Begonia brevirimosa is a rare plant that is surprisingly easy to look after and propagate even by complete novices. We have compiled a list of all the ways you can care for this plant at home.
Why don’t you carry on reading to find out what those care requirements are?
- What Is Begonia Brevirimosa?
- Begonia Brevirimosa Care
What Is Begonia Brevirimosa?
Begonia brevirimosa is a rainforest plant species from Papua New Guinea. The Begonia brevirimosa leaves are large and glossy dark-green with fluorescent-pink variegations making elegant patterns on them. It can be propagated easily using stem or leaf cuttings so you can have multiple plants of this kind if you wish!
Begonia Brevirimosa Care
Care for the Begonia brevirimosa plant by providing it with indirect or dappled light, 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and watering at least once a week. Moreover, regular fertilizing, grooming and a soil that drains quickly is also an absolute must.
Find out everything in detail here.
– Water Requirements
Water this plant on a regular schedule whenever the top inch of the soil becomes dry.
– Time of Watering
You should water the Begonia brevirimosa plant regularly as soon as the top inch of its soil becomes dry. You will need a couple of weeks to figure out how quickly the soil dries out.
Most probably, you will need to water this plant at least once a week in spring and summer.
In the latter half of the year, decrease the frequency of watering to once every second or third week.
Placing your finger in the soil is the most straightforward method. Insert till one or two knuckles and see if it comes out dry. A moisture meter is a delicate instrument that you can buy and use to keep an accurate check on the moisture level of your soil.
You can also try inserting a pencil or a thin stick in the soil as a makeshift moisture meter.
Pour the water beam directly towards the soil and not on the plant as a whole. Water slowly, allowing the water to absorb thoroughly into the soil and keep watering until it starts to come out of the drainage hole. This is called deep watering and is needed by this plant.
Remember, underwatering is always better than overwatering which is notoriously difficult to treat.
– Light Requirements
Begonia brevirimosa needs plenty of indirect sunlight in order to develop its classic foliage markings and more flowers. Read all about its light needs below.
– The Perfect Light For Brevirimosa Plant
Your Begonia Brevirimosa plant needs very bright but indirect light for at least eight to nine hours each day in order to grow, flower and produce the classic variegations in its foliage.
When keeping them outdoors, always provide shade for them. In indoor spaces, you should choose the brightest room in your house for keeping this plant in. Place its pot as near the window as possible without putting the plant under direct sunlight.
– Most Suitable Windows for Begonia Brevirimosa
The eastern and the western-facing windows in the house are most suitable for keeping the Begonia brevirimosa plant near. These windows receive direct light only for a couple of hours in the morning and the evening respectively.
This light is mild enough to be tolerated directly by the plant. Infact, it might contribute positively to the development of color in the foliage.
– Ensuring The Plant’s Receiving Light
You can tell that your Begonia brevirimosa plant is receiving enough sunlight by looking at its leaves. The intensely fluorescent pink markings will not develop properly in the absence of proper sunlight. Consequently, this plant will also produce fewer flowers during the bloom season.
– Soil Needs
The Begonia Brevirimosa plant grows best in soil that is loose, airy, and slightly acidic to neutral. You can make the ideal soil yourself by mixing one part common potting mix, one part medium-sized bark pieces, and one part perlite.
An airy soil with good drainage is an absolute must because it prevents water logging which is a very common problem with these plants. It also allows the roots of the Begonia brevirimosa plant to grow in the presence of ample space.
– Temperature Requirements
60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit is the required temperature range for the Begonia brevirimosa plant. This plant can tolerate dips in temperature till 50 degrees Fahrenheit but not below this.
As a tropical plant that grows under warm weather throughout the year, it is not frost hardy at all and should be moved indoors during wintertime.
More than 50 percent humidity levels are an absolute must for this plant. Your plant will start exhibiting brown and crispy edges whenever its humidity needs are not fulfilled properly.
This plant should be fertilized every second to the third week during the growing period.
Read all the details below.
