BEGONIA – Begonia lucerna

An attractive plant with a great number of varieties. Begonia lucerna’s leaves are narrow ‘Angel Wings’, often red-veined. The flowers, usually coral, though other colours can be obtained, are borne in fine, pendulous trusses.

Temperatures:

  • Growing season 15-22 °C (60-72 °F)
  • Minimum winter 13 °C (55 °F)

Soil: 70% soil-less compost mixed with 30% peat.

Where to position: Will accept good light or light shade, but needs protection from strong sunlight. It is not very sensitive to draughts or moderate temperature changes.

begonia lucerna

Watering requirements: Lukewarm rain water or soft water. Maintain a moist, springy soil condition. Ensure good drainage. Mist-spray plants in hot weather, but avoid allowing droplets to collect on leaves. Provide humidity.

Feeding and fertilizer: Feed weekly with a weak liquid fertilizer. Remove the dead blooms and lower leaves if they become damaged or unsightly. Do not pinch out shoots.

Rest and care: Reduce water to maintain moist soil condition and stop feeding. As growth becomes vigorous, increase warmth and provide a little more water. Begin feeding again after one month.

When it looks sick:

  • Plant flags : Reduce water until soil condition is springy. Check drainage.
  • Dried brown areas on the leaves : Caused by under-watering or draughts or severe temperature changes. All are simple to rectify and should be done at once. Buds drop : This is likely from all causes, I.e. over or under-watering, draughts, temperature changes. All must be checked and rectified.
  • Fungus : May attack open wounds. Dust with fungicidal powder.

Where to position: In good light, but away from strong sunlight. It is fairly tolerant, though draughts and wide temperature changes may cause ugly, dried brown areas at leaf edges.

Watering requirements: Soft, lukewarm water. Maintain a moist soil condition. Mist-spray weekly with tepid water. The plant is not demanding over humidity, but will not like a completely dry atmosphere.

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