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Begonia Maculata Care Guide and Tips

The Begonia Maculata is a stunning houseplant. It has silvery white polka dots on its olive green leaf tops. The leaf undersides have a deep red to really show it off.

That gorgeous red leaf underside apparently inspired Christian Louboutin, the shoe man. He added that precise color red onto the back of his classy high heels. Inspired by this plant. Imagine.

I wish he’d make an olive green shoe with polka dots to go with the red heels. Now that would be showy foot wear.

This plant is often called a polka dot plant. Not to be confused with the Hypoestes Phyllostachya . Which is also commonly known as a Polka Dot plant. They are very different plants.

Even the leaf shape of this begonia is beautiful and elegant. Put one of these in a lower light nook of your home and let it liven up your room.

Polka dot begonia leaf
Begonia Maculata Wightii Leaves

Your Maculata will prefer well draining soil. Keep it evenly moist, but not too wet. Be very careful to avoid letting your Begonia sit with wet saturated roots. They are susceptible to root rot.

This houseplant can grow gorgeous clusters of white or light pink flowers. However, the Maculata will only flower if the conditions are right. If your plant isn’t flowering in season, try moving it to brighter light.

Fertilize every 2-3 weeks with a low concentration fertilizer during the spring and summer. Proper fertilizing also encourages better blooming.

Begonia Maculata Flowers or blooms
flowering Begonia Maculata

The Begonia Maculata Wightii is an Evergreen perennial plant. It grows wild in the Brazilian jungles.

Purchase Begonia Maculata from Etsy

begonia maculata plant

Plants with colorful leaves:

If you like showy plants that set the stage, take a look at these.

The care for the Begonia Maculata is fairly straightforward. Our printable care guide below outlines all the steps to keeping a beautiful Begonia.

Yield: Printable Care Guide

Begonia Maculata

Begonia maculata in a grey pot

The Begonia Maculata Wightii Is a popular houseplant that grows in a bushy structure. This plant has beautiful large olive leaves that have silvery white polka dots on them and a red underside.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $30.00


Soil Preference:

  1. Begonia Maculatas require a light well draining soil.
  2. A mix of potting soil and perlite will keep the roots happiest.
  3. Our mix for this plant is 70 % potting mix to 30% perlite.
  4. A heavy soil potting mix is not recommended for Maculatas.

Pot Size and repotting: Any well draining pot can be used. It MUST have drainage.

  1. Repot during Springtime
  2. These plants like to be a little pot bound rather than in a pot that is too large for them
  3. Repot every second year or when roots come out the drainage holes on the pot bottom To the next pot size up.
  4. When repotting always choose a pot that is 2-3 inches larger in diameter than the previous pot.
  5. Lighting:

  1. Begonia Maculata plants can withstand lower light situations
  2. Turn the plant every few weeks to maintain even leaf growth
  3. If the plant is not flowering, try changing the light intake and put it somewhere brighter
  4. Begonias cannot stand strong hot direct light. The leaves will burn and the plant will suffer.


  1. Use filtered water or let your tap water sit at least 24 hours to neutralize harmful chemicals before watering your plants.
  2. Water your Begonia Maculata when the soil is dry down an inch or so.
  1. Watering is best done on a regular schedule (try weekly) so the plant is not over or under watered. Both can cause stress on the plant.
  2. This plant enjoys humidity. In dry climates Begonias will thrive with a humidifier nearby. Or put it in your kitchen or bathroom if you have adequate light and floor space.
  3. In a dry climate frequent misting will help.
  4. In dormant winter months reduce watering as the plant will not need as much.
  5. Never let this plant get wet feet. If the soil is compacted the bottom of the soil can remain wet. This encourages root rot.
  6. If you see yellow leaves on your Begonia you are probably overwatering or the soil is too heavy. This can cause root rot and attract Fungus Gnats.
  7. If the tips of the leaves turn brown suspect under-watering. Or too dry air.

How to Fertilize:

  1. Apply a good quality fertilizer (linked in materials) once or twice a month during growing season. This plant requires fertilizer to maintain the large green leaves.
  2. Decrease feedings by late Fall and allow plant to rest through the winter months.
  3. Look for brown spots on the leaves of your plants. This may indicate an over concentration of salts in the roots from over feeding. It can burn the leaves.


  1. Keep Begonia Maculatas at a low of 65 Degrees F. to upward of 85 Degrees F. It enjoys warmth and humidity.


  1. Begonias need to be checked periodically for pests.
  2. Stress by longterm overwatering, poor light, extreme temperatures and soil conditions are contributors to plant stress. And makes them more susceptible to pest damage.
  3. Spider mites, mealy bugs, scale, thrips and whitefly are the most common houseplant pests you will see.
  4. Read our post on How to get rid of aphids and other pests with our homemade pesticide soap recipe or neems oil.
  5. To minimize the possibility of pests be sure to check all nursery plants before bringing them home.
  6. Quarantine all new plants until you are sure no pests live in them.


  1. Propagation is easily done through stem cuttings.
  2. Take a cutting from a stem that is free from blooms, cut below node or bud point
  3. Place cutting in jar with water, cut side down.
  4. Roots will grow in 6-8 weeks.
  5. Plant when roots are at least 2-3 inches long.
  6. Propagate during winter to avoid stressing the plant.

We have even MORE beautiful and interesting plants. Be sure to check out our posts on the Goldfish Plant and the Jade Plant.

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caring for the begonia maculata plant-pin image
The Begonia Maculata is a stunning houseplant. It has silvery white polka dots on its olive green leaf tops. The leaf undersides have a deep red to really show it off.

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