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If you are looking for a beautiful, unique plant that is easy to take care of, Begonia Nelumbiifolia might be the perfect match for you. It is also known as the lilypad begonia, a plant that is loved because of its lush green foliage and attractive white flowers which give a special charm to every garden. They are also a wonderful addition to flower beds and hanging baskets.
Begonia Nelumbiifolia care guide: Begonia Nelumbiifolia is a plant that is very easy to take care of and it can grow even indoors. You should be watering it regularly since under-watering can lead to the plant’s death. A well-chosen soil with added organic matter is the key to healthy Begonias. Since they are one of the easiest plants to propagate, you will need only basic garden equipment for that process. In the end, you should pay attention to mealybugs and aphids which can seriously affect the growth of your plant.
Did I capture your interest? Stay with me and become an expert in Begonia Nemlubiifolia care.
We shall discuss:
- Begonia flowers
- Soil requirements
- Dealing with common problems
- Frequently asked questions
More than 1800 species of Begonias can be found around the world.
Begonia Nelumbiifolia is also known as Lilypad Begonia and is considered an exotic species since it originates from tropical regions.
In these regions, Begonias are considered to represent gratitude and respect.
Begonia is best known for its beautiful green foliage with large, smooth leaves. The leaves are roundish and have thick stems.
Since the beauty of its foliage is mesmerizing, its small, unique flowers often go unnoticed. Her swank white flowers do not grow much more than 1 inch, but they will make your plant look charming.
The Nelumbiifolia flowers start growing with the first warm days in spring and continue growing throughout the whole summer.
If your Begonia is exposed to sunlight for more than 4 hours a day it will certainly produce dazzling little flowers.
People love to keep Begonias in hanging baskets or small flowerpots near the windows.
Before we proceed, take time to explore these Begonias as well:
Do you want to find out more about watering, lighting, and soil requirements for this plant? Keep on reading!
Begonia Nelumbiifolia Soil Requirements
Adequate soil is the key to a beautiful and healthy plant. Begonia Nelumbifoliia requires well-drained and damp soil, which will also include nutritive organic matter.
If you want to ensure that your plant will look marvelous, you can also try adding some peat moss or perlite.
You should be careful while choosing the soil since it should not cumulate too much water.
Take care of your soil and make sure to water it only when it is needed, otherwise, you can damage your plant.
You want your soil to completely absorb all the nutritive matters, and for that, you will need it to be slightly acidic. The best pH range for Begonias soil is anywhere from 6.1 to 7.3.
Lighting Requirements for Begonia Nelumbiifolia Care
Begonia Nelumbiifolia is a typical tropical plant, adapted to warm environments, which means it needs a lot of lighting.
But, this doesn’t mean that it should be exposed to direct sunlight every day.
It thrives much better when it is exposed to indirect and filtered sunlight, which makes it a wonderful house plant.
Begonias can be placed next to the windows exposed to the sun, where they will get the right amount of filtered light.
If you decide to plant your Begonia outdoors, make sure it is protected from direct UV rays.
Harsh UV rays may harm Begonia’s foliage and flowers, but also the overall health of the plant.
A place where it is in partial shade is the best option if you still decide to plant it out of your house.
You can also place it outside from sunset to sunrise without causing harm.
Some people also opt for artificial light, which is not a technique I would recommend since it requires too much time and attention.
Related: Plant Lighting- Guide for Gardening Beginners
Watering Begonia Nelumbiifolia
Most plants consist of almost 90% water, so watering is the most important step in gardening.
Begonias require humid soil and regular watering, but you should be careful during the process. Both overwatering and under-watering can lead to rotting and plant death.
An adequate and humid soil is the key to a healthy plant, so you should check up on it daily, just to make sure your plant has enough water.
You shouldn’t water the plant before the first few inches of soil get a bit dry, but that doesn’t mean you should water it only once a week.
You can water your Begonia Nelumbiifolia every other day, but in the meantime, control the soil and make sure it isn’t completely dried out, starving for some liquid.
Don’t be stingy, water your plant well, and make sure it’s never left too dry.
Underwatering can make roots dry out, and if that happens, not much hope is left for your plant.
You know extremes are never good, so overwatering can be equally damaging as underwatering.
Too much water will make Begonia Nelumbiifolias root rot, which also leads to the death of your plant. It can also lead to different kinds of infections and make Begonia leaves turn yellow.
