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January 8th, 2021

Fancy Plants!

by R.S. Walsh

Rex begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum) is a semi-tropical perennial plant that makes a great houseplant. This plant was originally from Southeast Asia,but has become a favorite small container plant for speciality plant growers. This type of begonia is grown for their foliage, with striking leaf shapes and patterns that come in stunning color combinations. They are sometimes called ‘painted leaf begonia’ or ‘fancy-leaf begonias’, have large leaves and stay relatively small only growing to about 10” in height. They have very small insignificant flowers that growers usually pinch off to give more energy and focus to the colorful foliage.

Plant in a small container that compliments or matches the color of the Rex Begonia and you have a unique and beautiful gift for a friend or for yourself. They are very easy to maintain. Give them a spot with filtered light and only water them when the soil is just dry. Do not overwater these beauties and they only need a little fertilizer once or twice a year.

An easy plant for your home, a beautiful hostess gift or something to brighten a friend’s day, the lovely and interesting Rex Begonia is a perfect choice. The hardest part will be picking just one.

This column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, Sanibel’s garden center, located at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road.

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