Begonia fuchsioides produces bright-colored and unique-looking flowers that look like hanging fruit. As far as houseplants go, this one is gorgeous and easy to look after.
This article contains the most exciting care hacks from people who have been growing begonias for decades. Keep reading about this begonia, as we have compiled it all in this article.
- What Is Begonia Fuchsioides?
- Begonia Fuchsioides Care
What Is Begonia Fuchsioides?
Begonia fuchsioides is a perennial plant that originates in Colombia and Venezuela. According to its scientific classification, it belongs to the Begoniaceae family. Although primarily famous for red-hanging bell-shaped blooms, it can produce pink, white, and yellowish leaves.
Begonia Fuchsioides Care
This type of Begonia can be grown indoors and outdoors, provided you shade them from direct light. We have written it all in this article. Keep reading to find out the essential details to growing this beautiful plant:
– Light Requirements
The fuchsioides Begonia can only tolerate filtered or dappled sunlight. When you plant it in your yard, choose a shaded spot for it. A large tree that can provide shade over the growing Begonia is the perfect solution. Another hack is to plant it right next to a northern-facing wall.
Inside the house, the plant is safe from direct sunlight. The only exception is a window that faces the south. Don’t put your Begonia right next to this window. Instead, put it someplace where no direct rays of light fall. All the rest of the windows are safe enough.
Sometimes, the light inside the house is not bright enough. The plant has trouble carrying out photosynthesis and struggles to live. Order some artificial grow lights to provide the exact wavelengths that your plant needs to grow. You must keep these lights on for approximately 12 to 14 hours daily.
– Water Requirements
This plant likes regular watering, or else it begins to wither. It also likes its soil to stay moist for the most part. Each time the soil dries just one or two inches from the surface, it must be watered immediately.
On average, you must water it at least one time per week. A much better approach would be to use a popsicle stick to access the moisture level of the topsoil. Do this each day after watering the plant.
To create a regular watering schedule, you can accurately assess how long it takes to dry. Watering is not just about giving the plant water on time. It is good art, and you must learn it to grow healthy and thriving Begonias.’
Washing the whole plant each time you water the soil is a terrible habit. It will cause your plant to develop powdery mildew and other water-borne diseases. Keep watering until it begins to come through the drainage hole.
Don’t be lazy when draining your water collection tray, or else this water will be reversely absorbed into the soil and cause rot. Remember that a day before watering, collect the tap water in a bucket and leave it overnight because most of the harmless chloride present will evaporate. Use this water safely the next day. Our best advice would be to use distilled water from the start.
– Soil Requirements
For this Begonia, you need soil that retains moisture as needed while draining excess water off. Simply speaking, the soil should be able to stay moist without getting runny with water. Its pH should ideally be between 6 to 7.
One is peat-based soil, in which you mix equal parts of peat, perlite, and ordinary gardening soil. To increase the pH a bit, add lime to the mix. You can also add handfuls of natural fertilizer, i.e., compost, to the mix. Cover the top surface by laying out mulch on the top.
The second method is to go for a loam-based soil mix. Take equal parts of clay, sand, and silt and mix them up thoroughly. You can use any sand, but we advise choosing coarse sand over fine one. Again, use a litmus paper to check the pH and add some lime if needed.
– Temperature Requirements
Begonias need more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit temperature to survive. However, the ideal temperature range is 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit to thrive and bloom. Potted plants have an advantage in this regard.
They can be kept all spring and summer outdoors when the temperatures are high. During fall, one can easily pick up the pot and move it indoors when the mercury starts dropping lower.
Indoors, any room where a radiator is maintained high is suitable enough for them. Take care that no window is left open accidentally. Sudden exposure to cold air drafts can also kill this sensitive plant. Begonias planted in the soil will, unfortunately, not survive the winters. This is for those regions where temperatures dip under 50 degrees in fall and winter.
One thing you can do to save the plant is to transplant it into a pot and move it indoors. This is a time-consuming method and might even cause the plant to suffer from transplant shock. We understand if we do not want to do it.
What you can do instead is to uproot the plant from the soil as soon as the weather starts getting cold. Pick out tubers and discard the rest of the plant. Store these tubers in a safe, dark, and dry place so that you can propagate them in the soil in early spring.
– Humidity Requirements
Your begonia fuchsioides loves humidity between 60 to 80 percent. You can tell when this plant is placed someplace dry or with strong winds. Its leaves will start curling and turning brown around the edges. A hygrometer will tell you exactly how much humidity is lacking around this plant.
