Begonia bowerae – Indoor Plants

Begonia bowerae (Eyelash Begonia) is an attractive, ornamental, bushy, stemless perennial plant that grows up to 8-10 inches tall. It forms a creeping branched rhizome and has small, heart-shaped leaves that are deep emerald green with black edging and with stiff hairs on leaf edges and leaf stalk. The purple-burgundy to nearly black markings may also create bands along the leaf veins. It produces clusters of white or light pink male and female flowers that are held on thin pink stems above the foliage. The flowers are tiny, shell-shaped, produced on 4-6 inch long stalks. It blooms in late winter and early spring.

Scientific classification:

Family: Begoniaceae
Genus: Begonia
Species: B. bowerae
Scientific Name: Begonia bowerae
Synonyms: Begonia bowerae var. major, Begonia bowerae var. nigramarga, Begonia bowerae var. roseflora.
Common Name: Eyelash Begonia.

How to grow and care for Begonia bowerae

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. Wax 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 tiny and slow to germinate.  Also can be propagated by cutting a rhizome into 2-3 inch long sections, each with at least one growth point. This way of propagation has to be undertaken in spring.

Pests and Diseases:

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

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