Begonia rex is sensitive to temperature changes and to temperatures below about 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius). Using a spray bottle to regularly mist around the plant without saturating the soil is another option. Despite its exotic looks, Rex begonia is actually easy to grow. If you keep your potted begonia on a dish, water will collect in the dish after watering. Climate: tropical and sub-tropical, temperate with protection, frost tender. You can feed your potted plants monthly with any good houseplant food. Use as many as you need to hold the leaf flat. How To Water Begonia Maculata. When grown indoors, the humidity can be increased by using a small room humidifier. Sometimes called painted-leaf begonias or fancy-leaf begonias, these plants are known for their showy, sometimes jaw-dropping leaf coloration. Learn lighting needs and how to identify, water, feed, and propagate a Begonia Rex plant, also called a Painted Leaf Begonia or Fancy Leafed Begonia. Even in zones where begonias are hardy in the ground, the plants will go dormant for a period of time in winter. Depending on the cultivar, the Rex begonia plant can reach from 12 to 24 inches in height and spread. Rex begonias prefer light, rich soil. Mealybugs, aphids, and caterpillars can also become a problem. Getty Images. She has also taught writing to community college students on the Navajo Nation in northwestern New Mexico. Rex begonias, however, are famous only for their foliage. Watering your begonia daily may make the soil extremely wet, which will make the leaves to rot and drop. You can keep them happy as houseplants or store them dormant over winter, as you would with other tender bulbs. Stick your finger into the soil, and if it dry to your first knuckle, it's time to water. There are more than 1,300 species in the begonia plant family. If your Rex is growing where it only gets light from one side (i.e. Different Rex Begonia Plant Varieties. The main rule of thumb for watering begonias is to not let the soil dry out completely. Because of this fact, they are grown in many areas as annuals, or in pots which can be brought indoors during colder temperatures. You can cut back on water during their dormant period in the winter, watering only when the pot dries out. Rex begonias are known for their colorful and textured leaves. a window sill), turn the pot ¼ each week to maintain even growth. See a picture, learn about pests and diseases, and read answers to Begonia Rex plant care questions. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Annuals that can be grown as a houseplant, South and Central America, Africa, southern Asia. If your begonia rex has yellow leaves, chances are you have given it too much water. Don’t feed at all during the winter. colorful foliage, add interest to shady spots in gardens. Too much food will make for a scraggly plant, so pay attention and adjust the feeding to suit your variety. Care: Regular dilute feed with a foliage specific-fertiliser. The idea is to get the soil slightly wet ad not muddy. Trailing begonias in hanging planters can start appearing leggy as the season progresses and the stems get longer. Root rot can be a problem in wet areas. Fertilizing a hanging begonia every other time you give it water helps keep the plant growing and flowering during it active season, usually from spring until early fall. How to Protect Window Sills From House Plants, How to Care for an Escargot Begonia Plant, www.missouribotanicalgarden.org:begonia rex-cultorum. This plant loves moisture, but it does not need frequent watering. This beautiful plant loves humidity, but it does not tolerate overwatering well. Too much water will lead to root rot or a limp plant. Eventually, you'll figure out the right balance. Begonia Rex, how to grow plant care guide. Maculatas like moist soil most of the time – never give them a drought – but they benefit from having the top half-inch of their soil dry out before rewatering. Rotating potted rex begonias will keep the plants full and stocky. Plant size. Lay the Begonia rex plant’s roots on a paper towel. Above: Begonia rex ‘Red Tango’ mixes well with other shade- and humidity-loving plants such as asparagus ferns and geraniums. They enjoy partial to deep shade and are a great addition to a shady spot in your garden due to the incredible variety and beauty of their foliage, which more than compensates for their modest flowers. In my experience, they don’t seem to like ha… Use a balanced formula such as 20-20-20, diluting it half-strength or about 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water, but check your product label for further directions. Let them dry before you head on to the next step. Slightly moist soil is ideal for painted leaf begonias, but excess moisture will cause root rot, so make sure the water drains properly from the pot and you empty the saucer of excess water. Colour, texture and shape depends on variety. Watering this begonia can be tricky unless you have the right kind of soil, which we’ll explain shortly, but first let’s go over the rules. Trim Begonias. Turn the begonia leaf back over and press it into the seed-starting mix. When planting directly in the ground, a moist, well-drained location is optimal and mulch will keep the roots shaded. Foliage: olive to bright green, bronze to red. Begonia types . Alternatively, if your area is too cold, consider growing yours as a houseplant or in an outdoor container that can be brought indoors in cooler weather. Fortunately, there are really only a few factors to consider when deciding whether to visit this tropical flower with the watering can now -- or to wait. If you don’t have the space or money for a humidifier, don’t worry. They need some light to keep their coloring, but bright, indirect light is best. Avoid direct sunlight. Plants will vary and the only way to know what your plant wants is to watch it, once it has adjusted to its new surrounding. Let’s take a look at the most critical elements of growing the rex begonia as houseplants. Causes. Rex begonias need thorough watering but should not be overwatered. Rex begonias (Begonia rex) are tropical plants, prized for their colorfully patterned and intriguingly shaped leaves. Height: varies according to type, from 15cm–2m. The main rule of thumb for watering begonias is to not let the soil dry out completely. Be sure your garden beds or containers meet the requirements of the rex begonia. The leaves grow on short leaf stalks, from the underground rhizome. Then, place the vase or glass containing the plant in a light and warm spot to provide the perfect growing conditions. Tall growing, up to 1-2m, these varieties bloom from mid-summer to mid-autumn with fleshy flowers like little chandeliers, in shades of pink, red, orange and white. Rex begonia care indoors can be a little tricky, but it is certainly possible to grow beautiful specimens if you understand the plant’s needs. