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.