The Begonia benigo plant is nicknamed the “Angel Wing” due to its angel wing-shaped leaves. These gorgeous leaves are dark green with red or silver specks. Under the leaves is a holly red. Plus, there are pink flowers in clusters.
The Begonia benigo plant needs bright but indirect sunlight. You want to use well-draining soil for the perfect balance. And the soil should always be moist but never saturated.
You’ll love caring for this Begonia plant. And you don’t have to be an expert either. This is an easy plant that needs lots of love.
Everything you need to know about caring for your new Begonia benigo plant is in this article. You don’t have to worry about a thing.
- 1 Begonia Benigo Plant Care
- 2 Varieties of Begonias
- 3 Common Problems with the Begonia Benigo
- 4 Tips for an Unhappy Begonia Benigo
- 5 Begonia Benigo FAQ
- 6 Conclusion
Begonia Benigo Plant Care
You need well-draining soil for the Begonia benigo plant. It needs the perfect balance when it comes to moisture.
Well-draining soil ensures you don’t over-water your plant. It lets excess water drain to the bottom of the plant pot. You’ll want a plant pot with drainage holes so that excess water doesn’t sit at the bottom of the soil either.
Over-watering is the death of any indoor plant. And it’s the easiest mistake to make. The biggest issue from over-watering is root rot.
When the soil is too saturated, oxygen can’t get through. When oxygen can’t get through to the roots of your plant, they will rot. It’s hard to detect without removing your plant from the soil and inspecting the roots.
But well-draining soil also ensures you don’t under-water your plant. It’s able to hold an appropriate amount of water to keep your plant hydrated for a short time.
Under-watering leads to the stunted growth of the plant. The leaves aren’t as lush or plenty. And fewer flowers will bloom alongside the Begonia benigo plant.
The perfect well-draining soil for Begonia plants contains both perlite and sphagnum peat-moss. The perlite allows aeration so excess water drains. And the peat-moss holds onto moisture for the plant.
A Begonia benigo plant loves bright light. But it needs to be an indirect bright light. Direct sunlight (or artificial light) will scorch the leaves of this beautiful plant. At the very least, too much light can cause the leaves to brown and curl.
In its’ original environment, this plant sits under trees and taller plants. This is how it gets indirect bright light. You want to mimic that type of light for your houseplant.
You can place your Begonia benigo plant in either a north or east-facing window. This allows it to get plenty of light. If it’s not in a south or west-facing window, you don’t have to worry about light blaring down right on your plant.
The Begonia benigo plant needs moist but not saturated soil. You want to avoid both over-watering or under-watering this plant.
Under-watering a plant causes wilting and stops the photosynthesis process. It also slows down nutrients moving throughout the plant.
Over-watering can cause various plant diseases. The biggest issue, besides death, is root rot. When you saturate the soil, oxygen can’t get through to the roots. This starts the rotting of the plant’s roots.
If only a few of the roots are rotten, your plant is salvageable. You only need to remove the infected roots with sterilized pruning shears. But if all the roots are rotten, your plant is a goner.
Which is why it’s important to always check the soil before you water your Begonia benigo plant.
Stick your finger into the soil up to your big knuckle. Only water if the soil is dry down to your fingertip. If it’s still moist, wait a few more days and check the soil again.
The hotter the temperature, the more often you’ll need to water your plant. Once the cold weather hits, you won’t need to water it as often. The cold helps the soil keep moisture longer.
For the Begonia benigo plant, the temperature should range between 45F (7C) and 100F (38C).
Avoid any temperatures below 45F (7C). This plant doesn’t appreciate freezing temperatures. And avoid frost forming on the leaves at all costs.
According to the University of Maryland, all houseplants can benefit from increased humidity. The Begonia benigo plant is no different.
There are several ways you can up the humidity in your home. The easiest way to do this is by buying a humidifier. It gives you the ability to control the humidity and even how much to create.
The best method for this Begonia is the pebble tray method. You fill a tray with pebbles. Then you fill the tray with water. Don’t let the water cover the pebbles.
Place your Begonia benigo plant on top of the pebbles. The water will evaporate, creating moisture in the air. This moisture goes straight to your plant.
One common method is to spritz or mist the leaves of a plant. But we don’t recommend you mist the leaves of this plant. It’s prone to mildew and mold. Then you’ll have a never-ending battle on your hands.
You want to use a fertilizer that’s high in potassium for your Begonia benigo plant. Potassium will keep your plant growing and create lush leaves. It also helps create more flowers.
Use this fertilizer at half its normal strength. The Begonia benigo plant can’t take full strength.
During the growing season, you need to fertilize the plant about once a month. During the off season, you only need to fertilize it every two months.
Always make sure the soil is moist before you fertilize. Otherwise, you can burn the roots or create leaf burn.
You can propagate the Begonia benigo plant through stem cuttings in either soil or water. Keep reading to find out how to do both of these propagation methods.
