When it comes to gorgeous foliage, you can’t go wrong with Rex Begonias: these bright-leaved Begonias don’t bloom very spectacularly but are are widely appreciated for their range of leaf shapes and colors. Although they’re not the easiest plants to grow indoors, their showy foliage certainly makes it worth a try.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about Rex Begonia care and growing Rex Begonias in your own home.
Rex Begonia light, location & temperature
- Rex Begonias are not too fussy when it comes to light, though they don’t appreciate direct sun. Keep them in a spot that receives bright, indirect light or under fluorescent lights (more info here).
- Like many houseplants, Rex Begonias appreciate a humid environment, which is not always easy to provide. Location-wise, these plants might appreciate being placed in the bathroom, where air can be more humid. As further explained below, a terrarium is a good option.
- Rex Begonias do best in a relatively warm environment. Room temperature works well for them; they can stop growing or even go dormant and drop all their leaves if temperatures drop too low (during Fall/Wintertime).
Rex Begonia soil & planting
- When choosing soil and planting a Rex Begonia, keep in mind that these plants appreciate a very humid environment but do not respond well to overwatering. This means a well-draining, looser soil type is a good idea; adding plenty of perlite should help achieve a suitable mix.
- A relatively shallow, wide pot (with a drainage hole!) is usually recommended for Rex Begonias due to their horizontal rhizome growth. Because of their high humidity requirements it might also be a good idea to plant them in a terrarium, which can be something as simple as an old aquarium or even a large storage jar.
- Rex Begonias can be repotted during Springtime when they’ve outgrown their container (when the rhizomes are starting to touch the sides of the pot).
Watering Rex Begonia
Rex Begonias are known for being a little fussy when it comes to watering, as they do appreciate humidity and a certain degree of moisture but do not respond well at all to excessive amounts of water. Watering schedules should always be based on the amount of light a plant gets but a good basic guideline is to wait until the top of the soil has dried out; it’s better to wait a little too long than to water too often. Never allow the soil to become soggy!
If your Begonia has lost its leaves and gone dormant, adjust your watering schedule accordingly by cutting back on both amount and frequency.
Rex Begonia fertilizer
You can feed Rex Begonias every two weeks or so using a diluted regular balanced houseplant fertilizer during the growing season (Spring through Fall).
Propagating Rex Begonia
Rex Begonias are not difficult to divide and propagate, which comes in handy as individual plants usually don’t have a very long lifespan. By dividing/propagating plants you can continue to enjoy them throughout the years.
The easiest method to turn one Rex Begonia into two (or more) Rex Begonias is by dividing the rhizome. 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.
Rex Begonias can also be propagated using stem and leaf cuttings, as described in more detail here
Buying Rex Begonia
Rex Begonias are popular houseplants and you should be able to find them in most plant stores and garden centers, though keep in mind that with so many different cultivars they might not always be appropriately named.
You can also buy Rex Begonias online here!
Are Rex Begonias toxic to cats and dogs?
Some sources list “all Begonias” as toxic to cats and dogs. The ASPCA is more specific and lists Rex Begonias separately as safe for pets.
If you have any more questions about Rex Begonia care of if you want to share your experiences with this colorful plant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!