Begonia carolineifolia – Indoor Plants
Begonia carolineifolia is an attractive perennial flowering plant that grows up to 24-39 inches tall. It has a striking woody trunk with palmately compound leaves that look like palm fronds. The leaves are hairless above, with long rusty hairs beneath glossy green and have long reddish stalks merging into leaf-blades and densely hairy. The stem is tick and bearing the scars of the felled-off leaves. These swollen trunk-like stems sprout decorative frilly-edged palmate foliage each leaflet with its own petiole, dense heads of small pink flowers. The flowers are produced in late winter and spring.
Species: B. carolineifolia
Scientific Name: Begonia carolineifolia Regel
Synonyms: Begonia rotata, Gireoudia carolineifolia, Gireoudia rotata.
Common Name: The palm-leaf begonia, Palmate begonia, Hand begonia
How to grow and care for Begonia carolineifolia
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.
It requires a well-drained, peat moss-based soil, such as African violet potting mix.
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.
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.
Feed every two weeks spring through fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Do not feed your plant during the dormant period.
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. Wax begonia seeds are tiny and slow to germinate. You can sow seeds in the spring, but it can take several months to grow.
Pests and Diseases:
Begonia carolineifolia has no serious pest or disease problems. It is susceptible to attacks from spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids.