Grown for its large, colorful leaves rather than its flowers, the rex begonia can serve as a houseplant or an outdoor annual in cool areas beyond U.S. hardiness zones 10 and 11.
Rex begonias range from 6-inch miniatures for terrarium use to larger 18-inch plants used in patio planters or borders.
Rex begonias offer a wide range of leaf color, texture and shape. Colors range from white, cream and yellow to black, ruby red, purple and brown. Leaves can be ribbed, smooth or curled.
Rex begonias grow best in moist, shaded conditions in well-drained soil. Their intense colors will fade in bright, direct sunlight.
Indoors, rex begonias need bright but indirect light and temperatures above 60 F. Begonias need high humidity, so place the houseplants on gravel-lined and water-filled trays.
Outdoor begonias add color and texture to shady borders, while indoor begonias offer an alternative to traditional greenery.
According to the horticulturalists at the University of Florida, most rex begonias are hybrids with complex genetic backgrounds. Rex begonia's wide range of colors and textures are the results of this process.
- University of Illinois Extension
- University of Florida
rex begonias, color texture, shady borders
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