One thing you can do outdoors is to mist this plant two to three times a week. The process of misting means using a spray bottle to very lightly sprinkle the leaves. The spray is best done in the morning and by using filtered water.
When growing begonia fuchsioides indoors, you can place them in the laundry room or washroom. These are the most humid rooms within your house. Another hack is to put them in a room and run a humidifier at 80 percent. Furthermore, you can transfer all your other humidity-loving plants to that room, and they would thrive together.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Your first option is to use a liquid chemical fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10. Start using this in march and continue till September every month. A month or two before flowering, switch temporarily to a phosphorus-rich fertilizer to promote flowering. Don’t forget to dilute one part of this fertilizer with four pieces of water.
For your second option, go for a slow-release fertilizer because these come in the form of either pellets or granules. Use a rake to lose the top five to six inches of the soil and mix this feed within it. Doing this at the start of spring should last around four to six months. You can mix some more granules in the soil near the flowering season.
Home-made compost is your third option. This is the safest and most natural option—mix one fistful of organic compost within the top layers of the soil. Natural compost can also be bought online.
Pruning will keep your fuchsia Begonia red in shape and keep it growing further. Only one pair of sharp pruning shears will be enough for it. To make them safer, soak them in a disinfectant for 10 minutes and wash them off, so the plant doesn’t get chemically burnt.
First, focus your attention on the stems. If any branch makes the plant look out of shape and weird, prune it off. Any item that looks leggy, weak, and containing poor leaves should also be cut off. Healthy stems can be cut off one to two inches to promote growth.
Second, let’s focus on pruning flowers. As the flowering season ends, you should cut off all flowers. This is called deadheading, which is exceptionally beneficial for promoting a better flower yield for the next season.
Begonia Fuchsioides propagation can be carried out in three ways. Seed and stem cutting propagation is best carried out from early to late spring. You should start approximately one month before the last thaw when propagating tubers.
Seed propagation is, of course, the traditional method of plant propagation. However, it is not as simple because it needs patience and care.
Take the best quality begonia seeds for seed propagation. If you already own this Begonia, you can collect seeds yourself from the flowers. Propagate the seeds first in a tray. Soak some sphagnum moss in water, then pick it up and crush it to drain the water away. Lay the moss over this tray and even out its surface.
Start putting the seeds one by one in rows within the moss. You shouldn’t bury them deeper than half an inch into it. Otherwise, they will have no access to sunlight. Cover the tray with a transparent plastic sheet or bag. High humidity is necessary for these seeds to germinate.
Germination will take around four to six weeks. After this, you can take the tray out but keep sprinkling water on the moss. After two or three months, you should transfer each plant to the soil or pot.
Fuchsioides are the types of begonias that are not very demanding. Some occasional problems you might face while caring for them include insects, watering issues, and root rot. Sometimes the plant might even fail to flower during the flowering period. This section discusses all these problems and their effective quick-fix solutions.
Thrips are tiny bugs that are only 1/25 of an inch in size. They multiply quickly and form large colonies that feed on the attacked plant in throngs. When the sap is sucked from the plant every day, it becomes weaker and weaker.
Because of these weaknesses, you will see the classic tell-tale signs of a thrips attack. The leaves will become withered and develop yellow spots. Flowers, their yield and quality, will be the most severely affected.
If you want, use a magnifying glass to see these pests. Wash the plant thoroughly with insecticidal soap mixed with water. A weekly regime of applying a few drops of neem oil will help keep thrips away in the long term.
– White Flies and Fungal Gnats
Whiteflies are also tiny flies that often attack the fuchsioides plant. You can see how they usually hover around the plant’s leaves. They will puncture all plant parts like leaves and flowers.
Whiteflies also puncture the plant’s surface and suck their sap. The results are the same; malnutrition, yellowing, dropping leaves, and retarded growth.
Whiteflies also lay eggs on the upper layers of the soil. When they turn into larvae, these eggs attack the roots and harm them. These flies and their larvae can reduce a healthy plant into extreme sickness.
You can use a potent insecticidal spray to kill these flies off. However, you might want to try some natural methods of insect removal first. Use yellow-colored sticky notes to trap them.
The flies will go in through this hole and become trapped. For the larvae fungal gnats, you can mix a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with a cup of water. Pour it on the soil, which will kill these larvae right away.
