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Rex Begonias Begonia

Phonetic Spelling
beh-GO-nee-ah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Begoniaceae is a large flowering plant family with about 1500 different species and hundreds of hybrids. Mature begonia plants range in size from a few inches high to over 12 feet high and the flowers, foliage colors and sizes are very diverse. Most have fleshy stems. Some produce underground tubers or rhizomes. The American Begonia Society divides begonias into 7 informal groups by growth habit: cane-like, rex-cultorum, rhizomatous, semperflorens, tuberous, trailing or scandent, thick-stemmed and shrub-like.

The Rex-cultorum Group, commonly called Rex begonias, are usually rhizomatous and can vary in size and habit. They are grown primarily for their showy foliage. The leaves come in every color, pattern and shade, and every size and shape. Rex begonias are typically planted outdoors in mild climates as an annual summer bulb; alternatively, they can be grown as perennials in containers and brought indoors during the winter. Technically, Begonia spp. is an organ called an enlarged hypocotyl and it has hardiness of Tender III- injured below 25 degrees F (2 degrees C). Rex begonia needs morning sun to partial shade and, while it will tolerate full sun, it prefers sun dappled part shade and a good mulch in hot summer climates. It will tolerate considerable shade, but the result will be a more open form and fewer blooms. When grown outdoors, set plants out after last frost and space the plants 9 to 12 inches (22-30 cm) apart. When grown in containers and placed indoors, plants may be cut back in fall and overwintered in a cool location with reduced watering..

This plant needs bright indirect light year-round and humid conditions (though direct misting of the foliage encourages powdery mildew).  They need consistent water, but do not tolerate overwatering. Allow soils to dry between watering. They can tolerate less light than other begonias and will do well under fluorescents. It propagates easily by division through its knobby rhizomatous roots.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

Susceptible to bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew, botrytis, and stem rot, especially in humid conditions with poor air circulation. Watch for mealybugs and thrips.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Garden "Bed"
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Argenteo-guttata', Belgian begonias, 'On Top Sun Glow', Rex begonias
Tags:
#red#white#bulb#showy flowers#yellow#partial shade#annual#container plant#pink flowers#not hardy#showy leaves#colorful#interiorscape#apvg#fall interest#hanging baskets#dappled shade#window boxes#cpp#bicolor#summer flowers#division#double#double flowers#summer bulbs#apvg-a#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Argenteo-guttata', Belgian begonias, 'On Top Sun Glow', Rex begonias
Tags:
#red#white#bulb#showy flowers#yellow#partial shade#annual#container plant#pink flowers#not hardy#showy leaves#colorful#interiorscape#apvg#fall interest#hanging baskets#dappled shade#window boxes#cpp#bicolor#summer flowers#division#double#double flowers#summer bulbs#apvg-a#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Begonia
    Family:
    Begoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Stem Cutting
    Bulb Storage:
    Harvest enlarged hypocotyls in fall, dry, store in dry peat at 35-41 degrees F (2-5 degrees C)
    Edibility:
    The flowers are citrus flavored with a slightly bitter aftertaste. They can be eaten raw, or cooked in sauces.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Bulb
    Houseplant
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Winged capsule, seeds numerous and small.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Showy blooms range in color from pink, red, yellow, white, or bicolors and can be found in doubles.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Showy leaves can be 6 inches long, asymmetrical with tapered ends and toothed edges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Erect, with rhizomes or tubers, generally fleshy.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Kidney failure (in grazing animals), vomiting, salivation in dogs/cats. The most toxic part is underground.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Soluble calcium oxalates
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No