If the damage has already been done and your soil is full of water, you should leave the plant as it is and avoid watering it for some time.
An unpainted dowel can be really helpful if you simply can’t find the right balance.
You can stick a dowel into the soil and wait a few minutes until it absorbs all the moisture and turns into a darker color.
After you pull it out, you will understand how wet your soil is and decide whether you need to water it or not.
Do not water your Begonia Nelumbiifolia with cold water. It can be a big shock for new and tender roots.
If you let your water sit a little bit before you pour it onto the plant, all the harmful chlorine that may be found in it will evaporate.
Lukewarm water whose temperature is closer to room temperature is a better option for this plant.
Just like all the other plants that originate from tropical regions, high humidity is needed for Begonia Nelumbiifolia too.
If the humidity drops below 70%, your plant could be seriously affected, and it may even stop its growth.
Begonia Nelumbiifolia thrives the best in places where humidity is between 70% and 90% which are pretty high humidity levels for a regular home or even a garden.
The ideal temperature for Begonia Nelumbiifolia is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or a bit more than 20 Celsius.
This is the optimal temperature that will allow healthy development and blooming of the plant.
This is an average temperature in warm regions, but if you are living in colder places, it might be a bit harder to maintain these humidity levels and adequate temperatures.
Although maintaining adequate humidity levels may be a bit challenging, here are some easy ways to do it.
By misting your Begonias every 2 to 3 days you can maintain high humidity levels and help your plant grow without any obstacles.
Regular misting will show amazing results in less than a month, so this is a really good solution if you are looking for a quick fix.
You should also refrain from using tap water when watering your plant, since its high alkalinity may destroy the plant’s leaves.
Probably the easiest way to solve this problem is by putting all of your plants in the same place, which will automatically make the environment way more humid.
In the end, if you love to splurge on your little garden, you can also buy a humidifier.
Begonia Nelumbiifolia cant survive below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so if it is hard for you to maintain a temperature higher than this, Begonia is probably not the right plant for you.
Fertilizing Begonia Nelumbiifolia
Every living being needs nutritious and balanced nutrition, and this includes your plants too.
For the healthy growth and development of your Begonia Nelumbiifolia, an adequate fertilizer is needed from time to time.
All species of Begonia have similar needs and can be fed with the same fertilizer.
Fertilizers that will transform your plant are well balanced and equipped with macronutrients like phosphorus and potassium which accelerate blooming.
Balanced liquid fertilizers may be the best choice for your Begonia.
It is necessary to follow the instructions on your fertilizer and to feed the plant every 2 to 3 weeks.
None of the extremes are good, so make sure to not over-fertilize your plant since it can damage it in the long term.
The safest choice may be opting for a slow-release fertilizer which you apply only at the beginning of the growing season.
Begonia Nelumbiifolia Propagation
Begonia Nelumbiifolia is probably the easiest plant to propagate.
You will only need some basic garden equipment, adequate clothing, and a clean workspace for propagation since the process can get quite messy. Make sure to use sterile equipment.
After you have prepared a potting mix, you should cut off the leaf”s stalk of a healthy Begonia and slash it.
This leaf should be put onto the potting mix which will stimulate the growth of a young and healthy plant.
Roots in the propagated plant will appear in 3 to 4 weeks, and in the meantime, you should water it and mist it regularly so the soil doesn’t dry out.
Treat it the same way you treat its mother plant.
If you are able to imitate its ideal natural habitat properly, your Begonia Nelumbiifolia will grow showy green leaves and beautiful little flowers.
Related: Plant Propagation- Guide for Gardening Beginners
Potting Begonia Nelumbiifolia
Begonia Nelumbiifolia is a plant that prefers being root-bound because it can absorb the nutrients way better when they are close together.
Since this type of Begonia tends to grow really fast, you may need to repot them very often. So, when is the best moment to repot your Begonia?
When you see that your container is completely filled with Begonias roots and that the roots are holding all the potting mixture, it is the perfect moment to repot the plant.
If you see that its roots have outgrown the container, make sure to repot the plant as soon as possible.
For Begonia Nelumbiifolia you should choose a large and deep container that will allow its roots to properly develop so that you don’t have to repot it every single month.
You should also make sure that your container has a hole for drainage.
You will always need quality soil if your want your plant to prosper, so make sure the soil you selected is appropriate for your Begonia.
The soil should always be fresh and prepared just a little bit before the start of the process.