The Begonia benigo plant grows to be between 1 foot and 2 feet in height. The leaves grow to be between four and six inches in length.
The Begonia benigo plant likes compact roots. But you don’t want the roots to become too compact. Once you see the roots hanging out of the holes in the plant pot, it’s time to re-pot.
Since this Begonia’s roots like smaller areas, you don’t want to use a plant pot that’s a lot bigger. Stick to a plant pot that’s only a few inches bigger than the one you’re moving it from.
Begonia Benigo Propagation Steps
You have two choices when it comes to propagating a Begonia benigo plant. Both involve stem cuttings. But you can choose to plant your stem cuttings in soil or soak them in water.
We’ve got both methods step-by-step for you.
Stem Cuttings Using Soil
- First, you need the perfect Begonia benigo stem cutting. The perfect stem cutting should be between three and four inches in length. You want to cut right below a leaf node. Make sure there are at least two leaves attached to this stem cutting. To get your stem cutting you need sterilized pruning shears. You can sterilize the pruning shears with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Once you have your stem cutting ready, you need to cure it. When you cure it, you’re letting it sit out so the cut end callouses over. A calloused end is a great way to promote rooting and ensure you start a new plant. To cure it, let it sit out in a warm environment for at least a week.
- While you’re waiting for the stem cutting to cure, you can get everything ready. Make sure you’re using a plant pot with drainage holes at the bottom so water doesn’t sit with the plant’s roots. Fill the plant pot with well-draining soil.
- After you cure the stem cutting, you’re going to plant it. You can use your finger to make a hole in the soil that’s a few inches deep. The size of your finger is the right size for the stem cutting. Place the stem cutting into the soil. Pack the soil around the stem cutting tight. This will help keep it up and in place.
- The soil isn’t always able to hold your Begonia benigo stem cutting upright. If you’re having issues, you can use a straw. Place the straw in the soil next to your stem cutting. Use a piece of string to tie the stem cutting to the straw. Once it gets bigger, you can remove the straw.
- All that’s left is to care for your stem cutting as you do the original plant. You’ll need to set it in either a north or east-facing window to get indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist but be careful not to saturate it.
Stem Cuttings Using Water
- You need the right Begonia benigo stem cutting. Your stem cutting should be between three and four inches in length. Cut right below a leaf node and make sure there are at least two leaves still attached. You’ll need sterilized pruning shears to get this stem cutting. Use isopropyl alcohol to sterilize the pruning shears.
- It’s going to take a few minutes to get a clear bowl ready for your stem cutting. In the meantime, line a plastic bag with wet paper towels. Tie this plastic bag to the cut end of the stem cutting. This ensures that the stem cutting doesn’t dry out.
- Get your clear bowl ready. You need to fill the bowl with soft water. It helps if you let the tap water sit out overnight to make sure any chemicals dissipate. When you fill the bowl, make sure you leave at least three inches between the water and the top of the bowl.
- You have to prepare the stem cutting before putting it in the clear bowl. Pull any leaves from the top of the stem cutting. This makes it easier to know the difference between the top and bottom of the cutting. If there are any flower buds, you’ll need to remove those as well.
- Now it’s time to place the stem cutting into the clear bowl of water. Make sure the cut end of the stem cutting is in the water while the rest is above the water.
- Now it’s time to place the clear bowl in either a north or east-facing window. You want the stem cutting to get plenty of bright but indirect sunlight.
- You have to change the water at least once a week. Otherwise, bacteria will grow and invade the stem cutting. The best way to switch the water is to let the faucet run into the clear bowl. This creates aeration so your stem cutting gets plenty of oxygen.
- You want the stem cutting’s roots to be at least three or four inches in length before you remove it from the bowl. Get your plant pot ready. The plant pot needs to have drainage holes at the bottom. Fill the plant pot with well-draining soil.
- Plant your stem cutting into the soil. You can use your finger to make a hole a few inches deep. Be careful when you’re planting so you don’t hurt the roots. Pack the soil around the stem cutting tight to keep it upright.
- Now you’re going to care for your new Begonia benigo plant like you do the original. Place it in a north or east-facing window for the appropriate amount of sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
Varieties of Begonias
Begonias are beautiful flowering plants. And there are so many species to choose from. If you love Begonias, you’ll love the plants on this list.
The Begonia rex is called the “Painted-Leaf Begonia” due to its pretty pink or red leaves.
This Begonia is more than a plant. It’s a bush of pretty pink and white flowers. If you choose to grow it as an indoor plant, make sure you have the space for it to grow.
The Begonia maculata is a favorite of ours. It has long spear-shaped leaves covered in polka dots. Which is why it’s nicknamed the “Polka Dot Begonia”.
This Begonia plant originates from New Guinea. It grows large arrowhead-shaped leaves with pink and green leaves.
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Common Problems with the Begonia Benigo
Plant pests aren’t a huge issue with the Begonia benigo plant. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.
