Polka Dot Begonia Care Guide

Polka Dot Begonia Care Guide

The polka Dot Begonia is a Brazilian plant characterized by olive green large, long leaves with silver spots on them. The combination of the colors is fantastic and unique, giving them an outstanding natural appearance.

The plant thrives well in limited sun and warm temperatures conditions. It requires ordinary watering, and you should plant it in a strategic position, such as the window facing the west or east side. Similarly, the plant can grow in dump soil but ensure that it is not too wet.

Polka Dot Begonia Care Guide Overview

Characteristics

  • Scientific name: Begonia maculata
  • common name: Clown Begonia, Spotted Begonia
  • Origin: Southern Brazil states of Espirito and Rio de Janeiro
  • Indoor or Outdoor plant: Mostly an indoor houseplant.
  • Height and Structure: when grown as a houseplant, it reaches a height of 4 feet or more.
  • Temperature: The Polka Dot Begonia thrives better at an average temperature range of 60-80 degrees. Always avoid misty conditions.
  • Flower Color: The plant is glazed with Silvery-white dots with a reddish base.

How To Plant The Polka Dot Begonia

If you want to grow Polka Dot Begonia indoors, ensure that the area is a little sunny because too much of it will harm the leaves. Similarly, the plant will grow well where there is bright indirect light. Although it can endure medium light, always be careful to safeguard that the plant lacks enough light and start stretching looking for the sun. Watering should be done immediately you realize that half of the soil is dry.

Planting Time

Because these begonias enjoy warm, humid settings, growing them while the temperature is hot. Given a container diameter of 6-8 inches, they will not need repotting more than once annually due to their size and sluggish growth pace. A broad, shallow 8-inch growth pot is ideal.

Spacing

Provide 6-8 inches between the Polka dot plant since they aren’t picky about spacing and merely need enough room to develop their beautiful leaf.

The optimum space will enable the begonia’s lovely leaves to expand and extend out as it cascades from the stalk. Their grounded roots will need around 8 inches of room to stretch out.

Light

Relatively low amounts of ambient lighting are ideal for the polka dot begonia plant. Stay away from direct sunlight if you’re planting outside since it can burn the leaves, turning them yellowish or brown.

Keep them separate from openings that get natural sun when planted indoors. They thrive in the center of a room or near north-facing windows that receive sufficient diffuse light during the day.

Soil

Like several other plants, Polka Dot Begonia prefers well-drained soil and retains wetness without getting mushy. The plant grows healthy in mild commercial mixes, but to achieve better results, it’s better to add these adjustments to offer the best results.

Perlite: is a native volcanic glass that comes in small white balls with a soft, almost Styrofoam-like feel. They perform an excellent task of maintaining the soil oxygenated and bright and insulating it from fluctuations in temperature.

Wood chips: A sprinkle of non-toxic wood chips can help with oxygenation by creating angled spaces in the soil. The chipping decay isn’t a problem because Polka Dot Begonia is replanted and renewed periodically.

It’s a good idea to add some compost or artificial fertilizers to the mix. Never use more than the package suggests; a half-handful of each pot is fine. You will be gradually nourishing the plant anyhow, so this adds to its fertility.

To make a lively, poufy mix, begin with light potting soil and sprinkle a few perlites and a smaller portion of wood chips till you have a fluffy blending. Try making a large batch to store for upcoming seasons. To maintain it fresh and hygienic, put it in a sealed jar.

How To Grow The Polka Dot Begonia

Growth habits

The polka dot plant is an excellent addition to any indoor garden. It’s not only attractive, but it’s also simple to cultivate. The plant thrives in its natural environment. It does not bloom as rapidly inside, but with the proper care, it can flourish.

It might be tough to get its growth circumstances quite right, but it’s typically OK once developed. Several people always ask about the rate of growth of the polka dot plant. Well, to be precise, these plants have a modest level of development, but they are particular about their blooming circumstances and will slow down if the growth conditions are not met.

Staking

Staking should be the following critical action as the straight polka dot begonia grows higher. Although the plant stems seem to be robust and sturdy, extra assistance is needed so that the pressure of the blossoms and gravitation do not cause the stems to tumble and break away from the root.

If you wish to train a stem using a stake, always use a robust thin training stake made of plastic by cautiously introducing it into the soil. Take extra care when avoiding puncturing the roots, as this can harm the polka dot plant.

Finally, with the assistance of a thin wire coated with plastic, gently attach the stem to the training stake. Ensure you don’t overtighten the plant stem.

Watering

Watering the plant is very easy when you have the correct type of soil. Polka Dot Begonia thrives well on the ground that is moist throughout. Never leave the soil to be dry ultimately; however, allowing the upper half of their soil to run dry before rewatering is beneficial. If you keep these plants overly wet, they’ll get rot disease, so don’t water them while the soil is damp.

Letting the topsoil dry also helps to keep bacteria and pests such as gnats at bay. Because they do not enjoy having their leaves moist, base watering is frequently suggested – but if that sounds like too much of a problem, their leaves are broad enough to prevent if you are cautious.

