Begonia albococcinea – Indoor Plants

Begonia albococcinea is an attractive, evergreen perennial flowering plant. It is a stemless herb with leaves, round, entire, velvet-hairy below, nerves, radiating, leaf-stalk 12 cm long, densely velvet-hairy. It produces lovely white and scarlet flowers. The flowering stems are 14-20 cm long, red, branching, carrying dichotomous cymes 5 cm across and fower-stalks are 1 cm long, hairy. The male flowers have 4 sepals, outer sepals 7 x 9 mm, red outside, and white inside. Inner sepals are 7 x 5 mm, obovate, white, sometimes tinged with a blush. The female flowers are similar to the male ones except that the inner sepals.

Scientific classification:

Family: Begoniaceae
Genus: Begonia
Species: B. albococcinea
Scientific Name: Begonia albococcinea Hook.
Synonyms: Begonia grahamiana
Common Name: Red and White Begonia, Scarlet and White Begonia.

How to grow and care for Begonia albococcinea

Light

It grows well in bright indirect sunlight originating from a south, east, or west window. It also thrives under fluorescent lights. Avoid direct sun which can scorch the leaves.

Soil

It requires a well-drained, peat moss-based soil, such as African violet potting mix.

Water

Water your plant regularly during the growing season and always keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. You can allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry out between each watering. During the winter months, reduce watering. Overwatering will cause leaves to turn yellow.

Temperature

It prefers an average room temperature of 65 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit / 18 – 24 degrees Celsius. Begonia is not cold-tolerant and can be harmed by temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit / 13 degrees Celsius.

Fertilizer

Feed every two weeks spring through fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Do not feed your plant during the dormant period.

Propagation

It can be easily propagated by stem cuttings. Take stem cuttings in spring and root in fresh potting mix. Keep the soil lightly moist. Cover the whole container and plant with a plastic bag or cloche to hold in humidity. Begonia seeds are slow to germinate. You can sow seeds in the spring, but it can take several months to grow.

Pests and Diseases

Begonia albococcinea has no serious pest or disease problems. It is susceptible to attacks from spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids.

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