Begonia peltatifolia is one of the most colorful types in all of begonia history. It has bright orange stems, fresh green leaves, and colorful flowers.
You can grow this plant in pots or hanging baskets inside and outdoors. Discover some lesser-known begonia information on keeping this flowering plant happy under your care in this thorough guide.
- What Is Begonia Peltatifolia?
- Begonia Peltatifolia Care
What Is Begonia Peltatifolia?
Begonia peltatifolia li is a perennial from China grown for its brilliant colors. It has the most vibrant green leaves growing on bright orange stems. During the spring season, this plant produces colorful flowers that last a fairly long time.
Begonia Peltatifolia Care
By hearing the begonia name, you should know that Peltatifolia needs bright indirect light and plenty of humidity. Watering regularly during summertime is vitally important; otherwise, the leaves might turn brown or yellow.
– Water Requirements
In the wintertime, Begonias must be watered only once every two weeks. During spring and summer, the watering frequency will have to be increased once or twice weekly. Before you can figure out when your plant needs to be watered, spend a few weeks determining how long your soil takes to dry.
There are several ways to keep a close eye on the soil’s moisture levels. Buy a moisture meter and use it daily to measure the soil after watering. Instead, you can use any sharp and thin object like a skewer or a toothpick that can be easily inserted into the soil.
Stem Cutting Propagation
Once the soil is ready for watering, it is time to prepare the water. Tap water cannot be used as it is because of its high chlorine content. Collect it in a bucket first and leave it exposed to air overnight so that all the chlorine can evaporate. Then pour this water slowly on the soil for as long as it takes to start draining out of the pot’s drain holes.
Reverse watering is an alternative method of watering a Begonia. This method comprises placing your pot in a bucket full of water so that it can absorb it from the bottom holes. Keep an eye on the soil when the pot is in water. Once the surface of the soil starts glistening with water, pick the plant up as it has been thoroughly watered.
– Light Requirements
Peltatifolia easily gets sunburnt when placed under direct sunlight. Look for a shaded spot for them inside and outside where there is plenty of indirect light. In nature, they grow under dappled light from trees larger than them. Even within your yard, look for a dappled spot under a tree to put it under.
Within your living space, any room lit brightly is good enough for a Begonia. You don’t even have to place them near a window. The southern side window lets in direct light all day long, and any corner of a room lit by such a window is best for your plant.
The northern facing window lets in inadequate light, and so do windows in apartments that are usually blocked. You can still keep growing Begonia indoors by purchasing grow lights for plants. We advise you to buy LED lights as they are just as effective as fluorescent lights but much more reasonably priced.
Artificial grow lights are most effective when placed immediately overhead the plant. If you place them on the side, keep rotating the plant towards the light source at least once daily. Grow lights need more time to produce the same effect as natural light. Turn them on for the duration of time given by the manufacturer.
– Soil Requirements
Potting begonia sections in garden variety soil is the biggest mistake one can make. There are two main requirements of begonia soil.
One is that it needs to be fast draining, and second, it needs to be rich in nutrients.
You can opt for a premixed potting medium purchased from a gardening store. If you want to make your potting mixture, then that would be the healthiest for the plant. Start with one part of any ordinary orchid potting mixture. We choose this because of how light, airy and chunky it is.
Add one part organic component like compost, manure, peat, or worm castings if you like. Add half a part of a porosity-inducing draining element like vermiculite or perlite. Add a few chunks of coco coir and bark pieces if you want to, although it is not really necessary. Your soilless potting mixture is ready to be used after you have mixed it thoroughly.
– Temperature Requirements
Maintain temperatures in the close range of 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not a frost-hardy plant, so you must keep it away from cold drafts of air and temperatures below 55 degrees.
If the nights in your area are a bit chillier, then better grow indoors. You will have to bring it inside for the whole duration of winter anyway.
It will lose its leaves and stop growing if allowed to experience frosty winds or cold temperatures.
