How to grow and care for Begonia Rex Indoors

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Begonia rex Care, Painted-leaf Begonia Care

Botanical name: Begonia rex
Family: Begoniaceae
Common names: Painted-leaf Begonia, Fancy Leaf Begonia

Begonia Rex Description

Begonia Rex commonly called Painted-leaf Begonia or Fancy Leaf Begonia is an easy to grow Begonia which is grown for its foliage display where the large, lop-sided, spectacular leaves occur in various hues.

Begonia Rex has a clumping growth habit with the foliage tightly packed together. The leaves arise from rhizomes and may be ruffled, puckered, spotted, streaked, waxy, smooth and so on.

The colors are also very diverse; they may be mixes of greens, silver, white, reds, pinks, yellow, purple, orange, maroon and so on.

Begonia Rex Size

The Begonia Rex grows to a height of 1-2 ft and about the same width. It bears large lop-sided leaves about 6-12 in. long and 4-5 in. wide with a hairy leaf stalk.

Begonia Rex Origin

The original Begonia Rex originated from India but the species has been replaced by numerous hybrids like Merry Christmas, Silver Queen, Yuletide, Her Majesty among many others.

In their natural habitat Begonias grow as understory plants in moist shady to partially shady conditions in the tropical and subtropical regions in South and Central America, Africa and southern Asia.

Begonia Rex for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Begonia Plants from Etsy.

Begonia rex Care, Painted-leaf Begonia Care

Photo Credit: Ecuagenera

Begonia Rex Care Indoors

Begonia Rex Light Requirements

Begonia Rex grows best in bright light with a few hours of morning or evening sunshine.

However, keep your Begonia Rex away from hot direct sunshine to avoid scorching the leaves.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure your Begonia Rex gets light on all sides for uniform growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Begonia Rex

For optimum growth of Begonia Rex, keep the soil moist during the growing season but allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Reduce watering for your Begonia Rex during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Avoid soggy soil for your Begonia Rex as it can lead to Root-rot Disease and eventual death of your plant.

Ensure the pot for your Begonia Rex has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Begonia Rex

The best temperature for growing Begonia Rex indoors is an average warmth with a minimum of 160C.

Protect your Begonia Rex from cold draughts to prevent sudden drop in the temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Begonia Rex

Begonia Rex requires a humid environment for optimum growth. To raise humidity for your Begonia Rex, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Check these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Avoid wetting the leaves of your Begonia Rex as it may lead to the rotting of your plant.

Begonia Rex Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Begonia Rex with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your Begonia Rex during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Begonia Rex

Repot Begonia Rex every year during the growing season. The leaves of a pot-bound Begonia Rex will lose their color.

Use a pot one size larger and one that has a drainage hole for your Begonia Rex.

The best soil for Begonia Rex should be free-draining and rich in organic matter.

You can divide a large Begonia Rex into several sections and pot each seperately.

How to Prune Begonia Rex

Pruning Begonia Rex involves pinching of the growing tips to encourage a compact growth.

Cut back the bare stems of your Begonia Rex at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.

The foliage emanating from the pruning can be used to propagate new Begonia Rex plants. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Begonia Rex Propagation

Begonia Rex can be propagated from stem cuttings or by plant division at the beginning of the growing season.

How to propagate Begonia Rex from stem cuttings

Begonia Rex stem cuttings root easily thus there is no need for a rooting hormone.

Take 4-6 in. long stem cutting from a healthy Begonia Rex. Ensure it bears at least one leaf node.

Strip off the lower leaves of the Begonia Rex cutting and insert the cutting in moist, free-draining rooting soil.

Place the set up in a warm, shaded place and maintain the soil moist through out until the new Begonia Rex plant is well established.

Allow the new Begonia Rex plant to be well established before transplanting it after which routine care can begin.

How to propagate Begonia Rex by plant division

Divide a large Begonia Rex plant into sections during repotting time while ensuring each section has some roots.

Pot each Begonia Rex section into individual pots in moist, free-draining soil and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out until the new Begonia Rex plant is well established.

Allow the new Begonia Rex plant to be well established before transplanting it after which routine care can begin.

Begonia rex Care, Painted-leaf Begonia Care

Photo Credit: Ball Seed

Begonia Rex Problems Indoors

Begonia Rex yellow leaves

Yellow leaves in Begonia Rex are due to two possible reasons.

One possible cause of yellow leaves in your Begonia Rex is too little light.

Move your Begonia Rex to a brighter spot as Begonia Rex prefers bright light with some morning or evening sunlight.

The second possible cause of yellow leaves in your Begonia Rex is too little or too much water.

Maintain the soil for your Begonia Rex moist at all times but not soggy and never allow the soil to dry out completely. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Begonia Rex leaf drop

There are three possible causes of leaf drop in Begonia Rex.

The first possible cause of leaf drop in your Begonia Rex is too little light.

Move your Begonia Rex to a brighter spot as Begonia Rex grows best in bright light with some morning or evening sunlight.

The second possible cause of leaf drop in your Begonia Rex is too much heat.

The best temperature for your Begonia Rex is average room temperature, that is, a temperature that is comfortable for you is good for your plant.

The third possible cause of leaf drop in your Begonia Rex is too much water in the soil (soggy soil).

Ensure the soil for your Begonia Rex is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Begonia Rex brown leaf tips

If the air humidity is too low, Begonia Rex will respond with brown leaf tips.

Raise humidity for your Begonia Rex by seting the pot on a wet pebble tray but do not mist the leaves to prevent fungal diseases. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Begonia Rex pale, rotting leaves

The reason for pale, rotting leaves in Begonia Rex is soggy soil.

Maintain the soil for your Begonia Rex moist but not soggy. Ensure the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Begonia Rex white powdery spots

White powdery spots is an indication of Powdery Mildew in Begonia Rex.

Isolate the affected Begonia Rex, cut off the diseased leaves and treat it appropriately for Powdery Mildew.

Avoid damp conditions and low temperatures and improve air circulation for your Begonia Rex.

Begonia Rex brown blotches which turn grey and moldy

Brown blotches which turn grey and moldy is an indication of Botrytis Disease in Begonia Rex.

Isolate the affected Begonia Rex, cut off diseased parts and treat it appropriately.

Avoid low light and over damp conditions and improve air circulation for your Begonia Rex.

Begonia Rex collapse or dying

There are three possible causes of plant collapse in Begonia Rex.

One possible cause of plant collapse for your Begonia Rex is Stem Rot Disease due to soggy soil.

The second possible cause of plant collapse in your Begonia Rex is Nematodes (Root Knot Eelworm) which are characterized by swollen bumps on roots.

The third possible cause of plant collapse in your Begonia Rex is Vine Weevil which is characterized by tunnels in the rhizomes.

Begonia Rex Pests

The common pests in Begonia Rex are Aphids and Red Spider Mites.

Isolate the affected Begonia Rex to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the disease.

Is Begonia Rex toxic?

Begonia Rex is toxic to humans and pets.

If the foliage Begonia Rex is ingested it can cause burning in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

The roots of Begonia Rex are highly toxic if ingested. If handled with bare hands, the sap may cause contact dermatitis. Therefore, always wear gloves when handling Begonia Rex.

Other Begonia Plants for Growing Indoors

  1. Wax Begonia
  2. Begonia maculata (Begonia Wightii)
  3. Begonia coccinea (Angel Wing Begonia)
  4. Begonia lucerna

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