|Plant performance of sun to part-shade (left) vs. part-shade to shade (right).|
I have been wanting to grow the Gryphon Begonia hybrida and see how it performs in my yard, and later in my home. I bought 4 plants from an independent garden center. They were all the same size when I bought them. In general, I don't add fertilizer to my plants other than what is already in the potting soil.
"Beautiful, strong & durable foliage"
The Gryphon Begonia is described as having "beautiful, strong & durable foliage" and I am all about durable in the garden. The information sheets for Gryphon Begonia on the PanAmerican Seed web site clearly state that this begonia thrives in the shade and with less water.
When the description on this plant is part-shade to full shade, my experience now says respect it if you want the plant to perform to the best of its ability. It's a hard balance to find the right amount of sunlight, in duration and quantity, for plants. Is the dappled shade under a dogwood enough? Perhaps too much? What I discovered with this begonia is that direct mid-day sunlight, even for an hour is too much. The two plants in the same containers flanked a patio table. One was protected from direct light by a dogwood tree, and the other did receive direct light for only about an hour. The plant in the shade had large leaves. It was very full and tall. The plant in too much light was smaller with an airier appearance. Never reaching its potential.
|One of my favorite color combinations, |
Petunia 'Raspberry Blast' with a Gryphon Begonia
Color combination of this plant must be planned out well before choosing the containers. I had two peach colored ceramic containers and a red ceramic container. All three of the containers clashed horribly with the silver/blue leaves with maroon coloration underneath. I didn't want to drop the cash for new containers, so on this endeavor I made due. The fourth plant was placed in a large terracotta pot with other plants. The begonia in terracotta combination was very nice, though I think I'd stick to charcoal gray or earth tones.
The temperatures over the last few weeks have been in the high nineties. The hoses have been left out because watering has become a must in yard as well as the containers. The Gryphon Begonia leaves have shown damage where water has sat on the leaves. The damage is either caused by the sun heating the water, or the severe temperature differences between leaf and water. This damage followed a significant hail storm a few weeks ago, that left many of the leaves looking like swiss cheese.
After all of the weather events hail, heat, sun and water, that have hit these begonias, they have bounced back quickly and powerfully every time. They perform best when you give them room to grow and the proper lighting needs. I am thoroughly impressed with the durability of this plant and plan on using it again and again. It will be interesting to see if I can bring it inside over the winter to become a house plant.