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Begonia Odorata Care: Here’s What You Need to Know

Begonia Odorata Care: Here’s What You Need to Know

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Begonia Odorata is an upright Begonia. It has large leaves that are evergreen and are shaped like an oval. The leaves are textured and glossy, which gives the plant a stunning appearance.

Basic care for this plant involves moist but well-drained soil, which should have a neutral to acidic soil pH. It is important to not grow Begonia Odorata in wet soil, as this will encourage the root and stem to rot. If you grow this plant under full sunlight, then make sure it receives enough water, and the humidity level is not too low.

In frost-free regions, you can keep this plant in hanging pots or outdoors as well. I love to keep my Begonia Odorata indoors as it has a slight fragrance and brings in a warm look to the house. Continue reading the article to know more about plant care.


How Not To Kill your Begonia Odorata


Basic Plant Care for Begonia Odorata Care



Begonia Odorata thrives in soil that is not too wet yet, at the same time, not too dry. Keep the soil well-drained, and keep the pH acidic or neutral (PH range 6.1 to 6.5).

It has slight drought tolerance once it has grown, so keep the plants’ moisture stable. For soil, you can use an indoor potting mix for this plant. Begonia Odorata loves to grow in soil that contains peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite, so make sure you can find a soil mixture containing at least one of them.



Begonia Odorata does not have the highest demand when it comes to water. However, they do need to be watered regularly. But, do ensure that you do not over-water the plant as it can lead to the leaves turning yellow.

This plant has little tolerance for drought, and once it becomes an adult, it needs regular moisture. If you are not sure when to water the plant, just stick your finger into the soil, and if the soil is dry until the soil reaches your first knuckle, then it’s time to water the plant.



Begonia Odorata is not picky when it comes to sunlight. They tend to thrive under the direct sun and also under partial shade.

However, Begonia Odorata will thrive most under partial shade. This does not mean the plant won’t grow and bloom under the sun; it simply means that the growth rate will be perfect when kept under partial shade.



Begonia Odorata tends to grow in every season. This shows that they are not sensitive to seasonal changes, which means they are not as affected by temperature changes either.

However, Begonia Odorata is frost sensitive and will not be able to survive in extremely cold weather conditions.



Humidity levels only matter when the plant is grown under different weather or seasonal conditions. If you are growing your plant under the sun, then make sure the humidity is not too low. You can keep the humidity at a good level simply by misting your plant.

Since Begonia Odorata is a fibrous Begonia, humidity levels will not be your biggest concern for this plant. It grows throughout the year, so during wet and cloudy days, keep the plant under the full sun to balance out humidity levels.



Begonia Odorata does not need a lot of fertilizer. This is because they are not heavy feeders and do not need a lot of nutrients.

Using a balanced liquid fertilizer is the best option for Begonia Odorata, as it will encourage your plant to bloom. To find the perfect balance, dilute your fertilizer with water, keep the ratio three parts of water, and one-part fertilizer.  Then pour this mixture only on the soil, not the top of the plant.

Fertilize your Begonia Odorata when you have first planted them, and after that, fertilize them only once every three weeks.



Begonia Odorata is a plant that loves to be root bound. This means moving them around unnecessarily upsets the plant. I repot my Begonia Odorata when:

  • The pot is full of roots. This will be obvious to you if you gently remove the plant from the pot. If there is loose soil present, then let the plant grow in the same pot; if not, then it is time to repot the plant.
  • My plant starts to wither and fall over due to root decay; this means there is too much soil as well as a lot of nutrients for the plant. In this case, you move the plant into a smaller pot.



Pruning is simple yet, at the same time, a complicated process for every plant. But no worries, just follow these steps, and you will ace the next pruning of your plant.

All you have to do is cut off the access stems with shears or gardening scissors. Do this just below the nodes. Make sure the cut is at least four inches in length.

You can also cut off the flowers that have started dying as more blooms will take their place once the plant starts growing again.

