Should I prune my Begonia Maculata?
Begonia Maculata is an annual plant grown primarily for its decorative foliage. It has bright variegated foliage that develops during the year, but then fades when it loses pigmentation in the fall.
The Begonia Maculata grows best in partial shade and benefits from regular pruning. However, pruning should be done carefully because Begonia Maculata stems are fragile and easy to snap.
The stems are slender, smooth and erect; the flowers are in a dense cluster at the end of each one. The average size of the plant is 25 to 50 cm (10 to 20 inches), with a spread of 3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 meters).
It can be kept indoors or out during the colder months. Begonia Maculata is hurt by temperatures below 10F (-12C) and is best planted in warm soil.
What kind of soil does Begonia Maculata like?
Begonia Maculata should be planted in a well-draining container and soil mix. It prefer to use a soilless potting mix of equal parts coco coir and perlite with some worm castings for extra nutrition when growing begonias.
However, you may use an all-purpose indoor potting mix and add an equivalent amount of perlite if you like. Usually, a well-draining potting mix is used for container plants and houseplants. An all-purpose potting mix works well in a container or the ground.
The mix should be about 50% organic and 50% inorganic. Since Begonia Maculata is an aquatic plant, the soil should be moist; but, it should not be allowed to become soggy. Begonia Maculata prefers to receive only enough water to keep it barely moist.
Check the soil often and test the soil’s moisture. Don’t leave your Begonia Maculata in a container that is allowed to dry out completely because it will begin to wilt and die.
Where can I find Begonia Maculata?
Begonia Maculata, a native of Brazilian rainforests, has a reputation for being a bit difficult to cultivate. The trick is to replicate as precisely as possible the rainforest conditions – giving warmth, humidity, and strong yet indirect light (no direct sun).
Grow it in a warm, sheltered greenhouse, conservatory or on the terrace. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy. And as with most varieties of Begonia, if you plant it in a pot, don’t let it dry out.
If you notice any black spots on the leaves, or the leaf tips begin to turn brown or curl up, then your plant is probably just not getting enough light. Pale green leaves indicate too much sunlight exposure.
Where do you cut a Begonia Maculata?
You can remove a Begonia Maculata mature stems that are neither fibrous nor woody. Just below a node, make a cut. Remove the leaves from the bottom part of the stem with care. If you have access to rooting hormone, now is the moment to dip the cut ends in it.
This leaves only one node to grow new leaves from, which will give you a bushier plant. If you want to prune it back and encourage new growth from the top of the plant, you should remove several of the oldest stems at their base, leaving 3 to 4 nodes on each stem.
The new shoots will grow from the nodes. Begonia Maculata can be pruned back once a year during spring.
How long will Begonia Maculata live?
Begonia Maculata lives for 2—5 years under optimal conditions. The plant is often grown from seed, which may germinate more frequently than from cuttings. If you live in a warm climate, you may want to cut off the top of the Begonia Maculata and then pot it up for a few weeks before planting it in the ground.
This will help acclimatize the plant to a period of more sunlight. Begonia Maculata will grow and spread quickly when planted in the ground.
Indoor plants should be placed in a bright location. When Begonia Maculata begins to flower, cut off the flowers to keep the plant growing well.
How deep do I plant Begonia Maculata?
Because Begonia Maculata has a shallow root system, it will thrive in a container with a depth and breadth of 4-6 inches during the early development period. Due to the plant’s tendency to become top-heavy and the risk of collapsing, the pot must be substantial.
If planting directly into the ground, use a pot that is at least 6 inches deep and mix compost as well as good garden soil into your planting whole (a trench) before adding any potting mix.
Begonia Maculata can grow up to 3 feet in height, so the pot should have ample room for that. If you are planting into the ground, it is best to add two inches of compost or other organic matter to the soil first.
Is Begonia Maculata hardy?
Begonia Maculata is a tropical plant that grows well in the United States, subsisting on average in temperatures below 45F (-7C).
