Rex Begonia, also known as the painted leaf begonia or fancy leaf begonia, is a tropical perennial famous for its large, multicolored leaves. The outer edges of the leaf are typically a dark green while the inner portion can be colored shades of pink, red, silver, or purple.
The painted leaf begonia can grow up to 24 inches tall. Its leaf sizes vary but can grow up to 9 inches long and 5 inches wide. This plant grows best in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11.
|Colors:||Pink, Purple, Red, Silver, Variegated, White|
|Common Names:||rex begonia, painted leaf begonia, fancy leaf begonia|
|Light:||Bright, indirect light|
|Watering:||Medium water needs|
|Soil:||Aerated, porous soil|
|Temperature:||Minimum 64° F | 17.7° C|
|Height:||up to 24 inches|
|Spread:||up to 18 inches|
In the summer, the painted leaf begonia should be watered evenly but does not respond well to overwatering. Make sure the top half of the soil is dried out before you water it, but never allow it to dry out completely. When overwatered, this plant is susceptible to fungus or rot. Try not to get the leaves too wet, as prolonged wet leaves can lead to mildew issues. In the winter, your painted leaf might go dormant and drop its leaves. Continue to water it sparingly until new leaves grow in the spring.
Light and Temperature Requirements
The painted leaf begonia thrives in bright but indirect sunlight. In more southern regions, it will need to be protected from the direct summer heat and sunlight but can be grown outdoors year-round. In more northern regions, some sun shouldn’t be an issue, but the plant should be brought indoors during the cooler months. The ideal temperature for the plant in the summer is 74 degrees Fahrenheit and 64 degrees in the winter. They also prefer high humidity, typically above 50%. This can be achieved through very light misting, placing the plant in front of a humidifier, or by putting the plant on a wet pebble tray.
Soil and Pot Size
Aerated, porous soil is the best option for the painted leaf. This allows the soil to drain quickly, which protects the plant from root rot while still keeping it moist enough. African Violet potting mixes typically work well for this plant. The painted leaf likes large but shallow pots due to its short root stalks and needs for porous soil. Be sure that the pot has bottom drain holes. Only place the plant in a bigger pot when its current pot becomes filled with roots.
Propagation can be done in several different ways. In the spring, cut off either a leaf, a rhizome, or a stem containing a leaf or two. Fill a pot with a lightweight mixture as well as peat moss or perlite then water the soil thoroughly. Allow the pot to drain until the soil is damp. At this point, you can plant the cutting in the soil and then cover the container with plastic containing holes for ventilation. Or, you can make small incisions in a leaf’s veins, lay it flat on the surface of the soil with the veins facing down, then secure the leaf with bent paperclips or pins.
White powder on the leaves?
This is mildew, which is often due to underwatering or to much heat.
Solution: Remove all the leaves with powdery mildew and treat the plant with a fungicide.
My Rex is losing leaves?
You may be overwatering your plant and the plant is not receiving enough sunlight.
Solution: Move your plant to a brighter spot (out of direct sunlight). See watering section above for watering recommendations.
I have gray fluff on parts of my plant?
If you have gray fluff on your plant, this is gray mold.
Solution: Remove the affected leaves and treat with a fungicide. keep you plant away from other houseplants to avoid the spreading of the disease.