The idea is to monitor the soil and sprinkle enough water once the topsoil has dried out. They enjoy a brief respite amid the watering but ensure the plant doesn’t wilt.

Fertilizing

Upon establishing proper roots, it is now the best time polka dot plants require fertilizer. If you purchased a young plant, give it some weeks to relax in the growth medium after relocating. You can feed the plant with a liquified all-purpose fertilizer when the roots have been fully developed.

You need to understand that the polka dot plant requires a lot of nutrients for its healthy growth. Therefore, you should feed it with nourishment once every month with quality organic fertilizer considered for houseplants.

Humidity

A high humidity range of 70-90% is preferred for the better growth of the Polka dot begonia. If there the humidity is low, the plants will dry up quickly and eventually die. Similarly, when the humidity exceeds the required range, the plants will be exposed to different diseases and root rot

The polka dot begonia plant needs humidity for tremendous growth. When planted indoors, it may be a challenge, but you can raise it by using a humidifier. You should always avoid spraying the plant with too much water.

Although misting creates humidity, the polka dot begonia plant is prone to powdery mildew. Therefore, you should always maintain the leaves dry as possible. Maintaining the correct moisture indoors for the polka dot begonia plant, a pebble water tray is suitable, a humidifier, or mix them with other indoor plants when growing them.

Mulching

You can mulch the polka dot begonia plant carefully because they are prone to rot because of the wet conditions. Bark mulch is the best option for begonias to eliminate weed growth and maintain the correct moisture. Always preserve the mulch away from the plant stem to minimize any chance of rotting.

Trimming and Pruning

Pruning your Polka dot begonia is seldom essential. If you like the plant’s aesthetic alone without long thin stems and white blooms, trim the bud stalks before they flower.

When you’re splitting your begonia plant, you can wish to prune it as well. The spring period is the best time to trim the roots into the plants’ equal halves gently. Separating the plants into smaller groups is a good idea, and a small root cutting can be well propagated by submerging it in water until new roots grow.

Pot And Repotting

Polka dot begonia plant should be repotted once annually to introduce new nutrients to the plant. The process also is significant in eliminating any possible disease and pests that backlog the soil. Any time you notice any signs of root rot, the plant drying, or the leaves turning yellow, those are red signs of pests and disease, and you should report the plant immediately.

It is advisable to repot the plants during the summer when the weather is warm and a little humid. Avoid repotting during the winter month because the begonia is vulnerable to cold temperatures, which stress them.

Propagation

Spring and summer are the most incredible season to propagate your begonia. Cut a stem into little parts, each containing two latent buds. In a somewhat wet potting media, they’ll establish quickly.

Another approach is to take a piece of the stem and soak it in water until roots emerge. This usually takes a while, so make sure you clean the water at least twice a week.

Divide And Transplant

Mix equivalent quantities of peat moss, silica, and perlite in a growing medium. To manage humidity, add a couple of teaspoons of coarse aggregates to the mixture. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and moisten with water. Take the begonia from its pitcher carefully and transfer it into the new medium right away.

Pests And Diseases

If not well taken care of, the polka dot plant is prone to several diseases and can attract pests. Root rot is the most common disease that affects the plant due to excessive watering or naturing the plant in damp surroundings.

Botrytis Blight can also invade the plant when moisture and humidity exceed the normal range. It looks like a feathery gray mold that mostly surrounds the root crown.

The vast leaves require proper air circulation, and when this is not achieved, they contract the leaf spot disease. Yellow patches are formed on the leaves giving an unattractive appearance. Overwatering and excessive humidity can also be the cause.

Pests like mites, insects, aphids, and mealybugs love to attack the polka dot begonia plant. In case of an infestation, a natural remedy such as neem oil is recommended to eliminate them.

Plant Species

The common species of polka dot plant is the hands-down, Begonia maculata. The other Begonia maculata include Angel wing begonia, Trout begonia, Clown Begonia and Spotted Begonia.

Noteworthy species

Begonia Wightii: the plant is categorized with its fleshy roots and stems that slink along the topsoil. They have fascinating foliage, and that is why several people prefer it as an indoor plant.

Companions

Polka dot begonia is not a complicated plant when you follow the simple requirements that they demand. They only require the correct type of potting soil and substrate to thrive. When you meet these demands, they can match well with other indoor plants and give an appealing look to your interior.

Please provide them with enough space when neighboring them with other plants to avoid congestion. Enough space is significant because it allows the roots to grow and spread well in both directions, giving the plant stability. Similarly, it is a good idea to consider that the vast leaves need enough space to hang.

Is the plant toxic?

The polka dot begonia plant is very safe and toxic-free. However, this does not guarantee you not to take caution when around or handling it. Young children and pets enjoy playing around such bushes and putting them in their mouths, which may destroy them.

Is it toxic for cats or dogs?

The plant does not affect dogs or cats when they chew it. Nevertheless, when consumed in large amounts, they may result in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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