Begonia ‘Don Miller’ (aka. ‘Frosty’)

Begonia ‘Don Miller’ (aka. ‘Frosty’) on 7-1-17, #353-7.

Begonia ‘Don Miller’

AKA. 

Begonia ‘Frosty’

Plants of the World Online lists 1,897 species in the Begonia genus (as of 1-9-21 when I am updating this page). It is a member of the plant family Begoniaceae with 2 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.

I brought this Begonia ‘Frosty’ home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on July 1, 2017. I thought this was a very interesting Begonia with its silver leaves, green veins with a maroon edge.

Begonia ‘Don Miller’ (aka. ‘Frosty’) on 7-30-17, #362-11.

Sorry to say, but there isn’t a whole lot online about Begonia cultivars except growing information and features from companies selling them. I wish there were more information about who bred them, what species or cultivars were used in their creation etc. According to Dave’s Garden, Begonia ‘Frosty’ was hybridized by Park Seed Company and introduced in 1976. I do know that Wagler’s gets theirs from North Carolina Farms.

On September 8, 2020, I received a message from a man from Proven Winners that said the “actual” name for ‘Frosty’ is ‘Don Miller’. He said the breeder, Naron Stewart, named the plant in Honor of Don Miller. Mr. Stweart crossed an unidentified Begonia species collected from Calcutta, India (called  B. U062) with Begonia ‘Torch’ and came up with ‘Don Miller’. He crossed the unidentified plant with several other cultivars and came up with many other amazing cultivars. He said “companies” sell plants with wrong names which, after selling them for many years, the wrong names become the right names… It is always great to hear from people who have a lot of knowledge about the “actual” history of plants. SO, the original ‘Frosty’ was not hybridized by Park Seed…

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. The man from Proven Winners also sent me a link to the International Database of the Begoniaceae… Ummm… The Record List includes 19,401 different species and cultivars of Begonias…

Begonia ‘Don Miller’ (aka. ‘Frosty’) on 8-29-17, #369-24.

USEFUL INFORMATION:
Family: Begoniaceae
Type: Angelwing, cane type.
Origin: Hybrid
Zones: USDA Zones 10a-11 (30-40° F).
Size: 12-18” T x 18-24” wide.
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.

Begonia ‘Don Miller’ (aka ‘Frosty’), leaf undersides, on 8-29-17, #369-25.

When you hold the leaves up in the sun, you can see their maroon veins. That is weird because from the top the veins are green. They also feature maroon stems.

Begonia ‘Don Miller’ (aka. ‘Frosty’) on 10-11-17, #382-16.

I noticed the Begonia ‘Don Miller’ (aka. ‘Frosty’) had a few mealybugs in late September. I removed the bugs and the leaves that had them the worse. A lot of the leaves had already fallen off, perhaps due to the cooler temperatures.

Inside for the winter on 10-16-17, #384-5.

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. Some plants will go dormant while others will just kind of slow down.

<<<<2018>>>>

Begonia ‘Don Miller’ (aka. ‘Frosty’) on the front porch 7-6-18, #471-5.

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 to be re-potted, though.

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. In 2017 they didn’t bother the potted plants, but they started to this year. You can see a few leaves on the Begonia ‘Frosty’ in the photo above that have been chewed on. Well, 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 light to part shade area to nearly full sun. So, I would have needed to move most of the plants anyway.

Sedum adolphii and Begonias ‘Sophie Cecile’ (aka. ‘Sophia’), ‘Little Miss Mummy’ (aka. ‘Fannie Moser’, ‘Don Miller’ (aka. ‘Frosty’) and an unnamed cultivar re-potted on 8-13-18, #496-3.

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 ‘Frosty’ 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 in 2020 and 2021 so I didn’t take many photos of the plants. Hopefully, I will be able to take more in 2021.

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, species, or cultivar. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.

FOR FURTHER READING:
THE INTERNATIONAL DATABASE FOR THE BEGONIACEAE
DAVE’S GARDEN
GARDENING KNOW HOW
THE NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION
GET BUSY GARDENING

2 comments on “Begonia ‘Don Miller’ (aka. ‘Frosty’)

  1. Michael says:

    Hello! I believe I got this same begonia as “Mr Frosty” – it was a gift from someone and came from a local greenhouse as an annual, however I’ve kept it as a houseplant.

    Thank you for the background info! It’s been a fun plant to grow and it’s been very popular to share with others though it’s not easy to find for sale, probably just because there are so many varieties, and many are thought of as annuals rather than houseplants.

    Thanks again!
    Michael
    Louisville, KY

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Michael! Glad to hear from you! ‘Frosty’ is indeed a great Begonia. There are many varieties of Begonias to try but may be hard to find at most garden centers. I am fortunate to live where there are three locally owned greenhouses that have quite a variety of plants. One of them is good about re-supplying their greenhouse with other plants as they sell their bedding/vegetable plants. They have some of their own plants they take cuttings from as well. I hope you are doing well! Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Like

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