How to Grow and Care for Begonia lucerna (Begonia Corallina de Lucerna) Indoors


Begonia lucerna

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Description

Begonia Lucerna is an evergreen flowering Begonia which may be less spectacular in bloom than other Begonias but has the advantage of keeping its beautiful 'Angel Wing' leaves through out the year.

Begonia lucerna is highly valued for its ability to grow in low light environment while providing extravagant colours.

The leaves are narrow "Angel Wings", olive green with small silver spots on the top and often red-veined. The flowers are large clusters which hang from the stems.

The Begonia Lucerna is one of the popular cane-stemmed Begonias and is easy to grow and propagate.

Size

Begonia lucerna can reach the height of 10 ft or more if left unpruned.

Origin

Begonia Lucerna whose full name is Begonia Corallina de Lucerna is a hybridized form of the Angel Wing Begonia. It was hybridized by Wettstein of Lucerne, Switzerland in 1892.

Where to Buy

Begonia lucerna in various sizes are available online at Etsy. Buy beautiful Begonia lucerna from Etsy.

Begonia lucerna

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Begonia Corallina de Lucerna Care Indoors

Begonia lucerna grows best in bright shade to bright, indirect light, an average warmth, a humid environment and free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Read on for a detailed account on the best growing conditions.

Light Requirements

The best light for growing Begonia lucerna indoors is bright shade to bright, indirect light. It can also grow under a grow light where natural light is not adequate.

Keep it away from direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves. Occasionally turn the pot to ensure your plant receives light on all sides for a uniform growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Begonia lucerna

For optimum growth of Begonia lucerna, keep the soil moist during the growing period but allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Reduce watering during the cold months as growth is minimal. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Avoid soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.


Temperature

Begonia lucerna requires an average warmth with a minimum of 130C. It cannot tolerate temperatures below this range.

Keep it away from cold draughts to avoid sudden drop in temperature. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Begonia lucerna prefers a humid environment for its optimum growth. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Do not mist Begonia lucerna as wetting the leaves may lead to fungal infestations. Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Begonia lucerna with a balanced, liquid fertilizer weekly during the growing period.

To promote blooming, apply a phosphorous-rich fertilizer weekly when the buds begin to form.

Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Begonia lucerna at the beginning of the growing period only if the plant has become root-bound or is too large for the pot. It prefers to be slightly root-bound.

Use a pot 1 size larger than the current one and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.

Do not repot a flowering plant as the shock of repotting will cut short the flowering period.

Soil

The best soil for Begonia lucerna should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for this plant. Purchase Potting Mix for Begonia lucerna from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Begonia lucerna is easy. Remove the dead flowers, yellow and dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy. Do not pinch the growing buds.

Cut back the bare stems at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.

The foliage emanating from pruning can be used to propagate new plants. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Propagation

Begonia lucerna (Begonia Corallina de Lucerna) propagation can be done from stem-tip cuttings at the beginning of the growing period. The stem cuttings root easily, therefore, there is no need for a rooting hormone.

How to propagate Begonia Lucerna from stem-tip cuttings

Take a 3-4 in. stem-tip cutting from a healthy Begonia lucerna plant. Ensure each cutting has at least 2-3 leaf nodes as this where new growth will come from. Strip off the lower leaves.

Insert the cuttings in moist, free-draining potting mix and place the set up in a warm, shaded place.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges. Allow the new Begonia lucerna to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

Begonia lucerna

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Begonia Corallina de Lucerna Problems Indoors

Begonia lucerna problems indoors are brought about by cultural faults in watering, humidity, lighting, temperature among others. Continue reading for the remedies and solutions.

Yellow leaves

Yellow leaves in Begonia lucerna are caused by two possible reasons. One possible cause of yellow leaves is too little light (inadequate light).

Begonia lucerna grows best in bright shade to bright, indirect light but away from direct sunlight. Move the plant to a brighter spot. It can also grow under a grow light.

The second possible cause of yellow leaves in Begonia Lucerna is too little or too much water in the soil (soggy soil).

Maintain the soil moist at all times but not soggy and never allow the soil to dry out completely. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Dropping (losing) leaves

There are three possible causes of loss of leaves in Begonia lucerna. The first possible cause of leaf drop is too little light.

Move the plant to a brighter spot as it grows best in bright shade to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light.

The second possible cause of leaf drop in Begonia Lucerna is too much heat. Keep the plant from hot drafts from heaters, stoves, radiators and other hot places.

The best temperature for Begonia lucerna is an average room temperature, that is, a temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for this plant.

The third possible cause of leaf drop in Begonia Lucerna is too much water in the soil (soggy soil). Ensure the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Flower bud drop

There are two possible causes of flower bud drop in Begonia lucerna. One possible cause of flower bud drop is too dry air, that is, low humidity.

To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Do not mist the leaves to avoid fungal diseases infestations. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second possible cause of flower bud drop in Begonia lucerna is underwatering. Maintain the soil moist at all times and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Brown leaf tips

Brown leaf tips in Begonia lucerna are caused by too dry air which results in too low humidity.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity but do not mist the leaves to prevent fungal diseases. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Pale, rotting leaves

Pale, rotting leaves in Begonia lucerna are due to overwatering or too wet soil (soggy soil).

Maintain the soil moist but not soggy. Ensure that the soil is free-draining and that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

White powdery leaf spots

White powdery leaf spots in Begonia lucerna is an indication of powdery mildew which is promoted by over damp conditions.

Isolate the affected plant, cut off the diseased leaves and treat it appropriately for the disease.

Avoid damp conditions and low temperatures and improve air circulation for the Begonia lucerna. Also, do not wet the foliage as it promotes powdery mildew infestation.

Brown blotches which turn grey and moldy

Brown blotches which turn grey and moldy in Begonia lucerna is an indication of botrytis disease.

Isolate the affected plant, cut off diseased parts and treat it appropriately for the disease.

Avoid low light and over damp conditions and improve air circulation. Ensure the plant receives bright, indirect light and do not mist it.

Plant collapse or death

There are three possible causes of plant collapse in Begonia lucerna. One possible cause of plant collapse is stem-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil.

The second possible cause of plant collapse in Begonia lucerna is nematodes (root knot eelworm) which are characterized by swollen bumps on roots.

The third possible cause of plant collapse in Begonia lucerna is vine weevil which is characterized by tunnels in the rhizomes.

Pests

Begonia lucerna pests; aphids and spider mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Begonia lucerna toxic?

All parts of Begonia lucerna (Begonia Corallina de Lucerna) and especially the roots are considered toxic to pets.

If ingested it may cause burning in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains.

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