Expressive specks on the large pointed leaves of spotted begonia are one of the most outlandish patterns among indoor plants. Almost perfectly symmetrical, white spots create a sense of artificiality. Due to the special pattern, this far from compact plant immediately attracts the eye. And although they buy spotted begonia precisely because of the greenery and powerful bushes, it has prepared a very unexpected surprise. The drooping, cluster-like inflorescences adorn the bushes of the plant for an amazingly long time. And they add charm to this special representative of reed begonias.
Spotted begonia – green leaves with white polka dots. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com jardindurudel
Description of the plant
Compact leafy begonias are extremely popular. And it is all the more offensive that unique, distinctive and original reed species appear in their shadow. Spotted begonia (Begonia maculata) – one of these “victims”. This is a business card Kane groups, or reed begonias (Dog-like begonias). And it conquers not only with its size.
Spotted begonia, or Maculata, is one of the largest species of begonias, a shrub with a rigid, straight stem and thickened nodes, giving the shoots a resemblance to bamboo. It forms strict shrubs with a height (and with growth – and a diameter) of more than 1 m. Huge leaves attract the most in it. The asymmetrical shape is typical of begonias, as is most often their heart-shaped base.
The leaves of spotted begonia sit on short petioles, stricter, lanceolate-pointed, with a width of only up to 5 cm and a length of up to 15 cm. Their neat wavy edges are almost invisible. The underside of the leaves is reddish. On the dark green upper side with a beautiful pattern of veins, white-silver speckles evenly appear, which seem strikingly strict. Waste paper is characterized by a white or typical “powdery” creamy pink palette of pastel colors of decorative leafy begonias.
Despite the small size of the waxy flowers, the flowering of this begonia is pleasantly surprising. And not only in size: large clusters-brushes of inflorescences on drooping peduncles are somewhat reminiscent of candelabra. Spotted begonia, like other Caine begonias, blooms relentlessly and unexpectedly effectively. In a comfortable environment, it can bloom all year round (at least from April to August). And it is also very fragrant. Flowering causes only a slight shrinkage of the leaves.
Spotted begonia is represented mainly by decorative forms and hybrid varieties, differing in the shape of the leaves. Narrow, almost lanceolate-shaped leaves wightii appear covered with white specks of acrylic paint, and in large silvery the patterns appear silvery. The varieties should be chosen according to the shape of the leaves and their shade.
Comfortable conditions for spotted begonia
Spotted begonia is the most unpretentious of the undemanding reed begonias. She needs a lot of space, because both large leaves and tall shoots equate this begonia with real indoor giants. This species looks best as an outdoor plant, especially in the corners of a room and as a spacer.
Due to the ability of spotted begonias to be content with partial shade, it is easier to grow than flowering begonias. This begonia looks brightest and blooms more magnificently in bright diffused lighting, but it will not suffer in all medium, slightly shaded locations near the window. Direct sun and strong shadow, immediately causing stretching and shallowing, are the only enemies of this begonia. For the winter, it is better to adjust the lighting, moving it to more illuminated places to maintain stable conditions.
Spotted begonia, which prefers stable temperatures, cannot be taken out to fresh air in summer. It is better to keep it all year round in rooms in which the temperature remains within the modest range of 18 to 21 degrees. It is better to limit the minimum indicators to 15 degrees. Begonia does not like heat, but if you monitor the soil moisture and ventilation, it will endure the summer heat without problems.
Spotted begonia loves fresh air, the room in which it is located must be constantly ventilated, protecting the plant from drafts and even more so from strong temperature changes. Drafts most often cause the shedding of some of the leaves.
Caring for spotted begonia at home
Despite its status as one of the most undemanding begonias, it will not forgive negligence in the care of waste paper. She needs regular watering without misses, pruning and standard feeding.
Read also our article Elatior Indoor Begonia – lush bloom almost all year round.
Watering and air humidity
The moisture-loving nature of spotted begonias, like other decorative deciduous begonias, is greatly exaggerated. During the period of active growth, this plant loves constant, but light moisture, with a few centimeters of drying on top of the substrate and draining water from the trays immediately after watering. The substrate should not completely dry out even in winter, but overflows are equally dangerous. For the winter, watering must be reduced, arranging a dormant period for the plant, reducing the soil moisture by 2-3 times.
For spotted begonia, it is worth monitoring the temperature of the water: it does not tolerate watering with cold water. The water should be soft, preferably melted or rainwater. Watering should be very gentle. Even water droplets or small splashes will leave unattractive stains on the leaves.
Despite a fairly good adaptation to living conditions, spotted begonia does not like too dry air. It is better for her to maintain at least average rates by installing any available humidifiers from pallets and containers with pebbles to appliances. Spraying for this begonia is strictly prohibited. Choosing the right place (for example, in the bathroom or in the company of tropical crops) will create the ideal conditions for her.
Top dressing and composition of fertilizers
For spotted begonias, fertilizers are needed only during the period of active growth, from November to March they should not be used. This species prefers fertilizers in liquid form, special for begonias or universal, containing not only macro-, but also microelements. Too abundant dressing will not work: 1 dressing every 2-3 weeks with a halved concentration or 1 dressing of a standard concentration per month is enough.
Pruning and shaping spotted begonias
The tendency to grow very tall and powerful shoots is not only an advantage, because without control, spotted begonia can quickly turn into a giant. It is better to control the height of the plant “in place” and the desired maximum size. Pruning is carried out in early spring, limited to pinching or pruning to the desired height, up to short stumps.
Sanitary pruning of both leaves and wilted inflorescences should be carried out constantly, on the plant and under it should not allow plant debris to accumulate.
Transplant, containers and substrate
Like many deciduous begonias, the spotted begonias prefers replanting only after the previous pot has been rooted. As soon as the roots appear in the holes of the container, it is worth planning a procedure for replacing them in February or March. The plants are grown in stable standard medium-sized pots, without greatly increasing the volume when transplanting.
Begonia is passed over, carefully transferring it to a new container and laying at least an average drainage on the bottom. If there is a desire to achieve greater bushiness and the release of numerous shoots, the trunk is deepened, lowering the growth point by a few centimeters compared to the previous planting.
In addition to a special substrate for begonias, any loose, versatile, slightly acidic soil is suitable for this species. To maintain air permeability, an additional portion of perlite, bark or other loosening additives must be added.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Powdery mildew and rot are not uncommon on this amazing kind of begonias, which can rarely be dealt with even with the help of fungicides (the best way out is to grow new bushes from cuttings). Of the pests, thrips and aphids are most often found on it. In the cold, during overflow and in drafts, the lower leaves fly around.
Read also our article The luxury of deciduous begonias patterns.
Reproduction and renewal of spotted begonia
This species is difficult to grow from a leaf cuttings, therefore, the method of rooting full-fledged stem (apical) cuttings or dividing a bush is used for reproduction. Shoots and cuttings root quickly under the condition of soft lighting, light, not excessive substrate moisture and stable heat.
If spotted begonia has lost its shape, it can be rejuvenated by re-rooting the top or cutting off too large shoots into short stumps.