Begonia eyelash is a plant that instantly captures attention. This plant is a breath of fresh air among boring green-leaved houseplants with its unconventional leaves.
We want to ensure you grow this plant to the best of its potential. Keep reading this comprehensive guide that will help you do just that.
- What Is Begonia Eyelash?
- Begonia Eyelash Care
What Is Begonia Eyelash?
Begonia eyelash is an evergreen perennial plant. This plant has a weird growth habit and striking foliage. Its patterned leaves are brown-red in color with bright green outlines. All the leaves are outlined by hair-like structures hence the name ‘eyelash.’
Begonia Eyelash Care
Eyelash begonia requires care in order to see it grow and thrive in your house. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about the details, they are written down below.
– Light Requirements
A begonia eyelash plant needs only partial or shaded light. Direct light will first cause its leaves to lose their markings and later turn yellow or brown. This is especially pertinent when growing this plant in an outdoor space. A shaded spot under a dense tree would be the most suitable.
You can keep this plant in an indoor space near an eastern, western, or south-facing window. These windows do receive some direct light for a few hours. During that time, you can cover the said window with a curtain. Be careful of the window to the south and keep your plant at least three feet away from it.
We understand that natural light can be scarce in offices and apartments. That should not keep you from growing the tiger paws plant. Install two to three overhead LED grow lights. Your plant will thrive just as it does in natural light, if not better.
– Water Requirements
A Begonia tiger’s paws like its soil to be kept moist without being overwatered. It must be watered if the top two to three inches of its soil are dry. To make sure, put your finger in the soil up to the knuckle and see if it feels dry.
When watering, direct the beam of water at the soilless potting mix. Ensure that not even minor water splashes reach the stems and the foliage. Please water more frequently in the summer than the rest of the year.
Most importantly, ensure that the soil’s drainage is up to the mark. The drainage holes in the container get blocked a lot. You should check them regularly and open them if needed.
– Soil Requirements
As rhizomatous plants, eyelash begonia types are like airy and loose soil. This gives their roots and rhizomes plenty of space and air supply to grow optimally. It also gives the perfect drainage for water.
Create a soilless mixture by mixing only peat, perlite, and vermiculite in an equal amount. Mix thoroughly, add water, and then fill a suitably-sized container with this mixture.
Two to three tablespoons of lime will adjust the pH and control humidity in the soil. Now, the pot you choose shouldn’t be too large. For the best air circulation, we advise you to go with the plain old clay pot.
– Temperature Requirements
66 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit temperature is needed for this begonia to grow. That is why the growth of this plant blooms from spring till late summer.
Temperatures under 60 degrees and very cold air drafts harm it. It undergoes a pretty bad frost shock and starts dropping leaves unceremoniously. It is one of those plants that are better moved indoors during winters. Their growth will slow down, but at least they will not die.
– Humidity Requirements
Eyelash begonia tiger paws need 70 to 90 percent humidity, especially during growth. Unless you live in a rainy and humid area, you will have to artificially provide increased humidity around this plant. Ensure the plant has the best air circulation because plants in such humid conditions succumb easily to fungal infections.
One method is to buy a pebble tray and keep it under this plant’s container. Just take care that the container is not in contact with water. Another option is to mist the plant three to four times a week. We personally don’t recommend misting because it often causes mildew to develop.
The third option is to invest in a good quality humidifier for your begonia. You will not have to worry about maintaining the right humidity levels. Many latest models are energy efficient and won’t cost you a lot.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Of course, your begonia needs frequent feeding to keep producing more flowers. The best fertilizer would be a slow-release, well-balanced one with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10. This way, your plant gets all three essential and some non-essential nutrients that it needs.
Slow-release fertilizers come in the form of powdered pellets. Dig the top few inches of the soil with a rake and then mix the pellets in with this soil. As the Spring season begins to set in, do this once and then later in the middle of summer.
