Though begonias typically bring colorful blossoms to mind, the rex begonia is prized instead for its visually showy foliage. Ideal for container and indoor use, though it’s also successful in ground, rex begonias are known as a high maintenance plant that are well worth the effort. Extra maintenance yields large leaves with a smooth to dimpled texture in variegated bursts of color including pink, white, purple, yellow, red, white and green. The shape of the leaves is also extremely diverse.
things you’ll need:
- Trays (optional)
- Slow-release balanced fertilizer
- Organic mulch
- Containers (optional)
- Place your rex begonia plants in an area of your house or garden that provides partial shade at approximately 1,500 to 2,500 footcandles. Grow these plants indoors near a curtained window for filtered, bright, indirect light. Avoid direct light, which will bleach leaves.
- Irrigate your rex begonias as necessary through methods that water the soil directly; overhead irrigation can result in bacterial disease. Touch the top layer of soil with your finger and only water once the soil feels dry. Maintain extremely well-drained, moist soil that’s high in organic content with a pH of 5.8 to 6.8.
- Create the humid environment rex begonias prefer if your outdoor space is not humid. Maintain a relative humidity above 50 percent, when possible. Place rex begonias on water-filled trays for added humidity.
- Maintain daytime temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for best growth.
- Fertilize rex begonias with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer during the growing season for good foliage growth.
- Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch like wood chips or pine needles to the area of soil surrounding your in-ground rex begonias to keep the soil warm, retain moisture and prevent weeds from developing. Do not press the mulch directly against the stems.
Tips & Warnings
Have fun with your container selection if you choose to pot your rex begonias. Rex begonias grow well in hanging baskets.