BETTY THE BEGONIA MACULATA WIGHTII
The polka dot begonia prefers a lot of bright indirect light to thrive. Be very careful to never put Betty in a place where she could receive any form of direct harsh sunlight, this will burn her delicate leaves. If given enough bright light her flowers will bloom.
The polka dot begonia prefers her soil to dry out before she is watered again. In the summer a weekly water is adequate and in the winter she will need much less. Always let the first few inches of soil dry out for watering again.
The polka dot begonia can tolerate normal houseplant humidity of about 40% but she would prefer humidity levels of above 50%. Find out how you can increase humidity here.
The perfect indoor temperature for Betty is between 18-30°C. As long as the indoor temperature doesn't dip lower than 18°C the begonia will be happy.
To help encourage flower blooming fertilise every 4 weeks in the months through March-September. Do not fertilise in the winter.
The polka dot begonia likes to be root bound and will be happy in her nursery pot for many years. She may need repotting after 2-3 years. When she is repotted use a lot of drainage materials in the soil such as bark or perlite. Betty needs good aeration in her soil to avoid mould or excessively soggy soil.
TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR BEGONIA
Mould on leaves - This is usually a sign that her leaves have been wet and haven't had time to dry out. This can cause mould on the leaves. When watering, use a watering can with a spout so water can be directed to the soil. Avoid getting too much water on her leaves.
Drooping leaves - Drooping leaves is a sign that the plant is ready for a drink. It is advised with some houseplants like Betty to let her foliage droop a bit before watering.
Browning or Rotting leaves - The leaves can be quite delicate. If the leaves touch the soil or ground this can cause the leaves to react badly and start rotting. A good tip is to use sticks to keep the foliage from drooping to the floor or soil.
Leggy foliage - The term ‘leggy’ refers to extensively longer stems. This is a sign that she is not getting enough sunlight. Lack of light will cause her to reach out in search for a light source.
Yellowing leaves - This is a sign of overwatering. Let the polka dot begonia dry out before watering again. If the soil is left wet for too long then this could lead to root rot.
OUR TOP 3 CARE TIPS
Top tip 1: To encourage flowering place her in a brighter spot.
Top tip 2: To help promote even growth, rotate her pot weekly so each part of the plant can get even amounts of bright light.
Top tip 3: Prune her foliage back a couple of times a year to help promote fuller growth.