A liquid fertilizer would come in handy if your plant looks weak and needs an instant boost. Again, use a well-balanced formula, and triple dilute it before use. However, you must be conscious that the chances of fertilizer burns are higher with this one, this is why you must dilute the fertilizer before.
This plant doesn’t really need proper pruning as such. Keep removing old, dehydrated, and discolored leaves regularly.
Don’t let falling leaves collect on the surface of the soil. They collect debris and increase the chances of disease. Pests like snails might hide under this debris too. Pruning the tips of branches at the start of spring promotes more growth.
Begonia eyelash propagation is very straightforward. As someone with a busy lifestyle, the whole process will take you one to two hours at most.
Don’t have time to depot the plant to carry out rhizome propagation? Try propagating through leaves in a few easy steps.
Start by removing the leaves from the plant along with their petioles. Now, you may either use a whole leaf or cut it into several parts for propagation. When cutting, make sure each part has its own vein.
Prepare a mixture of peat, vermiculite, and moss in a tray. Gently press the leaves in it, keeping them near the surface. After doing so, you may want to place the tray in a transparent shopping bag and keep the soil in it moist.
Then, put your plastic bag in an indirectly bright, warm, and humid place, this will let it feel like it is in a suitable enviornment. Lastly, in three to eight weeks, new plants will have grown. You can transplant each plant into a separate pot by the sixth or eighth week.
There is no less demanding plant for busy people as a begonia bowerae. It is toxic for pets, however, and you might have to occasionally deal with fungal blight or snails.
– Botrytis Blight
Eyelash begonia varieties are particularly sensitive to this fungal disease. It is caused by several common soil fungi. The predisposing factors for this disease include high humidity with poor air circulation. Using infected gardening tools might also be responsible for the spread of blight.
Botrytis primarily affects the blooms of a plant. Small-sized bugs form that then quickly fall off. If new flowers do form, they have brown and black spots all over them. Brown spots also develop over the leaves, stems, and other plant parts.
To treat botrytis, you must prune off all the blackened rotten parts. Bury them at least a foot in the ground as proper infectious waste management. Use a good fungicide like mycostop to treat the rest of the plant.
– Toxic For Cats and Dogs
You better keep your begonia eyelash away from cats and dogs. This plant is highly toxic to them if they chew any of its parts. Symptoms of begonia toxicity in pests include severe vomiting. Immediately take your plant to the vet for management.
Do your gorgeous tiger paws leaves look like someone has been nibbling on them? Are there slimy tracks all over your pretty houseplant? This means some snails have decided to make it their next snack meal.
Don’t worry because snails are extremely easy to get rid of. Just crush enough shells to spread them all over the soil surface of this begonia. The snails hate that and will immediately take off.
Adding ground coffee beans to the crushed eggs is also one option. They are toxic for snails and will make this mixture more effective.
– How Do You Propagate Begonia Eyelash Through Rhizome Division?
When repotting the plant, separate a few rhizomes and use them to propagate a whole new plant.
After you take the plant out, wash the roots with water gently. Look for plant stems growing underground. These underground stems are called rhizomes. Cut one to two rhizomes off using a sterile pruning knife.
Each rhizome will be attached to its own stem and root system. However, you can use only a rhizome without roots and stems. Prepare sterile potting soil and put it in a small pot and then make a hole in the center and place the rhizome inside.
Take the pot to a warm and humid spot lit indirectly by sunlight. Keep the soil moist but refrain from turning it runny. Don’t worry, you will see your new plant growing and thriving in a few weeks.
Before we bid you goodbye, here is a brief recap.
- Begonia tiger paws plant needs indirect sunlight to grow.
- This is one of those plants with the most unique-looking foliage.
- You need a soilless potting mix made of peat, vermiculite, and moss.
- This plant would thrive in very high humidity, which would be between 70 to 90 percent.
- The soil requirement for this plant is to be kept moist, but be careful not to overwater it.
Now that you know how to grow and propagate it, what’s stopping you? Go ahead and order your eyelash plant right this moment.
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