Rex Begoia question. How to avoid over watering?

Penne Johnson
by Penne Johnson
First of all I love this site as it gets you quick answers and all the other questions are good to help with and it becomes kind of a pen pal site. Thanks for having it.

My question is I just got two new Rex begonias, due to the fact that I over watered one
I had bought about 6 mths ago. It was very fast growing and even bloomed within the time I bought it. ( it is a house plant). I was devastated when It just wouldn't recover
from being drowned I guess. I was wondering if misting the top soil with a mister when it is dry rather than taking the chance on a watering can be a method to use And are they like
other plants (house where they say Don't get the leaves wet, and if you do dry them
off. I got two different leaf colors and I really love them and they are in indirect
sunlight and I live in Camarillo Ca and we do have humidity here.
Thanks in advance for any comment or help on this question.

  5 answers
  • 13526476 13526476 on Jul 23, 2017

    The following information comes from the website TheGardenHelper.com/begonia.rex.html:


    Growing Requirements for Rex Begonia Plants

    Rex Begonias grow best in bright, indirect sunlight coming from an east or west window.

    Fluorescent grow lights are also an excellent alternative to natural light for these plants, and in many cases will intensify the foliage colors.

    When potting, set the plant with the crown slightly above the soil line.

    They should be planted in a porous, slightly acidic planting mix that contains some peat moss and leaf mold. African Violet potting mixes work well for Rex Begonias.


    Allow the top 1" of soil to dry before watering, then water thoroughly.

    Overwatering can lead to root or crown rot! Wet foliage can cause problems with mildew. Always use room temperature water when watering house plants. House plants should never be allowed to stand in water for more than a few hours.

    • Penne Johnson Penne Johnson on Jul 24, 2017

      Thanks for your answer. I usually always go to the different sites before I post a question here. I find that peoples experience give more info than all the web sites which I always go to prior to posting questions here. My plants are in good spots as my home faces east/west in back of home. Very bright home with sky lights so very bright atmosphere. These two are placed in areas that are away from the sky lights and still get plenty of light. I appreciate you taking the time to answer. My nursery says they find these plants do well if left alone and not watered too frequently. Not to let get totally dead dry but not a super wet soil. Also the nursery told me to put some small rocks in the bottom of the pot so the roots get some minerals from them. So this was my new planting solution. I do have a good well draining soil this time as well. Thanks again

  • A A on Jul 24, 2017

    If you can, bring them to the kitchen sink to water. Make sure you saturate the soil, but let them drain completely before putting them back. Rex Begonia's also have seasonal activity and typically when they are flowering, the leaves will die back. It's like they can't have both at the same time (at least that's how mine operate). However, I don't grow them indoors.


    Most plants will not recover from over watering.

    • Penne Johnson Penne Johnson on Jul 24, 2017

      Thank you. Good idea to take to kitchen sink to make sure they drain well.

      Mine of course are inside and I had great results with last on UNTIL I gave it too much water. So hopefully my two new ones will be able to survive

      My nursery told me they do well if just left alone and not water too much at all. This is why they question. Thanks again

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jul 24, 2017

    Most stores like Walmart, Menards, Home Depot, etc. have moisture meters that you can use to test the moisture level of potted plants. They are pretty cheap, but if you go to a nursery they will probably be more. We use them on our houseplants and have never had a problem with over watering them. They really are a godsend for houseplants for us. I have a black thumb when it comes to house plants and this has kept them alive for years. My first one was at least 30 years old before I had to replace it this year, but it was build to last, I don't know how long the newer five dollar ones last. I think when I got my first one it was around 35 dollars back then and really hard to find.

    • See 2 previous
    • Penne Johnson Penne Johnson on Jul 24, 2017

      Well Nancy I am now well prepared. LOL Went to my nursery and they were out of the meters, and I said the 99 cent store had them for $2. and she said why not they should work just as good. Oddly enough one they had for about $8. looks exactly like the ones I got today. Really lucked

      out, they are selling out their summer things, and they were only 25.cents

      So I got 3 of them. LOL In case one broke. Has all the meter readings on the back pannel including my begonias and zebra as well. And sure enough both of mine were not moist enough. So I used their guide and just finished watering them. OHHHHHHHHHH another thing I got to thinking was that I do use distilled water, but always add the miracle grow fertilizer per directions to a gallon container. Now my senior brain kicked

      in and it dawned on me that I was watering with that spray bottle, dah Now I am thinking thats what killed my plants. How stupid can you be. LOL I was over feeding them for sure. My nursery said that using the misting method is probably a good idea as that way y ou don't get too much water at once and also don't get the leaves wet. So to make a very long story short. I think I have things under control. All the ones I killed I have in plants in a shady spot to reroot themselves which I was told they will do. Thanks so much for you hint,

  • 13526476 13526476 on Jul 24, 2017

    I agree personal experience when advising is always good, but I also like to be complete in my answers; thus my post from The Garden Helper. I especially found the last two paragraphs detailing watering very helpful. Too, I have found that watering with soft water can be very damaging.

    • Penne Johnson Penne Johnson on Jul 24, 2017

      Hi. If you read the reply above I sent to Nancy, you will understand now why I think I killed my plants, and her idea of a moisture measurer I think will solve my problem. Thanks for being there, It is so nice to meet new people who also love their plants. I appreciate your time and consideration in answering me. Hugs