Escargot Begonia: Why Is The Rex Begonia So Rare?

This begonia is a cultivar of Rex Begonia and is a beautiful and easygoing houseplant. It is one of those plants that will steal your heart with its unique features and unfussy nature. If you’re interested in collecting plants with various shapes, sizes, and colors, you need to include an Escargot Begonia.

How to Identify Escargot Begonia

Escargot Begonia

Escargot Begonia is actually very easy to identify. It has extremely unique features that set it apart from its other family members. These features include:

  • Leaves that grow in a spiral formation, hence the nickname ‘Escargot’
  • Leaves that are variegated in color; these colors include dark green, a light silver-green, pink, and red
  • Leaves and stems that are red and fuzzy when they first begin to form

How to Grow Escargot Begonia from Seed

Seed Starting

Growing a Begonia plant from seed may be simple and straightforward, but it is not the preferred method for growing a new plant. If, however, you have decided to grow a new plant using this method, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase seeds from a reputable seed supplier.
  2. Fill a seed starter tray with seed starting mix.
  3. Tap the seeds out of their package and onto the starter mix (do not cover them with soil).
  4. Lightly moisten the soil with a spray bottle.
  5. Set the seed tray in a warm room without much sunlight.
  6. Cover the seed tray with its lid or with plastic wrap to hold in moisture.
  7. Moisten the soil as needed.
  8. Once sprouts appear, move the seed tray to a place with bright but indirect sunlight.
  9. When the plants are strong, they can be transferred to permanent plant containers.

Note: The reason why growing a Begonia plant from seeds is not a preferred method is because seeds do not always produce begonia plants that look like their parent plant. If you want to guarantee that the begonia plant you are growing will have certain features, it is best to grow a new plant from cuttings instead of seeds.

How to Propagate Escargot Begonia

There are three preferred methods to use when propagating a new Begonia plant. These methods are also simple and straightforward, but they don’t all produce new plants at the same speed. Let’s look at each method individually and discuss why you might prefer using one over the other.

The Stem Cutting Method:

(takes about three weeks to produce new roots)

Cut off a 3 to 4-inch long stem that has at least one node and a leaf with a sterile cutting utensil.  

The Leaf Cutting Method:

(takes about six months to produce new roots)

Cut off a healthy leaf with a sterile cutting utensil.

Plant Division Method:

(produces a new plant immediately)

Remove the plant from its container and cut the plant’s rhizome with a sterile cutting utensil.

No matter which method you have chosen, you will need to follow these steps to complete the plant propagation process.

  1. Fill a plant container with soil consisting of half perlite and half peat moss.
  2. Set the part of the plant that you cut off into the soil.
  3. Lightly moisten the soil.
  4. Cover the container with plastic that has ventilation holes cut in it.
  5. Set the plant in a warm room with bright but indirect sunlight.
  6. Once the plant has grown its own root system, it can be transferred to a permanent plant container and treated as a mature plant.

Note: One very important factor to keep in mind, is that plant propagation should only be done on warm days in early spring.  This allows the plants plenty of time to settle into their new homes and recover from the stress of propagation.

Escargot Begonia Growing Conditions

Heat Mat

To care for this type of plant, you will need to acquire the following equipment:

Escargot Begonia should not be kept in temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit; in fact, it should be kept within a temperature range of 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It will also need plenty of humidity so plan to provide it with an environment that is 50% humidity.

How to Plant Escargot Begonia

Look for the following signs to know when your Escargot Begonia should be replanted:

  • Compacted Soil
  • Roots that are crowded and are now growing into a ball formation
  • A plant that looks too big for its current container

If you notice these signs in your plant, prepare to replant it on the next warm spring day that you have available.  The steps for doing this are:

  1. Select a new plant container that is two inches larger in diameter
  2. Fill the new plant container with potting soil
  3. Gently remove the plant from its current container and lightly dust off its roots
  4. Prune any rotten roots and leaves
  5. Create a hole in the soil of the new plant container
  6. Set the plant in the hole
  7. Secure the plant in its new home by spreading the soil around its base
  8. Lightly water the plant
  9. Set the plant container in a warm place that receives plenty of bright but indirect sunlight

Note: This type of plant does not need to be replanted very often; in fact, it should not be moved around much since this can cause stress and shock to the plant.

