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Do Rex Begonias Like Sun or Shade?

By: Sherri RibbeySherri Ribbey
Wondering what kind of light your rex begonias need to thrive? Find out where to grow them to get fabulous looking foliage every time.

Rex begonia growing in a shade border with begonias: Nestled in among shade garden favorites, wishbone flower and wing begonia, the swirling pattern of 'Escargot' rex begonia provides an intriguing accent.

Should I grow Rex begonias in sun or shade?

When it comes to growing rex begonias, the amount of sunlight plants get in the spot they're growing can make a big difference in how great they look.

Indoor light for rex begonia

If you're growing rex begonias indoors plants will thrive near a bright, north- or east-facing window or under artificial lights. Be sure you grow them in a pot with a drainage hole and fill it with potting mix, not soil, to avoid rotting the tender root system.

Outdoor light for rex begonias

These tender perennials are commonly grown as annuals outdoors and do best in part to full shade, so the leaves don't burn or get crispy edges. Give plants a sheltered location near a fence or hedge. Or group some containers on a north- or east-facing porch. The light will be gentler than a south or west-facing situation and provide protection from strong winds, heavy rain or hail that can tatter the leaves. Add other shade-loving plants, such as wing begonias (Begonia hybrid) and wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri), that you see in the plant combination above for more color and texture variation.

Watering tip

If you grow Rex begonias outdoors, keep an eye on the moisture. Potting mix dries out faster with wind and heat. Check to see if it's time to water by pressing your index finger into the potting mix up to the first joint. Wait until the mix is dry to water again to avoid rot.

You Might Also Like:
How to Propagate Rex Begonia from Leaf Cuttings
Rex Begonia Growing Guide
Tour a Southern Shade Garden
Best Foliage Plants for Containers

Published: July 5, 2023
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