Polka Dot Begonia Plant: Easy Care & Propagation Tips

Polka Dot Begonia Plant is a wonderful houseplant that adds charm and style to your indoor places. The plant is also known by some other names such as Clown Begonia and Spotted Begonia whereas the botanical name of the plant is Begonia maculata. The plant has oblong leaves with rusty-red undersides and a bronze-green shade on the upper side. The plant belongs to the Begoniaceae family and is spotted in its natural habitat which is the Atlantic rainforest. However, the plant is now introduced to the Brazilian states and some other regions including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Argentina.

polka dot begonia plant

Apart from stunning foliage, the Polka Dot Begonia Plant plant also produces beautiful white flowers with yellow centres. The flowers usually occur during the summer and spring periods when kept under optimal conditions throughout the year. When the plant is young, users can keep the plant on desks or tabletops. However, once matured the plant obtains an average height of 4 feet, and then it can be kept on the floor to decorate the overall space. 

The plant can also be grown in shaded gardens outside if you can cope with the plant requirements. The plant is not that hard to grow, and even a novice gardener can grow this plant easily. If you can address all the needs, the plant is going to stun everyone that comes to your place. Let’s understand how you can help this beautiful plant thrive easily.

Polka Dot Begonia Care

  • Light: The plant is quite compromising when it comes to sunlight requirements. The plant does not prefer direct sunlight which is a big problem in urban cities. To fulfil the polka dot begonia light requirements, you need to put the plant under bright but indirect light. Also, the plant propers even with the low light conditions which makes it ideal to be kept in offices or homes. You can even use fluorescent or LED lights to boost the growth if there are problems related to bright indirect light at your place.
  • Water: The polka dot begonia plant likes to grow in moist soil but makes the soil keep the soil moist, you are not overwatering the plant. Overwatering can lead to root rot and restrict the growth of the plant. Also, make sure the soil is not completely dry which is another hindrance to the growth of the plant. Put your finger inside the upper layer of soil for about 1 inch and feel if the soil is dry. Water the plant if the upper layer of the soil feels dry so that the water reaches the bottom of the soil.
  • Soil: The plant likes to thrive in light soil that can retain moisture. A regular potting mix or a palm soil mix is a great option for the plant. If you feel the soil is a little heavy, try adding some perlite to the soil mix. It will also help the soil to improve its drainage after frequent watering sessions. 
  • Temperature: The recommended temperature gradient for the Polka Dot Begonia is 18 to 30°C, which would be suitable for most houses. It’s a good idea to keep a room temperature gauge on reserve in case the temperature drops too far, especially in the winter season. Mild temperatures combined with a small quantity of sunlight each day provide the greatest conditions for plant development.
  • Humidity: Being a tropical plant and native to the South American region the polka dot begonia humidity requirements goes past the above-average mark. The plant appreciates at least 45 percent of humidity around itself which is a little difficult for indoor houses. However, users can increase the humidity around the plant by placing a small humidifier near the plant, or group several plants with each other that will increase the humidity around them.  
  • Fertilizer: Because Polka Dot Begonias are blooming houseplants, they benefit from a high-quality fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the growth periods of spring and early summer from April to September. Because they bloom so slowly, they don’t require fertilizers from October to March. Also, don’t overfeed your shrub, since this might be damaging. Balanced fertilization is preferred by the shrub, and any general-purpose fertilizer labelled for use on succulents will suffice.

Polka Dot Begonia Propagation

Polka Dot Begonias are extremely easy to propagate, which is why they are so widespread. With all these instructions, this is already fairly simple:

  • Remove a stem from the shrub, leaving two or even more branches.
  • Place gently in the water.
  • Continue to immerse it in water till roots develop.
  • Put the cutting in a small container with new garden soil.
  • When your shrub has started to develop, you may present it as a lovely gift to anyone special.

Polka Dot Begonia Leaf Problems

  • Falling Off: If the leaves of the Polka Dot Begonia are falling, it indicates that the shrub requires more watering. Monitor the moisture levels and alter your watering schedule carefully.
  • Turning Brown: Underwatering, too much sunlight, excess fertilizer, and air being too arid are the reasons for leaf tips turning brown. So, make sure you keep everything in moderation as per the requirement and avoid direct sunlight.
  • Turning Red: Similarly, when you underwater the plant and keep off the nutrients, the plant leaves tend to turn red. Do not mistake it for the undersides of the leaves which are naturally red.
  • Curling: Curling leaves are usually caused by insufficient nourishment. If users do not fertilize their plant throughout the growth cycle, the plant may not receive adequate nutrients from the soil alone. So, it’s time to begin or it won’t acquire the nutrients it requires.

FAQs:

Q1: How much light do polka dot begonias need?

The polka dot begonia plant thrives in bright indirect light, and the user must place it away from the direct sun. 

Q2: Do begonias come back every year?

No, the begonias do not come every year on their own as they are annual plants. They need to be replanted to grow every year.

Q3: Should I mist my polka dot begonia?

The plant enjoys good humid conditions but it cannot tolerate misting. Rather, you can use a humidifier to increase humidity levels around the plant.

By Pradeep Sharma