Plan to replant your Escargot Begonia every two to three years unless you notice signs that it is not healthy before that amount of time has elapsed. If you sense that your Escargot Begonia needs more soil or new soil before it is really ready to be moved, then top off the plant’s soil with fresh, clean soil.

Escargot Begonia Potting & Soil


Choose a potting soil for your Escargot Begonia that is both well-aerated and well-draining. An excellent option to use with this type of plant is a potting soil designed for African Violets such as this soil produced by

Equally as important as the potting soil is the type of plant container used with an Escargot Begonia. An ideal plant container will have excellent drainage from its bottom and will be made of plastic to hold in a little moisture. Remember, the plant’s soil needs to remain moist but not soggy.

These stylish plant containers from Fawntesco will pair wonderfully with your begonias.

Escargot Begonia Water Requirements

Try using a plant watering app to care for all your plants. These tools are easy to download and use. They will save you a lot of headaches when it comes to remembering how and when to water each variety of plants in your garden.

Begonia plants of all varieties are actually very easy to water, just use the soak and dry method to ensure that your plant gets plenty to drink without ruining its lovely and delicate leaves.

Here are the steps for the soak and dry method:

  1. Test the plant’s soil with your finger (only water the plant if the top half of its soil is dry)
  2. Fill a large container or a tub with water
  3. Set the plant container in the water (do not fill the container so deep that the water overflows the top of the plant container)
  4. Allow the plant to soak up water through its container’s drainage hole for 15 minutes
  5. Remove the plant from the water and allow it to drain off excess water through its container’s drainage hole

Note:  Watering begonias from the above risks causing damage to their leaves. Water can sit on the leaves and cause them to rot over time. Remember, it is very important that begonias have moist, but not soggy, the soil at all times.

Escargot Begonia Light Requirements

Try using a light meter or a light meter app to ensure that your plants are getting the proper amount of sunlight.  The results of the meters can be checked against lighting guidelines found in this indoor plant lighting guide.

Begonia plants of all varieties prefer bright but indirect sunlight; in fact, they can deal with partial and full shade as well. The reason you might want to give them bright light instead is that the sunlight will improve the color variegations on the begonia’s leaves.

Best Escargot Begonia Fertilizer


Excessive fertilizing can cause begonias to grow long and scraggly, which is not very attractive.  It can also burn parts of the plant and this is not reversible. When you do feed your Escargot begonia, do it mainly in the spring and summer while the plant is actually growing and is able to fully utilize the food.

The doses given should be diluted to 50% and spread out to every 2 or 4 weeks. Small feedings can be provided during autumn, but fertilizing should stop altogether during winter. A balanced liquid fertilizer such as Bonide is an excellent choice.

Best Escargot Begonia Companion Plantings

Consider providing your Escargot Begonia with a plant companion both for aesthetic appeal and for extra humidity. As you select a companion plant for your Escargot Begonia, keep the following requirements in mind:

  • Find a plant that has similar care requirements, e.g., the same type of soil and watering method
  • Find a plant that will look aesthetically appealing next to your other plant
  • Find a plant that is easy to care for, grow, and propagate

A few examples of plants that will meet these plant companion requirements are:

Begonia Varieties

Choose another type of Begonia to be your plant’s companion. They will look great next to each other and they typically require the same type of care.

Recommended Varieties:

Begonia Ferox

Begonia Ferox

This plant looks as though it stepped out of the Jurassic age and should be competing with dinosaurs for preeminence.


  • It is a very unusual looking plant (this can be both positive and negative)
  • It can be propagated via stem and leaf cuttings
  • It has care requirements that are similar to those of Escargot Begonia
  • It is used to cure diseases such as asthma, arthritis, stomach issues, and colds


  • It is susceptible to botrytis and other fungal diseases
  • It is not winter hardy
  • It is susceptible to infestations of mealybugs

Dragon Wing Begonia

Dragon Wing Begonia

This begonia variety features rubbery green leaves and tiny pinkish-red flowers.  It is a beautiful plant that will look stunning next to you Escargot Begonia.


