Begonia dregei – Indoor Plants
Begonia dregei is an attractive, evergreen perennial, tuberous, flowering plant that grows up 30 cm tall. It has a swollen stem base (caudex). The branched or unbranched stems are pale green to reddish-green. It has small, asymmetrical, maple-like green leaves, lobed with white spots when young and widely toothed. It produces male and female flowers that occur separately but on the same plant and are interfertile. The flowers are white to pink in color with a yellowish center and are pendulous. The male flowers have two petals and the female flowers five. It blooms in Spring and Summer. Begonia dregei is perfectly suitable for home or office.
Species: B. dregei
Scientific Name: Begonia dregei Otto & A.Dietr.
Synonyms: Augustia dregei, Augustia natalensis, Augustia suffruticosa, Begonia natalensis, Begonia partita,
Begonia parvifolia, Begonia richardsiana, Begonia richardsoniana, Begonia rubicunda, Begonia suffruticosa.
Common Name: Maple leaf begonia, Grape-leaf begonia, Dwarf Wild Begonia, or Wild Begonia.
How to grow and care for Begonia dregei
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. 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 has no serious pest or disease problems. It is susceptible to attacks from spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids.