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Scientific Name

Begonia rex-cultorum


Rex Begonia

Origins / Hardiness Zones

Northeastern India, southern China, and Vietnam / 10-12 USDA


Sometimes called painted-leaf begonias or fancy-leaf begonias, these plants are known for their variegated leaves. They frequently have large leaves that are brightly colored in various shades of green, red, silver, and even purple.

Light Needs

Water Schedule


Humidity Levels




Begonias prefer humid locations if given the choice and will often struggle in very dry arid places in your home, such as near a vent. The normal ways you might increase humidity such as misting the leaves or placing your plant in a steamy bathroom will often not work well, because Begonias dislike intense constant moisture on their leaves. Instead your choice of placement is more important.

Generally considered pet safe, but can cause vomiting or nausea if consumed in huge quantities.

All Begonias types just need a good bright location out of direct sunlight and they're all set to grow, look beautiful and flower happily. The flowering types struggle in dark or very poorly lit areas where as the Begonias grown purely for foliage fair a little better.

Begonias of course need water like any houseplant, especially when growing strongly, but as soon as you give too much the problems start. They rot easily and diseases like Botrytis can strike. The soil needs to dry out a little between each watering, so when in doubt about whether to water again wait a few more days.

The normal usual home temperatures are fine for all Begonias and they aren't overly fussy about occasional highs or lows in temperature. Although you must avoid any prolonged exposure to temperatures which are approaching freezing.

You can propagate quite simply through stem/cane cuttings or in some case through leaf cuttings. Rhizomatous and Cane Begonias often have creeping stems that grow close to the soil surface forming roots as they do so. This means you can remove a section of the stem complete with roots. Pot up in a new container with similar potting mix to the parent and lay the cutting on the moist soil surface, burying it slightly, and in a few weeks you should have signs of new growth.

Young plants and cuttings will need repotting as they grow, but established plants will only need repotting every couple of years at most. This is primarily to refresh the growing medium, rather than due to their expanding root growth.

They can be hungry plants at certain times of the year, so it's a good idea to feed your Begonia when it's growing and flowering. Once every month during this period is probably realistic and a good approach to take. If you've a tuberous type look for a feed high in potash / potassium to support the blooms. If you've another type of Begonia a standard houseplant feed is perfect.




Pests / Diseases

Common Problems



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