The Begonia Society of the Palm Beaches meets the second Monday of each month in the Mounts Auditorium (UF/IFAS Extension) at 531 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach.  There is ample paved parking. 

Note: October meeting will be on the third Monday of the month.

A plant raffle or auction, plant exchange, information about begonias and upcoming events, official society business, refreshments, door prize, and program are offered.

Doors open at 6:15 pm and the business meeting starts at 7:00 pm unless otherwise noted.  Meetings typically adjourn by 9:00 pm.

Guests always welcome and encouraged.
Note: Meeting programs subject to change
September 11, 2023

Meeting Cancelled

August 14, 2023

Sell, Share & Swap
The Membership

It is suggested that each member bring at least three contributions for the party. So it's time to gather up your plants and excess gardening paraphernalia, and then on Monday we'll see what treasures we will all take home.

Remember, we are also having a pot luck dinner, so please bring a dish to share. If you are able, try to arrive at Mounts early to help set up (moving and covering tables, setting up the tables for dinner items). We will try to start dinner by 6:30 p.m. If you have questions about what to bring, call Nancy Cavnar, our Hospitality Chair. And, if you can, please stick around to help with clean-up after the meeting.

July 10, 2023

Rex Begonias
Howard Huang

"Howard Huang has been a member of the Potomac Begonia Branch, led by Johanna Zinn, since 2018. He enjoys growing a variety of begonia cultivars and species, and sharing them with other begonia lovers. In his limited spare time, Howard enjoys learning more about begonia species and experimenting with ways to grow trickier species like B.darthvaderina." Lois adds: "He is one of the nicest and most generous people you will ever meet."

Kristin Fleming's program on growing begonias in terrariums will be rescheduled. With summertime being quite challenging for some begonias, especially Rexes, learning more about Rexes may offer us greater insight. After all, Rexes are one parent of many of our favorite hybrids.

June 12, 2023

ABS Conference in Texas Review
Frances and Lois

We have some fun in store - Frances and Lois brought back goodies from the ABS Conference in Texas and will present a program on that event.

They brought back plants from the plant sale for everyone, and lots of leaves and cuttings from the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens to share.

May 8, 2023

How to Grow and Show a Blue-Ribbon Begonia
Betsy Szymczak

We are so excited to have the one and only Betsy Syszymczak speak to us via Zoom live about growing begonias for show. Even if you do not enter shows, this talk will help you grow a better begonia.

Betsy is very accomplished. Below are some of her achievements:
  • Accredited Judge:
    • American Dahlia Society,
    • American Begonia Society (ABS),
    • Gesneriad Society.
  • ABS Judging Co-Chair,
  • Massachusetts Certified Master Gardener,
  • Garden Consultant – National Garden Club,
  • Retired professor in clinical microbiology.
She is a dynamic speaker and just an interesting person with a good sense of humor as well. Don't miss this meeting!

Mounts Spring Plant Sale Review
We have some wonderful plants left over from the Mounts Spring Plant Sale to share with you at discounted prices.
It was a bit of an adventure for everyone who volunteered, but particularly for Frances and Leslie who were on duty first thing Sunday morning when the weather got spicy. They will tell you all about it.

April 10, 2023

Photos of the Philadelphia Flower Show
Lois Petzold

Lois will share her photos and insights from this winter’s Philadelphia Flower Show.

Additionally, Lois will judge the Zumba plants she gave out months ago. So, if you’d like them to be judged, bring them on Monday and make sure she cannot tell whose is whose. (Maybe place your name on the bottom of the pot.)

Information about entering terrariums at the Wellington Garden Club Every Day... Earth Day event on April 22 has been added to the Events page. Sandy will bring a tip sheet and Lois may be able to add additional tips.

At the meeting, we’ll also discuss our booth at the Mounts Spring Plant Festival and Sale. It will be a fun weekend at Mounts!

As always, there will be refreshments, and friends are always welcome! We hope to see YOU there!

March 13, 2023

Epiphytic Plants of the South Pacific
Palmer Crippen

Palmer will take us on a tour through the rainforests of the South Pacific to observe the “the incredibly unique and bizarre world of Epiphytic Ant Plants. We will be discussing the wide diversity of these living, symbiotic ant homes, as well as their native habitats and cultivation. The presentation will feature rarely seen photos of these elusive plants in the wild.”

Palmer Crippen is a horticulturalist and nurseryman based in West Palm Beach, Florida. He received a B.S. in Plant Science and a B.A. in Visual Arts Studies from the University of Florida in 2020. He is an avid collector of strange exotic plants, specializing in succulent caudiciforms and non-orchid epiphytes. He is the founder of Palmera Plants, a small nursery operation that sources plants from his personal collection and sells them online and at local festivals. He works as a horticulturalist at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida where he is responsible for the upkeep and design of several areas of the garden, such as the Vegetable Garden, Cottage Garden, and Tropical Forest.

As always, there will be refreshments and friends are always welcome! We hope to see YOU there!

February 13, 2023

ABS Video and Begonia Auction
Lois Petzold

We will enjoy a short ABS program on the International Begoniaceae Database and then on to the mini auction!

For our mini auction, VP Lois Petzold made a trip to Harmony Nursery to fetch some new plants to add to our collections. The hybridizers at Harmony have gotten psyched about canes recently, and have begun a vigorous breeding program to develop new ones to satisfy a growing demand. Lucky for us, what they showed Lois were NEW *PREMIUM* canes, including one Super Premium Cane that Lois is particularly excited about called ‘Night Wing’ that has exceptionally long leaves. There will also be some small rhizomatous begonias and some massive baskets of a new, spectacular cross between a rhizomatous and a Rex that will have greater heat tolerance and may be able to weather our South Florida summer!

Also on the meeting agenda is a discussion of our Saturday, February 18 Workday on the Begonia Garden at Mounts (Mounts staff member Palmer Crippen will meet us there to offer his skills and insight) as well as the opportunity to have a booth at Mounts Spring Plant Sale (April 29 & 30). We plan to produce a beautiful educational display to increase the club’s visibility at the Mounts Spring Plant Sale.

As always, there will be refreshments and friends are always welcome! We hope to see YOU there!

January 9, 2023

How to Use the International Database of Begoniaceae + Begonia Auction
Program Presenter: Australian hybridizer Ross Boswell

First, we will watch the 36 minute presentation, "How to Use the International Database of Begoniaceae" by Australian hybridizer Ross Boswell. Ross created and maintains this database so we will get info straight from the source. How many of us are familiar with this database? Vice President Lois Petzold assures us that it is a super useful tool and this is a great chance for us to learn about it together. Website Link: International Database of Begoniaceae.

Next, we will have a BEGONIA AUCTION! This is not just any auction--it will include rare canes from Harmony! These are the more recent, premium hybrids that go for a pretty penny online, that is, when you can find them.

We treasure these opportunities to learn about and add new hybrids to those we already have, so please join us for this special treat.

Remember that friends are always invited.