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Begonia Prismatocarpa Care – Ultimate Guide

Begonia Prismatocarpa Care – Ultimate Guide

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Begonias are one of the largest flowering plant genera that have more than 1,800 species. The bright, colorful foliage, as well as the blooms, are the main reasons for the popularity of Begonias. Today’s plant is another must-have for flower lovers.

Begonia Prismatocarpa needs a combination of well-draining and moisture-holding potting soil for good growth. This plant has moderate watering requirements that make it a no-fuss plant. However, it likes warm temperatures and high humidity.

Begonia Prismatocarpa was discovered by western explorers, but it is native to western regions of Africa that include the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and the equatorial island of Bioko. It is a blooming miniature Begonia that has attractive leaves and red stems. Another point worth mentioning is that it’s a low maintenance plant that needs minimum attention and care.

This Begonia plant is named Prismatocarpa because of its prism-shaped berries. It belongs to the Begoniaceae plant family. It is an exceptional ornamental plant because it does not dry or wither with the changing seasons. It can instantly add a tropical touch to any indoor space with a pop of color.

You can grow this Begonia species both epiphytically or terrestrially. Do you want to learn more about this tiny Begonia with ever-blooming yellow flowers? Keep reading, as this article explains all the necessary plant care.

 

 

Basic Begonia Prismatocarpa Care

 

Soil

This plant needs a peat-based mixture with a soil pH ranging from 5 to 7. I prepare the potting mixture with the aim of creating a well-draining mix that stays moist. In addition to this, the soil should be fertile and humus-rich. Do not let water accumulate near the plant roots as this can rot the rhizome.

Whenever I grow this plant in terrariums, sphagnum moss has proved to be the best potting medium.

 

Water

Begonia Prismatocarpa is not fussy in terms of watering as it has medium watering requirements. But you have to water it properly with allowing it to dry out before the next water session. I recommend lukewarm water for houseplants because that protects them from temperature shocks.

Keep the soil moderately moist by frequently watering in growing seasons, especially on dry and hot days. But ensure that potting soil should never be soggy or too wet.

In summer, I water my Begonia Prismatocarpa about three to four times a week. Whereas once or twice a week is enough in winter, right after the topsoil gets dry.

The main rule to water this Begonia is to not allow the soil to dry out entirely. Using your fingers, check the moisture in the soil, and if it’s dry to your first knuckle, it’s time to water your Begonia. Do not overwater at all as this will cause the foliage to shed and turn yellow.

This plant will not do well if it dries out quickly or stays wet for too long. Allow proper drainage by keeping it in pots with at least 1 drainage hole so that the excess water is never standing at the base.

You’ll be tempted to mist your Begonia to raise the humidity but remember that this species generally does not like water staying at leaves. Therefore, avoid keeping the foliage wet for long durations.

 

Light

This plant is great because it can tolerate a variety of lighting conditions, from bright sun to artificial grow lights. In fact, mine are doing really well under fluorescent lights. The artificial lights should be placed at the height of 8-16 inches.

I place my leafy Begonias outside in summer; this allows for better and intense leaf color. Sunlight exposure helps them grow better by energizing their health.

This species is more prone to sunburns compared to others. Therefore for outdoor planting, use shade clothes to diffuse the sun rays. You can also keep in a shady spot under the trees.

Generally, you should keep this Begonia plant in the filtered light of medium to low intensity. Be vary that excessively bright or direct sunlight is not favorable for this delicate miniature.

My Begonia Prismatocarpa started developing brown leaf edges and yellowing leaves when it was placed in an over-lit window in the living room. But transferring it to a shadier spot solved the problem for me. The pale leaves started regaining their lush green color within a few days.

 

Temperature

This is a room temperature plant that grows well with average household temperatures. But when grown in terrariums, it likes high humidity and temperatures. The optimum daytime temperature range is 50 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit (10-30 degrees Celsius). Whereas the nighttime range is 50 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit (10-18 degrees Celsius).

This is a warmth-loving plant; however, ensure that the maximum temperature is not higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

This miniature plant is neither winter nor frost hardy; it cannot tolerate temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Therefore, make sure you provide them some warmth on the colder days. You can use heat mats or place them in a controlled temperature environment.

