By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin
Begonias are some of the easiest plants to grow in containers in a home environment. Our newest hybrid, ‘Autumn Ember’ has taken the begonia world by storm with its brilliant orange leaves. This rhizomatous begonia hybrid is a cross between Begonia ‘Marmaduke’ and Begonia ‘Angel Glow.’ Selected out of a group of seedlings, ‘Autumn Ember’ shows the brightest orange coloring, especially when they are newly emerging as juvenile leaves. When grown with other begonias, ‘Autumn Ember’ literally glows in comparison and when seen from afar, the mass of orange leaves catches the attention of all who gaze upon it.
Medium-sized leaves spread by rhizomes and can be pinched to create a well-branched bushy form. The color intensity of the leaves depends on the amount of light. In the wintertime, we have noticed there is no green at all, and believe it is the quality of light at that time that turns the leaves orange. The older leaves will eventually fade and soften in color.