You can also use your pruned stems for propagation.



Begonia Odorata has fibrous roots; thus, cutting the root in order to plant a new plant is an easy method for propagation. Even easier than placing the root in the soil is placing the root in water. Since Begonia Odorata is not a woody plant, it will not rot in water.

Your parent plant will start to look more appealing if you trim the leggy stems for propagation. Follow these steps to propagate Begonia Odorata through root cutting:

  • The first step is finding proper stems to dunk into the water. The ideal plant stem would be one that has grown to its adult size and has too many leggy stems between the leaves.
  • The second step involves cutting the stem and make sure to take at least a four inches long stem. Snip of this stem from the area where the leaf and stem meet; this is known as the node. Any area of the stem you leave behind that is below the node will rot.
  • Make sure to use gardening scissors or pruners.
  • Step three involves taking off the lower leaves of the stem and only leaving a couple of leaves on the top of the stem. Remove any flowers on the stem as we do not want the plant to form seedlings from the leftover plant energy.
  • For step four, simply place the stem end, which has no leaves on it, into the water. You can place several stems like this in the same pot of water.
  • You will notice the roots will start to form within a month or so. Do not pot the plant in the soil until these roots have grown a couple of inches long.
  • For step five, Once the plant has roots that are two inches long, it is ready to be set into a pot of soil mixture to grow further. You do not have to rush step five as the root can survive for a longer period of time in the water if needed.

Now all you have to do is prep the pot. Hold down the cutting in place and start filling the pot with soil. If your plant had grown during the rooting period, then cut off the growth as this will allow your plant to grow bushier.

Pour in more water until it starts draining out from the bottom of the pot. Then put the pot under direct sunlight so that it can flourish and grow.



Begonia Odorata has the most beautiful blooms that are white in color. These flowers are medium-sized but look stunning when kept inside for indoor décor. The flowers tend to grow in abundance when the plant has become an adult.

Begonia Odorata blooms grow up to two inches in diameter and tend to grow almost all year round. Depending on the location, the flower may not bloom during the winter season as the plant cannot survive extreme winters.

The flowers have a slightly sweet fragrance, which is why the plant is also known as Sweet Begonia. The petals grow in single numbers.

The plant does not grow any fruits and does not have any thorns as well. Thus admiring the flowers will not be an issue for anyone other than pets as it is poisonous for them.



Some Begonias tend to have slower growth; however, Begonia Odorata grows much more quickly as compared to many other Begonias. The growth rate is considered medium in overall growth when compared to every plant species, as depending on the weather conditions, their ability to grow can be effected to an extent.

They can grow up to a height of 12-18 inches. In terms of width, Begonia Odorata grows as wide as 20 inches.  The plant takes up to three to six weeks’ time to show any form of growth once they have been planted.


Common Problems for Begonia Odorata Care



Whiteflies are one of the most disliked insects in the gardening community. These are sap-sucking insects that can be spotted on the undersides of your plants leaves.

If you simply shake the infested plant, a large number of these flies will swarm out from under the leaves. They damage the plant no matter what stage of growth it may be in. This is done so by sucking the nutrients from the plant, which leads to stunted growth.

Because of whiteflies, your plants will become weak, thus leading to further diseases. Similar to aphids, whiteflies tend to leave behind a honeydew on the leaves. This is a sticky substance that causes sooty mold to build upon your plant and attracts insects.



Mealybugs are one of the most common problems faced by every plant owner. It is important to take steps immediately to get rid of mealybugs as they tend to grow fast in number when not taken care of.

They are hard to spot since their appearance makes them invisible when not looked at closely. This is because they have a white appearance when on plants.

Mealybugs love to hide in the small spaces in between your plants, so make sure to check every nook and cranny of your plant when you observe it. If you found this problem early, you can get rid of them by using alcohol swabs or by spraying pesticide spray.


Pythium Fungus Spores

There are several fungi that cause the stems of Begonia Odorata to rot. One of the most infamous fungi is Pythium fungus.

