Rex Begonia is a plant with vibrant foliage. It is semi-tropical in origin and is commonly grown as a houseplant or outdoor container plant. Planting Rex Begonias from leaf cuttings or seeds is possible. The seeds are difficult to germinate, but the bigger issue with growing rex Begonias from seed is that you can’t be certain of the outcome. Many gardeners prefer Begonia Rex propagation by cuttings. This article from Garden How will show you how to propagate a rex Begonia leaf in the simplest way possible.
The Rex Begonia has vibrant, multicolored foliage. They come in hundreds of different shapes, sizes, and colors, making them an ideal houseplant. You can select your preferred variety based on your preferences.
The Rex Begonia vine is grown for its distinctive foliage, which varies in texture and pattern. They can be grown in containers both indoors and outdoors.
This tropical plant does not spread much and has a classic appearance when grown to its full size. People treat them as succulents and grow several varieties in their homes.
There are so many different varieties and cultivars that you could start a collection. Fortunately, rex Begonias spread joy with little effort. Begonia Rex propagation is simple when basic requirements are met.
Preparing materials and tools
Before starting Begonia Rex propagation, you need to prepare some materials and tools as follows:
- Scissors or pruners
- 5 inch small pots or a shallow nursery tray with a lid
- Plastic wrap
- a razor blade, a pocket knife, or an Xacto knife
- Soilless seed-starting mix
- Small stones (3-5 per leaf cutting)
- T-pins (commonly found at office supply stores)
- Fluorescent lights (optional)
- 3-inch pots for transplants
- Seedling heat mat (optional)
Methods for Begonia Rex propagation
Since the rex Begonia only lives a few years, a great way to get more longevity from the plant is to propagate it. Read to find out the methods for Begonia Rex propagation.
Taking a Begonia Rex cutting
A cutting from your Begonia can be used as a starting plant in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look at the various methods for cutting Begonias.
- Taking a stem cutting is the most common method of propagating a houseplant. Cane-like stems from which leaves emerge characterize many Begonia houseplants. The plant will sprout quickly from the stems, so snip off an inch or two with some leaves attached, as shown in the image below, and you’re ready to go. It doesn’t have to be the tip of the stem; any portion of 2 inches or larger will do.
- A Begonia-specific technique is leaf cutting. To do this, simply clip a healthy, large leaf at the point where it meets the leaf stem.
- A rhizome cutting is similar to a stem cutting, but leaves are not always included. Rhizomatous Begonias regenerate so quickly that you can cut a rhizome into 2 inch sections and still have leaves and roots as long as the sections have growth nodes.
Begonia Rex propagation from stem cuttings
You can easily propagate any variety of Begonia Rex. Begonia Rex propagation from stem cuttings is a time-consuming process.
It literally takes weeks to get a bunch of foliage into the pot. It is, however, fascinating to see such a robust plant grow from a single cutting.
Begonia Rex propagation from cuttings is not only an option. You can propagate them directly from small nursery plants and have a healthy plant in a matter of weeks. It is entirely up to you how much you enjoy gardening.
I’ve listed all of the methods for Begonia Rex propagation from stem cuttings below. You can use a method that is convenient for you.
Begonia Rex propagation from stem cuttings in water?
Begonia Rex propagation is easy from stem cuttings in water. Cut a long stem from a mature rex Begonia plant with single foliage. Here are some steps for Begonia Rex propagation:
- Take a half-full transparent bottle of water. Place the stem in the bottle with the foliage above the water or on top of the bottle.
- Only a portion of the cutting should be submerged; do not submerge the entire cutting.
- Place the bottle near the window stand where it will receive indirect light. When you place the bottle in direct sunlight, the water in the bottle warms up, and rex Begonias do not like warm temperatures.
- Remember to change the water every 3-4 days, or at least once a week. This is because the oxygen level in water decreases over time while the carbon dioxide level rises.
- Reintroducing fresh water will provide the plant with adequate oxygen.
- If the water is not replaced within 8-10 days, mosquitoes may begin breeding in the potentially dangerous water.
- Roots begin to grow from the bottom tip of the cutting after 2-3 weeks. (Root growth is affected by the season and the conditions you provide.)
- It may take a few more days, but it will grow eventually, so be patient.
