Begonia 'Red Fred' - A large leaf rhizomatous begonia with rounded heart shaped 10-inch-wide leaves that are glossy maroon with green venation on the upper surface and red underneath. These leaves have a puffy texture between the leaf veins and are held on light green petioles covered with red scales. In late winter into spring appear small pink and red flowers that rise well above foliage in a tightly branched inflorescence.
Plant in bright shade or morning sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate regularly. Should prove hardy to short duration cold temperatures below 30°F but we have not tested it for this. A very nice container specimen for mild climate garden.
Begonia 'Red Fred' was a seedling of Begonia 'Freddie' raised by Brad Thompson at the late Mark Bartholomew's Hi-Mark Nursery. It was selected from the seedflat and named in 2005 by Mike Flaherty of Gazebo Plants in Santa Barbara. The parent plant Begonia 'Freddie' was created by legendary Begonia hybridizer Rudolph Ziesenhenne (1911-2005) at his Santa Barbara nursery by crossing Begonia manicata aureo-maculata with Begonia barkeri. More information on this plant on our listing for Begonia Freddie. Though Begonia 'Red Fred' has considerably redder foliage, it has smaller leaves, less showy flowers and is a little bit fussier than 'Freddie', so requires soil that drains very well.
Information about Begonia 'Red Fred' displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.