Begonia Rex ‘Jive’

BEG Jive 01

For intriguing foliage we grow rex begonias and we’ve added a new one to our collection for spring: ‘Jive’. Vibrant chartreuse leaves are ruffled and edged in purple for a striking presentation. Chartreuse is in vogue among designers at the moment and it’s not always easy to find. Here we have it in a compact, dwarf plant that grows about 12 inches tall.

Breeders are constantly trying to outdo themselves when it comes to rex begonias, to the delight of designers. New varieties are introduced all the time, with wild leaf patterns and puckering, each one trippier than the next. Makes you wonder if those breeders are fans of Dr. Seuss…

BEG Jive 02

Rex begonias originated in the forests of India, so they thrive in the shade and in humid conditions. Plant them in rich, aerated soil and water them only when the soil is dry to the touch. 

Funky foliage gets our creative juices flowing—we find one selection that speaks to us and take it from there. ‘Jive’ is a great jumping-off point for a hanging basket—chartreuse looks especially nice against dark blue or bright pink flowers.

At Diefenbacher, we have an extensive collection of rex begonias, including:

  • ‘Benitochiba’—metallic, raspberry-colored leaves brushed with silver have pewter-gray veining
  • ‘Escargot’—high-contrast whorls that resemble snails are displayed on large leaves that curl in on themselves
  • ‘Etna’—striking red-brown foliage is splashed with pink and silver
  • ‘Fedor’—light green leaves have striking dark green veins
  • ‘Flamenco’—a rex with an interesting flower; white flowers are heavily sprayed with spots of red—the margins are always tinted red
  • ‘Mambo Dark’—very dark green, nearly black, leaves curl in on themselves like ‘Escargot’
  • ‘Red Bull’—bright shiny red with a dark red margin that varies from plant to plant
  • ‘Red Kiss’—similar to ‘Red Bull’ except ‘Red Kiss’ has a dark heart to match its margins
  • ‘Red Tango’—heart-shaped leaves in complex patterns of dark red, light red, green, and white
  • ‘Salsa’—stripes, stains, and polka dots in silver, red, black, and green on small, slim, serrated leaves
  • ‘Spitfire’—torn-look leaf with a heart of red has a creamy green margin that’s flecked with red also

BEG Escargot

BEG Etna

BEG Flamenco

BEG Red Bull
‘Red Bull’