Begonias And Geraniums – What Are Their Differences?

Begonias and geraniums are two of the most beloved and cherished flowering plants in the world of gardening and horticulture. However, some people often confuse these two types of flowers! 

These plants, while distinct in their characteristics and care requirements, share a common thread of beauty and versatility that has made them staples in balconies and indoor spaces around the globe. 

This article will explore their unique attributes and how to tell them apart. Let’s scroll down to find out more and decide to choose a plant for your garden! 

Overview About Geranium And Begonia

begonias and geraniums

Begonias 

Begonia plants are a diverse and popular group of flowering plants belonging to the family Begoniaceae.

They are renowned for their striking and often intricate foliage and vibrant and showy flowers. 

Begonias are native to tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, including parts of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.

There are over 1,800 known species of begonias. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. This diversity makes them a favorite choice for both indoor and outdoor gardens.

One of the most distinctive features of begonias is their foliage. Leaves can be variously shaped. They include asymmetrical or spiral forms. 

The plant often has intricate patterns, textures, and vibrant colors. Some begonias are grown primarily for their striking foliage rather than their flowers.

Their flowers are typically single or double and come in various colors, including red, pink, white, orange, and yellow.

Some begonia species produce small, delicate flowers; others have large, showy blooms.

Begonias are versatile plants commonly used for indoor and outdoor gardening. They add color and elegance to shaded areas, porches, balconies, and houseplants.

Over the years, horticulturists have developed numerous hybrid begonia varieties, creating even more diversity in terms of size, color, and growth habits.

Geraniums

Geraniums are a group of flowering plants belonging to the genus Geranium. These plants are known for their attractive and often fragrant flowers and versatility in gardens and landscapes. 

They are found in various regions worldwide, particularly temperate and subtropical areas. These plants are known for their adaptability and can thrive in multiple environments. 

The border Geraniums encompass many species, with over 400 recognized varieties. These species offer diverse growth habits, leaf shapes, and flower colors.

Geraniums are characterized by their deeply lobed and often finely cut leaves, which can add an ornamental aspect to the plant even when it is not in bloom. 

The foliage varies in texture and color, with some species exhibiting rich green hues and others having reddish or bronze tones.

Depending on the species and variety, this species can be either annual or perennial. Perennial geraniums return year after year, while some grow annually in regions with harsh winters.

The nectar-rich flowers of geraniums are attractive to pollinators like bees and butterflies, making them a valuable addition to pollinator-friendly gardens.

What Are The Differences Between Begonias And Geraniums?

What Are The Differences Between Begonias And Geraniums

Short answer: Although these two plants share some similarities, their appearance, lifespan, size, habitat, and caring methods differ.

Begonia leaves display an asymmetric and intricate pattern and vary in colors, while geranium’s foliage is more uniform and comes in red or bronze.

These factors help us distinguish them and decide the best garden plant! Scroll down for more details!

Appearance

As mentioned, begonias have various leaf shapes, sizes, and colors. Some begonia leaves are asymmetric, spiral-shaped, or have intricate patterns, while others are broad and glossy.

The colors of begonia leaves can vary from vibrant green to red, pink, silver, or bronze shades. 

Geranium foliage is more uniform in appearance, with deeply lobed leaves that are typically green, sometimes with a hint of red or bronze.

While the leaves of geraniums are attractive, they are generally not as diverse or showy as those of begonias. 

The flowers of geraniums are typically larger and more prominent than those of begonias. They are often arranged in clusters at the top of sturdy stems, creating a striking visual display.

Lifespan 

Environmental, climatic, and genetic factors influence these two blooms’ lifespans. Begonia is perennial, while geraniums are annual. 

If given the right care and a suitable habitat, geraniums can live for 40 years or longer. However, Begonia only lives for two to three years, even with the right care, atmosphere, and frequent watering.

You can always choose which plant you want in your garden based on how long it will live. Suppose you love the stable garden. A longer lifespan option is ideal!

Size 

Size is a notable distinction between these two species. Many begonias have compact growth habits and are relatively small in size.

These typically grow to a height of 12 to 18 inches. Compact begonias are suitable for borders, edging, or ground cover plants.

Some geranium varieties can grow taller, reaching heights of 2 to 3 feet or even more. Certain species can grow more than 10 feet.

