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Begonia rex (R)

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Houseplant or Conservatory/Greenhouse

Habit

Clump-forming

Resilience

Hardiness

old H1 (requires heated greenhouse/indoors)

Colour

Flower

Pink in Winter

Foliage

Green, Grey/Silver and Red in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

king begonia

Family

Begoniaceae


Begonia can be annuals, evergreen or deciduous perennials or shrubs, with fibrous, tuberous or rhizomatous roots and usually asymmetrical leaves, often strikingly patterned, and small or large flowers, both male and female in the same cluster

Rex begonias are evergreen, rhizomatous perennials grown for their handsome, brightly coloured leaves, rather than the small pale pink or white flowers which may appear in spring, summer or autumn

R. rex is an evergreen perennial to 30cm, with large, obliquely ovate leaves which are metallic green with a silvery zone on the upper surface, reddish beneath; panicles of small pink flowers in winter

Other common names

  • fan plant
  • painted-leaf begonia

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow under glass or in frost-free enviroment. Mainly grown for foliage

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Loam, Chalk or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by seed, leaf cuttings or sections of rhizome

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Sub-tropical or Patio/Container Plants


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Can get caterpillars, mealybugs, tarsonemid mite, thrips, vine weevil and aphids

Diseases

May be infected by powdery mildews