Begonia maculata, or Polka Dot begonia as it’s often called, is a splashy show-stopper that looks fantastic with it’s olive green leaves and contrasting spots. It’s a houseplant that is likely to turn heads in your home, and thankfully it isn’t too difficult to care for. Let’s get started with a quick summary of begonia maculata care.
Begonia Maculata Care
- Scientific Name: Begonia maculata
- Common Name: Polka Dot Begonia, Spotted Begonia, Trout Begonia
- Light Requirements: Bright, indirect light. Higher light levels will promote strong growth and blooms, but avoid direct sunlight.
- Watering: Keep the soil generally moist, letting the top half inch of soil dry out between watering. Will not tolerate soggy soil.
- Soil: A light houseplant potting mix is ideal. Add perlite if drainage is insufficient.
- Temperature: 65°F (18°C) and 86°F (30°C).
- Fertilizer: Balanced, water-soluble fertilizer applied every 2-4 weeks when the plant is actively growing. I use this one.
- Humidity: High humidity is important. >45% ideally. A digital hygrometer can be useful to monitor humidity.
- Flowering: Bloom from spring to fall, producing clusters of white flowers with cheery yellow centers on a single stem.
- Pruning: Prune back at least twice per year to maintain compact growth.
- Propagation: Stem cuttings are easily propagated in soil or water.
- Re-Potting: Annual repotting in spring will help greatly.
- Diseases and Pests: High humidity and overwatering can cause powdery mildew, botrytis, bacterial leaf spot, stem and root rot. Whitefly and mealybugs are sometimes a problem, but easily dealt with.
- Toxicity: Toxic to pets and people if ingested.