You can transplant your cutting to a pot or container once the root grows 1-2 inches long. Begonia Rex can only grow in water to a certain size, with one to two leaves at most. To get a bunch of leaves, you must plant cuttings in soil.
Begonia Rex propagation from stem cuttings in soil?
You won’t be able to see their root growth in the soil, but you will notice when new leaves appear.
Here’s what you should do for Begonia Rex propagation:
- To ensure proper water circulation, use a medium-sized pot with adequate drainage holes.
- Fill the pot halfway with potting soil.
- Plant a rex Begonia cutting from the parent plant. Place the pot in a location that receives indirect light. Because the cutting lacks roots and may be tender. Low-intensity light will allow them to adjust and grow gradually.
- To keep the soil moist, water the pot every 2-3 days. They will not thrive if you overwater them.
Begonia Rex can be propagated from stem cuttings in both water and soil.
If you start it in water, you must transplant it into soil after root growth. People enjoy collecting rex Begonias because there are so many different varieties. You can experiment with various propagation techniques. After a few inches of root growth, plant stem cuttings directly in the soil or in water.
Begonia Rex propagation from leaves
Begonia Rex propagation from leaves is difficult and not recommended for inexperienced gardeners. If you’ve already propagated some Begonia Rex varieties, try this method for more propagation fun.
Preparing the leaf
Preparing rex Begonia leaves for propagation is a personal preference because there are several methods that all result in root formation. Sanitize your cutting tool before cutting a rex Begonia leaf to propagate it. Simply wipe it down with a solution of 70 to 100 percent ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Trim the petiole (leaf stem) close to the leaf after removing it from the plant. On the parent rex Begonia plant, look for a healthy, fully grown leaf. It can be a tattered, older leaf, but the main veins on the underside should be plump and undamaged. Cut the leaf and stem from the main plant, then take off the leaf stem and throw it away, so you’re left with just the leaf.
Begonia Rex propagation from leaves can be done with the whole leaf or partial leaves
Preparing the medium
Because potting soil or garden soil may contain nutrient-rich organic matter or fertilizer that can rot the leaves or burn the developing roots, a soilless mix is best for the rooting medium. Blends of peat moss and vermiculite or perlite are examples of soilless mixes. Place the soilless mix in a clear container, such as a plastic shoebox or a plastic cup, and thoroughly moisten it without allowing it to become soggy. After pressing the rex Begonia leaves into the rooting medium, place the container in a plastic bag and bring the bag’s ends up over the container to form a loose tent that will provide the humidity needed for the roots to form.
Methods for Begonia Rex propagation from leaves
Follow these steps for Begonia Rex from leaves:
Step 1: Make cuts in the Begonia Rex leaf
Flip the Begonia leaf over and use your knife to make a 12-inch cut across five or six of the largest veins. In the photo above, I’ve cut each vein about an inch from the central vein. These cuts (and the stem cut) are where the new plantlets will form.
Step 2: Insert the Begonia Rex leaf into the seedling mix.
Reverse the Begonia leaf and press it into the seed-starting mix. Push T-pins through the leaves into the soil to keep the cuts in contact with the mix. Use as many as you need to keep the leaf flat. If a pin is inserted through a main leaf vein, the vein may not root.
A few stones may also help keep the Begonia leaf from curling up and away from the mix. Leave them in place until they become an impediment. Begin with as many leaves as will fit in your tray or pot without touching.
Step 3: Give the Begonia leaf cutting humidity and light.
Cover your container with its dome or plastic wrap. But be careful not to let the plastic touch the leaves or you could risk fungal problems. Keep your leaf cutting near 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humid. I mist mine every day and water it once a week.
Care after Begonia Rex propagation
In order for the sprouts to grow well, you need to take care of them after Begonia Rex propagation. Here are some factors that affected Begonia Rex:
The Rex Begonia prefers bright, indirect light. They can tolerate less light because they do not produce heavy bloomers.
It also grows well in fluorescent lighting. Place them near a windowsill or in an area with indirect sunlight. Planting in direct or intense sunlight may cause the foliage color to fade.
Soil is an indispensable element for Begonia Rex propagation. Rex Begonia thrives in light, airy soil that is well-drained. If you’re growing in a pot, make sure it has a good drainage hole in the bottom to allow for a quick flow of water. Plants in the garden where water does not become stuck or blocked for an extended period of time.
