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  • Green Lady Gardens

Begonia maculata Care

Begonia maculata, also called polka dot begonia, can be a hard plant to find. Once you've found it, you want to keep it beautiful. (I mean come on with those leaves!) This slideshow has all the details you need to make that happen.


Full disclosure, there is often a learning curve to properly watering begonias. Fortunately, Begonia maculata in particular are forgiving in the sense that if you have a hard time, you can chop the whole thing back and start again. In fact, cutting it back is going to make it even bushier then when you got it!



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Light

Bright indirect - medium. East or West windows are best. Too much direct sun = leaves wilt, burn, and dry up. Gets leggy when light is too low.

Temperature

Keep warm around 60°F - 80°F. Avoid temps. lower than 50°F.

Water

Keep on the damp, but not soggy, side most of the time. Water a small pot when the top 1" is dry and a large pot when the top 2-3" are dry. Don't allow soil to dry more than 50% between watering. Prefers consistent and stable watering. Overwatering = Leaves yellow, drop, and/or develop brown splotches. Underwatering = Leaf tips brown and curl, leaves droop.

Soil & Pots

Needs a light, well-draining soil. Use cactus soil or add perlite to lighten an indoor potting mix. Keep slightly root bound. Ensure pot has drainage.

Pruning

Trim if plant becomes leggy and to encourage bushy growth. Will eventually need to be supported by a dowel rod or bamboo stick.

Fertilizer

Feed monthly during spring and summer with a balanced/equal part fertilizer. To prevent burn, dilute fertilizer to half strength and apply when soil is damp.

Blooms

Requires ideal light, stable watering, and fertilizer. Prolong blooms with a high potassium fertilizer.

Humidity

High with good air circulation. DO NOT MIST! A. It is not humidity. B. Misting and high humidity with poor circulation can cause powdery mildew or brown blotches from Botrytis cinerea. Low humidity = Brown and curling leaf tips. Use a humidifier or pebble tray to increase humidity.


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