These taller geraniums can be focal points in larger garden beds or background plants.

Habitat

Another difference between begonias vs geraniums is their habitat preferences that reflect their natural origins and ecological adaptations.

These differences are primarily related to the regions in which they are found in the wild.

Begonias are native to tropical and subtropical regions across the globe.

They are often found in areas with warm, humid climates, such as parts of Asia, Africa, Central and South America, and some Pacific islands. Thus, Begonias loves the sun

Many begonia species are understory plants, thriving in the dappled shade of tropical rainforests. Some have adapted to grow in the moist, well-drained soil of forest floors, riverbanks, and rock crevices. 

Geraniums are often found in areas with a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. They are generally more sun-tolerant and drought-resistant. 

They have evolved to withstand fluctuating temperatures, periods of dryness, and intense sunlight.

Their Diseases

Begonias and geraniums can both be susceptible to various diseases, but the specific diseases they are prone to can differ. Begonias are generally less vulnerable to common garden diseases. 

However, they can still face issues such as powdery mildew, a fungal infection affecting the leaves, causing a white, fine coating. 

Geraniums are susceptible to a range of diseases. One common issue is bacterial leaf spots, which can cause dark, water-soaked spots on the leaves.

This plant can also be affected by powdery mildew, especially in conditions with high humidity. 

Gray mold, caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, can also affect geraniums, leading to browning and decay of flowers and foliage. 

Care Requirements

Geraniums are somewhat forgiving in terms of maintenance, whereas begonias need a lot of your time. This is because of their long lifespan and resistance to injury, but if you are negligent, they could also die.

This plant needs less water in the winter, so regular water might induce overhydration and cause the leaves to wilt.

Therefore, you must be careful not to overwater them. Use fertilizers to promote growth and shield the plant from any potential injury.

Begonias require special care because they are delicate flowers with a limited lifespan. 

Unlike geraniums, they cannot withstand colder temperatures. Yet, they need the sun to develop. If your place doesn’t have enough sun, you can use a grow light as an indirect sun.

What Should We Choose For Our Garden: Begonias Or Geraniums?

What Should We Choose For Our Garden Begonias Or Geraniums

The choice between begonias and geraniums for your garden ultimately depends on your conditions and personal preferences. 

If you have a shaded or partially shaded garden, begonias might be the better choice, as they are known for their ability to thrive in lower light conditions. 

Begonias are prized for their striking foliage, which can add a lush and textured look to your garden. 

They come in a wide range of leaf colors and patterns, making them a great option to create a garden focusing on unique and ornamental leaves.

They can also work well in containers, hanging baskets, and indoor spaces.

On the other hand, if your garden receives more sunlight and you want vibrant and colorful flowers, geraniums may be the better choice.

Geraniums are known for their showy blooms that come in various hues, adding a splash of color to your outdoor space. 

They are relatively low-maintenance and can tolerate a wider range of temperatures, making them suitable for different climates. 

Ultimately, the choice between begonias and geraniums should align with your garden’s specific conditions and the aesthetic you wish to achieve.

FAQs

Can You Plant Begonias And Geraniums Together?

Yes. If their specific care requirements are met, geraniums can be planted alongside begonias in the same garden bed or container. 

Ensure that both plants receive the appropriate light and watering conditions. Mixing their vibrant blooms and foliage can create an attractive and diverse display in your garden. 

Just be mindful of their different needs to promote healthy growth and blooming for both species.

What Flowers Go Well With Begonias?

A range of flowers can beautifully complement Begonias. Due to their similar shade-loving preferences, they include impatiens, coleus, lobelia, and fuchsias. 

In sunny spots, begonias can be paired with geraniums, petunias, marigolds, or zinnias to create vibrant and eye-catching displays.

Additionally, incorporating foliage plants like ferns or hostas can add texture and contrast to begonia plantings. 

Conclusion

Begonias and geraniums are two popular and versatile choices for gardeners and horticulture enthusiasts.

While they share some similarities, they also have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

The choice between begonias and geraniums depends on individual preferences, garden conditions, and design goals. 

Whether planted separately or together with other compatible plants, these two flowers contribute to the diversity and charm of gardens worldwide.

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Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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