants. This begonia is also known as the Polka Dot Begonia or Spotted Begonia. Not (anymore) your grandmother’s begonia, the Maculata is a real eye-catcher with its large angel wing-shaped leaves patterned with polka dots on top and a deep purple-red on the bottom side.


Leaf Begonia Maculata Polka Dot
Begonia Maculata, a.k.a. Polka Dot Begonia



5. Begonia Beleaf Asian Tundra

Again a Beleaf variety, and again a very nice painted begonia. The Begonia Asian Tundra has very playful foliage. With a unique, stippled pattern this Begonia Beleaf Asian Tundra makes a popular houseplant, with an interesting, pale set of leaves, with a purple gradient at the center. The Asian Tundra really catches the eye! What’s more to know? This compact houseplant is so easy to take care of, and one of the fastest-growing in this top 12.


Painted Leaf Begonia Beleaf Asian Tundra
Begonia Beleaf Asian Tundra


6. Begonia Beleaf Maui Sunset

The Begonia Maui Sunset has swirling psychedelic leaves that definitely stand out from the houseplant crowd. This is one of the hardest begonia plants around and is destined to be a winning indoor plant since the 2020 introduction by Koppe Begonia. Remember this name: Begonia Beleaf Maui Sunset.


Leaf Begonia Beleaf Maui Sunset
Begonia Beleaf Maui Sunset



7. Begonia Sumatra Green

The Sumatra Green begonia is a strong plant with serrated and pointed leaves. The variegated leaves, in the colors green and white, give a nice fresh look. A real eye-catcher. The Begonia Sumatra Green is a strong plant that fits really well in the interior designs of today.


Painted Leaf Begonia Sumatra Green
Begonia Sumatra Green


8. Begonia Beleaf Arctic Breeze

From all the top 12 best leaf begonias, the Begonia Beleaf Arctic Breeze in particular catches attention. It’s a full, and compact plant with beautiful silver-colored pointed leaves with a clearly visible vein. The top layer even seems to have a bit of a metallic sheen to it and is a real eye-catcher.


Leaf Begonia Beleaf Arctic Breeze
Begonia Beleaf Arctic Breeze



9. Begonia Beleaf Lima Love

Green, greener, greenest. But not just green. This Begonia Beleaf Lima Love has got a very special color indeed. For sure, this makes a handsome houseplant. Lima Love is a striking plant, each leaf of the Begonia Beleaf Lima Love is highlighted with a dark maroon-colored edging.  The darker markings resemble short rays, they radiate outwards, encircling each of this begonia cultivar’s leaves. Plants form a naturally rounded shape, their decorative leaves overlapping one another, to form a stocky, bushy specimen.


Leaf Begonia Beleaf Lima Love
Begonia Beleaf Lima Love




10. Begonia Beleaf Evening Glow

Begonia Beleaf Evening Glow has a compact, mounded growth habit with crimson, grey foliage, and pink flowers. The unique leaf color of Begonia Beleaf Evening Glow gives your interior a personal, original, and natural touch. This begonia is characterized by its compact growth and high performance; you can enjoy it for years to come.


King Leaf Begonia Beleaf Evening Glow
Begonia Beleaf Evening Glow


11. Begonia Purple Blush

Purple Blush also is an awesome Painted Leaf Begonia. Begonia Purple Blush has round swirling psychedelic leaves that really stand out from the houseplant crowd. This variety is very new and was created by Koppe Begonia, only in 2020. The leaves are somewhat thicker which makes this Leaf begonia a very strong variety.


Begonia Rex Purple Blush
Begonia Purple Blush


12. Begonia Beleaf Inca Night

Forget that Bauhaus Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich. Forget the Chesterfield leather sofa. And Forget impressive contemporary paintings on your walls. Anyone who wants to make an impression today does so with special house plants. Begonia Beleaf Inca Night is such a plant. Quite a dramatic foliage plant, that has amazing leaves in burgundy, with purple-black edges.


Leaf Begonia Beleaf Inca Night
Begonia Beleaf Inca Night



Begonia Plants Outdoors

Many varieties do very well outside. Four to six hours of morning sun is ideal and will encourage blooms without scorching the plants. Most begonias tolerate full shade. Check the requirements of your particular variety before choosing a location with afternoon sun, as some begonias will scorch.


Leaf Begonia Beleaf Alaska Creek
Begonia Beleaf Alaska Creek


Leaf Begonia Beleaf Inca Flame
Begonia Beleaf Inca Flame


Leaf Begonia Beleaf Lima Love
Begonia Beleaf Lima Love


Leaf Begonia Beleaf Maui Sunset
Begonia Beleaf Maui Sunset


Care for the Best Leaf Begonia Plants

Plant begonias use a loose potting mix in a pot with good drainage in the bottom. Striking the right balance with watering is essential when growing begonias. Ideally, the soil should be slightly damp at all times, but not too wet because begonias are very sensitive to overwatering. Water the soil directly, keeping the leaves dry.

The begonias in this article need bright, indirect sunlight. Some prefer a bit more shade. If leaves appear scorched, move your plant to a less sunny spot. Always be careful with too much direct sun, especially the red varieties will fade in color and can show burned leaves in extreme sun.

A leaf Begonia can also be used outside but does not tolerate frost. The twelve best leaf begonias thrive indoors and remain beautiful for years if the plant has enough space to grow and is properly taken care of.


Leaf Begonia Beleaf Asian Tundra
Begonia Beleaf Asian Tundra


Propagation of Begonias

Begonias are fun and easy to propagate. Snip off a cutting and keep it in a jar of water until roots form before transferring it to a pot.


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