It’s very sad when your houseplants start to show signs that they are not happy – but all is not lost, they can usually be saved. “Why is my rex begonia dropping leaves?” I hear you cry – and we have a comprehensive list of the reasons why, and what you can do to restore them to perfect health.
What You'll Learn Today
Why Is My Begonia Rex Dropping Leaves?
This plant is generally very easygoing, but there are some instances which cause it to drop leaves and generally look a bit sorry for itself.
- Overwatering is generally the main culprit. Obviously all plants need to drink, but too much water can cause major problems and start to rot the roots.
- Underwatering is almost as bad; these plants come from tropical areas so they like to be kept moist and humid.
- Too much sunlight can cause begonia rex issues – it likes light, but it needs to be indirect to avoid damage to the leaves.
- Lack of humidity can cause these plants big problems. You can try standing them on a tray of moistened pebbles to help solve the issue.
- Pests can be a problem for your begonia rex – they are susceptible to damage to the roots by cutworms. Keep an eye out for these wrigglers, and remove them wherever you see them.
- Stress can cause leaves to drop off; if you have recently divided of repotted your begonia then you may notice it shedding leaves.
- Age is a natural thing that can cause loosening leaves – it may be that the plant is shedding leaves that are no longer any good to it.
Why Are My Rex Begonia Leaves Drooping?
Drooping leaves is the first step towards leaves dropping off – if they have just started to droop then you can usually still save them.
- Underwatering can cause leaves to droop, as they are not getting enough moisture to transport nutrients around the plant.
Check the soil, and if it is dry then give your rex a good drink until the water runs out of the drainage holes.
- Overwatering is a big culprit for drooping leaves too – too much water will make the roots soft and spongy and eventually rot.
Again, check the soil – if it is soggy then it is definitely time to put down the watering can and give your plant a break for a bit.
- Pests can make a rex begonia very unhappy – aphids or mealybugs can suck the goodness out of the leaves and damage the plant.
Check the soil and the underside of the leaves for any critters – these should be removed, and you can consider using a natural organic pesticide to stop the problem.
- A stressed plant can look a little droopy – if you have just repotted your begonia, or taken a lot of cuttings, it may take a while for it to recover.
Keep your rex begonia in its favorite conditions, give it a little feed, and keep it warm. You should see it bounce back in a couple of days to a week.
How Often Do You Water A Begonia Rex?
These plants hail from warm, tropical climates and as such they like moisture and humidity.
The will like their soil to be kept consistently moist, especially in the hotter months of the summer or in drought periods.
This being said, they will not thank you if you turn their soil into a swamp – this can cause big problems to the plant and can even kill it.
Stick to watering once a week in the hot summer, more often if the soil is drying out very fast.
If the soil has dried out completely, give it a really good drink – water it until it starts to run out of the drainage holes (the water, not the plant!)
In the winter, go for fortnightly watering, to avoid the possibility of overwatering the plant.
It’s always a good idea to follow a plant’s lead, rather than watering on a schedule. The best way to do this is to check the soil, and if it feels dry then it’s time for a drink.
Should I Mist My Rex Begonia?
Because these plants come from warm, humid areas, you would be forgiven for thinking that they should be misted all the time.
This is all well and good for most plants, but misting too much or too often – or even at all – can cause your begonia rex some problems.
Misting does create humidity, it’s true, but there are better ways to do this for your rex begonia.
Misting can cause the leaves to get moldy, which is definitely not something you want for your prize begonia!
Rex begonias are also prone to powdery mildew, which will be encouraged by the presence of water on the leaves.
All in all, it’s best to put down the spray bottle and look for other ways to create humidity for this little beauty!
The best way to do this is to sit the pot on a tray of moistened clay pebbles. This water will evaporate, creating enough humidity to keep your plant happy.
Just remember to keep those pebbles damp, as the water will evaporate sooner than you might imagine.
Can Begonia Rex Take Full Sun?
This plant, although it comes from warm countries, actually doesn’t really like being in direct sunlight.
Too much bright, direct light can damage the plant by scorching the leaves and overheating it.
Keep your begonia rex in a bright spot, that receives plenty of sunlight – but ensure that this is indirect light to avoid problems.
This video will show you exactly what begonia rex like to keep it happy:
This little plant is quite hardy and easy to care for, so if you see leaves dropping it is a sign that all is not well.
Once you have figured out the reason why, and fixed the problem, the good news is that you rex should bounce back and be healthier than ever!