If the minimum temperature drops below this in your area, bring the outdoor planters inside. Frost damage can even kill your Begonia if left outdoors throughout the season. Extreme temperature fluctuations will slow down your plant’s growth.

 

Humidity

Proper humidity is one of the top priorities for this species. Begonia Prismatocarpa enjoys high humidity of around 80% in the day; at night, it will appreciate further high humidity levels. The minimum indoor humidity level in your house should be 60% for the optimum growth of this plant.

Because of the high humidity requirements, this plant does well in terrariums instead of an average indoor environment.

If you are situated in a dry climate, you have to take extra care for humidity loving houseplants. But do not worry. Several methods are available to improve humidity:

  • Mist the plant leaves frequently on dry days. As the water evaporates, a humid greenhouse environment is created for your plant.
  • Group several houseplants together to collectively increase the humidity for them.
  • Use a tray or saucer with pebbles, filler it with water so that the bottom of the soil does not remain in the water.
  • Get a humidifier if you have several houseplants that need high humidity levels.

If you are still wondering which method is most convenient, in my opinion, using a humidifier is the most convenient and effective method to improve indoor air moisture. The only drawback is that it might be expensive if you are on a budget. Don’t be discouraged; you can still ensure adequate humidity for your plant by simply misting the foliage.

 

Fertilizer

This Begonia requires little fertilizer or plant food. I have been using a regular houseplant fertilizer once a month for my Begonia, and it seems to enjoy this dosage. Make sure you use the fertilizer in low quantity; excessive fertilization can cause toxicity.

Always check and read about the quality of the fertilizer you are about to use. Low-quality fertilizer can cause salt buildups that are equally dangerous for the health of your plant.

If you are unsure about what to use, select any fertilizer that’s specifically made for flowering Begonias. Dilute it to half-strength of the manufacturer’s rate. This will reduce the risk of overfertilization.

 

Repotting

If you don’t maintain the plant pruning requirement, it will soon need repotting. I mostly repot my Begonias in the initial years because once the plant matures, the size will not increase rapidly. Mature plants can be easily left in their pot for a few years.

But it’s worth mentioning that this species will need an annual refreshing of soil. I would suggest doing this in the growing season; gently remove your plant from the soil. Inspect the roots for any rots or diseases. Now fill the pot with a fresh batch of a suitable mixture and place you plant in this mixture.

With time the potting mix will deplete and lose its oxygen holding capacity. Refreshing the potting soil protects your plant from several diseases, fungus as well as removes the salt buildups. Repotting is an essential part of Begonia’s growing culture, and most growers encourage yearly repotting.

 

Pruning

Begonia Prismatocarpa will spread in all directions to create a thick carpet of leaves on the soil surface, so pruning will be necessary to keep the plant under control. Start the trimming by pruning the dead stalks to revive your plant and save its energy.

Pruning is also great if you want a shrubby look for this miniature plant. Pinch the tips as well as prune the stems in growing seasons to get a fluffier plant. Regular pruning is necessary to maintain this fast-growing Begonia.

 

Propagation

This plant’s low maintenance nature will force you to have more Begonias. Propagation is one of the ways to get a new plant with minimum effort and cost.

You can use any of the methods discussed for the propagation of Begonia Prismatocarpa. All you need is a healthy Begonia Prismatocarpa plant, a suitable potting mix, a small pot, pruning shears, and a pair of gloves.

Sterilize your tools before and after the propagation to prevent the spread of any fungus or disease.

 

Stem Cuttings

  • Spring or summer is the ideal season for this method, and it’s the easiest way to propagate a Begonia. Before you take the cuttings, prepare a pot with a well-draining and moist mixture. You can use the guidelines discussed in the soil section. The pot should also have drainage holes.
  • Take a clean, shape knife(or pruning shears) and make a cut below the node. Choose a stem that’s healthy and at least 5 to 7 inches long.
  • The health of the stem cutting will greatly impact the propagation. Unhealthy or weak stems might never root, and you end up losing a stem from your plant.
  • Remove the leaves at the lower end but leave a few of them at the top. Place the stem cutting about 3 to 4 inches deep in the soil and firm the soil using your fingers. Don’t press the soil very hard; gentle compacting it is enough.
  • Make sure the leaves are above the soil and not touching the surface as this might result in rotted leaves.
  • Place the container/pot in a warm location with filtered rays. You should also water frequently to make sure the soil is moist. Avoid over-watered or soggy soil.
  • The plant will root in 3 to 4 weeks, but this time period will vary depending on the environmental conditions. My cutting started rooting after the third week, and the shoot development started in the fourth week.
  • You can root the cutting in water also by simply placing it jar of water instead of soil. The cutting will start rooting within weeks once you feel the roots are well-established, transfer the stem cutting to a soil mixture. You cutting will soon grow into a young plant; you can follow the care steps discussed in the previous sections.
  • If you want, you can continue growing the plant in water as well. But I would suggest transferring to soil because that will ensure better conditions for the young plant.

