Begonia Foliosa Care InfographicBegonia foliosa is an evergreen and hardy begonia that you should grow as a first-time gardener. Even though it looks difficult to grow, it is super easy as long as you can get the humidity, light, and temperature right.

What you must do is keep reading this article for a detailed guide on this plant, starting from the way you must take care of it, provide the right humidity and soil mix to how you can propagate it.

What Is the Begonia Foliosa Plant?

The Begonia foliosa is a shrub-like plant that is native to Venezuela and Colombia bearing pendant and succulent stems that are covered in oval shiny green leaves and beautiful flowers. This plant is an evergreen plant and it is commonly loved amongst many plant enthusiasts.

Begonia Foliosa Plant Care

The plant grows quickly and is easy to maintain. Even if you are just starting gardening for the first time, you can grow it with ease. Here are some essential tips to grow the foliosa plant:

– Soil Requirements

Begin by considering buying a potting mix that is nutritious, rich in moisture, and quickly drains water. To achieve this, you need a peat mix, because it contains all of the above options.

What you may also do is to mix some peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and compost. The potting mix should have a pH of 6.1 to 7.3 as this plant naturally loves either neutral or slightly acidic soils.

The potting mix should be loose and light so that you can easily carry or shift the pot. As for the pot, make sure that there are drainage holes in it that permit drainage of water when it is in excess. The pot should not be too big so that it does not hold more water than what the plants on it needs.

 

– Water Requirements

This plant loves to be watered, that is why you want to make sure that the lovely begonia does not run out of water. Ensure that the potting mix has moisture in it always.

Water it when you feel that the surface of the substrate is dry. Well, make sure that the pot has drainage holes and the potting mix is well-drained so that excess water can flow out just in case you pour in more water than what the plant needs.

If you want you may consider watering the plant by misting its leaves. However, do not mist the begonia leaves until they start to drip water. Additionally, keep in mind that misting is best done in the morning so that the sun can help dry up the moisture from the leaves. However, note that the potting mix must never run dry even if you are watering the plant by misting.

– Light Requirements

Light is very essential to plant growth. For foliosas, they need at least five hours of daily sunlight or eight hours of growing (artificial light) light.

Taking Care of Begonia Foliosa

If you are growing them outside or near a window, you should expose them to bright but dappled sunlight. This means that there should be some form of partial shade so that the plant is not directly exposed to the sunlight.

Your plants will give you signs if they need more or less light. For example, they can grow weak and leggy when they do not have access to enough light. On the other hand, they can get burnt leaves if the light is too much. Just make sure that you give your plants just the right amount of light. 

– Humidity Requirements

So many people do not consider anything about the humidity of the room where they keep their plants. Remember that the humidity is important and plants grow faster in a place with suitable humidity.

As for foliosa plants, they need humidity levels between 60 percent and 80 percent. Furthermore, you also have to be mindful and want to prevent winds from reaching the plants as they hate a windy place.

As a plant that loves a humid environment, you cannot grow the begonia with other plants such as cactuses that prefer low levels of humidity. Well, even if you want to grow all the plants in the same place, you should install a humidifier near this plant or find a way to make its surroundings more humid.

– Temperature Requirements

Temperature is more like the most important factor to consider before choosing any plant to grow because every plant has its specific temperature requirements. Plants rely on temperature for so many life processes. As for your begonia foliosa plants, they prefer high temperatures. You should grow the plants at 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

This plant is not frost-hardy, so you must not expose it to the low temperature of frost. Additionally, even though it is a warmth-loving plant, you do not want to expose it to the scorching heat of summer.

You can grow the plant in your room as room temperature is ideal for it. Please keep in mind that you must not grow it near a heater or air conditioner, because this plant is sensitive, and it cannot bare harsh conditions in order to thrive.

– Fertilizing Requirements

This plant is not a heavy feeder, so you do not need to fertilize it, especially when you are growing it in a nutrient-filled growth medium. However, it is good practice to fertilize it monthly with low-strength fertilizer. Keep in mind that you must make use of a balanced fertilizer such as those with the 1:1:1 composition.

