Begonia ’Sophie Cecile’
As of 12-2-22 when I am updating this page, Plants of the World Online lists 1,992 species in the Begonia genus. It is a member of the plant family Begoniaceae with 2 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
I brought my Begonia ‘Sophia’ from Wagler’s Greenhouse on July 1, 2017. They buy their Begonias from North Carolina Farms so we looked in the catalog to find the name. We figured this plant was Begonia ‘Sophia” from their catalog.
Begonia ’Sophia’ is an unregistered name, but the true registered name is Begonia ’Sophie Cecile’. This great cultivar was hybridized by Belva Nelson Kusler in 1961 by crossing the cultivar Begonia ‘Lenore Oliver’ with the species Begonia aconitifolia. It goes by the name Begonia ’Sylvia’ in Australia but that name is also a registered name of several cultivars of other types of Begonias.
There isn’t a whole lot online about Begonia cultivars unless you click on page after page of sources for the plants. By the time go through a few pages you get tired of it. A man from Proven Winners sent me a link to the International Database of the Begoniaceae… Ummm… The Record List includes 19,401 different species and cultivars of Begonias…
The leaves of this Begonia are HUGE! The leaves are a dark green kinda sorta streaked with silvery-white instead of spotted. The leaves also have maroon undersides.
Type: Angelwing, cane type.
Zones: USDA Zones 10a-11 (30-40° F).
Size: 36-48” T x 24-36” wide (according to Dave’s Garden)
Light: Light to part shade.
Soil: Well-draining potting soil.
Water: Average. Water when the top 2” or so is dry to the touch.
Propagation: Stem cuttings and division
Uses: Great for pots.
In this close-up photo, you can see how the leaves are streaked with silvery-white.
The underside of the leaf is maroon with prominent veins.
As temperatures started getting cooler, I moved all the potted plants inside for the winter. Most of the cactus and succulents will be moved upstairs while the Begonias and a few other plants will remain in the basement. The Alocasia are on the other side of the basement.
All the Begonias made it through the winter in the basement with flying colors. When temperatures warmed up enough, I moved the plants back outside where they usually are for the summer. I had been busy doing this and that and didn’t get photos of the Begonias earlier. I could have cut the Begonias back, but I decided to let them grow as they were. They do need re-potted soon.
We had a bad Japanese Beetle infestation, worse than in 2017, so I had to move most of the potted plants to the front porch on July 4. They didn’t bother the potted plants in 2017, but they started to this year. They didn’t bother the leaves of Begonia ‘Sophie Cecile’, though. The plant tables were under a Chinese Elm tree that the beetles were feeding on. Even though the beetle population would drastically reduce within a few days, they changed the amount of light in this area from light to part shade to nearly full sun. So, I would have needed to move most of the plants anyway.
I think it is a good idea to re-pot Begonias once a year, especially if you use potting soil with a timed-release fertilizer, preferably in the spring. If you don’t want to re-pot with fresh potting soil, then adding a water-soluble fertilizer to their water off and on is a good idea. After you have had your Begonia for a year or so, remove it from the pot to check to see if it is root-bound. If so, then transferring it to a larger pot may be a good idea.
Begonia ‘Sophie Cecile’ is easy to grow and undemanding. Just follow a few basic rules and you will enjoy this plant. I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.
I was fairly busy over the summer for a couple of years so I didn’t take many photos of the plants in 2010 and 2020. Hopefully, I can take more in 2021. This plant is still alive and well.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.