 

Blooms

This Begonia has beautiful yellow colored blooms with a tint of orange discoloration and strips. With the right care and environment, the plant blooms all year for you. The green leaves combined with bright yellow blooms and reddish stems make this plant look truly unique.

This plant can not only be kept indoors for air purification, but it can also add a pop of color with its bright yellow flowers.

 

Growth

This is an evergreen foliage plant with slow growth that makes it well suited for terrariums. This Begonia is the smallest species in the large Begonia family that has a maximum mature height of 6 inches. The spread of this plant is more compared to its height; the width is usually between 5 to 7 inches.

Like many other tropical plants, this one also has an epiphytical growth habit. The leaves are approximately 1 inch in size and grow along the branches.

This Begonia also has a variegated version known as Begonia Prismatocarpa. All features are similar to the standard version except the white borders on the leave edges.

 

 

Common Problems for Begonia Prismatocarpa

This beautiful Begonia is prone to a few diseases and pests that make it a slightly difficult plant to grow. But all the hard work is worth it, and do not worry; we have discussed the possible issues in detail to help you keep your Begonia healthy.

 

Botrytis Blight

This is caused by Botrytis Cinera. The main indication for this is several holes on the leaves. If left untreated, this blight can kill your Begonia Prismatocarpa. Keep a regular check of your plant so that you can identify and treat any issues at the earliest.

Isolate your plant and remove the infected leaves. Dispose of these leaves and disinfect all your gardening equipment. You can also use any antibiotic spray to control the spread of the disease.

 

Pests

Several pests like caterpillar, snails, earwigs feed on the foliage of the Begonia. As a result, your plant develops several leaf holes. If you notice that your plant has holes at random leaves, inspect it for any pest infestations.

The first step is to isolate your plant from other houseplants to reduce the spread. Now use a good quality insecticidal spray/soap to get rid of these nasty pests. You can repeat the application every 14 days.

This plant is also prone to other pests like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.

 

Tips for Growing Begonia Prismatocarpa

  • Water the Begonia Prismatocarpa from above, rotate your plant to ensure even distribution of water.
  • Allow the plant to dry for 2-3 hours after watering as this plant does not like water sitting on the soil or foliage.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Begonia Prismatocarpa

 

What is the best-suited way of growing this Begonia?

This plant is great for terrariums, but it can also be kept as a houseplant. As this plant does not need much aeration compared to other houseplants, it thrives happily in terrariums.

 

Is Begonia Prismatocarpa edible?

This plant is not edible, so keep it away from the reach of children or pets. This plant is in ASPCA’s list of toxic plants.

 

How long can this plant live?

This plant can live for several years; it is an evergreen, so it stays beautiful and fresh as long as you provide the proper care and environment.

 

Is Begonia Prismatocarpa drought tolerant?

This plant can tolerate mild dry periods if you forget to water it once or twice. Make sure this does not happen frequently. If left dry for long periods, your Begonia will soon start looking dull and dry.

 

What are the different factors that influence this plant’s growth rate?

The top three factors that influence the growth rate for this plant are soil type, watering schedule, and its container. Make sure you follow the necessary plant care instructions for these for optimum growth.

 

Conclusion

With its vivid lime green leaves and small yellow, orange flowers Begonia Prismatocarpa is a profuse bloomer once mature. This plant might only get 6 inches in height, but it’s worth the hype.

You can grow this Begonia in terrariums, courtyards, hanging baskets, or small decorative pots. All it needs is moderate to high light conditions and warm temperatures for blooming and prolific growth.

You can enjoy this plant’s beauty within your house while keeping them away from children and pests.

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