Begonia Royal

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Begonia Royal
Begonia Royal
Video: Begonia Royal
Video: Royal Canoe (feat. Begonia) - Fussin' [Official Video] 2023, February
Begonia Rex
Begonia Rex

Family of begonias. It is a type of rhizome begonias that are grown for their colorful leaves. Their flowering is quite modest, the leaves are incomparable, but there are difficulties in care, which are often insurmountable for an ordinary grower.


  • Royal begonia care
  • How to transplant begonia
  • Reproduction of begonias
  • Problems of growing begonias
  • Begonia pests
  • Begonia diseases

The parent species Begonia rex (in Latin - "king") was discovered in India in the state of Assam, introduced into cultivation in 1850, and was, of course, beautiful: dark green leaves with silvery gray spots. Immediately, its enhanced hybridization with other rhizome (rhizome) begonias began, so all modern begonias belonging to the Rex group are hybrids (in fact, this group of begonias bears the name of one of the parents), although the correct name is Begonia Rex-hybrid or Begonia Rex Cultorum. Many of the common rex begonias have been known to the world for many centuries: Begonia rex 'Abel Carriere' was obtained in 1878 and is still cultivated today. Subsequently, hundreds of varieties appeared. But at a certain point, hybrids began to be attributed to the Rex group, in whose genetics there was no original parental (wild) species begonia rex,what fundamentally distinguished this group. They just turned out to be extremely similar (Brad Thompson). It should also be noted that Rex begonias were used in crossing with the upright-articulated rhizome begonias Upright Jointed Rhizomatous, and beautiful hybrids were obtained, which, like all "Kings", have spectacular leaves.

royal begonia
royal begonia

In general, according to the classification of all types of begonias, the Rex group belongs to rhizome (rhizomatous *) begonias, but due to some peculiarities (initially - the origin, later due to the peculiarities of care), they stand out separately, separately. Most of the plants are short, reaching a maximum of 1-1.5 m, with a lodging, creeping, eventually hanging stem, which is a rhizome. Traces of old, already dead leaves are clearly visible on it. Leaves on long petioles. The shape of the leaf can be: simple, round, oblong, oblique, cochlear, pinnate (slightly dissected or deeply dissected, stellate). The edges of the leaves are quite rare, often serrated or wavy. Leaves, petioles and "stem" are covered with thick hairs of various colors (whitish, yellowish, reddish, etc.).On the surface of the leaf, the hairs are very short, dense, which makes the leaves seem velvety. The hairs on the stems and petioles are sparser and longer.

The variety of leaf colors is striking: a different combination of colors, patterns, marbling of the pattern; some royal begonias have leaves with a metallic silvery sheen. The size of the bush and leaves can be from miniatures, when the leaf is about 5 cm in diameter, to large, with leaves about 20 cm in diameter.

Royal begonia care


Begonias Rex are relatively thermophilic, in summer they prefer the usual room temperature, the one that the weather conditions dictate to us, but they do not tolerate heat well (above 28 ° C). Optimum temperatures for growth are 21-26 ° С during the day, and 18 - 20 ° С at night, i.e. daily temperature drops should be 5-6 ° С. Begonia collectors have noticed that in regions with hot climates, begonias grow better on low stands with wide pallets filled with wet gravel. The coasters are located at the level of 30-50 cm from the floor, or directly on the floor, here the temperature is slightly lower, this is noticeable on hot summer days.

It is possible, and even necessary, to put begonias in the fresh air in the summer - in the garden, on the balcony or on the veranda, but it is necessary to bring it into the house at the end of summer, and not in the fall, like many other indoor plants. In many countries with a warm climate, Rex begonias are grown as an annual garden plant (only for the spring-summer season), they are exposed directly on the street, but the temperature never drops below + 5-6 ° С. We in Russia grow this beauty in order to preserve the plants as long as possible, therefore, given the tenderness of Rex begonias, do not leave them outside if the temperature can drop below 12 ° C. These begonias and cold drafts do not tolerate; when ventilated or placed outside, they must be protected from the wind.

In winter, it is advisable to keep royal begonias in cooler conditions than in summer, optimally 16-18 ° C, at least 15 ° C. In this case, the air humidity should be 45-50%, not higher.

begonia rex
begonia rex


The general requirement, like all decorative leafy begonias, is bright diffused light. Rex begonias respond well to some direct sun in the morning or evening. In spring and summer, shading from direct sunlight is required from 11 to 16 hours. The best option is to be placed on the east or northwest windowsill.

