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Spotted Begonia

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Begonia maculata

KNOWN AS: Polka Dot Begonia, Trout Begonia, Angel Wing Begonia, 'Wightii'

CLIMATE (LOCATION): Southern Africa | Tropical & Subtropical

DESCRIPTION: This is a very cheerful little plant. People know it because of its 'angel wing' leaves. These leaves have silver polka dots and red undersides. They grow on upright stems, usually in clusters or clumps. They can grow quite tall!

Moderate difficulty & pet toxic

Spotted Begonia Plant Care

Lighting

Light Requirement: Medium Light (Medium Indirect Light) to High Light (Bright Indirect Light)

Spotted Begonia plants prefer bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some direct sunlight, but too much can cause their leaves to burn. An east-facing window that receives filtered sunlight is an excellent spot for these plants. If you don't have access to a window with enough light, you can use artificial lighting. LED grow lights are an excellent option, providing full-spectrum light that mimics natural sunlight. As with any plant, monitor its response to the light and adjust accordingly. If the leaves start to curl or turn brown, it may be an indication that the lighting is too intense. On the other hand, if the leaves are pale and small, it may be a sign that the lighting is not bright enough.

Watering

Quick Tip: Water until water comes out of drainage holes. Allow top 2 inches of soil to completely dry between waterings.

Spotted begonias need a balance between moist soil and giving it too much water. These plants like soil that stays moist, but if the soil stays too wet for too long, their roots can rot. The best way to water a spotted begonia is to stick your finger into the soil up to your first knuckle and check how wet it is. If the soil at this depth feels dry, it's time to water. Give it a lot of water and let it run out of the holes at the bottom of the pot. Don't let water sit in the saucer under the pot because that can cause the roots to rot. Don't let the soil get completely dry between waterings, but don't water too often either.

Temperature

Preferred Temperature: 65º - 75º

Spotted Begonias flourish in indoor climates with temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 24 degrees Celsius). Although they can survive in temperatures as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), these plants prefer a slightly warmer environment. The Spotted Begonia should not be exposed to cold drafts or temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit as this may result in leaf damage or discoloration. A plant's growth and health can potentially be harmed by high heat above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius). When planted indoors, the Spotted Begonia will grow more vigorously and have brilliant leaves if the temperature is consistently kept within the ideal range.

Humidity

Preferred Humidity: 50 - 60%; Moderate Humidity

Spotted begonias need consistent, moderate humidity. This could mean putting it in a room with more moisture, like a bathroom or kitchen. You could also use a humidifier to make the room more moist. Spotted Begonias do best in soil that stays moist, but not too wet or saturated. Make sure to water the plant often, but give the soil a little time to dry out between waterings. This will keep the roots from getting too wet and help them grow in a healthy way. Aside from these general tips, there are a few other ways to make sure your Spotted Begonia has the right amount of humidity. One is to use a spray bottle to mist the leaves often. This will help make the air around the plant more humid, which will keep the leaves from drying out. Putting a tray of pebbles and water under the plant is another option. As the water evaporates, it will turn the area around the plant into a humid microclimate.

Additional Plant Care

Propagation
Spotted Begonia plants can be multiplied by taking healthy stem cuttings from the parent plant and putting them in moist soil or water until they grow roots. To do this, cut a stem that is at least 4 inches long from the parent plant just below a node with a clean, sharp knife or pruning shears. Take off any leaves that are close to the stem's base and leave a few leaves at the top. Plant the cut end in moist soil or a jar of water with rooting hormone. Place the container in a warm and bright spot with indirect sunlight, and keep the soil or water lightly moist until it roots in a few weeks. Once the new plant has roots, you can move it to a pot with soil that drains well and take care of it the same way you would a full-grown Spotted Begonia plant. Dividing is another way to make more plants. To do this, you cut the parent plant into smaller pieces, each with its own roots, and replant them in new pots.
Toxicity
Spotted Begonias are considered to be toxic to humans and pets. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and discomfort if ingested or if the sap comes into contact with the skin or mucous membranes. Symptoms may include mouth and throat irritation, drooling, and in rare cases, nausea and vomiting. It is advisable to handle Spotted Begonias with care and keep them out of reach of children and pets. If accidental ingestion or contact occurs, it is recommended to rinse the affected area with water, monitor for any adverse reactions, and seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.
Repotting
Every one to two years, spotted begonias should be moved to a new pot, preferably in the spring. To repot a spotted begonia, choose a pot that is one size bigger than the one it is in now and put a layer of pebbles or perlite in the bottom. Then, fill the container with fresh potting soil, leaving enough room for the root ball. Carefully take the plant out of its old pot, loosen any roots that are tangled, and cut away any roots that are dead or damaged. Place the plant in the new pot and fill the sides with more potting mix, gently pressing it down to get rid of any air pockets. Last, give the plant a lot of water and put it somewhere with bright, indirect light.
Pruning
For spotted begonia plants, the best way to prune is to use a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to cut back any stems that are too long or weak to just above a leaf node. This will help the plant grow new leaves and keep its shape and size. Spotted begonia plants will also do better if you take off any leaves or stems that are yellow or damaged. It's important to make clean cuts and not tear or hurt the tissue around them. You should prune the plant when it's growing, which is usually from spring to early fall. Don't prune it in the winter, when it's not growing. Also, spotted begonia plants can get bushy, so it's important to thin out any stems that are too close together or overlap to help them grow well and keep their shape. Spotted begonia plants can stay healthy and full-looking if they are pruned regularly.
Fertilizing
To feed a Spotted begonia plant, choose a water-soluble fertilizer with a high phosphorus content and low nitrogen content. Before you put the fertilizer on the plant, you should water it well and dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength. Apply the fertilizer to the soil around the plant's base with a watering can or spray bottle. Be careful not to get any on the leaves or stems, as it can burn them. During the growing season, which usually lasts from spring to early fall, do this every four to six weeks. Don't give the plant fertilizer when it's sleeping in the winter. Too much fertilizer can hurt the plant, so it's important to follow the directions on the package and not use too much. If the leaves start to turn brown or black, cut back on how often you fertilize or make the solution less strong. You can also follow the instructions on the package and use a slow-release fertilizer once every three to four months. Spotted begonia plants can grow well and have bright leaves if they are fertilized regularly.
Soil
Spotted Begonia plants need a soil mix that drains well and is full of organic matter. Peat moss, perlite, and coarse sand or vermiculite are mixed together to make a good soil mix for these plants. The peat moss keeps the water in, and the perlite, sand, or vermiculite helps the water drain away. Adding compost or well-aged manure to the soil will help to improve the structure of the soil and give plants the nutrients they need to grow well. It is important not to use heavy or compacted soil mixes, which can cause waterlogging and root rot.
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Hanging Heights

Spotted Begonia Lighting Requirements: Medium Light (Medium Indirect Light) to High Light (Bright Indirect Light)

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