Begonia rex Putz. is the correct and accepted name for this species of Begonia. It was named and first described by Jules Antoine Adolph Henri Putzeys in Journal Général d’Horticulture in 1857. The link to his Wikipedia page is in a different language, but maybe someone can read it.
The genus, Begonia L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online lists 1,936 species in the Begonia genus (as of 11-4-21 when I am updating this page). It is a member of the plant family Begoniaceae with 2 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO. The number of species in the genus keeps climbing.
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I bought my Begonia rex from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi while I was still living at the mansion in Leland. The plant was nearly dead when it bought it from the discount rack. The employees in the garden center were always allowed to give even better discounts, especially if the plants didn’t look so hot. I bought a lot of plants that way and the Begonia rex was one of them.
I brought my Begonia rex with me when I moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013.
Origin: Assam, China, the Himalayas, and Myanmar.
Zones: USDA Zones 10-11
Size: 12-18” tall x 12-18” wide
Light: Part to full shade, bright indirect light.
Soil: Well-draining potting mix.
Water: Can be tricky. Water once the top few inches dry out.
Propagation: Division of rhizomes in the spring.
Uses: Great as a potted plant.
Concerns: Mildew and botrytis. Occasional mealybugs.
Quite a difference from what it looked like when I bought it. The poor plant had all but given up until I brought it home. Then, it decided it could survive so it did…
Begonia rex has some of the most beautiful cultivars on the planet if you are into foliage. There are so many cultivars available I won’t even begin to make a list.
Growing Rex Begonias can be rewarding if you follow a few rules. Once you figure out what they like, you will be fine.
I grew mine outside in light to part shade. Since Begonia rex does not bloom that often, they can survive with less light than other Begonias.
They like average to warm and humid temperatures. When temps start to drop, they may go dormant. SO, if you have a Begonia rex and you bring it inside and it dies… Ummm… It may not actually be dead so don’t throw it in the garbage. Put it in a cool, dark place such as the basement, and in the spring when the time is right, new shoots will appear.
At this time you may be able to make divisions to add more plants.
Begonia rex like even watering but do not like overwatering. It is best to check the top couple of inches of their potting soil and water when it is dry. They like a good amount of humidity but DO NOT like direct misting. Standing water on their leaves encourages powdery mildew.
They like a light, fast-draining soil mixture. I used Miracle Grow or Schultz Potting Soil with a timed-release fertilizer. They prefer larger, shallow pots because they have rhizomatous roots that need room to spread. As the plants grow and the roots start touching the edge of the pot, it is time for repotting.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.