– Yellowing Leaves
Improper watering will affect the leaves of the fuchsia begonia first of all. Whether you have been underwatering it or overwatering it, these leaves will turn yellow. Take this as a warning sign to get your act together before your plant succumbs to root rot or withering.
In case of overwatering, the yellowed leaves will be swollen with water too. They will be mushy and soft if you hold them. Hold back on watering until the soil dries halfway through. Allow the leaves to lose this accumulated water before starting watering again.
When underwatering, the leaves will be dry and feel like paper. Your soil will be bone dry till the surface and feel crumbly on touching if the plant is potted, immediately bottom water it. If planted in garden soil, water abundantly, and makes sure you start watering regularly.
– Root Rot
Root rot is a fatal fungal infection that is an inevitable consequence of a consistently overwatered plant. That is why you must never ignore swollen yellow leaves of the plant.
The yellow overwatered leaves will develop irregular brown spots all over them. These eventually turn black and necrose from the center. Your whole plant will begin to stink of rot. One by one, the leaves will also start to fall off. You only have a couple of days to take action before it dies of rot.
Immediately take the plant out of the soil whenever rot spots appear. Either discard the old soil and the pot or sterilize them using proper methods. Lay the infected begonia plant on a sheet of newspaper or absorbent paper. Keep changing the form until the plant becomes dry entirely.
Buy a bottle of liquid copper fungicide and spray it generously on the plant. Using pruning shears, cut off the roots, stems, and leaf parts that are most severely affected. Now repot the plant again in a new or sterilized pot and soil. For three to six weeks, continue spraying the plant with antifungal spray. Take watering incredibly seriously from now on. The plant might not survive despite all this effort.
– Suppressed Flowering
Say your plant has not produced very few flowers during the flowering season. Yet, it looks healthy enough with lush green foliage that is, in fact, darker than usual.
We have described above the classic symptoms of overfertilizing with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. While nitrogen might produce lush leaves, it suppresses flowering. That is why switch to a phosphorus-rich fertilizer a few weeks before the flowering season. Phosphorus is the nutrient that helps promote more flowering.
– Can Begonia Fuchsioides Be Propagated by Stem Cuttings?
Yes, this is a method that all beginners can try by themselves and quite successfully so.
For cutting, use sharp pruning shears that have been cleaned and sterilized. Your item should be healthy, not too old, and free of pests. Take a stem piece five to six inches long and cut at 45 degrees. There should be a leaf node in it along with a leaf.
Place the cutting first in an air-tight container so that it becomes dry. This process will take one to two days at the very least. Apply some rooting hormone on the cut end which will go into the soil. Although this step is entirely optional, it will help your propagation.
Place your cutting within a hole in the soil that you have prepared. You must keep the soil moist for the first few weeks by only sprinkling water over it. A humidifier would be the best to provide the high levels of humidity needed for propagation.
Try wrapping it in a plastic bag and placing it in bright light; stem cutting will propagate faster than seeds. In about two months, you will have your grown little plant.
– Can You Propagate Begonia Fuchsioides Using Tubers?
Yes, some people grow their begonias outdoors to deroot their pots when winter arrives. The tubers growing underground are collected and stored in air-tight conditions in a refrigerator. These tubers can also be used to propagate fuchsioides before spring begins.
Tubers are best planted a month before the last frost date. Initially, use a tray to plant these tubers indoors at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Place each tuber at a distance of one inch from each other. Cover them with one inch of soil and place their tray in the bright morning light.
If you keep the moist soil and air, the tubers will sprout roots and shoots. When the new sprouts from tubers grow two inches long, it is time to transplant them. Prepare some begonia soil in the garden or a larger pot.
Place your tubers along with their roots in the soil. When using a pot, one tuber per pot is enough. Take care of the basic begonia needs and see how quickly each tuber grows into a thriving plant.
Before we conclude our guide, we must reiterate the following care points:
- Your begonias need some kind of shade coming from direct light in order to thrive.
- It is best to water a begonia using distilled or rainwater, away from all chemicals.
- When the temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, it will lose its leaves and start to die.
- You can propagate it using stem cuttings, seeds, or tubers.
- Remember not to overwater it, or else it will suffer root rot, which would damage the plant.
Now that you are well versed in how to care for Begonias, you need to order this plant for yourself. Always purchase from a trusted gardener to get the best quality plant for care.
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