Rex begonias also grow very well on northern windows if these windows are not shaded by anything from the street (trees, buildings). However, these general recommendations are very conditional, the requirements for light depend on the varietal characteristics. Some varieties grow well in fairly shaded areas, others only in well-lit areas. The fact that there is not enough light will tell you a change in the color of the leaves, or rather, the loss of brightness and intensity of the pattern on them.

royal begonia
royal begonia

If the light hits the begonias constantly from one side, the plants begin to form a crown one-sidedly, leaning towards the window. This is especially noticeable in the spring with a sharp increase in sunny days and a rapid growth rate. In this case, rotate the flower pots weekly, making about a quarter of the pot rotation.


Royal begonias are watered in moderation, with the land dry, so that the land is almost dry between waterings. Royal begonias do not tolerate complete dryness of the earth, but they tolerate constant dampness and prolonged drying out of the earth even worse. Some hybrids and varieties are especially sensitive to overflow and easily rot. The most common care mistake is an attempt to compensate for the lack of air humidity by more frequent watering, but this cannot be done. The quality of irrigation, so to speak, depends on the correctness of the selected substrate (quickly absorbs and dries quickly, breathes). The water should be soft, preferably boiled. Avoid getting water on the leaves, especially in cold weather.

Top dressing

Royal begonias are fed only in spring and summer, weekly with fertilizers for decorative deciduous plants in a dose of 1/4 of the recommended dose. Begonias are sensitive to excess fertilizers, especially those where there is too much nitrogen, choose those fertilizers where there is slightly more nitrogen than potassium and phosphorus, or all components are the same amount (NPK 20-20-20). Unfortunately, I did not find special fertilizers for royal begonias, obviously we simply do not have them in Russia, of the same ones that are on sale, Pokon is suitable for ornamental foliage plants with NPK 8-3-5, or Pokon universal with NPK 7-3-7, it is quite possible to use fertilizers for orchids, in the dose recommended by the manufacturer, for weekly feeding.

There are special fertilizers for begonias, for example, Fertilizer Merry Flower Girl Multi-product 2 in 1 for Violets and Begonias with NPK 5-5-9, or Begonia's Garden of Wonders with NPK 4-5-6, but they are not intended for royal begonias, but for blooming. In addition, the fertilizer Garden of Miracles has a high alkalinity: its pH is 8-10, this is completely unsuitable for begonias in general, and even more so for rex begonias. Therefore, be careful when reading labels, if it is written that for begonias, first read the composition, and do not blindly believe the manufacturer.

royal begonia care
royal begonia care

Royal begonias with dark leaves are the most shade-tolerant.

Air humidity

The optimum humidity is 50-60% constant. There are Rex begonias, especially miniature varieties, that are more demanding, they need 60-70% moisture. The problem with begonias is that, for all their high humidity requirements, they are hypersensitive to diseases that develop with increased humidity. Not only the ingress of water on the leaves, but also simply stagnant moist air around the plants, contributes to the appearance of gray rot on the leaves. Therefore, it is important to ensure good ventilation of the air, to avoid crowding of plants, although there is a great temptation to put pots of beautifully leafy begonias together, in a dense group.

How to transplant begonia

Royal begonias love slightly acidic soil, pH 5.0-6.0. But the main requirement for the structure of the soil is that it should be very loose, airy, rich in humus and dry out quickly, no longer than 2 days completely. Not suitable for planting Rex begonias are only garden land from the beds, and clean peat. Leafy soil in its pure form is more suitable (collected under last year's leaf litter somewhere in a lime park). There may be several options for soil mixtures:

  • 2 parts sheet, 1 part peat, 1 part coarse river sand (or vermiculite).
  • 2 parts of peat land, 1 part of coconut substrate (from briquettes), 1 part of coarse river sand (or vermiculite), 1 part of pine bark.
  • 2 parts universal soil, 1 part vermiculite, 1 part sand, 1 part pine bark.

As you can imagine, sand and vermiculite are disintegrants. Pine bark also loosens and further acidifies the soil. And even with the addition of loosening components, it is necessary to ensure that the substrate in the pot does not cake, periodically loosen it with a thin sharp stick. And when a salt crust forms on the soil surface, it is imperative to replace the top layer of the earth and soften the water for irrigation.

