Rex Begonias – Breathtaking Leaves, Dramatic Colors
Spectacular Rex Begonias, also known as Fancy Leaf Begonia, Painted
Leaf Begonia, Iron Cross Begonia, Begonia rex, and B. masoniana
name a few, produce large leaves that are marked with dramatic colors,
such as pink, green, silver and burgundy.
While these plants do produce some small flowers, it is the
breathtaking leaves, with their unique patterns and bright colors that
make the plant so appealing. The leaves of the various species of Fancy Leaf begonia plants can be streaked, spotted or blotchy.
They need slightly less light than begonias with larger blooms, and
do well when grown under
fluorescent lighting. Maintain large, healthy leaves by pinching off
buds and blossoms. Rex
Begonias require high humidity, which can be provided by covering
plants with a plastic tent at night, creating a “humidity chamber”. You
can also try placing a humidifier in the room with the plant to
In winter, these Begonias will sometimes shed their leaves and become
dormant. When this happens, remove the withered leaves, allow the soil
to become almost completely dry, and enclose the pot in a plastic bag.
Store in a room with a temperature of 60°F / 16°C until new growth
appears. New growth will occur within six to ten weeks.
for Rex Begonias – Growing Conditions and Tips for Houseplant Care
Bright, indirect light or fluorescent light year-round.
Average indoor room temperatures are ideal (65 – 75 ° F / 18 - 24° C).
In spring through fall, feed with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.
During winter, feed begonias monthly unless they are dormant.
Water lightly, yet frequently to keep soil constantly moist. Avoid
overwatering Rex Begonia plants.
These plants thrive in moderate to high humidity. Place pots on trays
filled with moist pebbles, use a humidifier, or utilize a plastic tent.
Avoid misting plants since this can cause spots to form on the leaves.
A light textured, fast draining soil mix such as African violet potting
soil is ideal.
In early spring, repot plant in a shallow pot making sure that the
rhizome is barely visible at the surface of the soil. Dormant plants
should be repotted as soon as new growth appears.
Individual plants can grow for two to three years. When propagated from
stem or leaf cuttings, plants can last indefinately.
Rhizomes can be divided when repotting; however, it is best to root
medium-sized leaves in early summer.
‘Iron Cross’ begonia (B.
) features apple green marked with dark brown
crosses; leaves have a puckered texture. Some hybrids have
spots on their leaves. Other hybrids have variegated patterns on their
leaves in assorted shades of silver, pink, and green.
Display & Uses
Dwarf varieties are ideal for terrariums. Be sure to provide larger Rex
Begonia varieties with sufficient humidity growing conditions.
Begonia Plant Information
- Basic Tips and Information
- Choosing the Right Containers for Your Plants
- Tips and Techniques