Begonia cathcartii – Indoor Plants

Begonia cathcartii is rare ornamental perennials, a rhizomatous herb that grows up to 30 cm tall. The leaves are ovate, tapering, base obliquely heart-shaped, margin sawtoothed-toothed, fringed with hairs, velvet-hairy above, hairless or with a few coarse hairs along veins beneath; leaf-stalks 3-10 cm, bearing coarse, deflexed hairs. The flowers are borne in few-flowered clusters at branch ends, carried on 2.8- 8.3 cm long, hairy stalks. The male flowers have two sepals and two petals and the female flowers have five tepals. Outer tepals are nearly round, white, often with reddish, coarse hairs on the outside; inner tepals obovate.

Scientific classification

Family: Begoniaceae
Genus: Begonia
Species: B. cathcartii
Scientific Name: Begonia cathcartii
Synonyms: Begonia nemophila, Platycentrum cathcartii
Common Name: Red-Hair Begonia

How to grow and care for Begonia cathcartii

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

Begonia cathcartii can be easily propagated by stem cuttings or by dividing rhizomes. 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 cathcartii has no serious pest or disease problems. It is susceptible to attacks from spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids.

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