Don’t make the mistake of keeping it under an air conditioning unit even if it gets hot in summer. Instead, improve watering and humidity to help the plant cope with the rising temperatures.
– Humidity Requirements
Keep humidity around 70 to 90 percent, which is how this plant grows in its native China. Mist it every third day lightly to keep its leaves in their plump form. Usually, this should be enough unless the air gets too dry.
Humidity becomes low when the plant is grown indoors due to AC in summer and a radiator in the winter. Place a tray filled with water under the pot to act as a constant source of moisture in the air. Put a few pebbles in this tray so that the bottom of the pot doesn’t touch the water.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Your plant would benefit from a regular feeding dose from spring to fall during the active growth period. If you are going for a natural organic feed, you must do it every week. Go for a feed like fish emulsion or a blood bath.
When using liquid chemical fertilizer, you will need to feed it every third to fourth week. Double dilute this fertilizer every time because begonias can be sensitive to chemicals.
Before feeding the chemical fertilizer, water the soil thoroughly, protecting the roots from getting chemically burnt.
This plant does not need to be pruned all that much. However, occasional deadheading of the flowering helps the yield to improve for the next year.
Deadheading is when you remove the flowers from the plant before falling off. Peltatifolia has extremely thin leaves you can pinch off using your fingers. Be careful not to bruise the plant unnecessarily.
A secateur would help you to snap off the flower stalks, and stem ends in one neat little flick. Do take care that the instrument is well disinfected first.
All begonias, whether begonia corallina or peltatifolia, can be propagated early to late spring using three easy and simple methods.
– Stem Cutting Propagation
Did you know that you can just cut a piece of stem from your plant and grow an altogether new plant? We see no reason why you shouldn’t be trying this method out right away.
- The ideal stem cutting should be 5 to 6 inches long and contain at least two leaf nodes to succeed. You can take it from any part of the plant as long as the stem you take it from is healthy.
- Since Begonia has narrow stems, you can snap the stem cutting off simply using your fingers. Do wash your hands before taking a cutting.
- Put the cutting in a paper napkin, fold the paper over and place it in a dark and dry place for two days. After two days, you will see that the part from where the stem was cut has formed calluses.
- Take a bit of rooting hormone powder, mix it with water and apply it to the cut end.
- In a small container, fill a loose and airy soilless potting mixture and put your cutting right in its center. Add more than one-third of the cutting inside the soil.
- Put your cutting somewhere where its light, temperature, and humidity needs are met. Keep the potting mix moist until you can feel the cutting give slight resistance when you lightly pull it upwards. Soon you will see new leaves growing and thriving.
– Leaf Cutting Propagation
Leaf-cutting propagation may not always work out, but it is surely one of our simplest methods. Begonia is one of only a few plants that can be propagated using this method.
- All you need is to select a few healthy leaves from your plant. Don’t choose leaves that are too young or have grown too old. See that there are no disease or pest-related spots on your chosen leaves.
- Clean your leaf using a dry paper napkin and remove it with its still attached petiole.
- Using the sharp tip of a knife, make a few cuts on the leaves, especially through the veins.
- Now lay these leaves on a moist layer of sphagnum moss with their upper sides. The lower surface should be in immediate contact with moss, whereas the upper surface needs access to light for carrying out photosynthesis.
- Put the moss in a clear plastic bag to improve the humidity levels around your leaf cuttings.
- Keep on watering the moss in moderation for the next whole month. When the new plants grow, prepare pots for each one and carefully move them there.
– Rhizome Propagation
Rhizome division is also a pretty basic method of propagating a Begonia plant. It takes a bit more time and effort than the first two methods.
- Since the rhizomes of tuberous begonias are present underground, you will need to depot your begonia first. Be careful while doing so so as not to hurt the roots accidentally.
- Once your plant is out of the soil, lay it on a piece of newspaper on a flat surface. Wash the roots gently to see the rhizomes better without the soil attached.