If you do not want to regularly fertilize the plant, make sure that you amend the potting mix yearly so that the plant can get nutrients from it. Soil nutritious products to amend the mix are compost, rotted manure, coffee grounds, bone meal, etc. Nonetheless, make sure that the manure is well-rotted so that it does not burn the roots of your plants.

– Pruning Requirements

Pruning is important for plants as it helps them to stay beautiful. This begonia plant produces a lot of leaves and may become fuller than what you expect of it. To keep it in shape and size, it is your duty to prune it regularly. You should prune the plant twice yearly. Remember to use gloves as well as clean tools.

When pruning the plant, start with the dead or weak leaves. Also, you should remove the old leaves as well. If any leaf or petiole is growing out of your desired shape, you should remove it. After pruning, dispose of the begonia leaves and do not leave them to decay on top of the substrate as they can attract pests.

 

Propagation

Instead of going to a garden shop or nursery to get more begonia foliosa plants, why not propagate your mature plant? Here are two methods to propagate your plants.

– Propagating Your Begonia by Cutting

The foliosa plant is very easy to propagate when you use its leaf cutting. All you need is a mature branch with leaves on it. Remove the bottom pairs of leaves and then wait for the cut in the branch to become dry. When the cutting is dry, plant it in a suitable potting mix. If you have a rooting hormone, you can dip the cutting in it first before planting.

When you plant the cutting in its substrate, use a spray bottle to mist water to the bottom part of the cutting every day for at least ten days. As soon as you see new pairs of leaves growing, you can switch to the normal form of watering.

If you do not see any sign of growth in two weeks, carefully reveal the roots to see if they are growing. If you see any roots, cover the cutting with the substrate as it is still growing.

However, if you do not see a root, check if it is still healthy and then dip it into a rooting product before you plant it again. Also, check the growing conditions if they are just right for the plant.

– Propagating Your Begonia by Seed

If you happen to get seeds from your begonia after flowering, you should plant them. Starting new plants is both refreshing and fun as you get to see the babies of your mature plant. To start the seeds, wait until late winter or early spring, and then prepare a suitable potting mix for them.

Place the seeds carefully arranged in your preferred spot on the potting mix and then cover them with just a thin layer of sphagnum or sand. Mist the seeds regularly and they should germinate in ten days. If you have more seedlings than you need, select the big fast-growing ones and then thin out the rest.

Your seeds should grow just fine as long as you are growing them in a spot where the temperature and light are just fine. You can water and feed them as discussed earlier a month after germination.

Now, you can propagate and grow your plants with ease. However, it is ikey to remember to use gloves and sterilized tools when handling your plants. The key reason behind the use of sterilized tools is the precautiousness of infestations taking place of any kind.

Propagation of Begonia Foliosa

Problems

This shrub-like begonia has proven to be super easy to start and even first-time gardeners can grow it with ease. However, this does not mean that you cannot face some problems when growing it. Please try to avoid or fix these issues when growing foliosa plants:

– Overwatering

If you grow your plants in the right potting mix, overwatering will not be a problem because the excess water can quickly drain off. However, if you grow them in heavy and compacted soil, you will need to cut back on your watering schedule so that you do not overwater the plant.

Overwatering your begonias can lead to root rot and you can only fix this problem if you are quick enough to detect it. Watch out for yellow leaves and weak branches in the fall and early spring months. If you can see the plant becoming weaker, especially when you water it, the plant most likely has root rot.

The first that you can do to fix root rot is to remove the plant from its substrate so that you can treat the roots. Treating the roots involves removing the dead (brown or black) ones and rinsing the healthy (cream or white ones) with water. Also, change the potting mix and either bake or dispose of the previous one.

– Drought

Overwatering is bad, but so is not giving the plant enough water. Drought can lead to stunted growth or death because plants need water for every life process occurring within them. Some signs that your plants need water are weak stems and branches, wrinkling leaves and a dying plant.

The best way to prevent drought from killing your plant is to ensure that you water the plant when you have to. Follow your watering schedule and water the plant as soon as you notice dryness in the upper parts of the plant substrate. Also, you can prevent drought by mulching your plant and using amendment products such as vermiculite.

