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You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!
Polka Dot Begonia, also known as Trout Begonia, Clown Begonia, and Spotted begonia is the common name for Begonia Maculata – a showy houseplant belonging to the family Begoniaceae. Polka Dot Begonia can reach heights of up to five feet, and has a vertical growth habit. Its leaves are a deep olive color with bright white and somewhat uniform spots. They are a narrow arrowhead shape, and have burgundy undersides.
In the right conditions, Polka Dot Begonia will produce small flowers similar in shape to other begonia plants. They are a white rounded fan shape with a small yellow center. Polka Dot Begonia are not pet safe (and can be harmful to humans if ingested, as well), but the good news is that they are air purifying. They prefer bright, indirect or dappled sunlight, and like to stay relatively moist compared to most houseplants – let only the top half inch or so of soil dry out.
Polka Dot Begonia may seem picky, but once you get it settled into a good place with light and water (and away from heat and AC vents), it is relatively easy to care for. For this reason, we’re rating this houseplant as suitable for beginners. Like most houseplants, Polka Dot Begonia likes temperatures similar to human-preferred temperatures – between 65 and 75 degrees, but no higher than 85 degrees. Keep temperatures even with minimal fluctuation to keep houseplants happy.
Polka Dot Begonia can tolerate higher levels of light, but be prepared for accelerated growth with more frequent waterings and fertilizer. If you notice a loss of color in the leaves followed by yellowing and ultimately the loss of the leaf, try moving it into more sun. Yellow leaves are also a common sign of overwatering, so make sure your plant is not sitting in water. Moisture Meters are a great way to test the bottom of the pot to make sure it’s not saturated (which can cause root rot in most houseplants). Crispy, brown spots on the leaves can indicate that the plant is getting too much sun.
Overall Polka Dot Begonia is an easy-to-care-for houseplant that brings a rare pop of color and flowers into your home.