Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Species Rex Begonia, Original Rex Begonia, Putzey's Rex Begonia
Begonia rex

Family: Begoniaceae (be-gon-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Begonia (be-GON-yuh) (Info)
Species: rex (reks) (Info)

» View all varieties of Begonias

9 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Blooms all year
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From leaf cuttings
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By begoniacrazii
Thumbnail #1 of Begonia rex by begoniacrazii

By begoniacrazii
Thumbnail #2 of Begonia rex by begoniacrazii


3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive begoniacrazii On Aug 7, 2008, begoniacrazii from Northern California, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Rhizomatous species Begonia rex (Putzey's). This is the 'original' rex begonia discovered by chance as a hitch-hiker in a Wardian Case in the mid 1800's. It is this begonia that gave rise to today's modern B. rex-cultorum hybrids. Easier to grow than the hybrids, this species can tolerate temperatures into the mid 40's.

B. rex is a rhizomatous type.

Positive Hyblaean On Jun 2, 2007, Hyblaean from Niles, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love these plants! Have only ever grown them as houseplants, but the two I have now are a good 6 years old, at least. They've survived my lack of skills, a move, and 2 cats.

Positive sclarke On Jan 12, 2003, sclarke from Macungie, PA wrote:

i love my rexes, and if i had to give up most of my plants, they would be the very last to go. i stumbled upon my first one, the Iron Cross, at a grocery store of all places. from there my obsession just sort of exploded. (the ones in the picture are divisions rooted from the mother plant) eventually, lets say after a few years, rexes do need to be divided and repotted because of aging leaves and rhizomes. and another tip-when they flower-or when they want to, pinch off the buds. it will ensure that the plant is not spending its energy on flowering, and will instead make its leaves more colorful.
in general,
i find them very easy to take care of. any problems i have with them are when i give them too much water, which happens every now and then.


p.s. sorry note is so long

Neutral Dinu On Jul 29, 2002, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

"Complete Gardening in India", by Gopalswamiengar lists this plant as Begonia "Cleopatra".


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clayton, California
Monterey Park, California
Maitland, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Orange, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Venice, Florida
Chicago, Illinois
Niles, Illinois
Bossier City, Louisiana
Covington, Louisiana
Kelly, Louisiana
Las Vegas, Nevada
Big Flats, New York
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Provo, Utah
Indianola, Washington

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