How To Cultivate Rex Begonias

One of the best things about moving earlier this year was getting a kitchen with plenty of natural light, but no actual direct sunlight. It makes it the perfect breeding ground for our favorite indoor plant: the Rex Begonia.

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We've been growing begonias from cuttings for years. Our very first came from Gramma (the begonia matriarch, if you will): a Rex Begonia that would flower its pink blossoms like clockwork. Since then we've received countless from Mom, the master gardener, one more obscure than the next. Some have been great successes, others have died before making it into dirt.

Begonias can be finicky if you get on their bad side but their exotic colors and prehistoric patterns and textures make them worth the trouble. We have always favored Rex Begonias with their pointed leaves and incredible bold patterns over the more common Tuberous Begonias (these are what you would normally find in a planting bed or a hanging basket).

Plus if you have a friend or family member with a great begonia, they're easy enough to propagate:

How To Propagate a Begonia
1. Find a friend with a Begonia plant that you love
2. Snip a stem with a leaf
3. Place stem and leaf in a clear vase or glass of water
4. Put it in a place that gets light but not direct sun and where the temperature stays fairly constant and on the cool side
5. Wait for small roots to develop at the base of them stem
6. Transplant into a small pot with potting soil, planting the stem 1-2 inches deep
7. Water, but allow it to dry out between waterings. Not enough that it wilts, but enough that the roots don't rot!

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(Images: Laure Joliet)

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