Polka Dot Begonia Plant Care

Table of Contents

Want to have another houseplant with a magical appearance? At first glance, you would think that someone splashes some white paint on it. But I tell you it’s not! Its silver polka dots appear painted on olive green leaves, crimson-colored undersides, and sprays of open bell-like red or white flowers with bright yellow centers on bamboo-looking knotty stalks. That makes up the plant’s unique appearance.

Did you also know that it’s known as an “Angel Wing Begonia” because of the shape of its leaves? This over-the-top Begonia is no doubt an excellent choice if you’re searching for something different that will surely draw attention. Want to know more about this Polka dot begonia? No worries! We’ll tell you more below.

Polka Dot Begonia Plant Care Basics

begonia maculata

Before we give you the essential tips, take a look first at the plant’s overview. It will help you learn more about Begonia.

Botanical name: Begonia maculata

Another name: Spotted Begonia, Begonia Maculata wightii, Angel Wing Begonia

Plant type: Fibrous-rooted, Houseplant

Exposure to sunlight: Bright, indirect light

Soil type: Light potting mix

Color: Bronze-green wing-shaped leaves with dramatic rusty-red undersides

Water: Average

Favorable climate: Tropical

Preferable fertilizer: Liquid fertilizer

Propagation: Stem cuttings

Toxicity warning: Non-toxic

Status: Popular

Height: 4 feet tall

Origin: Southern Brazil

Now that this Begonia maculata plant has been introduced to you, we will now move on to the basic care tips! Search for a comfortable place and enjoy reading!!

Best Potting Mix

The Polka Dot Begonia prefers a well-aerated soil or growing medium that drains well and retains moisture without becoming too wet. To make a springy, fluffy mix, you can start with a light commercial potting soil and add a few handfuls of perlite and a smaller amount of wood chips until you have a springy, fluffy mix. So, a regular potting soil is a big no-no with Begonia maculata.

Pro tip: You can also try the Palm soil mix because it drains well but doesn’t clump after repeated watering.

Watering Needs

The Maculata begonia prefers moist soil and should never be subjected to drought. But they benefit from allowing the top half-inch of their soil to dry up before rewatering. If you keep these plants too wet, they’ll get root rot. So, don’t water them while the soil is damp.

Keep in mind that your plant’s water requirements will vary based on the season. Water your plant every four days during the hotter summer months and every two weeks during the cooler months of autumn and winter.

Pro tip: The holes on the bottom of the pot are necessary to allow any surplus water to drain. This prevents root rot and overwatering. Always check for one or more holes in the bottom of your pot.

Lighting

begonia lighting requirement

Provide bright light for your Begonia maculata away from direct sunlight, as direct rays can fade the silvery spots or even burn the foliage. A south-facing window is ideal in the winter, but in the spring and summer (when the sun’s rays are more powerful), switch to the east or west-facing window. You can tell if they are receiving enough or less if the Maculata’s leaves begin to grow brown leaf tips. It may be receiving too much light and has to be relocated.

Pro tip: This Begonia can tolerate low lights but not too dark. If it receives very little light, it will become leggy. Plus, it will grow tall and spindly, with weak stems and no flowers.

Temperature & Humidity Requirement

The Begonia maculata prefers temperatures of 65 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit (18-30 degrees Celsius) but may endure higher temperatures during the day. Keep them out of drafts and away from temperatures below 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). 

In the winter, the plant will become dormant indoors, but that’s fine. During this season, most houseplants take a break and don’t grow much. Once the temps rise, they will perk up and begin to grow again.

plant humidity requirement

In addition to the care for a Begonia, you’ll need to cultivate it in high humidity to grow it successfully. A Begonia maculata requires a minimum of 45% humidity, but more is preferable. Unfortunately, most of our houses are too dry, which is why you may notice brown or black leaf tips on houseplants. But don’t lose hope yet!

