Of the many types of begonias, trailing begonias are popular among gardeners who tout their easy care and beautiful flowers. These begonias can easily be trained to climb and grow on trees or other objects. There is a wide variety of this type of begonia available, including some plants that are everblooming. Soil that drains well and regular watering can help ensure that this flowering plant stays beautiful.
Trailing begonias are often called trailing-scandent begonias. The name comes from the way this type of begonia grows. Scandent means these begonias climb while trailing, or grow along the ground for some distance. This is a small group of begonias and has around 35 cultivars, or varieties designed by selective breeding, and 35 species.
Trailing begonias grow much like vines and can be trained to grow along a trellis, up posts, or in and around hanging baskets. There are normally many branches and the stems can be more than 8 feet (about 2.4 meters) long. These are tropical plants that were first discovered in the West Indies. These types of begonias also have been found in Brazil and West Africa.
While most trailing begonias bloom in spring, the flowering season can vary by plant. Newer hybrid varieties of begonias have longer flowering periods, and some bloom all year long. Most of this kind of begonia have pink or white flowers that bloom in clusters. Some types have large leaves, though small, glossy leaves are more common. The texture of the leaves can vary and may be hairy, puckered or smooth.
Care of trailing begonias is not difficult. These begonias need plenty of light but not direct sunlight. Lots of light will cause the plant to bloom often with many flowers. Pale leaves indicate the plant is receiving too much light. Indications that the plant needs more light are elongated leaf stems and a long space between the joints.
New stems are fragile, so potting trailing begonias must be done carefully. Shallow containers are best, because the root system is shallow on these plants. Good soil drainage is essential in caring for begonia plants because the shallow roots can easily lead to a drowned plant. They should be watered when the soil feels dry to the touch and more often if the plant is growing in a hanging basket or if there is hot weather, because it will dry out faster in these circumstances.