An awesome looking foliage plant for adding a touch of the lower canopy tropics to a garden. The leaves are pinky maroon with darker mottling, are large, almost heart shaped and with serrated edges. Usually grown as a houseplant and not often thought of as being used outside for summer bedding. Once all frosts have passed they actually do very well in zone 9 gardens during the summer despite the notoriety for not tolerating cooler temperatures.
If growing indoors plant in a well drained compost positioning in a light spot but completely away from direct sunlight. Water freely during the summer but reduce watering in winter allowing the top of the compost to dry out between waterings. We have been trialling some of our various rex begonia varieties for overwintering outside over the past few years with some success down here in the South of England. The leaves drop at the slightest frost but the rhizomes are proving much more cold resilient than usually published. We have found that by planting in a well drained soil, in the shade and shelter of evergreen trees/shrubs and covering with a ventilated cloche loosely packed with dry straw has been adequate enough to protect the rhizome for the winter months. The straw is removed in late April and the cloche left in place until new shoots come through in late spring.
Maximum height 45cm with a similar spread.
Sent as a young plant in a 9cm pot.