Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links meaning I receive a commission if you make a purchase through these links at no extra cost to yourself. This helps to keep OSERA ad free. Thank you for your support on this platform.
Begonia Maculata Breakdown
Botanical Name: Begonia Maculata
Other Names: Trout Begonia, Polka Dot Plant, Begonia Maculata Widgtii, Spotted Begonia
Place of Origin: The Tropics
Watering Requirements: Regular watering but chance of root rot
Lighting Requirements: Bright indirect light
Humidity Requirements: Humid
Soil Type: Well draining soil
Begonia Maculata are fast becoming one of the most popular indoor houseplants. This might be due to their completely unique aesthetic. They have long green leaves covered in white polka dots with red bottoms that look almost prehistoric.
But with such an unusual looking plant comes a lot of care requirements. You can’t just leave the Begonia Maculata to its own devices. It needs you to provide the right growing conditions, which means warmth, humidity and the right amount of watering.
Begonia Maculata Indoor Care
If you are keeping a Begonia Maculata as a houseplant, especially in a region that has a different climate than where they are from, then they are certain requirements that you need to be aware of to make sure this plant thrives.
So what do you need to do for this polka dot plant care? Let’s take a look.
Begonia Maculata Lighting Requirements
As is the case with many other smaller tropical plants, the Begonia Maculata prefers things to be on the shadier side.
Keep your plant out of direct sunlight or you will notice the leaf tips starting to scorch and you may notice the colour fading on the foliage.
Instead opt for a brightly lit part of your room that receives light but no direct sunlight. You should see your plant thrive under these conditions.
Begonia Maculata Humidity Requirements
As this plant thrives in the tropics, it should come as no surprise to you that it requires much higher humidity than some of the other houseplants you may have in your house.
If you already live in a humid environment then the moisture in the air should be enough to keep your plant healthy but if you live somewhere with drier air then you may find yourself stepping in to help your plant stay healthy.
You might find that daily misting helps your plant but even this might not be enough and you might need to purchase a small humidifier. If you want to spend money on a larger model that’s also an option but you should be able to get by with a cheaper model if you only have the one plant that requires higher levels of moisture.
We would recommend the Levoit humidifier from Amazon as it has a large capacity, automatically detects humidity levels and adjusts accordingly and produces both warm and cool mist. However, if you’re not looking for a top of the range humidifier you can find much cheaper models.
Begonia Maculata Watering Requirements
Begonia Maculata is susceptible to root rot so you want to make sure that your soil does not become soaked when watering.
It’s important that the plant gets enough water and that the soil remains damp but you don’t want your roots sitting in water that won’t drain.
Check the soil between watering and if its still quite damp then wait longer. You don’t want to wait until the soil is bone dry as this can also be damaging for the plant but definitely want to wait until the soil is starting to feel dry.
Use your fingers to help you check the moisture level of the soil. Or you can invest in a moisture stick if you feel unable to make the judgement for yourself.
This type of plant prefers to be root bound so will thrive better in a slightly smaller pot. Don’t be tempted to repot too soon as it does well in cramped conditions.
When it is time to repot try and do this in the spring time as the plant is just beginning its growing season and will be able to grow into its new pot. Make sure the new pot is one size up from the one its currently in and that it has drainage holes to protect the plant from root rot.
Propagation can be done through cuttings. Simply cut below the leaf to make sure that there is stem intact and place into water. Here you can watch the roots grow and when you have around 2 inches of roots your plant is ready to be put into soil.
Begonia Maculata like to be kept warm to try to keep them in a room around 20°C (give or take a few degrees).
Your Maculata plant will do well in loose draining soil, so a generic house planting mix with some added perlite should work well. We recommend the Espoma Organic Perlite that you can find on Amazon.
So to summarise, in order for a Begonia Maculata to do well it requires:
- High humidity
- Regular watering
- Warm environment
- Shaded lighting
Begonia Maculata FAQ
Now that you have learnt about begonia maculata care, take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about this type of plant.
Where To Buy Begonia Maculata
A few years ago this kind of houseplant would have been relatively hard to come by. It would have fallen into the class of rare plants and you would have struggled to find it in any local shops.
However, due to its increasing popularity, you’re now able to find Begonia Maculatas in all kind of garden centres and local plant shops. Call the plant shops in your area to see if they have it in stock. If they don’t then don’t worry! They are plenty of places online where you can purchase this plant.
- Bears and Daisies
Where To Find A Begonia Maculata
You will be able to find this Maculata plant in any sub tropical or tropical environments. This plant was first discovered in Brazil however it has been found to be native to Mexico, South Africa, Asia and many parts of Central America.
How To Propagate Begonia Maculata
You can propagate your Maculata plant through cuttings. Simply a section of your Maculata plant making sure that you have stem still attached and place in water. You should notice roots growing from your plant into the water.
When they are a couple of inches long you can pot the cutting in soil. In the meantime it can make for a cool display.
How To Make Begonia Maculata Flower
Bright indirect light will help your Begonia Maculata to flower. If you keep your plant in dim light then it is less likely to bloom.
We hope you have found this Begonia Maculata care guide useful. If you have any other questions let us know in the comments below.
What would cause the leaves to fall off ?