Polka Dot Begonia

Polka Dot Begonia Care

Begonia maculata

Basic Polka Dot Begonia Care

With their unique angel-shaped dotted leaves, Polka Dot Begonia is a fairly easy plant to care for once you know what to do! Below you will find our complete Polka Dot Begonia care guide with all the info you need to keep your plant thriving.

Bright Indirect Light

I love the sunshine but too much direct light will damage my leaves.

Water Moderately

I don't like my soil to be too dry or too soggy. Little and often is what I'm after.

Medium Humidity

Please make sure the air isn't too dry, otherwise I won't be a happy plant.

Potting Soil

I need soil specifically for indoor plants as it retains the right amount of water.

Detailed Polka Dot Begonia Care Information

Whether you're looking to make sure your Polka Dot Begonia is in it's perfect conditions, or looking to see if one could work for your space. We've got you covered.

Polka Dot Begonia

They thrive in bright indirect light

Polka Dot Begonia plants love the sunshine but be careful not to expose them to direct sunlight as this can really damage the leaves and permanently scorch them. A great way to make sure your Polka Dot Begonia is getting the right amount of light is by picking up a light meter. They are super affordable and available on Amazon here. 

Keep the soil moist, not soggy

You want to be watering your Polka Dot Begonia once a week during the growing months. Make sure the soil is dry before you water as too much moisture can cause root rot. We always prefer to use a moisture meter to determine if our Polka Dot Begonia needs watering as root rot is something you really want to avoid.

Another way you can help avoid root rot is to use terracotta pots. Plastic pots hold in every drop of moisture, where as terracotta or clay pots allow some of the water to evaporate through the sides. We love these ones from Amazon.

Polka Dot Begonias like slightly higher humidity levels

Polka Dot Begonia don’t like the air to be really dry. However, we tend to avoid misting as too much moisture directly on their leaves can be damaging. Instead, you can use a pebble tray, humidifier or place it in naturally humid rooms. Visit our houseplant humidity guide to find out more.

Room temperature is fine

One great thing about Polka Dot Begonia plants is that they will happily thrive in the natural temperature in your home. Keep them away from drafty windows, especially in winter, as this can cause shock if it is exposed to a lot of cold air. Use a digital thermometer to check that your plant isn’t in a really cold or hot spot.

Polka Dot Begonia grow pretty fast!

If in the right environment and given the right care, Polka Dot Begonia plants can grow up to 2m indoors. If you want your plant to continue growing, repot every year or so or when you notice the roots are coming out of the pot.

Fertilise in spring to encourage growth

We recommend feeding your Polka Dot Begonia every month in the warmer growth months. A general houseplant fertiliser should work just fine but our plants really love this liquid fertiliser from Miracle Gro.

Polka Dot Begonia plants are toxic to pets and humans

You want to keep your Polka Dot Begonia away from pets and small children as they are toxic. Although it won’t cause serious long-term damage, ingestion can cause stomach irritation.

Pruning can create a fuller-looking plant

If you want your Polka Dot Begonia to look a little bushier and less leggy, you can prune it using sharp shears back to encourage new growth. You can also prune it back in winter to help it restore energy.

Propagate your Polka Dot Begonia from a stem cutting

It is pretty simple to propagate your Polka Dot Begonia as you can simply snip off a leaf using your shears (making sure there is a stem node attached). Place the cutting in water and after a few weeks, roots should begin to show meaning you can repot your cutting into fresh soil.

Polka Dot Begonia Care Starter Kit

We've put together this great little starter kit that includes all of the equipment and information you'll need to take proper care of your Polka Dot Begonia.

Polka Dot Begonia

Common Problems with your Polka Dot Begonia

Here are some common issues that you might run into. It's important to diagnose any issues early to give your plant the best chance of bouncing back.

If you notice that the leaves and stems on your Polka Dot Begonia are drooping down, this is an indication that your plant needs more water. Check the moisture in the soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. The most reliable way to check the moisture levels in the soil is by using a moisture meter. 

This is called powdery mildew and can be a result of misting the leaves of your Polka Dot Begonia too much. You want to ensure that there is no moisture on your plant’s leaves (especially overnight) as this is what is causing a build up of mildew.

Yellow leaves on a Polka Dot Begonia indicates your plant has received too much water. Replace the soil if it is waterlogged with fresh houseplant mix and hold off watering as much as you were before. To prevent more yellow leaves developing in future, it’s important to allow the potting mix to dry out between waterings.

You also want to make sure that there is good drainage in the pot, so check your pot has drainage holes as otherwise all that moisture is being retained which can lead to yellow leaves. You can also add perlite to the potting mix to aid drainage and aeration.

It’s also important to know that some yellowing on Polka Dot Begonia plants is totally normal. If one or two of the oldest leaves turn yellow each year then this is just natural ageing.

Brown edges on a Polka Dot Begonia’s leaves indicates too much sunlight. Make sure your Polka Dot plant is away from direct sunlight as this can very easily scorch and burn the leaves. Pick up a light meter if you aren’t sure exactly where to place your plant – we love them as they help you monitor the light levels across the day.

If you notice quite a few leaves dropping from your Polka Dot Begonia this indicates too much water or temperature shock. Check the moisture in the soil and move your plant away from any drafty doors or windows. Using moisture meters and digital thermometers can help you assess your care and environment to make sure it’s right for your Polka Dot Begonia. Catching issues early can really help prevent your Polka Dot Begonia from losing leaves in future.

Brown leaf tips on a Polka Dot Begonia are often caused by underwatering. Try increasing the frequency of watering a little but keep an eye on the soil moisture to avoid any root rot occurring.

If the entire leaf is turning brown, rather than the tips or edges, then this suggests you are overwatering your Polka Dot Begonia. Often the leaves will turn quite dark brown in colour, become quite soft and droopy and can even fall off your plant.

Carefully take your Polka Dot Begonia out of its pot and replace the soil if waterlogged. You don’t want to wait for the potting mix to dry out naturally as this risks more leaves turning brown.

The leaves on a Polka Dot Begonia can begin to curl for a variety of reasons, most commonly temperature extremes. These plants don’t do so well with both hot and cold air so we recommend buying a digital thermometer to keep track of any fluctuations that might be causing the leaves on your Polka Dot Begonia to curl.

Other causes of curling leaves include underwatering (they’ll also look and feel quite crispy), overfertilization and too much direct sunshine.

Simple Polka Dot Begonia Care Requirements

It sometimes helps to take caring for your plants back to the basics, here's the key considerations that you should take into account when caring for your Begonia maculata.

These simple points should give you all you need to keep your plant happy and healthy for years to come.

Common NamePolka Dot Begonia
Latin NameBegonia maculata
LightBright Indirect Light
WaterWater Moderately
HumidityMedium Humidity
Soil TypePotting Soil

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