Begonia lucerna (Begonia Corallina de Lucerna) Indoor Care, Propagation and Problems


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.

Begonia lucerna

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.

Size

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

Toxicity

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

If ingested it may cause burning in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains. Keep the plant away from the reach of children and pets to avoid any mishaps.

Where to Buy

Begonia lucerna are beautiful plants to add to your collection. These plants are available online at Etsy.

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Begonia Corallina de Lucerna Care Indoors

Begonia lucerna prospers in medium to bright, indirect light, average warm, humid conditions and consistently moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with weekly feeding during the growing season.

Begonia lucerna only needs repotting when it becomes extremely pot-bound as it grows best when slightly root-bound. Regular pruning is required to keep it neat, to reduce pest infestations and to rejuvenate growth. Keep reading for a detailed account on the best growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Begonia lucerna

Watering

Water Begonia lucerna liberally during the growing period and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings to keep the soil consistently moist.

Cut down on watering during the cold period as growth is minimal but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Begonia lucerna cannot tolerate soggy soil which can result in root-rot and eventual death of the plant.

Ascertain that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is well-drained to prevent it from getting soggy.

Temperature and Humidity

Begonia lucerna requires an average warmth of 18-240 with a minimum of 130C to thrive. It cannot tolerate temperatures below this range as it is not cold hardy.

Keep it away from cold drafts to avoid sudden drops in temperature as they can affect growth negatively.

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. Clean the leaves regularly by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestations.

Light Requirements

Begonia lucerna grows best in medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves.

Regularly rotate the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for a uniform growth.

Begonia lucerna will also grow under grow lights where the natural lighting is not adequate. Check out these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Fertilizer

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

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

Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time, therefore, the plant does not need it.

Potting Medium

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

Most allpurpose potting mixes are ideal for this plant. Buy quality Potting Mix from Amazon.

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. Check out these Self Watering Pots available on Amazon.

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

Pruning

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

Cutback the bare stems with a clean pair of pruning scissors at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth. The foliage emanating from pruning can be used to propagate new plants.

Propagation

Begonia lucerna (Begonia Corallina de Lucerna) can be propagated from stem-tip cuttings at the beginning of the growing season. 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 cuttings 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 rooting mix and place the set up in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight.

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

Begonia Corallina de Lucerna Problems

Begonia lucerna growing problems include leaf drop, yellow leaves, brown leaf tips, rotting, plant death, flowerbud drop, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Dropping (losing) leaves

There are three possible causes of loss of leaves in Begonia lucerna. The first possible cause is too little light as it requires medium to bright indirect light.

Position the plant in a brighter spot where it can receive medium to bright, indirect light or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not sufficient.

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

Maintain 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) due to poor soil drainage.

Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.

Flowerbud drop

There are two possible causes of flowerbud drop in Begonia lucerna. One possible cause is too dry air, that is, low humidity as the plant requires a humid envirnment to thrive.

To increase 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.

The second possible cause of flowerbud drop in Begonia lucerna is underwatering resulting in too little moisture in the soil.

Maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season and slightly moist during the cold period but never let the soil dry out completely.

Yellow leaves

Yellow leaves in Begonia lucerna are brought about by two possible causes. One possible cause is too little light (inadequate light) as it grows best in medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight.

Move the Begonia lucerna to a more brighter place where it will recive medium to bright, indirect light or consider investing in a grow light to supplement the natural light if it is not enough.

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

Keep the soil consistently moist during the growing season but never soggy and slightly moist in the cold period but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Also, ascertain that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is draining properly to prevent it from getting soggy.

Brown leaf tips

Brown leaf tips in Begonia lucerna are caused by too dry air which results in too low humidity as the plant thrives in humid conditions.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to elevate 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) which reduces oxygen concentration in the soil.

This results in the death of the roots which means they cannot take up water and nutrients to the leaves. The begin dying due to lack of food and eventually the entire plant dies.

To prevent this, maintain the soil moist but not soggy during the growing season.

Water far much less during the cold period to keep the soil only slightly moist.

Ensure that the soil is free-draining and that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy (overwet).

White powdery leaf spots

White powdery leaf spots in Begonia lucerna are an indication of powdery mildew which is promoted by over damp conditions, low temperatures and poor air circulation.

Isolate the affected plant, cut off the diseased leaves and treat it appropriately for the disease. Read on how to treat powdery mildew in houseplants.

Avoid damp conditions and improve air ventilation to ensure that there is good air circulation for the plant.

Also, avoid wetting the foliage during watering or water from the bottom instead.

Maintain the temperatures at an average warmth and keep the plant away from cold drafts which cause sudden drops in temperatures. Room temperatures that are comfortable for you are ideal for the plant.

Brown blotches which turn grey and moldy

Brown blotches which turn grey and moldy in Begonia lucerna is an indication of botrytis disease which is enhanced by overdamp conditions coupled with poor air circulation.

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

Avoid over damp conditions by ensuring that the soil is properly drained and that there is good air circulation for the plant.

Plant collapse or death

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

Isolated the affected plant to minimize spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the stem-rot disease.

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

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

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