This fungus thrives in water and spreads quickly in wet soil. Affected soil can lead to the whole plant getting effected with the fungus, so it is best to take action as soon as possible to get rid of the soil and parts of the plant that have been infected.

Constantly observe your plant every day to check for any further growth of this fungus. Avoid over-watering your plants.


Botrytis Blight

Botrytis blight causes the buds and flower to turn brown, as well as develop abnormally. When your plant suffers from this disease, the flowers will start to develop brown spots, and older flowers will rot quickly.

Soft brown spots will start to develop on the leaves and stem as well. Once the weather turns cool/damp, the brown spotting will eventually be covered with gray mold.

To avoid this disease, provide good sanitation for your plant. Remove and toss out all the infected parts of the plant as soon as you spot them.

Do not overcrowd the plant area. Provide your plant with enough space for growth and proper air circulation. This fungus loves to live in moist and cool areas, so try not to mist your plant too much as Begonia Odorata only require low levels of humidity when kept in cool conditions.

Do not over-fertilize your plant. Avoid fertilizing your plant with fertilizers that contain a lot of nitrogen. A healthy amount of nitrogen will help your plant thrive, but excess can destroy it.

On cool and cloudy days, do not overhead water your plant. Excess water on the plant’s flower and foliage will promote the fungus to grow further.

Keep the leaves and flowers dry. Water your plant early in the morning and if it needs water later in the day, then keep it under the sun rather than partial shade. For further precaution, use fungicides.


Tips for Growing Begonia Odorata Care

Begonia Odorata, unlike many plants, won’t be a hassle to take care of. If you want to grow the best plant possible, then follow these tips:

  • Once the outside temperature hits frost levels, keep your plants indoor as Begonia Odorata cannot survive extreme temperatures.
  • Do not over-water your plant; this can turn the leaves brown.
  • Begonia Odorata does not require a lot of fertilizer, so keep a gap of three weeks between the fertilization sessions.
  • Do not use any products on the plant’s leaves to give them some extra shine as this can result in the leaves withering away.
  • For optimum growth, keep your plant under partial sunlight.
  • Repot your plant only when necessary.


Frequently Asked Questions about Begonia Odorata


How long do potted Begonias Odorata last?

Begonia Odorata does not have a long life span; this plant lives only 2 to 3 years, even with good care.


What time of the year will my Begonia Odorata bloom?

It blooms all year round. However, in areas where winters are extremely cold, they tend not to blossom there during that season.


What is the best fertilizer for Begonia Odorata?

An indoor potting mixture should suffice. But you can also use 10-10-10 fertilizer, which should be diluted in three parts water to one-part fertilizer.


How long does it take for Begonia Odorata to grow?

Expect to see growth within three to six weeks.


Do Begonia Odorata like nitrogen-based Fertilizers?

Begonia Odorata thrives in fertilizers that give a balanced amount of nutrients, such as 10-10-10 fertilizers. These fertilizers have 10 percent of each of the following: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.


Do Begonia Odorata like acidic soil?

Begonia Odorata thrives in slightly acidic soil. The pH should range from 5.5 to 6.2


Can I plant my Begonia Odorata under the full sun?

Begonia Odorata thrives in full sunlight and even partial shade. However, partial shade is considered to be the ideal spot for the plant.


Is Begonia Odorata poisonous?

Begonia Odorata is poisonous to pets and can cause vomiting. However, this plant is not toxic to humans.


How do I know if I am overwatering my Begonia plant?

The leaves of your plant will turn brown from the edges due to overwatering.



The Begonia Odorata is a stunning plant that grows well in almost every climate. They bloom throughout the year, and this is why they are one of the most famous indoor plants.

You can never go wrong with this plant as it has a very sophisticated look and goes well with any sort of decor.

When you decide to take care of this sweetly scented plant, remember that although it may not be the highest maintenance plant out there, it still requires your attention just as much as the other plants.

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