- Usually, rhizomes can be separated from one another simply by untangling them by hand. Use a knife to cut the two stuck pieces off if you get stuck someplace.
- Plant the rhizome that you have separated in freshly prepared and well-draining soil. Repot the rest of the plant too.
- Your newly planted rhizome needs a warm, humid, and bright room to grow in. Keep on watering in a moderate amount and cover the pot if humidity is lacking.
- It might take three to four weeks, but your buried rhizome will produce new roots and shoots.
You will have to deal with only the very basic plant problems when growing a begonia. These problems include spider mites, leaves turning yellow or brown, and cold shock. All of these problems are pretty basic and can be solved easily.
– Spider Mites
Spider mites are a common problem among household begonias. These tiny spider family members make a home in your plant and start feeding on its sap. The first signs of a spider mites infestation are the appearance of light-colored spots over the leaves and stems. As their population grows more in number, they weaken the plant further.
Eventually, you will see your Begonia lose its fresh green color. The leaves turn yellow, wilt, and start drooping. You will see spider webs hanging from these leaves and around the stems. The first thing you need to do is to take the affected plant to the bathtub and give it a thorough bath.
Once most mites have been washed down the drain, you can move towards DIY solutions to spray weekly. Mixing equal parts water and vinegar makes a rather effective natural pesticide.
Mixing one part milk with four parts water will also eliminate these little red pests from your plant. Another thing you can do is to dab a paper napkin soaked with neem oil over the affected leaves.
– Leaves Turning Yellow
For begonias, overwatering is often the culprit when it comes to yellowing leaves. There are a few classic signs of overwatering you need to be on your toes for. The first is the yellowing of leaves, swelling, and drooping under their weight.
The second is that the soil will be runny with all the extra water. It will take a long time to dry, and you should not water it until it does. Sometimes the soil feels dry on the surface, but when you put a stick down it, it comes back up with moist soil attached to it. The pot will be heavier than it normally is.
Once you have established that the plant is overwatered, you must place it somewhere bright and warm. If there is a blockage in the draining holes, use anything sharp to open it back up. Refrain from further watering until the soil dries at least 75 percent from the top.
– Leaves Turning Brown
A Hoya usually turns brown at the edges because of a lack of adequate humidity. This problem will be mostly seen when its humidity needs are not met, and the temperatures are high.
If you have other Hoyas, such as begonia grandis and Angel wing begonia, then put all of them in the same room. Plug a humidifier into this room and turn it on all day at 80 percent humidity. This room will turn into a makeshift greenhouse, and the hoyas’ conditions will also improve.
It is not always possible to get a separate room or a humidifier. Instead, start misting the plant every second or third day gently. See that it isn’t too hot or dry, and water your plant regularly. Move the leaves turning brown away from direct sunlight.
– Leaf Drop
Begonia has high-temperature needs, so its leaves start dropping when the mercury falls below 50 degrees. This plant cannot tolerate the cold air it might occasionally encounter.
The result is a rapid leaf drop to conserve as much energy as possible. Additionally, the plant stops growing altogether and goes into hibernation mode, which is more or less permanent. You will have a nearly impossible time bringing it back to life.
That is why it is best to take preventative measures from the beginning. Keep it indoors, especially from the beginning of the fall season, and protect it from occasional cold air.
You have learned quite a bit about this Mountain begonia species from China in this guide.
Here is a brief take-home message for you.
- Just like Elatior begonia, keep Peltatifolia only under bright partial light.
- Water frequently in the summer when the topsoil dries, especially if the weather is hot.
- Try misting, a pebble tray, or a humidifier to keep the air moisture levels around 70 to 90 percent.
- Maintain temperatures in the close range of 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not a frost-hardy plant, so you must keep it away from cold drafts of air
Begonia peltatifolia is a rare begonia from China that is the embodiment of a brilliant pop of color. Use the care tips given in this guide to grow the best Peltatifolia ever.
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