Rex begonia (Begonia rex), also referred to as painted leaf begonia, is a perennial plant that's grown for its striking, colorful foliage and not its flowers. The plant is a native of the Himalayan mountains and grows from rhizomes. Rex begonia can be easily cultivated with leaf and rhizome cuttings. The foliage is dappled with shades of purple, white pink and yellow. Some Rex begonia plants are very large while other varieties are miniature. The plant only thrives in 50 percent humidity throughout the year. Rex begonia is susceptible to fungal diseases if overwatered and grows best in indirect light.
Eunice begonia (Begonia iloydii) is a weeping variety of Rex begonia. The plant has a bushy growth habit and bears showers of pink or white flowers. The foliage is wide and hairy and stems grow in a zig-zag fashion. Eunice begonia is an evergreen plant and is well-tolerant of humidity and heat. The plant grows well in sand to clay loam and prefers moist soil. Eunice begonia can be started from seed and grows optimally in filtered light. The plant does not react well to sudden changes in temperatures and starts to shed leaves.
Raspberry Swirl Begonia
Raspberry swirl begonia (B. Raspberry Swirl) is an upright growing variety of rex begonia with spiraling foliage growth. The plant gets its name from the leaf color, which is silver green at the edges with raspberry-red hearts. The color of the foliage and the growth habit of the plant combine to create a whirlpool visual effect. Raspberry swirl begonia grows to a mature height of about 6 to 14 inches and is a commonly used indoor plant in hanging baskets. The plants grow bushy when young plant tips are regularly pinched.
Begonia New York Swirl
Begonia New York swirl (B. New York Swirl) is characterized with foliage with a thick silver border around raspberry colored hearts. The leaves grow in heavy spirals. New York swirl grows to a mature height of about 12 inches and prefers an indoor temperature of about 60 degrees. Like all rex begonias, New York swirl grows optimally in areas of partial sun and prefers high humidity levels. The plants cannot withstand lower humidity levels for extended periods. All rex begonias are well resistant to insects but can develop mildew if over-watered.