To ensure continuous growth, the Rex Begonia requires regular watering. Water only when the top layer of soil appears dry.
Do not water the plant soil if it is wet. Your plant will not be overwatered as a result of this. Plants that are overwatered can develop fungal diseases that detract from their beauty.
Also, always water the plant from the bottom. Wet their stems or foliage. Wet parts increase the risk of powdery mildew, which many people develop.
During the growing season, you can feed them liquid fertilizer once a month. Don’t overfeed them; one cap of liquid fertilizer is plenty.
You can also use natural materials such as tea bags and banana peels. Every year in early spring, they plant them in the soil.
Temperature is an important factor in Begonia Rex propagation. It decides the growth of the sprouts of your Begonia.
Temperatures ranging from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of 50 percent are ideal for Rex Begonia. They dislike frost, and some rex Begonias go dormant in the winter.
Keep cuttings at temperatures ranging from 16 to 27 degrees Celsius. If you use fluorescent lights, leave them on for at least 14 hours per day, or 24 hours if you prefer. Keep the fluorescent light 5 centimeters above the container to create a nice, gentle heat on your cuttings.
How to prune Begonia Rex?
Besides Begonia Rex propagation, after maturing, your Begonia also needs pruning to be able to grow well as well as get the most perfect beauty as you want. Here are some notes when you prune Begonia Rex:
The Rex Begonia is grown for its stunning foliage. Its flowers are typically snipped off in order to redirect energy to the growth of more leaves. Plants with wilted or dry leaves should be deadheaded.
These leaves appear to be dead, but they continue to drain the plant’s energy. Deadheading dry flowers or leaves promotes growth and keeps your plant neat.
Begonia Rex propagation caveat
Make sure that the cultivar you want to propagate is not patented before you start. It is illegal to propagate patented plants, whether for sale or just for personal use. Plum Paisley (Begonia ‘Plum Paisley’) is an example of a patented rex Begonia.
Questions and Answers
Why is my Begonia Rex wilting?
The two most common causes of Begonia wilting are overwatering and underwatering. Begonias wilt quickly when their soil dries out, but keeping the soil too wet can cause dramatic wilting due to root rot. Temperature stress, transplant shock, pests, and disease can all cause drooping.
Unfortunately, your Begonia could be wilting for a variety of reasons, so you’ll have to do some detective work to figure out what’s wrong.
The most important thing to do first is to evaluate your Begonia’s growing conditions and determine whether there are any major issues that could have caused your Begonia’s leaves to droop.
- Check the soil moisture level: Begonias dislike completely dry or waterlogged soil.
- Check the pot you’re using: it should have plenty of drainage holes to allow excess water to drain after watering.
- Consider the location of your plant: overwatering is much more likely in low light conditions because your plant’s water needs decrease dramatically. Placing your plant in direct sunlight is also not a good idea because it can cause leaf scorching and wilting due to rapid water loss from the plant.
- Consider the soil: Begonias prefer soil that retains some moisture, but excess water should drain quickly. When watering, if water pools on the soil’s surface for more than a few seconds, the soil is not well-drained enough.
- Check the humidity level: humidity levels below 40% increase the likelihood of wilting.
- Examine your plant for pests: many pests like to feed on Begonias, causing water loss and, in the case of a severe infestation, wilting.
- Examine the leaves for signs of infection: black or brown patches on the leaves may indicate infection. Pathogens like pythium spread quickly to the roots, stems, and leaves of your plant, killing it quickly.
Are Begonia Rex plants dormant?
In the winter, some rex Begonias go dormant. Bring the pot inside the house at a moderate temperature, away from the threat of frost, to dormant them. They do not grow and remain constant during a dormant period.
Is Begonia Rex poisonous to cats?
When ingested, Rex Begonias are toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. It can cause vomiting and other serious health problems. If you have pets, don’t plant them or keep them away from them. If your pet eats the foliage by accident, take it to the vet as soon as possible.
In this article, Garden How provided you with all of the necessary information regarding Begonia Rex propagation. We can also guide you with inquiries on care after propagation and pruning of Begonia Rex. With such eye-catching foliage, it’s no surprise that the rex Begonia is a popular houseplant. We hope you can successfully propagate Begonia to get the freshest flower pots.
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