The best way to prevent plant pests is to examine all new plants before you bring them into your home. Keep your plant happy and clean. Both dust and stress can attract pests.
Mealybugs are the most common plant pest to take over this Begonia. These are soft-bodied insects covered in a cotton-like substance. The cotton substance protects it from predators.
You can tell you have a mealybug infestation if you see this cotton covering your plant.
Mealybugs feed on the sap in your plant. They suck out this important sap. Sap carries both nutrients and hydration throughout the rest of the plant. So, when a pest steals the sap it’s messing with the health of your plant and the photosynthesis process.
Thrips also like this plant. Thrips only grow to be a millimeter in length. They’re super small and hard to see with the naked eye. You have to examine your plant closely to see these creatures.
A third common plant pest is the spider mite. Spider mites are creepy little arachnids with eight legs. These plant pests also feed on the sap from inside your plant.
To find out if you have a spider mite infestation, place a white sheet of paper under your Begonia benigo plant. Gently shake the plant. You’ll see the tiny little spider mites fall onto the paper. If you look close, you’ll see their eight legs.
The best way to get rid of a pest infestation is by using neem oil. This all-natural oil is heavy and suffocates the pests.
You want to dilute the neem oil with water in a spray bottle first. Then you can spray down your plant. You’ll see dead insects pop up almost right away. When you’re done, wipe your plant down with a gentle soap to remove the dead bugs.
You’ll want to repeat this process three days later to make sure you got every plant pest on your Begonia plant.
Insecticidal soap is another great option. This special soap works by soaking through the pest’s body. Once it enters the body, the cells collapse and dehydrates the pests.
One insecticidal soap recipe includes:
- One cup of vegetable oil
- One tablespoon of dishwashing liquid
- One cup of warm water
Mix your concoction in a spray bottle and spray down your plant. Once the bugs start dying, wipe down your plant. Try again a few days later to make sure you got every last plant pest.
Tips for an Unhappy Begonia Benigo
The Begonia benigo is prone to developing plant diseases among other unhappy ailments.
But you don’t have to stress. You can treat or cure most of these conditions. We’ll help you through dealing with an unhappy Begonia plant.
Your Begonia Benigo Plant is Losing Leaves
A Begonia benigo plant that’s losing leaves is being over-watered. Many newbie plant carers assume that this means it’s been under-watered. But to the contrary, it needs much less water.
The first step you want to take is to replace the saturated soil with fresh soil. So, your plant isn’t going to continue to sit in all that excess moisture.
Always check the soil before you water it. If the soil is still moist, wait to water. If the soil is dry, then you can feel free to water your Begonia plant.
Your Begonia Benigo Plant has Powdery Mildew
A Begonia benigo plant with powdery mildew has been in a warm area for too long. This creates fungi that will take over your plant.
The most annoying issue with these fungi is that the spores spread fast. All it takes is a little breeze for those spores to spread to other parts of your Begonia.
This is why it’s important to remove infected leaves right away. It should be your first step for treating your plant for powdery mildew.
Neem oil doesn’t only work as an insecticide. It can work as a fungicide as well. Mix the neem oil with water in a spray bottle. Spray your plant down with the mixture.
Your Begonia Benigo Plant Has Blisters
When a Begonia benigo plant has blisters under the leaves, you’re dealing with Leaf Spot Disease. Leaf Spot Disease is a bacterial infection caused by over-watering.
When your plant sits in too much moisture for too long, a bacteria takes over. This bacteria spreads fast.
If you suspect your Begonia plant has Leaf Spot Disease, you want to trim the infected leaves first. This makes sure it doesn’t continue to spread to your entire plant.
Once the infected leaves are gone, change out the soil. You don’t want to keep the saturated soil.
Stick to a watering schedule and always check the soil before you water. You want it to be dry. Don’t forget to make sure that there’s plenty of air circulation around your Begonia benigo.
If the plant is still infected, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of mineral oil. Use a spray bottle to spray your plant down with this mixture. It will help fight back the bacteria.
Begonia Benigo FAQ
Is the Begonia benigo toxic?
Yes, the Begonia benigo plant is toxic. The leaves of this plant are covered in oxalate crystals. When consumed by people or pets, the crystals can affect breathing. If too much of the plant is consumed, there could be dire consequences.
Can I repot my Begonia benigo often?
You should only re-pot your Begonia benigo plant when it’s necessary. This means when the roots are growing out of the drainage holes of the plant pot. The roots are super sensitive so re-potting often can damage them.
Why are my Begonia benigo’s leaves fading?
When a Begonia benigo plant’s leaves start fading, it’s getting too much direct sunlight. You want to move it away from the window or place it in the window for only a few hours a day.
The Begonia benigo plant is unique. It’s gorgeous, it doesn’t require special care, and you don’t have to worry about plant pests. If you love Begonias, you’ll love the Begonia benigo.