Home Plant Profiles Begonia: Rex, Iron Cross, Strawberry

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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens

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There are several types of Begonias. The photos show the diversity of leaf, color, texture and form that is available in this plant family.

Rex Begonia is grown more for its showy foliage than for its flowers... although they do flower. Leaf size varies greatly from 1 1/2 inches to 1 foot and shapes from ovals, stars, spears, etc. The leaves range from crinkled to smooth, and dull to shiny. The original Begonia Rex come from India but the species probably no longer exists. All the colorful ones you see now are hybrids.

WATER: Begonias have fleshy stems and absolutely detest overwatering. The soil should be kept moist (not wet) from spring to fall. Allow surface to dry before watering. Water sparingly in the winter.

LIGHT: Begonias hate direct sunlight as it will burn their leaves. Choose a bright location away from direct sunlight, especially in the hot summer. Turning pots occasionally will prevent your plant from growing lopsided.

TEMPERATURE: They like average temperatures (minimum of 60 degrees). Begonias like moist air but DO NOT mist their leaves. One way to raise humidity is to place the pot on a bed of stones and water in a saucer, making sure the bottom of the pot does not sit in the water.

You can repot begonias every year. Pot-bound plants loose their color quickly. To propagate you can divide the plant at repotting time or they do well with leaf cuttings.

These are seasonally available in 3", 4", 6" and sometimes in 8" hanging or floor plant pot sizes.