Sea Serpent Begonia Begonia 'Sea Serpent' (R)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
begonia 'Sea Serpent'


Begonia 'Sea Serpent' is an ornamental plant known for its distinctive foliage and overall aesthetic appeal. The leaves of this begonia are particularly striking, displaying a unique contortion that resembles the undulating body of a mythical sea serpent. These leaves are often a mix of deep green with a frosty, silver overlay which gives them a near-metallic sheen, especially under bright light. The edges of the leaves may be frilled or crisped, adding to the plant’s serpentine impression. The plant produces flowers as well, which can be showy and rise above the foliage on stout stems. The blossoms are typically in shades that complement the begonia's foliage, possibly ranging from pinks to reds or whites, depending on the specific variety and cultivation conditions. The contrast between the flowers and the striking leaves creates a dynamic visual display. Begonia 'Sea Serpent' has a mounding or spreading habit, which makes it attractive for use in containers, hanging baskets, or as a groundcover in suitable climates. The plant's texture is also a point of interest, with the foliage exhibiting both a subtle roughness and a waxy feel to the touch. Overall, Begonia 'Sea Serpent' draws attention with its sinuous, slightly surreal foliage and lovely blooms, offering a visual intrigue that can complement a variety of garden designs and interior settings.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Sea Serpent Begonia

    • Common names

      Begonia 'Sea Serpent'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Begonias, including the 'Sea Serpent', contain insoluble oxalates which can be toxic when ingested. If chewed or eaten, these compounds can cause irritation of the mouth, lips, throat, and tongue. Symptoms of poisoning can include a burning sensation, swelling, and difficulty swallowing. In severe cases, it may lead to difficulty breathing due to throat swelling, but such extreme reactions are rare. Generally, the unpleasant taste and discomfort prevent people from eating large amounts. It's advisable to keep begonias away from small children who might be tempted to eat the plant.

    • To pets

      Begonias, like the 'Sea Serpent', are toxic to pets due to insoluble oxalates. If a pet ingests this plant, it could experience symptoms such as oral irritation, drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. Cats and dogs may paw at their mouths or shake their heads if affected. The irritation is usually mild to moderate and can be managed by rinsing the animal's mouth with water and providing supportive care. However, if a significant amount is consumed, it's important to consult a veterinarian. Pet owners should ensure their animals do not have access to begonias.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Central America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Decorative Appeal: The Begonia 'Sea Serpent' adds visual interest to any space with its unique, serpentine foliage and vibrant coloration.
    • Low Maintenance: This variety of begonia is relatively easy to care for, requiring minimal upkeep compared to more delicate plants.
    • Shade Tolerance: It can thrive in shaded areas where other plants might struggle, which makes it perfect for indoor environments with indirect light.
    • Mood Enhancement: The presence of plants like the Begonia 'Sea Serpent' can improve the ambiance of a room and boost the mood of those around them.
    • Humidity Tolerance: This plant is tolerant of higher humidity levels, making it an excellent choice for bathrooms or kitchens.
    • Compact Size: It remains compact in growth, which is ideal for smaller spaces or as part of a terrarium or dish garden.
    • Versatility in Landscaping: Beyond indoor use, Begonia 'Sea Serpent' can be used in outdoor shade gardens in appropriate climates.
    • Easy Propagation: Begonias can be easily propagated from leaf cuttings, making it simple to expand your collection or share with friends.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Creative Craft Material - Begonia leaves can be pressed and used in homemade paper or incorporated into craft projects for their unique texture and patterns.
    • Photography Subjects - With their distinct appearance, Begonias can serve as excellent subjects for macro photography and botanical art.
    • Educational Tools - Students can study Begonia's variety of leaf shapes and growth patterns to learn about botany and plant morphology.
    • Culinary Experimentation - Though not commonly used, Begonia petals could be explored for their potential use as an edible garnish in avant-garde cuisine, always ensuring they are safe to eat beforehand.
    • Therapeutic Horticulture - Caring for Begonias, including the Begonia 'Sea Serpent', can be incorporated into therapeutic gardening programs for stress relief and mental well-being.
    • Living Art Installations - Begonias can be a part of living wall art or botanical installations in modern art galleries or urban spaces for a touch of nature.
    • Fashion Inspiration - The vibrant colors and patterns of Begonia leaves can inspire textile designs and fashion prints.
    • Event Decor - Begonia plants can add a lush, tropical feel to event decor for weddings, parties, and corporate events.
    • Color Palette Inspiration - Artists and interior designers can use the rich hues of Begonias as inspiration for color palettes in their work.
    • Green Roof Plantings - In suitable climates, Begonias can be incorporated into green roof designs for their aesthetic qualities and potential environmental benefits.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Begonia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Begonia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Beware - Begonias are often associated with a message of caution, reminding us to be aware of potential pitfalls or to proceed carefully in certain situations.
    • Gratitude - The begonia can also symbolize gratitude, making them a thoughtful gift to express appreciation for someone's kindness or support.
    • Uniqueness - The 'Sea Serpent' begonia, with its distinctive foliage, can represent individuality and the celebration of unique characteristics.
    • Harmony - As with many plants, begonias can signify harmony with nature and the balance that exists within the natural world.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Rex Begonias like 'Sea Serpent' prefer consistent moisture, but it's important to let the topsoil dry out slightly between waterings to prevent root rot. Typically, you should water a Rex Begonia every 7 to 10 days, depending on the humidity and temperature of your environment. When watering, use lukewarm water and gently water the plant until it starts to drain from the bottom of the pot. This might equate to around 8-16 ounces for a small to medium pot. You should adjust the amount you give based on the size of your pot and the plant's response.