Before you start the potting process, make sure the soil is not too wet, otherwise, the roots of your plant may not hold together while you’re removing it from the pot.
When you’ve finally placed your plant in the new pot, make sure to not water it for the first few weeks. This way its roots will grow and fill out their new pot.
Related: Picking the Right Pot for Indoor Plants – 6 Rules
Dealing with Common Problems
Some of the common problems to all Begonias, and plants in general, are aphids and mealybugs.
Aphids tend to distort Begonia’s foliage and slow down the growth of the plant.
They produce honeydew which can lead to fungus development in your plant. Once the fungus is developed, your plant will slowly stop growing and the leaves might start falling out.
The easiest way to get rid of it is with insecticidal spray, or by carefully soaping the plant. If the fungus takes over your whole plant, the best way to deal with it is to prune it.
Mealybugs are a problem for most plants because they feed themselves off of them and produce a liquid that attracts all kinds of insects to them.
They feed themselves from the plants’ leaves and are usually found underneath the foliage.
Mealybugs are easy to identify because they are white and cottony, and they prosper in environments with high humidity levels. They usually form a white cover on the leaves.
Don’t be worried about it, because they are very easy to struggle with. Most times you will kill them off with simple alcohol, but if the infection got a bit worse, you may need an insecticidal soap.
After all, you probably have an insecticidal spray that will solve this problem in just a few minutes.
3. Snails and slugs
Snails and slugs are not that common when it comes to Begonias.
They are attracted to wet environments, like the soil of your Begonia Nelumbiifolia, and they feed off dead leaves and stems.
They usually leave grayish trails on the leaves of the plant, but often can also make holes in them.
Remove everything that they could use as a shelter, for example, little rocks.
Many chemicals can prevent this problem, but they can be damaging both to the plant, pets, and kids, so only use them if nothing else is working.
4. Powdery mildew
Begonias often get attacked by a fungus called powdery mildew, which shows up when the plant is exposed to extremely high humidity or extreme dryness for some time.
You can recognize it by the gray covering that often appears on the foliage. If not treated, this fungus can damage the growth of Begonia and make the leaves fall out.
This one too can be treated with an insecticidal spray or soap.
Whiteflies are small insects similar to moths and they attack most of the house plants. They usually place themselves under leaves and feed themselves off the plant.
The female whitefly can lay more than 500 eggs in just a month or two, so if you don’t recognize the problem in the beginning, it can be quite a struggle to get rid of it.
Whiteflies slowly take up all the nutritive matter from your plant and cause its death. They are also able to infect your Begonia with several different plant viruses.
Similar to aphids, they also produce honeydew which can lead to fungus developing on the plants’ foliage.
If you see that a part of your plant is infected, make sure to remove it before it infects the rest of the plant.
The problem can easily be solved with some pesticides or insecticidal spray.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I stop my Begonia Nelumbiifolia from wilting?
Dry and inadequate soil may cause the wilting of your plant. Make sure that your soil is damp enough and that your plant is being watered regularly. Be careful when watering since both over-watering and under-watering can cause wilting. Place it somewhere with high humidity and enough sunlight.
Do Begonia Nelumbiifolia likes sun or shade?
Although sun exposure is crucial for plant growth, Begonia Nelumbiifolia should not be exposed to direct sunlight since it can damage its foliage. You can expose them to filtered and diffused light or leave them outside in the partial shade.
Should you deadhead Begonia Nelumbiifolia?
Begonia Nelumbiifolia is one of the plants that don’t need deadheading from time to time, since they can thrive very well without it.
How often should Begonia Nelumbiifolia be watered?
You are probably familiar with the rule of thumb which is used very often in gardening. Simply put your thumb into the soil to see if it is dry. When you feel that the top few inches are dry, water it!
What is the best way to keep Begonia Nelumbiifolia blooming?
Adequate soil and high humidity in combination with organic fertilizer will make your plant bloom pretty fast. Make sure your plant is fed regularly, every 2 to 3 weeks.
Which fertilizer is the best choice for my Begonia Nelumbiifolia?
The best fertilizer for your Begonia is one that is rich in macronutrients. I use this Miracle-Gro fertilizer rich in phosphorus, phosphate, and nitrogen.
How long can potted Begonias live?
When treated properly, potted Begonias usually last between 2 to 3 years. If you take extra care of your plants, your Begonia may live between 4 and 5 years.