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Begonia Maculata

Common name(s): Polka Dot Begonia, Wightii, Spotted Begonia, Trout Begonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Genus: Begonia

Cultivar: Maculata

Origin: South America

Edith's thoughts

stunning plant, this Polka Dot Begonia makes a worthy addition to any indoor habitat, with it's elongated leaves and silver polka dots it's certainly a house plant that draws attention to itself. This Begonia adds such exquisite variety to an indoor jungle it's understandable why this one's so popular.

Watering

Begonias are originally tropical forest floor dwelling plants that don't want to be sat in soggy soil or have continuously wet leaves as these can lead to rot. These plant like it to be slightly moist so allow the top inch or two of soil dry out before watering again. This house plant will benefit from bottom watering to help prevent potential stem rot.

 

Fertilizer

This Begonia likes to be fed approximately every second watering roughly fortnightly with 1/4 to 1/2 strength plant feed solution, watch out for overfeeding as leaf tips will start browning.

Light intensity

This plant is happy in bright indirect light. Natively shaded by trees Maculata's would rather not be bathed in direct sunlight. 

Substrate & pH

These plants like a well draining soil such as <Edie's Mix - Well Draining> and are most at home in a slightly acidic soil (5.5 - 6.9 pH).

Ideal temperature & humidity

Begonia Maculata are from a temperate environment so this Polka Dot Begonia is perfectly happy in the comfort of your home 15°c - 21°c. An average level of humidity 45% - 60% is great, a gentle misting daily won't go amiss.

 

Pruning & repotting

Begonias are quite happy slightly root-bound in their pots, bearing that in mind repotting annually as this is a fast grower will keep her happy and growing. To keep her looking her best twice yearly pruning is advised, This Maculata can sometime develop leggy bare or woody spots which can be pruned off. Additionally <'topping'> or <'pinching out'> the tips of overstretching stems will stop their growth and promote generally bushier growth all round.

Propagation

When taking a stem cutting from a Polka Dot Begonia use a 10cm (4 inch cutting just below a node. Dip the stem in <Clonex> coating the exposed flesh at the bottom and pop in a <rooting cube> or direct into <Edith's potting soil>. Place this in a propagator to maintain warmth and a high humidity. The cutting should root within a few weeks ready to be potted.

 

Pests & diseases

The issue boils down to moisture - too much of it. <Root rot>, <stem rot>, <mildew>, <botrytis> or <bacterial leaf spots> can occur as a result of constantly wet leaves & soil. The beasties trying to make a home on this plant can include <mealybugs> & <whitefly>, in the event of encountering any of these issues early detection and treatment can help. Products that can help with these problems include <insert product(s)>.

Toxicity

Begonia Maculata are poisonousthe plant contains sharp edged calcium oxalate crystals which when ingested can cause swelling and irritation of your mouth and gastrointestinal tract. So it's best kept out of reach of children and pets.

Variety: Evergreen perennial
Flower colour: White, with pink steams
Flowering period: Spring - Autumn
Fragrant: No
Mature length/height: Up to / around 1 metre
Mature spread: Up to / around 50cm
Time to maturity: 5 Years
Growth rate: Fast