Oct 12, 2015
2016: Year of the Begonia By Jasmina Dolce

The National Garden Bureau recently announced its “Year of the” crops for 2016. In the annuals category, 2016 will be Year of the Begonia.

Judging by all the exciting new begonia introductions this past year, I think the organization definitely went with a great choice. Growers have a lot of impressive options when choosing which begonia varieties to add to their production.

And begonias are also trending at garden centers, as landscaping becomes more important to homeowners and they see begonias as one of the more fool-proof crops.

As always, the National Garden Bureau selects crops that are easy to grow and genetically diverse with a lot of new varieties to choose from. Breeders, brokers, seed companies, growers and garden centers are encouraged to consider highlighting these crops when planning for the 2016 season. To view publicity generated from past programs, click here.

Will you take advantage of the Year of the Begonia program for 2016? Have you seen recent success with begonias? Which varieties are your favorites?

If you need some inspiration for your upcoming season, here are some recent begonia introductions to consider:

‘Little Lava’ (Hort Couture)

This begonia’s extremely compact habit makes it a great choice for combination plants. ‘Little Lava’ plays well with others and its bright colors create a trailing spiller.

‘Champagne Orange’ (Green Fuse Botanicals)

The large-flowered Champagne series has been expanded for the 2015/16 season. Orange, White and Yellow now join Apricot and bring excitement for this retail market series.

‘Bossa Nova White’ (Floranova)

Brilliant blooms cover this plant from late spring until frost. The well-branched plants are striking in large containers or hanging baskets, either on their own or part of a combination.

‘Unbelievable First Kiss’ (Dümmen Orange)

This garden begonia presents huge flowers with an upright and shippable habit. With its strong branching, ‘Unbelievable First Kiss’ will not snap easily.

‘Nonstop Joy Yellow’ (Benary)

This retail-friendly new tuberous begonia has a nice, rounded habit that will ship well. The yellow color pops and the plant boasts incredible garden performance.

– Jasmina

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at jdolce@greatamericanpublish.com.