Begonia 'Paul Hernandez'

Unveiling the Enigmatic Beauty of Begonia ‘Paul Hernandez’

Begonia ‘Paul Hernandez’ is a remarkable hybrid plant introduced by Patrick Worley in 1985. The begonia, a cross between Begonia luxurians and Begonia gehrtii, showcases a fascinating mix of traits inherited from its parental lineage. While it takes on a shrub-like growth pattern, its leaves, textured and pustulated, resemble the various hybrids containing B. luxurians in their ancestry, such as ‘Lady Clare’ and ‘Mrs. Fred T. Scripps’.

Characteristics and Aesthetics:

This Begonia isn’t for the space-constrained, as it tends to grow prodigiously, reminiscent of its B. luxurians lineage. Featuring deeply textured green leaves accented by crimson stems and veins, its charismatic foliage takes on a two-toned appearance, with a velvety dark olive green upper surface and a bright brick red underside. During winter and spring, ‘Paul Hernandez’ flaunts dainty light pink flowers embellished with prominent yellow stamens. These traits make it a standout evergreen with an enigmatic appeal.

Cultivation and Care:

‘Paul Hernandez’ is moderately fast-growing, expanding to impressive dimensions of 4-6 feet in both height and width and reportedly up to 8 feet under optimal conditions. It flourishes best in locations receiving morning sun and sheltered from direct sunlight for the rest of the day. Thriving in soil with excellent drainage, it is reasonably drought-tolerant for a tropical-looking plant. This shrub, part of the Begoniaceae family, showcases its unique features most prominently in shade.

Cultivation of Begonia ‘Paul Hernandez’:

Sunlight: The Begonia ‘Paul Hernandez’ begonia thrives in sheltered spots with partial shade, yet it flourishes with adequate sunlight to accentuate its striking red leaf coloration.

Soil and Watering: The plant adores rich, well-drained soil and requires regular watering, avoiding waterlogging to prevent potential root issues. It’s drought tolerant but appreciates consistent moisture.

Pests and Diseases: Begonia ‘Paul Hernandez’ is relatively resilient to pests. Mealybugs can be a concern; regular inspection and appropriate treatment are recommended.

Propagation: Expanding your garden with more of these striking begonias is easily achieved through stem cuttings.

Attracting Wildlife: The intriguing blooms of ‘Paul Hernandez’ captivate hummingbirds, making it an attractive addition to gardens aiming to welcome these lovely creatures.

Hardiness and Plant Type: This evergreen shrub is sensitive to cold temperatures and can suffer damage if exposed to frost. Its umbrella-like leaves, emphasized by ample sunlight, create a tropical aura in the garden.

Begonia 'Paul Hernandez'
Pink flowers of Begonia ‘Paul Hernandez’
Begonia 'Paul Hernandez'
Begonia ‘Paul Hernandez’

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