– Types of Fertilizers You Can Use
You can use both organic and chemical fertilizers for your Begonia brevirimosa plant.
– Organic Fertilizer
Fish emulsion, vermiculite, blood meal, etc are just some examples of organic fertilizers that you can use for your plant. You can make them at home using food scraps or use store-bought ones.
Organic fertilizers are safer because they cannot cause chemical burns to your plant. Nor do they contribute to the accumulation of toxins and built-up salts in the soil over time.
However, although they are rich in nutrients, they take a long time to break down and supply these nutrients to the roots.
– Commercial Fertilizer
Commercial fertilizers provide you with the ease of choosing exactly which nutrients to give your plant and in what ratio.
One of their biggest side effects is that their careless use has been known to cause some pretty bad chemical burns in the affected plants. They are quite costly too.
– Fertilizing the Right Way
- When using chemical fertilizer, buy liquid one and dilute it to half or one third of its original strength.
- We normally use a liquid fertilizer with an NPK value of 20:20:20
- Always schedule fertilizing with watering. Allow the water to be absorbed by the roots before pouring fertilizer.
- Only fertilize during the growth period from March till September each year and then stop till the next march arrives.
Propagate the Begonia brevirimosa plant successfully using either leaf cuttings or stem cuttings. For stem cuttings, you can use both soil and water as growing media.
Read on below as we delineate the whole process.
– Leaf Cuttings Propagation
- Choose a leaf from the middle part of the stem. The tkey is to decide on leaves that are neitheroo young nor too old. And of course, the leaves in question should be in their best health.
- Use a clean sterilized knife to chop each leaf into pieces of two to three inches long. Each piece should have its own vein supply for new root growth to occur.
- Take a slightly damp paper towel and place the pieces of the leaf over it evenly at a distance of several inches from one another.
- Now take another damp paper towel and place it over the cuttings. Very carefully place this whole ensemble in a zip-locked bag and place it in a warm, bright place.
- You will need to regularly moisten the paper towels until new roots begin to grow in two months’ time.
- After the new roots grow several inches long, you can transplant each individual tiny plant into its own pot.
– Stem Cuttings Propagation in the Soil
- Stem cutting propagation is far easier than leaf propagation and you should definitely go for it as a beginner.
- Choose a healthy stem and cut off 3 to 4 inches of it using a clean knife. Each cutting should have three to four leaf nodes in it. Also, at least one of the nodes should still have a leaf attached to it.
- Allow the cutting to dry out for a couple of days in a dark, dry place. Then apply rooting hormone on both ends of the cutting.
- Prepare your pot by filling it with an equal amount of perlite and peat moss. Insert the cutting halfway into the soil. The node with the leaf should be above the soil.
- Place the water in a bright, warm and humid location for the first two months until new roots and shoots establish themselves properly. Your bathroom just might be the most ideal place for keeping the propagation in.
– Propagating Stem Cuttings in Water
- You can propagate stem cuttings in water just as easily and successfully as in the soil. This method has the added benefit that you can literally see how successfully new roots are growing from your cuttings.
- Take a jar that is transparent and fill it halfway with clean water. Most preferably, use distilled water because it is the healthiest.
- Place the cutting in water such that half of it is above water and half is submerged in water. You will need to attach it with a stick or a pencil to keep it upright. The node with the leaf attached should definitely be above water.
- Place your jar in a bright, warm place and wait till you see new roots growing from the nodes submerged under the water. Don’t forget to change the water every third day or once a week at most.
- Once the baby roots grow about three inches long, take them out of the jar and insert them in a pot as mentioned above.
Begonia Brevirimosa has a shrub-like growth pattern. It is a relatively fast-growing plant and grows up to become as big as 18 inches tall. Repot Begonia brevirimosa every year in order to protect its roots from becoming cramped in the old pot.
The most common problems you might face with this plant are powdery mildew infection, pest attacks, and frost damage. You can learn all about diagnosing and treating these problems in the coming section.
– Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is the fungal disease most common to the Begonia brevirimosa plant.