However, it does well indoors during the winter months and can be grown outdoors during the summer. If you live in a cooler climate, leave Begonia Maculata outside to enjoy its tropical climate.
Begonia Maculata is a tropical plant that likes warm, moist soil and can be grown outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 and 10, and in temperate regions, you can use a cold frame or greenhouse during winter with temperatures of at least 50F (10C).
It is best to start planting Begonia Maculata seeds indoors 12-18 months before your intended outdoor planting date.
Where do you put Begonia Maculata?
Begonia Maculata performs best when placed in front of an east or west-facing window. While a few hours of direct sunshine will not harm your plant (and may even be beneficial), avoid lengthy or all-day direct sunlight.
Once the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry, properly water your Polka Dot Begonia. Begonia Maculata will grow in any well-drained potting soil. You can place your Polka Dot Begonia in a container or directly into the ground once the ground is warm (above 60F), however, it is best to wait until temperatures outside are consistently above 60F (15C).
It is important to protect your Begonia Maculata from frost during the winter months by taking it indoors. Begonia Maculata requires bright, indirect light. Never expose it to bright sun.
Does Begonia Maculata need sunlight?
Begonia Maculata prefers bright, indirect light but may tolerate somewhat lower light levels. Never expose it to direct sunlight, since this will burn and dry out the leaves. It should be watered once a week and fertilized with liquid fertilizer every two weeks throughout the growing season.
Sunlight can burn the foliage of Begonia Maculata, creating brown spots or dead spots. Cut back Begonia Maculata to stimulate new growth, especially in the winter.
Mulch around your Polka Dot Begonia with a thick layer of mulch to help conserve moisture and keep it from drying out. If you notice any black spots on the leaves, or the leaf tips begin to turn brown or curl up, then your plant is probably just not getting enough light. Pale green leaves indicate too much sunlight exposure.
Does Begonia Maculata flower?
Begonia Maculata flowers from spring to summer, and can continue flowering for several months during the warmer months.
You can start pruning Begonia Maculata as soon as the flowers begin to wither. Begonia Maculata will flower cycle including in the spring, summer and even in late fall.
Begonia Maculata blooms are white with a speckled pattern and form on the stems. Pruning Begonia Maculata flower buds will promote new shoots. Begonia Maculata flowers best if cut at the base.
Begonia Maculata is more prone to die if you cut off the flower buds, as they are much more fragile than the leaves.
Blooming Begonia Maculata can be left to die in place, or you could cut off any flowering stems after flowers begin to wither. Begonia Maculata will bloom on any stems with new growth, if you prune off the flowers.
Can Begonia Maculata be forced to bloom?
Begonia Maculata can be forced to bloom by cutting or pinching its top growth. It is best to cut the tips of Begonia Maculata, and then cool the plant by submerging it in a bowl of water for 4-5 days before re-potting into a potting mix.
It is best to repot your Begonia Maculata into a slightly larger pot, taking care to remove any dead or decaying roots. Begonia Maculata will bloom when it is repotted at least once every year.
Begonia Maculata can take a long time to develop a strong root system and flower, so you must start pinching Begonia Maculata back at the base of the plant several weeks before you want it to bloom. This will encourage the plant to grow new shoots instead of flowering stems.
How much water does Begonia Maculata need?
Begonia Maculata prefers a minimum of six inches of water per week and should be kept evenly moist all the time. Be sure to keep your soil well-drained by watering regularly. If you do not have enough room in your container/pot to give Begonia Maculata enough water, it will still survive with one inch of water once every week.
Keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy and never allow it to completely dry out. Water your Polka Dot Begonia at least once a week. If your plant seems spindly or sparse, your soil’s drainage may be a problem.
To remedy this, add some peat moss to the potting mix, or add sand or perlite under the root ball. Overwatering is the number one cause of Begonia Maculata dieback.
If you notice that your Begonia Maculata is taking in too much water, then it will become weak and will continue to drop leaves.