The Polka Dot Begonia ‘Begonia Maculata’

Begonia Maculata Image

Having plants around us indeed has a lot of benefits. Aside from their beautiful appearance, plants can improve our mental and emotional well-being and even purify our air quality. For this article, we will learn more about a specific type of plant called Begonia Maculata. Continue reading this article and learn more about this plant’s care, origin, feature, and propagation.

Scientific NameBegonia Maculata
Other NamesPolka Dot Begonia, Spotted Begonia.
Growth SeasonEarly Summer
Preferred Temperature/ Humidity70°F to 80°F; 45% of humidity
Hardiness ZoneZone 10-11
Average Mature Height & Width5-20 inches tall; 5-10 inches wide.
ToxicityThis plant contains soluble calcium oxalates, which are harmful to animals. For us humans, Begonia Maculata is not considered toxic.

Origin & Physical Description of Begonia Maculata

Begonia Maculata is also known as “Polka Dot Begonia” or “Spotted Begonia.” It is native to Southeast Brazil. It naturally grows in the Atlantic rainforest and is seen in the Brazilian states of Espirito Santo and Rio de Janeiro. This plant is one of the newest members of the Begonia genus. Currently, it has around 2,000 different plant species. Begonia Maculata was first observed and described by Giuseppi Raddi, an Italian researcher.

This plant is a perennial shrub. It is considered a real eyecatcher due to its silver spots and size. It is more significant than Angel Wing Begonia. It’s deep purple-red on the bottom side. Once the plant matures, it will produce bell-shaped white or red flowers. With proper care, Begonia Maculata can grow up to 5 feet tall and 20 inches wide. It doesn’t go dormant, but growth is slower during winter.

Due to the similarity in appearances, people are expected to confuse Begonia Maculata with Begonia Maculata Wightii. Nevertheless, Begonia Maculata Wightii is just a hybrid of Begonia Maculata and another plant. But Begonia Maculata is undoubtedly an exotic plant that will capture your attention.

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How To Take A Proper Care Of Begonia Maculata

Like most Begonia plants, this begonia prefers bright and indirect sunlight. It is essential to maintain the right balance of light needed by your plant as it will determine how vibrant the colors of your plant will be. Too much direct sunlight will damage and ruin your plant’s beautiful leaves and can even stunt its growth. On the other hand, getting so little light can fade the color.

This type of plant thrives in higher temperatures and cannot mostly survive in cold temperatures. The ideal temperature for Begonia Maculata is 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This range can be easily managed if your plant is placed indoors. In terms of humidity, this plant prefers 45% humidity, which is the average humidity level inside a room.

Begonia Maculata prefers a wet soil mixture. Once the soil becomes soggy, your plant’s roots will surely rot. However, it is advisable to water it regularly. This type of plant does not like staying in dry soil for too long. Check if the soil is parched before watering. This is important to prevent your soil from getting soggy. Do not drown the plant, as it will unlikely survive any overwatering.

You may feed this plant with a diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer every two weeks. Doing this will help your plant have more giant leaves and encourage flowers to bloom. However, for indoor Begonia Maculata, it is unlikely for it to produce flowers.

Begonia Maculata Growth

As crucial as the watering frequency, using a pot with suitable drainage holes is also essential. These holes at the bottom of your pot would best flow any excess water quickly. Having a proper pot can avoid root rot and overwatering plant.

It is only necessary to re-pot your Begonia Maculata if it starts to grow bigger than its current pot. Only re-pot your Begonia Maculata when necessary and avoid too much repotting to refrain from exhausting your plant (read more about repotting in this complete guide).

In case Begonia Maculata grows leggy, you may prune it through pinching. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Remove or pinch the growing tip with newly unfurled leaves. This will encourage the plant to branch out.
  • Your plant will now grow two new stems. Pinching will signal the plant to grow more stems at the base and along the stem.
  • Repeat this monthly to encourage maximum growth.
propagating begonia maculata in water
Propagating in water @Reddit

Follow Succulent City on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram for more informative & interesting content about succulents & cacti 🙂 Join the discussions at our Facebook Group, “Succulent City Plant Lounge.” Happy planting, and live the moment!

Common Problems With Begonia Maculata

Like other succulents, your  Begonia Maculata is prone to root rot. Not all succulents that experience root rot survive. That is why it is essential to avoid overwatering your plant. Aside from root rot, powdery mildew is another common problem for your  Begonia Maculata. This refers to white powdery spots found on the leaves. You may spray a mixture of milk and water or use a fungicide to remove powdery mildew from your Begonia Maculata.

Read more: How To Deal With Powdery Mildew On Succulents.

Among the common pests found on Begonia Maculata are mealybugs and whiteflies. These pests eat the sap from your plant’s leaves. You can use insecticidal soap to remove these pests from your Begonia Maculata. Aside from pests, your plant is also prone to Botrytis. This is a disease faced by plants in too many moist environments. A sign of Botrytis is when there are brown and soggy spots on the lower part of your plant’s leaves. Like powdery mildew, you can use a fungicide to remove this disease. Generally, your plant is prone to fungal diseases. You can avoid this by having good air circulation.

Are You Leaving?

All in all, we hope you have been able to appreciate this plant already. Aside from its features,  Begonia Maculata is also an easy-to-grow plant, making it a popular choice among new plant lovers. Are you looking for more content related to Begonias? See the articles below:

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Perennial Plants