Royal begonias grow well in shallow and not too spacious pots, if the pot is large, the soil will dry out for a long time - this contributes to the development of pathogenic flora and root decay. But it is better to transplant begonias annually, in fresh soil, and in the same pot, if the root system has not grown too much.

begonia royal care
begonia royal care

Some miniature Rex begonias can be grown in wide open aquariums, in fact, all conditions for them are similar to the requirements of orchids. Also air humidity, the same requirements for light and watering, even for fertilizers and pots. When growing Rex begonias on wide trays of water, and even more so in aquariums, you can and even need (!) Use pots with drainage holes at the bottom and sides of the pot. Basically, you can grow royal begonias in wicker (plastic) baskets, or make holes yourself. Perhaps I will surprise someone with such recommendations, this is my personal experience, but it helps to avoid root rot, bacterial spots and other diseases. In nature, Rex begonias grow in the surface layer of the earth, which is a leaf litter, branches and twigs of trees - this is a very loose substance.Many begonias are semi-epiphytic and epiphytic.

I am against adding sphagnum moss to the soil for royal begonias, as it dries for a long time, absorbing too much moisture, but you can spread wet moss between the pots to increase the humidity. And against growing Rex begonias in clay pots, the soil in them dries out quickly enough, but some of the roots stick to the unglazed sides of the pot, and the hole in the bottom is usually single and small. In plastic pots, you can always slightly squeeze the sides (walls), thereby loosening and airing the soil.

Reproduction of royal begonia

Rex begonias, like all rhizome begonias, reproduce easily vegetatively. In nature, this happens with scraps of a leaf, pieces of rhizome, if it breaks off, a whole leaf, etc. The only thing that is needed for successful rooting: high air humidity, constantly evenly moist substrate, rather loose and airy.

soil salinization
soil salinization

Salt deposition on the soil surface - too hard water. Ideally, you should use rainwater.

A mixture for rooting a cutting (a leaf with a piece of rhizome), a leaf or part of a leaf can consist of equal parts of peat and vermiculite, the main thing is that the soil does not dry out. It is not necessary to cover with a bag, cap or glass, but it is necessary if the room is warm and the soil dries out quickly. In this case, place a bowl with a sheet in a bag, but do not tie the edges of it, but simply lift it high and straighten it. No growth stimulants are required.

The only thing that can interfere with rooting is a strong overdrying of the soil, or vice versa, excessive dampness, which causes the growth of putrefactive microorganisms and mold. It is not necessary to bury a piece of rhizome or part of a leaf in the ground, it is important here that there is only slight contact with the wet surface of the earth, no more. You can press down on the leaf or rhizome with a fruit skewer, toothpick, or paper clip. A thick piece of rhizome is placed horizontally on the ground and slightly sunk into it, no more than half the thickness of the rhizome, i.e. the upper part remains on the surface.

Rerooting old begonias

Rex begonias very often grow a rhizome, and from improper care they lose the lower leaves (too hot in winter, lack of light), of course, first of all, you need to find out why this is happening, and in the future to correct mistakes. But at the moment the plant needs to be re-rooted. Otherwise, it may fall out of the pot and be severely damaged. Usually, such specimens have a fluffy, well-leafy top of the shoot, but it is undesirable to cut it off and put it in a jar of water (like the top of a dracaena or aglaonema). Usually these "cuttings" quickly rot in water. It is possible to root it in the usual way, by putting it in the ground, but at the same time you will most likely lose the beautiful upper leaves (they will not have enough nutrition and moisture).

Therefore, in such cases, there is only one way - an air layer. There is no other name for it. If the length of the exposed lower part of the rhizome allows, then you need to bend the top of the begonia to the ground and fix it with an arc-shaped piece of wire (an aluminum braided wire bent with the letter U is suitable). When the crown is rooted and the roots grow back enough (5-8 cm), it can be cut off and transplanted if necessary. The remaining stump must be cut as close to the ground as possible, and it will also give new growth.

rooting begonia
rooting begonia

For reproduction by part of a leaf, it is necessary to cut it so that each part has a large central vein.

Problems of growing begonias

There are and will be problems with Rex begonias. This crop is as demanding as orchids. It is not for nothing that they are distinguished into a separate group among decorative deciduous begonias.