  • It is a beautiful plant
  • It has care requirements that are similar to those of Escargot Begonia
  • It can be propagated via stem and leaf cuttings


  • It is susceptible to infestations of aphids, mealybugs, and nematodes
  • It is susceptible to bacterial leaf spot
  • It is susceptible to root rot

Wax Begonia

Wax Begonia

This native of Brazil is sure to brighten your window sill garden with its lovely and delicate pink flowers.  It is another great companion for your Escargot Begonia.


  • It is a very beautiful and easygoing plant
  • It has care requirements that are similar to those of Escargot Begonia
  • It can be propagated via stem cuttings


  • It is susceptible to mealybugs and thrips
  • It is susceptible to powdery mildew and botrytis blight

Escargot Begonia Diseases and Common Problems

Let’s take some time to learn about the common issues faced by this plant.  The following is a list of the most common issues faced by Escargot Begonia, how to identify each issue, and how best to treat each issue.


Ant Baits

These are teardrop-shaped insects that are apt to attack many different types of plants. Ants will protect them since they are a food source for ant colonies. This may require that you deal with two different insects at the same time. To deal with an infestation of aphids, follow these steps:

  1. Spray the plant with a mixture of neem oil and soapy water
  2. Wipe down the leaves of the plant
  3. Apply neem oil to the leaves to prevent another infestation
  4. Check for ants nearby and use ant bait to get rid of them


These are insects that look like small patches of cotton on leaves and stems. To deal with an infestation of mealybugs, follow these steps:

  1. Spray a solution of alcohol and water on the leaves
  2. Rub the leaves with a cotton ball
  3. Coat the leaves in neem oil or insecticidal soap every few days


This issue will look like a white powder on leaves and stems. Mildew is caused by improper watering or by exposing the plant to too much heat. Follow the following tips to treat this problem:

  • Remove any affected leaves and stems
  • Apply a fungicide to the plant
  • Move the plant to a spot that has less heat
  • Tweak the plant’s water regimen

Root Rot

These are the symptoms of root rot:

  • Stems and leaves that are black
  • Stems and leaves that are translucent
  • Stems and leaves that are mushy
  • Leaves that are dropping off regularly

The cause of this issue is overwatering a plant. Tweak your watering regimen, trim off affected stems and leaves, and allow your plant’s soil to dry out to help the plant heal. If the symptoms are serious, you may need to completely replace the plant’s soil with new, dry soil.

Escargot Begonia Treatments and Maintenance


It is better to prevent infestations or infections than to treat them. To do this, make the following a part of your regular gardening routine:

  • Learn how to properly water and feed your plant.
  • Mix diatomaceous earth into the soil of potted plants. 
  • Provide your plant with adequate amounts of sunlight, heat, and humidity.
  • Regularly clean the plant’s leaves with neem oil.
  • Schedule regular plant inspections and treat any infestations or diseases quickly.

Where to Buy Escargot Begonia Seeds Online

Search Etsy for all varieties of begonia seeds.

Where to Buy Mature Escargot Begonia Online

This type of begonia is also popular on Etsy


Question: Is Escargot Begonia Toxic?

Answer: Unfortunately, this plant is considered toxic to animals.  Set your begonias out of reach of your pets by planting them in a hanging container or setting them on a high shelf or table.  If your pet has consumed any part of these plants, contact a medical professional or poison control.
• Animal Poison Control
• Ask a Poison Control Vet

Question: Which USDA Hardiness Zone Can Escargot Begonia be Planted In?

Answer: This type of plant should only be put in a ground plot in zones 10 to 11.  If they are planted in the ground in other zones, they will not survive a very cold winter.  

Question: How Large Will My Escargot Begonia Grow?

Answer: This is a compact plant that will grow up to a foot tall and a foot wide.

In Conclusion

Escargot Begonia is truly mesmerizing.  It is a plant that doesn’t need a lot of bright colors because it is all about its unique growth format.  If you want something special in your garden, don’t overlook an Escargot Begonia.

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