If you notice that your plants have drought, shift their pot away from direct sunlight and then water them. Using clean scissors, prune off the dead or weak leaves so that they do not consume nutrients and water. Hopefully, the plant will bounce back in no time.

– Chlorosis

Chlorosis means when your plant leaves lose their green color or pigments. The death of the chlorophyll pigments explains the name “chlorosis.” Chlorosis may have a lot of causes, but the first thing that should come to your mind is the light exposure of your plants. In a well-lit room, a well-fed plant should produce fresh green leaves.

Other signs associated with plants suffering from insufficient light are tall and thin stems and general weakness of the plant. You want to prevent this by growing your foliosa plant in a spot where it can get five or more hours of sunlight daily.

If your plants are already suffering from chlorosis, take them outside so that they can have access to the full sun. In autumn and winter, you can support the plants with a grow light just in case the available sunlight is not enough. Make sure that the plant gets up to eight hours of grow light.

– Overfeeding With Nutrients

You want to remember that your plants do not need a lot of nutrients. If you can grow them in a nutrient-rich substrate such as those amended with compost or coffee grounds you do not need to use extra fertilizer until the nutrients in the substrate are depleted. Excess nutrients can lead to the wrinkling and browning of your plant leaves.

The best way to prevent this problem is to strictly stick to your feeding plant. If you choose to fertilize the plant instead of amending the soil, feed them once every two weeks so that you will be feeding them two or three times monthly. Also, remember to use half-strength products.

If you notice brown leaf tips or wrinkling leaves in your foliosa plant, you should bring a lot of water then flood and drain the soil or potting mix. This will help to drain off excess nutrients from the soil. Henceforth, only feed the plant when you should.

– Sunburn

Sunburn is the burning of your plant leaves due to over-exposure to too much sunlight. Sunburn has similar symptoms as overfeeding the plants, but there is a difference. While your plants can get burnt due to too many nutrients or too much sunlight, sunburn usually occurs in late spring or summer and overfeeding mostly occurs from autumn to early spring.

You can prevent sunburn by taking the plants to a cool spot when heat waves are approaching. If you cannot shift the pots, tie a cloth to the window for shade to block excess sunlight from reaching the plants. This plant loves dappled light, so it can grow with just a little amount of sunlight.

Problems with of Begonia Foliosa

If you see that your plants have sunlight, you can fix it by taking them to a cool spot and then removing the dead leaves. You should also water it regularly because drought is usually associated with sunburn.

– Pest Attack

Like other plants, the begonia foliosa is susceptible to attack from pests such as butterfly and moth caterpillars, fungus gnats, grasshoppers, snails and scales. Many of these pests will eat the leaves of your plant and destroy them before moving to the next plant. This is why you must prevent pests from reaching your plants.

To prevent pests, you should either use traps or repellents. For example, you can pour beer into a small bowl and leave it in your garden to trap and kill slugs and snails. For indoor plants, consider using repellents such as neem seed oil to prevent scales, aphids, and other pests.

You should remove pests as soon as you see them so that you can minimize their damage. If you see fungus gnats near your plants, cut back on your watering schedule as you may be overwatering the plants. Note that fungus gnats are attracted to fungi that grow mostly in damp soils.

As long as you can grow your plants in the right conditions and avoid the problems above, you can grow healthy begonias with ease.

Conclusion

This is now a super easy plant to grow thanks to this guide. Here are take-home points from the guide that can help you while growing the plant:

  • Grow your foliosas in a spot with 60-80 percent humidity and 50-86 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you do not want to regularly feed your plants, grow them on a substrate that is rich in nutrients. Otherwise, feed them with low-strength fertilizer occasionally.
  • To help maintain your plant shape and size, prune off excess leaves from the plant.
  • Prevent pests such as snails, scales, grasshoppers, and caterpillars, from attacking your plant leaves as they can be disastrous.
  • You can propagate your plants using their seeds or cutting. Note that propagation by cutting is easier.

You’d surely agree that you are now capable of growing your begonia foliosa, right? Remember to check back on this article if you get stuck while growing your plants.

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