Caring for a Rex Begonia
A Rex Begonia is not the easiest plant to successfully grow. Still, many find the challenge worthwhile. One reason that so many people, even in the colder climates where the plants must be grown indoors, are willing to go to a bit of extra trouble is that these plants are very unique.
The leaves of a Rex Begonia are the showpiece of the plant. While it does produce some small flowers, it is the leaves, with their intricate patterns and bright colors that make the plant so interesting. The leaves of the various types of Rex Begonia plants may be streaked, spotted or even blotchy. Upon seeing the leaves, it is easy to see why the flowers become more of an afterthought.
As mentioned above, a Rex Begonia must be cared for very carefully. In cooler climates, the plants must be grown indoors. It is best not to use a very deep pot. You will need to water thoroughly, but with care so as not to overwater. You will know that it time to water again when the soil has started to become dry to the touch.
Light is another area of care in which the Rex Begonia plant can be a bit fussy. The plants do require a lot of light, but it should not be direct light. In fact, being in direct sunlight is not good for the plant. Instead, place them in an area where light is sufficient, but not direct.
There are some problems that are common to the Rex Begonia. Outdoor plants are quite vulnerable to slugs, snails and several varieties of insects. Both indoor and outdoor plants should be watched for signs of various fungal and mildew problems.
If you notice a fungus problem, you should remove damaged leaves right away and treat with a good fungicide. You should also be sure that there is ample circulation in the area where the plant is kept.
Because the Rex Begonia can be so picky, it is best not to try to grow the plant in the kitchen. Both temperature and air quality can have an effect on the success of the plant, and both can be problematic in a kitchen.
Some indoor gardeners have experimented with using a humidifier to help provide ample moisture for the plant.
It is also necessary to properly fertilize a Rex Begonia. The type and frequency of the fertilizer will depend on the type of plant that you have. In general, a monthly application of a slow release fertilizer will do the trick.
Another way that you can ensure the plant does as well as possible is to keep the plant well groomed. Daily check the plant for dead or dying leaves and remove promptly.
In many cases, the Rex Begonia will still live if the conditions are not ideal, but they will not be as beautiful and bright as they might have been.
While it does take some extra work, if you follow the strictest guidelines when it comes to caring for your Rex Begonia, the results will be well worth any extra effort.