Houseplants

Meet Rex (Rex Begonia if you’re fancy)

I thought about what I promised yesterday.

Yes, I will talk about my plants. What plant lady wouldn’t?

But.

This is not going to be a how-to or a “everything you need to know” about houseplants.

There are a number of reasons for this, the chief of which is that I’m not a houseplant authority. I don’t work in a nursery. I never have. I don’t work with plants or spend my time researching them.

But, I do know what’s worked for me.

The “difficult” plants that I’ve managed to keep alive.

And, the easy plants that I kill no matter what I do.

Because, every plant lady (man) has their failures. Plants are living creatures. And they seem not to have read the books that I have. And, sometimes, they are going along just fine and they just die.

Speaking of which, let’s talk about my buddy Rex.

Shall we?

Rex, also known by the name Rex Begonia is a new plant for me. I “saved” one from the discount tray at Lowes last year for $1. (I highly recommend Lowes if like me you want a small plant for a low entry fee)

I didn’t expect much from him, but I repotted him right away (I happened to read an article about how you should repot plants from the nursery when you get them home, prior to this article it would sometimes take me years to get my plants into a new pot.)

I stuck him in my sunny kitchen window.

I tried to ignore him, but tend to his needs.

Overwatering is the number one reason that plants die. Most of them can come back from desert like conditions, but soggy roots and root rot will kill even the hardiest of plants.

Soon, Rex began to grow. New leaves emerged. He outgrew his pot and I moved him to an even bigger one. Flowers started forming. They were small, but this seemed like a very encouraging sign. This past spring I transplanted me little Rex into a 6 inch pot. It felt like he had really moved up in the world.

I moved him to a very sunny window in the front of the house.

He thrived.

Then, he didn’t.

A couple of months before I had thought I was a Rex Begonia rockstar. I had rescued my little plant from near death. He had grown like a champ. I had taken cuttings and created a bunch of new plants. I even purchased a full-sized Rex Begonia from Trader Joes when we were up visiting family. (this kind)

But, the TJ Rex experienced a very rapid decline and sudden death. And, I started to get nervous. I began studying Rex to see if he was suffering in any way. And, sure enough, he was.

He had started to droop. His leaves didn’t look as full. Some of them sagged and turned brown.

I transplanted him into a terra-cotta plant, which would help his roots dry out and hopefully prevent him from getting sicker. And, I started reading blogs about ways to help my poor little guy out. I even created my own potting mix just for Rex.

Then, I tried to completely ignore him.

But, it’s hard to ignore it when a once full and beautiful plant begins to disappear.

I don’t have any answers about Rex. Right now I have 6 different pots growing “Rex the Returns” (R2, for short), but I don’t know what is going to happen to my once powerful and beautiful Rex.

It is possible that he has reached the end of his lifespan. Almighty google says that Begonia’s have an average lifespan of 2-3 years. 4 if you are extremely lucky. But, my little guy is 18 months! And, the more I worry, the more he seems to be dying.

Today he’s in the tub for his weekly watering. I noticed that most of his leaves are browning around the edges. I hope this isn’t the end. But, I fear for the worst.

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