Begonia maculata is a beautiful indoor plant, wildly famous for its striking exterior. The unique silver patches on its leaves give an exceptional touch to this plant. These patches mirror polka dots, so this plant has a common name, polka dots begonia.
What Sets This Plant Apart?
Like the String of Turtles plant, begonia maculata leaves display intricate, variegated patterns. Unlike the String of Turtles, begonia maculata leaves are covered with intricate silver dots on the top of the leaves, and red on the bottom. As the plant grows, you will see an amazing transition of hues that can enhance the beauty of your home garden.
People prefer to buy begonia maculata as their first choice when opting for indoor plants.
While you might find it challenging to tend to these plants because of their unique amalgamation of colors, taking care of begonia maculata can be pretty easy if you know what you are doing. In this article, we will share an extensive guide on how to tend to begonia maculata on your own.
A Care Guide
Since this plant stands apart because of its beauty and enriching shades, it is imperative to tend to these plants properly. They have gained massive popularity around the globe. People have been impersonating their look and creating a new set of everyday items.
The striking red and the remarkable silver of the plants have made headlines, mimicking which many designers have come up with different footwear and other items.
Therefore, people love to have begonia maculata in their home gardens. However, they need to get familiar with the basics of this plant to tend to them adequately.
The following are some fundamental things that you need to be mindful of:
· Soil Requirements
If you want your plant to thrive under your care, provide it a comfortable base. Soil is one of the most critical factors that play a huge role in the plant’s growth. It should be embedded with all the nutrients to not fall victim to deteriorating health conditions.
Begonia maculate requires enriched soil. If you want rapid plant growth, prepare the soil by mixing clay, loamy soil, and sand. Combine it all and put it in a pot full that has an excellent drainage system.
One thing that you need to be mindful of is proper potting. No matter how well-managed the soil is, the plant can contract root rot. This plant disease can be lethal, forcing all your efforts to go down the drain. Therefore, you need to be extra careful while preparing the soil.
To avoid root rot, collect some pebble and add a layer to the soil. You can also use pot pieces to develop a layer so that it becomes easier to secure the plant against root rot. The added layer can add extra protection by providing a better drainage system for the plant.
· Water Requirements
In most cases, when people start gardening, they find it really hard to get the perfect measure of watering. Either they water too much that can damage the plant early on, or be very lenient with watering that lets it die very easily. Either way, the plant gets damaged.
Therefore, it is essential to strike a balance between the two. Make sure to water the plant correctly, especially if you plan on getting a begonia maculata plant. This is because the embedded soil needs to be a bit damp at all times.
However, if it is completely wet, it can cause root rot, which can be the death of the plant.
The best way to ensure that begonia maculata is ready for watering is by dipping your fingers in the soil. If the top of the soil (about half an inch) is damp, you are good to go. If it feels dry, the plant needs immediate watering.
A wilting plant is a cry for help. It means you need to water the plant immediately; otherwise, it will become lumpy and decay over time.
Now the question is, how should you water Begonia Maculata?
Whenever you plan on watering the plant, you need to ensure that the leaves remain dry. Check the soil for dampness and directly pour water onto the roots. Keep the plant’s surface dry.
· Light Requirements
Every plant requires an adequate amount of light to ensure its growth. Without proper sunlight, the plants can hardly flourish. However, different plants have different light requirements. Some of them require direct exposure to sunlight, while others need part shade to thrive.
Some plants don’t require hours of light exposure, while others need to make their glucose within the day. Therefore, getting familiar with the light requirements is essential as soon as you plan on buying a new plant.
Even though begonia maculata is an indoor plant, it requires an adequate amount of light to flourish for an extended period of time. While limited exposure to light suffices most indoor plants, it is quite unusual for begonia maculata to want more light than others.
Therefore, you should choose a well-lit room for this plant, away from direct exposure to sunlight. This is because you can only attain the vibrancy of the plant if you keep it hidden from the harsh sunlight. You can get foot candles to provide the required amount of light to the plant.
· Temperature Requirements
In most cases, indoor plants require moderate weather conditions to flourish. Extreme temperatures can be harmful to their growth.
Begonia maculate is a tropical plant; hence, it requires relatively warm weather. The ideal temperature at which this plant flourish is somewhere between 18 to 22 degrees Celsius. If the temperature drops down to less than 15 degrees Celsius, the plant can rot under cold weather conditions.
· Fertilizer Requirements
Plants that produce flowers require extra energy for flower-bearing. It means that you need to provide just the right amount of fertilizer to help them grow and thrive under your watch.
Begonia maculate is one such plant responsible for producing beautiful, striking flowers. Therefore, you need to provide an adequate amount of fertilizer every once in a while to fulfill their needs. If you lack, the plant might not produce flowers as vibrant as you would have hoped for.
If you want a prominent bloom, you need to ensure that the fertilizer has all the required nutrients. Fertilize the plant every once a week or once two weeks to ensure the plant’s growth. Read the instructions on the package and follow them strictly. Some fertilizers work best in a diluted state. Therefore, you should be mindful of the fertilizer you are buying.
· Humidity Requirements
In most cases, indoor plants require an adequate amount of humidity. This can be pretty challenging if you plan on planting them indoors.
The begonia maculata plant requires high humidity for its timely growth. Since rooms don’t usually have access to moisture, you might find it difficult to provide the required humidity levels. The best way to solve this problem is by placing the plant either inside your kitchen or bathroom. These two places are most prone to accumulating moisture, which can benefit the begonia maculata plant.
While it is an effective solution, not everyone has enough space inside these places for a plant. Therefore, you need to have an alternative ready. Get your hands on a water saucer and place it beside the plant. This way, you can put your begonia maculata plant in any room you want. Moreover, you can use a humidifier to keep the humidity levels up to par.
Begonia Maculata – Flowering
Begonia Maculata is a beautiful plant with vibrant flowers and attractive leaves. The silver patches on its surface can demonstrate the uniqueness of this plant. In most cases, the flowers are a striking white that later turns into a pink shade.
The center of the flower has a yellow tinge, which gives rise to singular stems – a trait that sets them apart from all the other indoor flower-bearing plants.
The ideal weather for the plantation of the begonia maculata plant is during spring. That is when the flowers bloom their brightest. If you provide them an adequate amount of fertilizer, light, temperature, and water, the plant thrives and flourishes in this season.
Begonia Maculata – Appearance
As mentioned in the previous section of the article, begonia maculata is a breathtaking tropical plant, famous for its unique leaves and exceptional appearance. Despite its peculiarity, this place has earned a name for itself. You can consider it as one of the most sought-after indoor plants.
Ideally, the begonia maculata plant grows to be 1½ meters tall. Its asymmetric leaves expand with time, growing upwards. As the plant grows, you can see the upper side of the leaves turn into bright green, while its inner surface shows a sign of a faint red.
When the plant reaches its full maturity, the most prominent silver patches reflect a bright red surface. The amalgamation of different colors contributes to its exceptional appearance.
On the other hand, the white flowers can turn into a faint pink, which gives a beautiful vibe. If you plan on creating a bushy look for your plant, try pruning once in a while. This will help get rid of the wilted flowers simultaneously, which ultimately stimulates the growth of fresh flowers.
Begonia Maculata – Potting
Just as we have discussed the importance of soil, it is essential to get the perfect pot as well. For ideal growth, the right pot for the plant is crucial. Consider the length and width of the pot before planting anything.
One thing that you need to be mindful of is the size of the pot. In most cases, indoor plants flourish in a wide space, begonia maculata like close quarters to thrive in. The more bound the plant, the higher its chances to grow. Especially in the initial days of its plantation.
Moreover, make sure to repot the plant at least once a year. This will help you stay up-to-date with the plant’s growth and lets the plant breathe freely. Always get the new pot one size larger than the previous one to ensure enough space. You should also make sure that the new container has an excellent drainage system and moisture exposure.
Begonia Maculata – Propagation
You might find it challenging to grow a new batch of begonia maculate plants. Don’t be discouraged! You can always propagate the current one using the following easy methods:
Propagation Using Leaf Cuttings
Propagating the begonia maculata plant using leaf cuttings can be very easy. You don’t have to put in the extra effort; just take some fresh leaves off the plant and store them in a safe place. Now you have to place them upside down so that it will be easier for you to cut them. You can use a knife or a razor to conclude the process.
Cut the leaves in a way that the wedges have at least one vein. This will help you grow new begonia maculate plants almost instantly. However, if you don’t want a large batch, you don’t have to slice the leaves into wedges. Just cut the leaves in a way that the petiole remains attached to the plant. Now stick it inside a pot with well-drained soil.
Cover the pot with a plastic wrapper and keep it in a warm room away from direct sunlight.
Propagation Using Stem Cuttings
The other method of propagating the begonia maculata plant is by using stem cuttings. You can also use long stems to get small baby plants. These stems are called rhizomes, which can be grown inside the soil. All you need to do is cut them about one inch long and dump them inside the soil. Make sure the soil is not too wet.
The begonia maculata plant has an exceptional appearance, due to which most home gardeners choose these plants for decoration. If you want yours to flourish, follow the instructions written in this article and watch your begonia maculate plant thrive!