Begonia ‘Bonfire’ (Begonia ‘Bonfire’)

Botanical name

Begonia ‘Bonfire’

Other names

Begonia ‘Bonfire’, Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’, Begonia ‘Nzcone’


Begonia Begonia

Variety or Cultivar

‘Bonfire’ _ ‘Bonfire’ is an upright, bushy, tender, evergreen perennial, often grown as an annual, with triangular, dark green leaves with red-flushed, serrated margins and pendent, tubular, orange-red flowers from midsummer into autumn.




Arching, Compact

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Orange-red in Summer; Orange-red in Autumn

Green, Red in Summer; Red, Green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Caterpillars , Mealybugs , Tarsonemid mites , Thrips

Specific diseases

Powdery mildew

General care


Overwinter indoors or discard at the end of the growing season. Requires little or no pruning.

Propagation methods

Stem tubers

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Where to grow

Begonia ‘Bonfire’ (Begonia ‘Bonfire’) will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 1m after 1-2 years.

Suggested uses

Conservatory, Containers, Greenhouse, Hanging baskets


Grow in containers in loam-based compost or in the ground in fertile, well-drained, neutral to acid soil in full sun or partial shade. Tolerates heat and moderate drought. Avoid waterlogged conditions.

Soil type

Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage


Soil pH

Acid, Neutral


Partial Shade, Full Sun


South, East, West



UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4), Tender in frost (H3)

USDA zones

Zone 11, Zone 10

Defra’s Risk register #1

Plant name

Begonia ‘Bonfire’ (Begonia ‘Bonfire’)

Common pest name

Asain cotton leafworm; Cluster caterpillar; Fall armyworm; Rice cutworm; Taro caterpiller; Tobacco budworm; Tobacco caterpillar; Tobacco cutworm; Tobacco leaf caterpillar

Scientific pest name

Spodoptera litura



Current status in UK


Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

General biosecurity comments

Regulated pest; frequently intercepted with occasional outbreaks which have been successfully eradicated in the UK.

Defra’s Risk register #2

Begonia ‘Bonfire’ (Begonia ‘Bonfire’)


Groundnut ringspot virus

Virus or Viroid


Virus affecting begonia; salad and other crops. First European outbreak detected in Finland in 2015.

Defra’s Risk register #3

Begonia ‘Bonfire’ (Begonia ‘Bonfire’)

Nematode; common spiral; Spiral nematode; Steiners spiral nematode

Helicotylenchus dihystera



Nematode pest unlikely to be very damaging in its own right; but used as a an indicator species to assess compliance of soil requirements of imported plants to be kept under review in light of EFSA evaluation of soil requirements.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read “Don’t risk it” advice here

Suspected outbreak?

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit:

Scientific Name

Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’


Begonia ‘Bonfire’, Begonia ‘Nzcone’

Scientific Classification

Family: Begoniaceae
Genus: Begonia

Color: Orange-red
Bloom Time: Late spring through summer


Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’ is a tuberous Begonia up 20 inches (50 cm) tall, with spectacular display. It produces masses of vivid, reddish orange blossoms held on bright red stems amongst a delicately pink-edged green foliage. It is perfect for vertical gardens with its eye-catching and elegant cascades of fiery red, elongated flowers resembling fuchsias. It blooms from late spring to frost.

Photo via


USDA hardiness zone 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Begonias are rather versatile in their requirements: Old-fashioned Wax Begonias are great in the shade, but several newer Wax Begonia varieties are perfectly happy in full shade to full sun. No matter where you plant begonias, it’s a good idea to give plants a regular dose of fertilizer to help fuel the constant barrage of blooms they’re bound to throw at you.

When it comes to watering begonias, finding a good balance is key for healthy plants. Most Begonia varieties need to be consistently watered but shouldn’t get too wet (too much water can kill them). So, don’t be afraid to let the plants dry out a little between each watering. Begonia boliviensis varieties particularly like sharp drainage, as they’re native to growing on cliff walls.

Most Begonias grow upright. For containers or hanging baskets, look for Begonia boliviensis and Angel Wing types, which have a more cascading habit… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Begonia


Garden origin.


  • Back to genus Begonia
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Plant retailers wanting to offer gardeners an eye-catching flowering plant that can cope with the alternating downpours and heatwaves of recent British summers can now order the new Begonia BONFIRE Choc Orange™.
The new release comes from Tesselaar International (Tesselaar), the worldwide horticultural management and marketing company renowned for the successful sourcing and branding of high quality plants.
The bright orangey red flowers of Begonia BONFIRE Choc Orange™ cover up to half the plant and are a stunning contrast for the dark chocolate/plum foliage with red serrated edges.
The easy-care begonia has a rounded, bushy habit, growing up to 60 cm wide and 60 cm high in the garden. It also looks sensational in patio pots and planters, and adds drama to larger hanging baskets.
The new variety comes into bloom in late spring and will continue to shower gardeners with masses of bright orangey-red flowers through the summer until the first frosts of late autumn.
BONFIRE Choc Orange™ is extremely low maintenance, can be grown in full sun or partial shade, and is not afraid of summer rains or drier summer conditions. It is drought-tolerant and heat hardy, and is generally resistant to pests.

· Flower size- 50mm diameter
· Spacing – 50cm apart
· Temperature – performs best at 22°C during the day and 18°C at night
· Pests – generally not damaged by pests
· Special care – will benefit from digging and dividing every three years
· Pruning – branches naturally, will benefit from pinching to induce side branches and more compact spreading growth
· Soil – performs bests in a well drained friable soil or good quality potting mix
· Water – keep moist but not wet through the growing season. Tolerates periods of dryness.
The new variety is a perfect complement for the original Begonia ‘Bonfire’, which has bright orange-pink flowers against the same rich chocolate foliage, and the same trailing growth habit.
The recommended retail price ranges between £4.00 and £6.00 for smaller sized plants. Larger products such as hanging baskets will retail at a higher value depending on product size.

How to Water Begonias

begonia image by Maria Brzostowska from

Begonias are flowering plants used as houseplants and in the garden. Landscapers select begonia varieties for their attractive foliage or flowers. Many begonia varieties do not tolerate severe winters. Cold region gardeners dig up frost-intolerant begonias prior to winter, use them as houseplants and replant outside in the spring. Some varieties do well in the sunlight while others require partial shade. Flowering time varies by begonia variety. Avoid wet and soggy soil if growing the begonia in the garden or as a potted plant indoors.

Locate a water source that is not soft water treated. If your home has soft water, draw water from a faucet that is not connected to the soft water system, such as an outside faucet.

Schedule the watering for the early morning.

Press your finger in the soil to test for moisture. The soil should be evenly moist and allowed to dry out slightly before re-watering. If watering a potted begonia, place the pot in the sink to catch the water.

Irrigate the soil beneath the begonia with a low stream of water. If irrigating a potted begonia, water until it begins draining from the pot. If watering begonias in the garden, allow the soil to get thoroughly soaked without getting soggy or muddy.

Empty the dish under the potted begonia after each watering. If you keep your potted begonia on a dish, water will collect in the dish after watering. Never allow the potted begonia to set in a dish of water.

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