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. To avoid these issues, be sure your begonias are in well-drained soil and water them sparingly. Look at the container’s soil and if the top has just dried, water until it runs out of the pot’s bottom drain holes. DeShazo has written for several major daily newspapers in Montana, Colorado and New Mexico. Colour, texture and shape depends on variety. Tip: Rex Begonias can also be propagated using stem and leaf cuttings. Begonia rex has large, metallic green leaves with splashes of silver on the upper surface, and a reddish tone beneath. Watering The Rex Begonia. Rex begonias can be very demanding of just the right amount of water, food, and humidity. Begonias, such as the rex begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum) with its showy. Often beautifully marked and covered in fine hairs. One of the most popular is B. coccinea, which has pendulous heart-shaped leaves with red undersides and margins. How to grow Begonia rex. Height: varies according to type, from 15cm–2m. Full sun to partial shade. Never allow the potted begonia to set in a dish of water. The leaf edges and undersides are covered with short red hairs. Instead, use distilled water, which is mineral-free. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener, 10 Top Outdoor Garden Plants That Thrive Indoors, 10 Varieties of Begonias for Gardens and Containers. Even plants kept indoors year-round will go into a period of winter dormancy, when growth will slow to almost a standstill and plants will drop some of their leaves. Bacterial leaf spot, mildew, and botrytis can occur if the leaves stay wet. Ensuring good soil drainage will go a long way towards alleviating this issue. The outer edges of the leaf are typically a dark green while the inner portion can be colored shades of pink, red, silver, or purple. They frequently have large leaves (up to 6 inches long) that are brightly colored in various shades of green, red, silver, and even purple. 50cm height . Due to their tropical origin, begonias thrive in areas with relatively high humidity. If begonia is grown in room conditions, it just needs to be watered properly. Begonia Rex-cultorum group, (bah-GO-nyah). Although not difficult to grow, begonias are considered high maintenance by some gardeners, especially when it comes to their water needs. Be sure to allow for air circulation when plants are permanently housed under glass. In drier areas, they will appreciate being misted daily. They look great outdoors in shady tropical gardens, but the most popular way to display rex begonias is to collect and group them together, each in its own pot. Begonias like a decent amount of humidity without constantly moist soil, and they need a container with good drainage. To water propagate your Begonia, all you have to do is partially submerge the stem in water, leaving the leaves sticking out. When this occurs, water only once every 3 to 4 weeks until growth begins again in the spring. They like moist soil, but it cannot be too wet or fungal diseases could occur. Avoid putting a pin through a main leaf vein, or that vein may not root. If it's flourishing, continue with what you were doing. Rex begonia hybrids have been developed to have unusual markings, leaf shapes, and colors. Begonias are frost-tender perennials that thrive outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 to 12. Cane stemmed begonias. DeShazo has a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Montana, and currently writes about food and gardening from her home in the Raleigh, N.C. area. There are many different varieties of Rex begonia, including hybrid varieties, available. 50cm spread . However, do not use tap water for misting – the high alkalinity of some tap water will cause the leaves of your plant to drop. Begonia rex should be watered when the soil or pot feels dry, but don’t wait until the plant starts to wilt. Then, to keep the cuts in contact with the mix, start pushing T-pins through the leaf into the soil. Climate: tropical and sub-tropical, temperate with protection, frost tender. There are hundreds of cultivars of B. rex to choose among, usually classified by leaf size—small (three inches or less), medium (three to six inches), or large (more than six inches). Keeping small plants under glass can also keep them from drying out too quickly and reduce the need to water quite so much. Rex begonia plant showing leaf detail. Water rex begonias when the soil just begins to dry out, usually about once per week. These plants do require high humidity (more than 50 percent), which means it can be difficult to maintain rex begonias indoors over the winter. Foliage: olive to bright green, bronze to red. Step 4: Pin the rex begonia leaf into seed-starting mix. If you have a variety of rex begonia that goes dormant in winter, water sparingly until spring when new growth begins. Keep a close eye on the weather forecast during the fall and be ready to move your begonia pots indoors when the evenings become chilly. Repotting rex begonias each spring will ensure that they have plenty of soil to grow in, but they like to be a little bit pot bound. The best way to achieve this is to let the soil dry between watering, but sit it next to a humidifier or in a humid area. In most cases, a spray form of pesticide will take care of the issue. Disinfect a pair of bypass pruners with isopropyl rubbing alcohol to prevent spreading diseases from other garden plants to your begonias. Many people