Star Begonia (Begonia heracleifolia) – Flowering plants
Star Begonia (Begonia heracleifolia) is an ornamental, evergreen perennial, deciduous, rhizomatous shrubs that grow up to 2 ft tall, 4 ft wide. It has long, maple-shaped leaves of medium green surrounded by a contrasting wide black-green border and held at the end of red-speckled leaf-stalks. It produces pale pink or white flowers that are borne in clusters.
Species: B. heracleifolia
Scientific Name: Begonia heracleifolia
Synonyms: Begonia jatrophifolia, Begonia radiata, Begonia trigonoptera
Common Name: Star Begonia, Hogweed-leaf Begonia, or Star leaf begonia.
How to grow and care for Star Begonia (Begonia heracleifolia)
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. 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.
Star Begonia 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
Star Begonia has no serious pest or disease problems. It is susceptible to attacks from spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids.