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Begonia Maculata (alternatively known as Polka dot Begonia) is a beautiful houseplant noteworthy for its leaves with silver polka dots.
They’re one of the rarest houseplants every gardener wants to have. The plant was popularly named after its leaf composition. This excellent houseplant is both attractive and terrifying because of its leaf’s central attention.
This plant was discovered in 1982 in Brazil by an Italian researcher. This plant was believed to be native in tropical and subtropical areas globally, specifically in Asia, Central America, South Africa, and Brazil.
The table below shows the basic information about the plant, as mentioned earlier.
Scientific Name: Begonia Maculata
Plant type: Houseplant
Exposure to Sunlight: Bright indirect light
Soil Type: Well-drained soil
Color: Green, Red, and silver polka dots
Water: Medium Amount
Favorable Climate: Tropical place, needing high humidity level
Preferable Fertilizer: Any water-soluble fertilizer
Propagation: Seeds, Stem cuttings, Leafs
Toxicity Warning: Poisonous to animals and humans
Height: 15-50 cm
Origin: Asia, Central America, South Africa, and Mexico
Begonia Maculata Plant Care Basics
Begonia Maculata should be given its adequate need and care to survive and thrive. This will allow the gardeners to maintain the plant healthy as it matures from time to time.
Despite that Maculata is easy to take care of, proper tips are needed to be followed. For the begonia to survive and thrive at your home, we need to take the necessary steps and information.
The Begonia Maculata care tips allow you to be fully aware of how to take care of the plant. These tips are important. Here is everything you need to know about Begonia Maculata care:
Best Potting Mix
The soil requirement of the plant should be a soil mixture of clay, loam, and sand. The plant also favors humus-rich soil. Add the soil mixture with pebbles to prevent the plant’s roots from being rotten. The roots are susceptible, and they should be protected from rotting. You can also add fragments from terracotta pots.
How often should we water our maculata?
When watering the Begonia, water your begonia on a medium amount, enough for the plant to have sufficient moisture for the soil. Prevent the plant from being overwatering to avoid the plant from being vulnerable to root rot. Before watering the plant once again, be sure that the plant’s topsoil should be monitored. For the plant to be watered once again, the soil must be drying up.
The Begonia Maculata requires bright indirect light, this is enough light for the Maculata Begonia. If treated as an indoor plant, it is highly advisable to place the plant in a room to receive enough light.
During the summer, place the plant in an area where it could receive much shade and away from direct sunlight exposure. When place inside the home, you may install artificial lights. Please be sure not to place it directly in the sunlight.
When the plant leaves start to burn, place the plant in another area to receive a little sunlight exposure.
The plant, as mentioned earlier, is a typical tropical plant. However, the plant does not survive and thrive in a cold area. The temperature requirement of the plant is the same in a tropical environment.
The preferable temperature level is between 18 to 22 degrees Celsius. The required temperature of the plant should give the best survival and thrive of the plant. These temperatures are the degrees of tolerance where the plant could grow well.
For a gardener who resides in temperate climates like Europe or Polar Regions, the preferred temperatures do not mean that the plant cannot grow in certain areas. Assure that the temperature should not excess below 15 degrees Celsius or above 32 degrees Celsius.
The humidity requirement of the plant should be on a higher level of humidity. This level should be maintained for the plant to grow in the best condition.
Typically, the plant should be planted in an area where the humidity level is constantly high for you to lessen the burden of maintaining the level using your intervention.
You may keep the humidity levels high by putting the saucer or any container with water inside. This would create humidity when the water evaporates.
Please make sure that the saucer or any container should only be placed beside the pot as we are only to humidify the atmosphere for the plant and not make the roots wet. Putting the pot within the container will cause root rotting.
You may also use a humidifier to keep the constant humidity level of the area. The higher the level of humidity within the place, the higher the chances we allow the plant to survive and thrive well.
The fertilizer requirement of the plant is highly vital. The plant should be fertilized every couple of weeks to ensure the bloom and growth of the plant in the long run. Applying fertilizer to the plant gives a fast-track growth for the plant without affecting its health.
The plant should be given a half dosage of a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks or depending upon the instruction given by the product.
As per the product’s instruction, you are free to double the required size as this measurement is a sufficient amount of fertilizer needed for two weeks.
Although, prevent from giving the plant a fertilizer every winter time so the plant could not be poisoned.
The plant, as mentioned earlier, is straightforward to propagate with. The plant can be reproduced using seeds, stem cuttings, or from the plant’s leaves. These three means are adequate for the plant to be propagated well. It is highly preferable to propagate the plant during the winter as their growth will not affect this season.
At the same time, it is easy to propagate the plant when it comes to wintertime. In this season, you cannot have a problem with how to reproduce it.
To do this, you must cut off the plant’s stem without the flowers or beneath the bud flower. You must remove the lower leaves and immerse the cut into the container where there is water.
Let the stem developed its roots. The branch can be removed from the water when the seeds have started to spring up. Afterward, you can directly plant it in the soil of the pot. Just make sure that the ground should be well-draining.
The correct choice of potting for the plant, as mentioned earlier, is an essential factor for its growth.
The preferable type of pot and its size will allow the plant to thrive at its best peak.
The plant prefers smaller pots as it loves to keep the roots from being bound to each other. The plant can be re-potted every year; however, it depends on how tall the plant is. Re-potting is ideal every springtime.
When re-potting the plant, be sure to choose the right pot size- slightly bigger in space and size than the former.
Always bear in mind that the pot should have an excellent capability to hold the exact moisture the plant needs and has a well-draining ability.
The plant, as mentioned earlier, can grow up to 1.5 meters in length. The plant leaves are naturally asymmetric and will extend up to 20 centimeters long, depending on the environmental condition where it was planted.
The upper part of the leaf has a dark green color with silvery-white spots; on the other hand, the lower part of the leaf has a reddish hue. The immature leaves of the plant are said to have a color of pink to maroon.
Prune the plant when it starts to get taller. Pruning also helps the plant to have a lush outcome. Cutting those tall and leggy stems using a sharp, clean shear. Just make sure to cut the stem just above the leaf node so it can grow back easily. It is preferable to do this during summer and spring, where the plant can grow very well.
Another tip is to snip back the overgrown branches just above the bud by about half its length. New branches will form from the buds to create a pleasant thick appearance.
Begonia Maculata Flower
The colors of the plant’s flowers do have pale pink to white color. To encourage the growth of many flowers, you must remove the old and dying ones. This will allow the plant to have more flowers in the process.
Begonia Maculata Varieties and Similar Plants
There are other begonia varieties. Here are some of the following examples of different begonia varieties:
‘Charm’ Begonia (Begonia semperflorens)
This begonia variety has a green leaves color and white markings.
Ambassador Series Begonias (Begonia semperflorens)
This begonia variety is a good choice for beginners of gardening. This plant variety has fleshy, thick leaves and a drought-resistant plant too. At the same time, this variety is not the pest’s favorite variety.
Cocktail Series Begonias (Begonia semperflorens)
This begonia variety has a dark leaf and can be exposed in partial or complete sun exposure.
Begonia Maculata Diseases & Pests
Many diseases relating to the said houseplant can be prevented by giving the plant proper humidity and dampness. Please do not allow the leaves to become very wet, and sanitize the gardening tools before pruning them. It is also important to note that some common diseases and pests will destroy the plant’s growth.
A bacterial disease that can affect the plant will indicate botrytis, leaf spot, Pythium root rot, and powdery mildew. The right way and time of watering the plant and keeping the plant away from the other infected plants can prevent the disease or any complications from getting into the plant.
Common pests like whiteflies and mealybugs can affect the plant’s growth and its parts. This pest will sip all the plant’s nutrients and attack the plant when it is scorched.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, misting the Begonia Maculata houseplant is highly encouraged. Misting creates humidity, one of the needs of the plant begonia Maculata to survive and thrive.
Begonia Maculata houseplant is toxic to cats and other pets as well, like your dogs. According to the ASPCA or American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, pets who eat some parts of the houseplant will suffer excessive drooling and vomiting.
The difference between Begonia Maculata, wightii, and angel wing can be seen through their height. Begonia Maculata can grow up to 1.6 ft tall. The Wightii can grow up to 5 feet tall and is considered an enormous variety of the plant. On the other hand, the Angelwing can grow up to 2.5 feet tall, and it would no longer grow up when it has reached that tall.