First of all, the problem is the extreme susceptibility to bacterial rot and fungal diseases in conditions of high humidity. And they need this moisture most of all. But even if we place begonias on wide trays of water, and miniature ones in a terrarium, the problem remains - air movement. It is practically absent in the apartment, and the one that appears during ventilation creates a draft. Lack of ventilation is not a problem when the air is dry. But if it is very humid, mold fungi and bacteria multiply several times more intensively in stagnant air. In orchidariums, for example, to avoid such problems, a fan is arranged, but not one.

Therefore, the success of growing royal begonias in an apartment largely depends on the ability to maintain high air humidity and, at the same time, painlessly ventilate at any time of the year. Excessive moisture, by the way, is detrimental to plants at low temperatures.

The second problem that arises with Rex begonias is the inability to water with soft water. No matter how you defend and boil, a salt bloom still forms on the surface, spots on the leaves. What to do? First, go to a pet store and ask for a product that prepares your aquarium water for a fish stocking. These products soften the water in minutes. But few people use them for indoor flowers, but in vain. Second, review the fertilizer you use on the begonias. Among them there are many completely unsuitable ones, as I wrote about above: alkaline, with a large dose of nitrogen. Some do not even indicate the composition. Only fertilizers that acidify the soil are suitable for us, with microelements in a chelated form. At worst, it is safer to use fertilizers for conifers, azaleas or orchids than to take dubious for decorative deciduous or supposedly "for begonias "poured from the same barrel as for ficuses or palms.

Begonia pests

begonias in a glass
begonias in a glass

A beautiful arrangement, but these are usually short-lived - begonia will grow out of this vase too quickly. In addition, there are no drainage holes in it.

Thrips - these pests are hardly noticeable on variegated leaves, they are found when gray or brown spots appear on them, irregularly shaped, along the edges, in the center. Some of the leaves turn yellow. Black drops or crumbs are visible on the surface of the leaf, about 1 mm in size. In this case, it is impossible to spray with an insecticide, you can only pour it with a systemic drug: a solution of an actara or a confidor. As a last resort, use an insecticide spray. Thrips is a flying pest, so look for signs of infestation on other plants in your home.

Mealybugs: Often appear on begonias and can lead to complete plant death. They hide in the husk from stipules in the lower part of the rhizome, intensively sucking out the juice. This becomes noticeable when leaves fly around en masse, and the worms form whole colonies. Signs - white shaggy, as if cotton, lumps at the base of the leaf stalks. Examine the rhizome carefully if the plant suddenly begins to dry out. You need to fight the worms with the help of the same insecticides - pouring with a solution of actara (1 g per 1-1.5 liters of water). On the leaves themselves, the worms usually do not appear (in extreme cases, they hide at the very base of the leaf plate from the bottom side), so the rhizome itself can be treated with an insecticide in a spray.

Begonia diseases

Gray rot - appears on begonias at high air humidity, prolonged drying of the soil (over several days), especially under cool conditions. The parts of the rhizome, the lower parts of the leaf stalks, rot (soften, actually turn sour). Gradually, gray fluffy mycelium of the fungus becomes noticeable at the decomposition sites.

Downy mildew is a fungal disease that usually appears as a result of a genetic predisposition in some varieties of begonias. Aggravated by high humidity, poor air ventilation. It begins with the appearance of yellowish or dirty gray spots, which are more noticeable in the lumen of the leaf, or on the back of the leaves. On the velvet leaves of begonias, they are noticeable when the necrotic tissues become extensive. Spots are rounded, formed anywhere on the leaf blade.

Bacterial rot is practically no different from gray rot, only the mycelium of the fungus does not form. And outwardly - the same rotten wet spots on pieces of rhizome, on the petioles and the leaves themselves. The reason is the same waterlogging of the soil, its prolonged drying out, lack of ventilation, excessive fertilization.

Fungal and bacterial diseases can be fought with the help of fungicides (home, oxychom and other copper-containing preparations), as well as create more suitable conditions for life (loose soil, proper watering, ventilation, sufficient illumination, optimal air humidity commensurate with the temperature).

* Rhizome is a creeping root-like stem of some plants, most often underground, but it can also be aboveground. Usually it grows horizontally, above-ground in a riza - lodging, or creeping along the surface of the earth (not high above the ground). New shoots and roots of the plant are formed from rhizomes asexually. Underground rhizomes differ from roots in that they have buds, nodes, and scale-like leaves.

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