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Begonias are some of the most stunning, visually captivating plants you can grow indoors. Foliage begonias are known for their fancy and colourful leaves highlighted by unusual markings and swirls making them a unique plant to add to your collection. 

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Below is a general care guide for foliage Begonia plants which can slightly differ depending on variety.

Light & Temperature

Foliage begonias thrive best in warm temperature. They prefer bright indirect light. If leaves appear scorched, relocate your plant to a less sunny area. 

As an alternative, they also progress well under grow lights. Place your begonia away from heater vents so that dry air will not blow directly on it. 

Watering, Humidity & Misting

The soil of your begonia should be slightly moist at all times, but not too wet as it is susceptible to root rot. Allow the topsoil to dry out between waterings. If you are unsure, it is better to err on the side of caution and wait until the leaves begin to droop slightly, a sign that the plant is thirsty and is due for watering. 

Begonias also require high humidity. Placing them in the bathroom or kitchen where there’s more moisture in the air will benefit the plant. Although misting can boost humidity, begonias are prone to mildew and will do better by setting them on a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water. 

Soil and Repotting

Begonia plants love evenly moist, well-draining soil with some added organic matter. 

To keep the plant at a manageable size, repot begonias in a pot one size larger only when the pot becomes rootbound. 

Propagation

Begonias propagate well from leaf cuttings. A young plant will sprout from tissue along the leaf veins and then root into compost. Simply separate each of the new plant from the mother leaf or transplant them as a group for a bushier plant. 

Fertiliser

Use a balanced fertiliser formulated for houseplants. Follow the directions on the label of our Down to Earth. organic plant food.

Toxicity

Begonias are toxic if ingested and should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. The tubers are the most poisonous part of the plant. 

Possible Issues

Under the right care and conditions, your plant will grow happy and healthy. But here are some issues you may encounter while caring for a Begonia: 

Mealybugs, mites, thrips and whitefly - A good deterrent is keeping the humidity high. 

Powdery mildew - Keep the leaves dry. 

Yellow leaves and stem or rhizome rot - This is caused by overwatering. Adjust your watering schedule of your Begonia. 

Brown leaf edges - This is usually caused by dried out soil. Give it a good soak by bottom watering.