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Warning: Plantosaurus Rex

For many, mention of the begonia brings to mind the annual begonia which is a star in the part sun / part shade garden. Easy to grow and relatively pest free, they can add attractive pops of color in your landscape. For those of you bored with the annual begonia, and ready to try something different, check out the Rex Begonia.



Rex Begonia is one of my favorite annuals (hardy to zone 10-12). Grown primarily for their thick glistening foliage that thrive in the humid shade (too much moisture can cause rot, too little can cause burnt tips), and are an interesting contrast to the ferns, hostas and bleeding hearts in my shade garden. Although this one was purchased for only $1 (USD), and really, if I was in a hurry I’d just have bought more, the rex begonia happens to be the coolest plant to begin experimenting with leaf cuttings. Being comfortable propagating plants using a variety of methods can come in handy when trying to develop your landscape on a budget. You might wind up waiting a little bit longer, but in the end, you’ll get the look you’re going for.

Start by flipping over and examining the deep, thick veining on the back. You’re going to cut between the largest veins down towards the base of the leaf.
Cut your leaf into wedges as shown here, making sure you get a couple of good veins per leaf. You can lose the stem, your cutting won’t grow from that.
Prepare moist, sterile planting medium, and poke with a knife like you’re testing brownies for doneness.
Dip the pointed edge of your wedge into water, and then dredge thru rooting hormone (rooting compound).
Insert each leaf section into your prepared planting medium, pointed side down, and press into place. Water.
Continue watering regularly. Resist any temptation to pull the leaf cutting out to check for roots. As long as it doesn’t shrivel, it’s rooting. With luck, in a couple of months, you’ll have your own mini rex. Roar.

4 comments to Warning: Plantosaurus Rex

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