Within begonias there are many types. Some stand out for their leaves, such as the begonia maculata (those circles on the leaves make us think of a gypsy dress). But, Do you know the striped begonia? It is a begonia whose main characteristic is a lime green line on its vein.
If you have never seen it and you love begonias, find out below what it is like and the care it will need for you to have it at home.
How is the begonia listed
The striped begonia is a plant native to Brazil and Paraguay. Its natural habitat in those countries is characterized by being humid and by being protected by other vegetation larger than itself (so they protect it from the sun and other dangers).
Visually the most striking thing about the striped begonia are its leaves. These are elliptical, although they can also be triangular. And unlike other begonias, these will be covered by little hairs that, to the touch, will make you think of velvet.
They are olive green, but this one stands out even more due to a lime green (or yellowish) line in the center, which follows the vein of the leaf.
For his part, on the underside of the leaf it has a reddish touchexcept for the rib, which will be a green color contrasting with that red.
It is bushy in habit, but does not usually grow too large. In stores you can find it between 12 and 20 centimeters, but it will not exceed, in its adult stage, one meter in height.
Regarding the stem, this is usually a garnet red tone (although the leaf branches tend to be lemon green or cream).
Adult specimens of the striped begonia can flower. It will do it once or twice a year (it will depend on various factors), taking out several bouquets full of light pink flowers.
Striped begonia care
The first thing you should know about this plant is that it is not too difficult to get. Plus it won’t cost you much.. We could say that it is ideal for beginners, because it is very easy to maintain. Although it has some characteristics to keep in mind.
Here we give you a complete summary of all the care that the plant needs to be healthy.
location and temperature
The striped begonia is one of the plants that will adapt whether you put it indoors or outdoors. In general, it is going to need a lot of light. But not direct. Thus, if you have it indoors, it is best to place it near a window but without direct sunlight; and if you put it outside then look for a semi-shade so that it is nourished by the light but it does not hit the leaves.
Over time, especially if you are outside, yes you can make it have a couple of hours of direct sunbut only first thing in the morning, or late in the afternoon.
Regarding the temperature, the ideal would be between 20 and 25ºC. However, it is not easy to keep it at that temperature inside or outside. Therefore, when it falls below 15ºC, its growth stops. In addition, it is common for it to lose its leaves in winter, although in spring it could sprout again if it has been well cared for.
To avoid losing the leaves the best thing would be to have it inside the house, in an area where the environment is not dry.
The striped begonia needs a soil that is fairly light but with a lot of organic matter. So you can make a mixture with universal substrate, peat and perlite or similar so you don’t have a problem.
In fact, some also add a first layer in the clay pot, with the aim that the water drains and thus there are no puddles that can damage the roots of the plant.
As for its transplant, this is done every two years to a slightly larger pot.
Depending on the climate you have where you live, the season of the year and where the plant is, the irrigation will change.
In general it is said that you have to water it once a week in spring and autumn; two a week in summer and every 10-20 days in winter. However, we already warned you that it may not be the best in your particular case.
To find out, it is best to water and see how many days the substrate lasts until it dries up. This way you can establish a good irrigation pattern.
Apart from watering, another important factor is humidity. The striped begonia needs a humidity of between 30 and 40% constant throughout the year. In winter this is not difficult to achieve, but it is in summer, so you will have to spray with water without lime, add a plate with pebbles and water to evaporate (perlite is also worth it), or buy a humidifier and put it at that humidity so that it jumps.
It is recommended, during spring and summer months fertilize it with some liquid fertilizer (mixed in the irrigation water). Of course, do not apply the manufacturer’s dose, but a little less than this.
To keep the plant healthy and beautiful, it is not that you have to prune it, but you will have to remove the leaves that dry or the flowers wither.
Plagues and diseases
Although the striped begonia is quite resistant and easy to care for, that does not mean that it does not attack pests. Two that you will have to keep an eye on are mites and red spider mites.
For its part, in terms of diseases you must control botrytis, powdery mildew and root rot (the latter due to excessive watering).
Finally, if you want to propagate your striped begonia, know that it can be done by cutting the leaves or the stem. Of course, make sure to do it in spring or summer, because in the rest of the year it is not easy to get ahead.
As you can see, the striped begonia can adapt to any environment you give it. As long as you maintain the ideal conditions for him to get ahead, he will have no problem. Do you dare to have it at home?