(Image credit: Suprabhat Dutta)

Begonia plants make a lovely addition to ornamental flower beds, containers, and even hanging baskets. Thriving under a wide range of growing conditions, it is likely that gardeners are able to find either annual or perennial varieties which best suit their specific needs. Though some types produce large, showy flowers, many other cultivars are known for their dramatic dark foliage. Below we will explore some of the most popular varieties of dark leaved begonias available to home gardeners. 

  1. ‘Dancing Peacock’ - This variety of begonia offers growers a stunning array of pink, purple, and black foliage. When planted in full shade, ‘Dancing Peacock’ produces ornamental leaves in highly-saturated, colored patterns. In addition to its spectacular foliage, this begonia may also produce small pink blooms when grown where conditions are ideal. 
  2. ‘Jurassic Silver Swirl’ - ‘Jurassic Silver Swirl’ is a tropical tuberous begonia that behaves as a perennial in frost free regions. The leaves of this unique black begonia feature a distinctive silver swirled pattern. Like other tuberous begonias, this variety can be grown as an annual. However, it should be noted that it may not thrive in regions with excess heat and/or humidity.
  3. ‘Megawatt Red Bronze’ - This variety of bronze leaf wax begonia is commonly grown as an annual and is often used as a bedding plant. Short-statured plants grow well in a wide range of light conditions, including both part shade and part sun. Deeply colored bronze foliage serves as a brilliant contrast to bright pink-red flowers, which are held high above the plant.
  4. ‘Sophia’ - ‘Sophia’ bronze-leaved begonias are considered an “angel wing” type. These begonias are known for their fantastic foliage, upright growth, and ability to reach impressive heights. ‘Sophia’ begonia produces masses of leaves in shades of deep, dark purple-mahogany and black.
  5. ‘Sparks Will Fly’ - An excellent candidate for growth in containers and hanging baskets, this variety will produce the most vibrant, ornamental color when grown in part to full shade. Leaves of the plant are dark purple, almost black. Frequently, foliage is also patterned with green veining, which adds even more dimension. These dramatic colors contrast nicely with an abundance of bright orange blooms that are produced throughout the duration of the entire growing season.
Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/@tonyawiththeflowers.