If you want to get the most out of your Begonia maculata, you may keep it in the bathroom or kitchen. You can also group your Polka Dot Begonia with other indoor houseplants. This can assist if the air in your home or office is dry. You may also grow it in a large pebble tray filled with water or use a small humidifier (the pot sits on top of the pebbles above the water).

Fertilizer Requirement

Because the Begonia maculata is a moderate feeder, fertilizing it every two weeks is enough to encourage leaf and flower growth. You may feed your plant with a diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer. This will increase the size of your Begonia’s leaves and boost flowering. In the fall and winter, don’t fertilize.

Pro tip: You may be fertilizing too much if you notice dark-tipped leaves. And, because the leaves are the plant’s best feature, you must be careful not to overdo it.

Propagation

Do you also want to have more Begonia maculata in your botanical garden? We will also teach you how to propagate them. One of the reasons why the Begonia maculata plant is so popular is its ease of propagation! Here’s how you will do it:

  • Cut one of its bamboo-like stalks immediately below the bud with sharp scissors.
  • Remove any leaves and gently set them in a pot with fresh, well-draining soil.
  • Moisture should be present in the soil, the same way mature Polka Dot Begonias do.
  • Roots should start to form in approximately 5 to 7 weeks, and you may test them by gently tugging on the stem. You may transfer the new plant when its root system is fully established.

begonia propagation

Growth Zone

The Begonia maculata thrives in USDA zones 10 and 11 as an outdoor plant.

Potting

Because Begonia maculata like to be slightly root-bound, it requires smaller pots than most other houseplants. Repotting is best done in the spring. Choose a pot that is one size larger than the existing one when repotting it. However, don’t increase it too much. You don’t want them to expend too much energy on their root system.

Pruning

You can pinch back your Begonia maculata if it’s getting lanky or if you just want to shape it a little. Pinching and trimming your Begonia will aid in the development of a fuller, bushier plant. Late autumn is the optimum time to prune and maintain height if your plant grows too tall. When the busy growth season has ended, the plant will finish flowering and will begin to slow down in the winter.

Polka Dot Begonia Varieties and Similar Plants

Begonias have grown in popularity as a result of their eye-catching foliage and equally stunning flowers. There are around 1000 species, all of which come in various colors, sizes, and shapes! We will also give you some of these beauties. They are:

Ballet Rex Begonia

On crimson stems, the plant has stunning silver-green leaves with mid-green edges. The plant has a faint crimson accent throughout.

Salsa Rex Begonia

The plant’s dark-green foliage is flecked with pink, with a few silver highlights thrown in for good measure. The leaves are burgundy-red in color and variegated.

Fairy Rex Begonia

This type of Begonia has silver leaves with pink and cream patterned veins. The dark green veins are guaranteed to seduce you into growing it!

Polka Dot Begonia Diseases & Pests

Pests

Mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, scale, thrips, blackflies, and vine weevils can be found in the cubbyholes and undersides of the leaves, except for the latter, which can be found in the soil.

Insecticidal soap sprays and oils can be used to aid. Another option is to use a short-acting organic pesticide before releasing beneficial predators such as ladybugs to eat the remaining pests. Prepare for a siege in either case.

Diseases

begonia mildew

Root rot, anthracnose, Cercospora, leaf-spot disease, botrytis (grey mold), rust, powdery mildew, and southern blight are linked with Begonia. Remove the infected material and treat it with a fungicide—however, treatments aren’t always effective, so prevention is the best option. Before rewatering, make sure the topsoil is completely dry and that there is plenty of air movement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your Begonia maculata is exceedingly dry, which is the most typical cause of brown leaf edges. Provide your Begonia prefers a steady supply of water. Allow no more than half of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Yes, this type of Hoya species is a rare type of plant because of its large and textured leaves. Each of its leaves is unique in shape and size.

The Polkadot Begonia maculata is a relatively low-maintenance houseplant. With this houseplant, you don’t need a green thumb to amaze.

You can now buy this beautiful plant here at Plantly! Yes! We offer faster transactions online and ensure your plant’s safety! Contact us now!

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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