I am generally quite fond of begonias. In fact, I have become an ever bigger fan of them as I have been trying to find more plants that will do well in the east-facing windows of my apartment and provide some color at the same time. Right now, however, begonias and I are going through a bit of a rough patch. It is not that they do not usually do well under my care but rather that their behavior remains completely unpredictable to me. Rex begonias in particular tend to flourish for a while and then decline rapidly, without me having changed their care. My most recent specimen grew quickly throughout the fall and even produced a few inflorescences but started declining a few weeks before I left for winter break. When I came back a few days ago it was almost completely defoliated, despite having been cared for attentively by a neighbor:
Meanwhile, my cane begonia has grown quite a bit and is beginning to produce lots of new side shoots:
My Rieger begonia cuttings were in full bloom but appeared to be dying from the bottom up, with the lower portions of the shoots shriveling up and turning black. I ended up trimming off the healthy flowering portions as cut flowers and cuttings and discarding the rest.
Finally, my Begonia 'Art Hodes' is also noticeably less vigorous than usual, though perhaps that is just the effect of the darkest part of the year and it will improve again once the days begin to lengthen a bit more.