Begonia chlorosticta is a flowering plant that blooms with large flowers.
It is indigenous to Malaysia and was previously known as “ex Kew species” or “U038” before getting its proper name of Begonia chlorosticta.
This shrub-like begonia has oval-shaped leaves that are olive green with chartreuse blotches.
Because it can become leggy if grown outdoors in warm climates, it is best suited for indoor cultivation.
Despite its rapid growth, this begonia is low-maintenance and requires little water or fertilizer.
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What is Begonia Chlorosticta?
Begonia Chlorosticta belongs to the Begoniaceae family and is a shrub-like begonia.
Its native habitat is the lowland forests of central Sarawak, Malaysia. In central Sarawak, you will find Chlorosticta growing on rocky slopes and damp cliffs.
While this houseplant is naturally inclined to grow on damp cliffs and rocky slopes, you can successfully grow it anywhere so long as you follow its best care guide.
Begonia chlorosticta is known for its pale green leaves and chartreuse blotches when it matures.
It can also grow as tall as one foot while producing white female flowers during bloom.
Begonia chlorosticta was originally cultivated in 1967. It was identified as “U038” before being formally identified as the Begonia chlorosticta.
Recently, there have been more types of this species. They include Begonia chlorosticta, red form, and black form.
Most people like the red and green forms of Begonia chlorosticta for their foliage, which makes them look more beautiful as they grow.
First, the red form of Begonia chlorosticta features beautiful red and green elliptic-shaped leaves, while the green form leaves are merely olive green.
Because of this, the red form is also more expensive compared to the green chlorosticta.
Lastly, while the green form of Begonia chlorosticta blooms with female flowers and males to prevent cross-pollination in the wild, the red form does the opposite.
How to Care for Begonia Chlorosticta
Although Begonia chlorosticta is one of the most challenging begonia species, caring for it is achievable.
This article will show you how to care for your plants. Read on.
Temperature and Climate
Begonia chlorosticta will grow healthy in a warmer temperature, so it is best to plant them in a terrarium.
As a houseplant adapted to USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11, temperatures ranging from 65 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit are appropriate.
On the other hand, do not expose your Begonia chlorosticta to harsh temperatures, or you will harm them.
Also, an environment with higher humidity is perfect for these plants.
You will be doing them a favor if you often mist them and keep them close to the bathroom, and kitchen to receive moisture.
Begonia Chlorosticta, like other begonias, only needs exposure to bright, indirect light to thrive. In dark areas, you can improvise by using artificial lights like grow lights.
Exposing your succulent to good lighting is necessary for Begonia’s growth. You can keep it in a south-facing window or outside, under a shade to prevent sunburn.
As much as light is essential, exposing your Begonia Chlorosticta to direct sunlight will cause harm to it.
You will notice that the plant’s olive green leaves are turning yellow if it’s getting too much light.
The recommendation is to remove it from such a situation by providing shade or reducing the time it stays outside.
Since Begonia Chlorosticta is often grown in a terrarium, the ideal procedure will be to wait for it to slightly dry before another watering.
If you do not give your soil time before wetting it again, the roots will rot. When the soil is dry, nourish your Begonia Chlorosticta with enough water.
However, make sure you only do this during the summer. Watering too much during the winter can be bad because the soil isn’t able to dry out during this time.
Begonia Chlorosticta values well-draining soil to prevent the leaves from ‘melting’ or wilting.
The soil should also be rich in nutrients, slightly acidic, and have a pH level of 6.1-7.5 to aid healthy growth.
By using the proper pot mixture, you can create the ideal soil for your plant.
Soil amendments like perlite and peat moss will do a great job of supporting your plants’ lives by giving the soil extra features like drainage and nutrients.
For a long time, mix 1 part of each into your sandy soil, and you will love what you see.
While having a good soil mixture is good, it is also necessary to maintain the state of this soil by following best practices.
Whatever you do, do not overwater your begonias.
Repot your Begonia Chlorosticta if you notice that it has grown larger than its pot.
Because begonias prefer to be root-bound, it is best to wait until the pot is completely filled with roots before repotting.
The ideal time to repot your Begonia Chlorosticta is during the growing season.
Gently remove the plant from its container. You will be able to see it clearly. Allow the begonia to continue to grow if there is still some loose soil around.
When the plant’s roots have taken up all of the available soil, it is time to transplant.
Ensure you fertilize your Begonia Chlorosticta only during the spring or summer with a liquid-based fertilizer.
It is necessary to be strict about the type of fertilizer you use on this plant because many contain elements that can harm it.
Some good fertilizers for this begonia are general houseplant fertilizers or liquid fertilizers.
However, it is worth noting that, depending on the state of your Begonia, this same plant may not require fertilizer most of the time because its soil is well nourished.
Instead of worrying about how to feed your succulent, let it enjoy the soil’s nutrients and move it when it needs to.
You can propagate Begonia Chlorosticta through stem cuttings. To do this, use sharp and sterile scissors to cut off some stems.
The next step will require you to get your potting mixtures ready. After that, you can now root your cuttings in a small pot with well-draining soil.
Also, water it and add a little fertilizer to it before exposing your new plant to indirect light. In a few weeks, your Begonia Chlorosticta will produce new leaves.
Seeds of Begonia chlorosticta can also be used to propagate the plant.
Begonia chlorosticta blooms with female flowers before male flowers, preventing cross-pollination in the wild unless another plant is blooming and can offer pollen.
A lot of people who grow Begonia chlorosticta save pollen from the previous year and use it to pollinate the plant next year.
Begonia Chlorosticta, like most Begonia, is prone to pests like mealybugs, fungi gnats, and spider mites.
These pests may be sucking off your plant because you do not clear off the debris after pruning.
They can also infest your plant because one of the nearby plants has been infected.
Removing pests is easy. Use clothes dipped in foam or alcohol to wipe them off, or use pesticide spray.
Bacterial leaf spots and powdery mildew are common diseases that you can notice in Begonia chlorosticta plants.
The causes of these diseases are not rare, nor is their management. However, neglecting them can damage your Begonia further.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
Bacterial leaf spots are a result of a bacterial pathogen. When this happens, yellow halos start developing on your plants, and neglecting them will be more devastating for your plants.
One of the causes of bacterial leaf spots on Begonia Chlorosticta is that you are over-wetting the leaves.
To prevent this disease, avoid soaking the leaves. Also, eliminate infected leaves and plants close to your Begonia.
They are white, mealy fungi that grow on your Begonia’s flowers, leaves, and stems.
The cause of this disease is a pathogen called oidium, and you can tackle it with close monitoring and the use of fungicides.
Begonia chlorosticta is one of the most challenging Begonia species to look after.
Moreso, having this houseplant requires you to monitor it and make adjustments when necessary.
However, if taken care of well, the begonia chlorosticta plant has great visual appeal in any home or office.
Other Types of Begonias to Consider
The Begonia chlorosticta is not the only begonia that looks great. There are many types of begonias to think about when choosing a plant for your home or garden.
For example, cane begonias have tall stems, tuberous begonias are small, compact plants used for bedding, and fibrous begonias are known for their flashy blooms. Read on for other types of Begonias to grow in your garden.
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.