– Mildew Features
It initially produces white spots on the leaves of the plant. These spots grow in size, merge together and eventually cover the entire surface of the leaf. Over time these spots also transfer to the stem of the plant. The white hair-like fungus on the leaves prevents them from carrying out photosynthesis.
– Causes of Mildew
Overwatering, waterlogging in the soil and the pot, and transmission of infection from other sources cause your plant to develop powdery mildew.
Overwatering is the number one cause of this infection. Never water the plant when the topsoil is still moist. Also, don’t water the stem and the leaves as well. The water takes a lot of time to evaporate from them and serves as a breeding ground for fungal mold.
– Poor Drainage
If the drainage hole present at the bottom of your pot is too small or if your soil is too compacted to let all the excess water out, a powdery mildew infection might develop.
– Transmitted Infection
If a plant in close vicinity of the Begonia masoniana is suffering from mildew, the infection might transfer to this plant as well.
Similarly, using gardening instruments on an infected plant and not sterilizing them properly before using on another plant will also spread the disease around. Always use isopropyl alcohol or any other disinfectant to thoroughly clean your gardening tools.
– How To Treat Powdery Mildew
You can treat powdery mildew by using natural methods like neem and milk or you can go directly for chemical fungicides.
– Get Rid of the Most Damaged Leaves
Take sharp gardening scissors and remove all the leaves that are affected by mildew. If a large number of leaves are diseased, then remove only the most severely affected ones.
– Neem Oil Is Your Go to Organic Remedy
Neem oil is a natural anti fungal. Use a cotton roll and apply it on the affected leaves. In a very short amount of time, you will begin to see a marked difference and improvement.
– Milk and Water Mix
Mix milk and water in a ratio of 2:3 and then spray it on the affected parts of the plant daily. Apply this consistently till you begin to see some improvement.
Buy a strong and effective fungicide to get rid of the powdery mildew infection.
– Frost Shock
When temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for a long period, your plant will go into a condition called frost shock. Its leaves will turn brown, curl around the edges and begin to fall off.
Don’t keep it outside during the cold winter months. Infact, even during summer, the cold air-conditioned air can be detrimental to the well-being of this plant.
The pests that affect this plant most commonly are spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. You can get rid of them by using both natural and chemical means. Read more in detail below.
– Spider Mites
Spider mites produce tiny white or yellow spots on the leaves of the affected plant. Sleek threads of webs will also be found woven around the plant, especially under the leaves. In advanced stages, the leaves will start turning bronze.
Aphids are pests that feed on the leaves of the Cissus amazonica plant. Consequently, these leaves will begin to turn yellow and curl around the edges. The growth of the plant will also be adversely affected.
Mealybugs are very small and white bugs that are very common among household plants. You can spot them lurking around the plant easily. Their puncture marks on the affected leaves will also be clearly evident.
– How To Treat Insects
- The most important thing to do is to wash these pests off. Use a water jet or toothbrush to scrub them off.
- Lightly spray with a good quality insecticidal spray for a couple of weeks afterward.
- You can also use neem oil or baking soda mixed with water as a natural remedy against insects.
Jump down below to find a recap on this whole guide.
- Begonia brevirimosa is popular for its large green leaves with bright pink lines running through them.
- Keep this plant in a bright room because they need 8 to 9 hours of indirect light daily to develop the pink variegations. Water this plant at least once a week during the warmer growing months whenever the top two inches of the soil becomes dry.
- 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit is the most appropriate temperature range to keep this plant in. Maintain humidity levels above 50 percent. It is very easy to propagate the Begonia brevirimosa plant using either stem cuttings or leaf cuttings.
- As a heavy feeder, fertilize this plant every second to the third week during the growing season. You have the option of using both organic and chemical fertilizers.
- Powdery mildew is the most frequently occurring disease in this plant. It is not fatal but will severely affect the growth and overall look of the plant. Treat with a good fungicide.
The Begonia brevirimosa is a beautiful plant that will grow fantastically with just regular watering and fertilizing as well as indirect light and high temperatures.
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