  • sunLight

    Rex Begonias such as 'Sea Serpent' thrive best in bright, indirect light conditions. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves. The ideal spot would be near a window that receives plenty of light but is shielded by a sheer curtain or positioned so that direct sun does not reach the foliage. An east- or west-facing window is typically the best location for these plants.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Rex Begonias like 'Sea Serpent' prefer temperatures between 60 to 75°F. These plants can struggle in temperatures below 50°F or above 80°F. Make sure to protect your Begonia from cold drafts and sudden temperature changes which can stress the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Rex Begonia 'Sea Serpent' to remove any brown or damaged leaves to encourage healthy growth and maintain the plant's appearance. It's best to prune in the spring or early summer when the plant is entering a period of active growth. You can also pinch back new growth to promote bushiness. Pruning may be needed every few months or as you notice the plant needs shaping or has damaged foliage.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for a Begonia 'Sea Serpent' should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. A mixture containing peat, perlite, and pine bark is ideal. Aim for a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH, around 5.5 to 6.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Begonia 'Sea Serpent' should be repotted every 1-2 years, ideally in the spring at the beginning of the growing season. Use fresh soil mix when repotting to provide nutrients.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Begonia 'Sea Serpent' thrives in high humidity environments, preferably between 50% to 70%. Use a humidifier or misting to maintain ideal conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Ensure partial shade and shelter from harsh elements.

    • Hardiness zone

      10-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Begonia 'Sea Serpent' begins its life cycle when its seeds germinate in warm, moist soil, typically in the spring or under controlled conditions if grown indoors. The seeds develop into small seedlings with characteristic begonia foliage. As the plant matures, it forms a robust root system and a bushy growth of waxy, often variegated leaves. Throughout its growing season, Begonia 'Sea Serpent' produces distinctive blossoms which may vary in color depending on the specific hybrid variety. After blooming, if pollination occurs, the plant may produce seed capsules that, upon ripening, release seeds for the next generation. In colder climates or during unfavorable conditions, Begonia 'Sea Serpent' may enter a dormant period where growth slows or stops until favorable conditions return.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Begonia 'Sea Serpent', commonly known as Rex begonia, can be propagated primarily through leaf cuttings. This popular method involves taking a healthy leaf from the plant and cutting it into pieces, each section containing at least one vein. The leaf segments are then placed on a moist potting mix, lightly pressing the cut side down, ensuring that the veins are in contact with the soil. To maintain humidity, which is crucial for the rooting process, the pot can be covered with a clear plastic bag or placed in a propagator, which should be kept at room temperature. Over the course of several weeks, roots and new shoots will emerge from the veins in contact with the soil. Once the shoots have developed sufficiently, they can be separated and potted individually to grow into new plants.