How to Grow and Care for Wax Begonia (Begonia semperflorens) Indoors


Wax Begonia, Begonia semperflorens

Botanical name: Begonia semperflorens
Family: Begoniaceae

Description

Wax Begonia (Begonia semperflorens) is a small leafy bush which blooms almost the year round. It is easy to grow and easily adapts to indoor growing conditions.

The Wax Begonia hybrids have a wide range of flower types in red, white, orange and pink. Newer hybrids are regularly developed which are more compact and have bigger blooms.

Size

Wax Begonia grows to about 6-12 in. high and is the easiest to grow of the flowering Begonias. The hybrids have round waxy leaves about 2 in. across, ranging from greenish-yellow to deepest red.

Origin

In their natural habitat Begonias grow as understory plants in moist, shady to partially shady conditions in the tropical and subtropical regions in South and Central America, Africa and southern Asia.

Where to Buy

Beautiful Begonia Plants are available online at Etsy. Buy Begonia Plants from Etsy.

Wax Begonia, Begonia semperflorens

Photo Credit: Urbano.in

Begonia semperflorens Care Indoors

Wax Begonia (Begonia semperflorens) grows best in bright, indirect light with some direct sunshine and moderately moist soil. It requires an average warmth and humid conditions inorder to thrive.

The best soil for Wax Begonia should be free-draining and rich in organic matter. Read on for a detailed account on the best growing conditions.

Light Requirements

Wax Begonia grows best in bright light with a few hours of morning or evening sun. It can also grow under a grow light if the natural lighting is not sufficient.

Occasionally turn the pot to ensure that the plant is getting light on all sides for uniform growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water Requirements

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

Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. 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

The best temperature for growing Wax Begonia indoors is cool to average warmth with a minimum of 140C. Keep it away from cold draughts to prevent sudden drop in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Wax Begonia prefers a humid environment for 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.

Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants. Do not mist the plant as wetting the leaves may lead to fungal diseases.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Wax Begonia with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing period.

To promote flowering, apply a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer weekly when buds begin to form.

Do not feed the plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Wax Begonia at the beginning of the growing period only if the plant has become root-bound or is too large for the pot as the plant blooms more when root-bound.

Use a pot one size larger and one that 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 Wax Begonia 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. Purchase quality Potting Mix for Wax Begonia from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Wax Begonia is easy. Remove the dead flowers, yellow and dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy.

Cut back the bare stems at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth. The foliage emanating from the pruning can be used to propagate new plants. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Propagation

Wax Begonia (Begonia semperflorens) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings or from seeds. The seeds can be germinated but they take months to grow.

The easiest way to propagate Wax Begonia is by rooting stem cuttings. We have herein below outlined, the propagation from stem cuttings.

How to propagate Wax Begonia from stem cuttings

Take a 3-4 in. stem cutting from a healthy Wax Begonia plant from low down the plant as cuttings from low down the plant root more easily.

Strip off the lower leaves and insert the cuttings in moist, free-draining potting mix and place the set up in a warm, shaded place.

Cover the set up with a clear plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect to hasten rooting.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges. Once rooting has taken place, gradually remove the clear plastic to acclimatize the new plant.

Allow the new Wax Begonia to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

Wax Begonia, Begonia semperflorens

Photo Credit: Hort Zone

Begonia semperflorens Problems Indoors

Wax Begonia (Begonia semperflorens) problems indoors are caused by cultural faults and they include; yellow leaves, pests, brown leaf tips, leaf drop among others. Continue reading for the remedies and solutions.

Flower bud drop

There are two possible causes of flower bud drop in Wax Begonia. One possible cause of flower bud drop is dry air.

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 Wax Begonia is underwatering. Maintain the soil moist at all times and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Yellow leaves

Yellow leaves in Wax Begonia are due to two reasons. One cause of yellow leaves is too little light.

Move the Wax Begonia to a brighter spot as it grows best in bright light with some morning or evening sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light.

The second cause of yellow leaves in Wax Begonia is too little or too much water which may result in 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.

Leaf drop

There are three possible causes of leaf drop in Wax Begonia. One possible cause of leaf drop is too little light.

Move the plant to a brighter spot as it grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light.

The second possible cause of leaf drop in Wax Begonia is too much heat. The best temperature for Wax Begonia is average room, that is, a temperature that is comfortable for you is good for the plant.

The third possible cause of leaf drop in Wax Begonia 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.

Brown leaf tips

Brown leaf tips in Wax Begonia are due to dry air which result in too low air humidity.

To raise the air 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.

Pale rotting leaves

Pale rotting leaves in Wax Begonia are due to too wet soil (soggy soil). Maintain the soil moist but not soggy. Ensure the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

White powdery spots

White powdery spots in Wax Begonia is an indication of Powdery Mildew. Isolate the affected plant, cut off diseased leaves and treat appropriately. Avoid damp conditions and low temperatures and improve air circulation.

Brown blotches which turn grey and moldy

Brown blotches which turn grey and moldy in Wax Begonia is an indication of Botrytis disease.

Isolate the affected plant, cut off diseased parts and treat appropriately. Avoid low light and over damp conditions and improve air circulation.

Plant collapse or death

There are three possible reasons for plant collapse or death in Wax Begonia. One possible reason for plant collapse is Stem-rot Disease due to soggy soil.

The second possible reason for plant collapse in Wax Begonia is Nematodes (Root Knot Eelworm) which are characterized by swollen bumps on roots.

The third possible reason for plant collapse in Wax Begonia is Vine Weevil which is characterized by tunnels in the rhizomes.

Pests

Wax Begonia pests; Aphids and Spider Mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Wax Begonia toxic?

All parts of Wax Begonia (Begonia semperflorens) and especially the roots are considered toxic to pets. If ingested they may cause burning in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains.

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