collect and display several varieties. Rex begonias are rhizomatous begonias. Since begonia plants are susceptible to root rot, it is important to use well-draining potting/growing media. Large or gangly plants can be pruned into shape. Although they are at home in a shady garden, they are also popular as houseplants. Small pink flowers are borne in winter. It’s better to cluster your plants, so they can create their own humid environment, or use a pebble tray. Among the various types of begonias, the Begonia rex are some of the most beautiful and stunning plants. Name: begonia, wax begonia, bedding begonia, rex begonia, Begonia sp. Watering the begonia rex requires close attention to detail and careful soil monitoring. A mixture of peat with a small amount of gardening soil and perlite would be perfect for begonias. Encourage bushier growth and lateral branching by pinching back … Most rex begonias sold today are named hybrids, although they are not always labeled as such. This can be done while repotting the plant or at any other time by just gently pulling the rhizomes apart and repotting all of them into their own container. Rhizomatous Begonia (Rex Begonia) ... To avoid this, watering should be done regularly once the top inch soil is nearly dry (6). It … For overnight storage on a chilly evening, simply move the pots to a garage or basement that stays above 50 °F (10 °C). These plants are grown almost exclusively … Since you have to wait for the roots to dry, go ahead and get the plant pot ready. Rex begonia offers colorful foliage and is one of the most interesting indoor plants around. Rex and other rhizomatous begonia During summer keep plants shaded and watered freely but with good drainage and high relative humidity (humid atmosphere) Do not wet the leaves or the crown During winter reduce watering, allowing the surface of the compost to dry out before watering again Rex begonias can be temperamental and you just have to find the right conditions and balance for your plant. Many hybrid varieties are beautiful, but they are unlabeled or mislabeled, so be sure to ask questions so you know exactly what you're buying. A peat-based potting mix is ideal for containers. Rex begonias are among the flashiest of all indoor plants, adding vibrant color and interest to the indoor environment. The easiest method to turn one Rex Begonia into two (or more) Rex Begonias is by dividing the rhizome. It is much more important than the humidity is high enough, otherwise, the tips of the leaf plates will begin to dry. Conditions: Considered perennials in tropical and semitropical climates, Rex begonias are frost tender and typically grown as annuals or houseplants in North America. Origin: The initial species, B. rex, originated in the forests of northern India.Today, there are countless cultivars derived from this species enjoyed around the world. How to Root Rex Begonia Leaves. That’s why it is always a good idea to plant your begonia in a container with drainage holes so that water doesn’t remain stagnant and suffocate your precious plant. Do I Water My African Violet If It's Blooming? Because it's a relatively short houseplant, Rex begonia is perfect for desks and tabletops where is wildly colorful, variegated foliage makes it a perfect contrast against other houseplants. Name: begonia, wax begonia, bedding begonia, rex begonia, Begonia sp. Begonia rex should be watered when the soil or pot feels dry, but don’t wait until the plant starts to wilt. Water your plants only about once a month during this time. Stick your finger into the soil, and if it dry to your first knuckle, it's time to water. To really play up the unique qualities of begonia rex, pair them with solid green plants with different textures or forms. Your Begonia Rex may go dormant in the winter and possibly drop its leaves. Rex Begonia, also known as the painted leaf begonia or fancy leaf begonia, is a tropical perennial famous for its large, multicolored leaves. Growing Rex Begonias Indoors. Care of Begonia rex plants.. Its needs: Begonia Rex enjoys a position with good light, but not in direct sun or deep shade. If it is droopy or gangly, adjust the light and water. You can cut back on water during their dormant period in the winter, watering only when the pot dries out. The same rules apply for watering plants kept inside – water when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Often beautifully marked and covered in fine hairs. Humidity is crucial to keeping your rex begonia happy, however, spraying the leaves can lead to spotting. Don’t water the leaves, only the soil to avoid fungal disease issues. The clumping growth habit of Rex Begonias, coupled with their tightly packed leaves, makes for a dense plant. If this happens, continue to water sparingly until spring when new leaves will re-appear. Handle slugs and snails by placing slug bait near your plants. Rich but open potting mix, kept moist during growing season. Soil and fertilizer. Andrea DeShazo has been writing and editing lifestyle articles since 2003. Humidity is essential to prevent leaves from drying out, but avoid watering leaves, which could promote mildew growth or various disfiguring leaf spots. Humidity is crucial to keeping your rex begonia happy, however, spraying the leaves can lead to spotting. Avoid overwatering, which will cause the foliage to turn yellow and eventually drop. How to water. How To Water A Rex Begonia Indoors Knowing when to water your Rex begonia is easy, although you will probably have to water weekly, especially during the growing season. The painted leaf begonia can grow up to 24 inches tall. If you live in an area that's prone to flooding, growing your begonias in a pot will give you the option of bringing them under shelter in rain. drained water out of any trays or saucers immediately after watering In pots, be sure to provide drainage holes. Many have showy flowers; several are popular as outdoor garden plants. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Rex has yellow leaves, makes for a period of time in winter, watering only when top... Are tropical plants, so pay attention and adjust the feeding to suit variety. 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