Begonia Medora is a shrub-like flowering plant (also known as the Trout Leaf Begonia).
It has small elongated leaves that are medium green with silver spots. It grows in a bushy manner and branches freely.
It blooms during cool nights with bright pink flowers. Medora begonias are a low-maintenance annual that can be used as a bedding plant with other annuals in some areas.
It can reach a height of 2 to 3 feet. It can be grown as a background plant in beds or as a hanging basket.
Begonia Medora plant care starts with filtered light, moist soil, and a humid environment away from the cold.
They grow well in hanging baskets and peat-based composts and can be propagated from leaf and stem cuttings.
A tender perennial, Begonia Medora will display colorful, bright pink flowers under the right conditions. But sudden temperature changes will cause leaf drop.
Read on to ensure proper Begonia Medora plant care and help yours to thrive.
Table of Contents
What is a Begonia Medora Plant?
A Begonia Medora plant is a cane begonia, indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions.
They are primarily found in Central and South America, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa due to the favorable climate.
Begonia Medora thrives in moist, cool forest climates although some have adapted to dryer terrain.
Commonly known as Spotted Begonia, Angel Wing Begonia, or simply Begonia, it prefers the partial shade of brightly lit areas, out of direct sunlight.
For soil moisture, they like it moist, but not wet. Root rot can occur if there is too much water sitting on the leaves as this can cause mold.
Most Begonia Medora plants can be grown outdoors in hanging baskets or garden beds, but with well-drained soil. They can also be grown indoors in part sun and part shade.
Known for being easy to grow, Medora Begonia can grow up to 2 ½ feet tall.
It is sometimes known as the “Trout Leaf Begonia” owing to its medium green, silver-spotted leaves that are small in size and almost look like trout fish.
These Trout Leaf Begonia plants also bloom with bright pink flowers.
They are particularly good when grown in bunches or planted as bedding plants-just add some mulch around the root zone when the weather starts to cool.
How to Care for Begonia Medora Plants
Caring for a Medora Begonia requires regular watering and a temperature range of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is best to not let the soil dry out between waterings and reduce water in winter, avoiding waterlogged soil.
When fully grown, fertilize it with a half-strength liquid fertilizer to help it thrive.
Here is an in-depth look at Medora Begonia care:
Temperature and Climate
Begonia Medora is a tropical plant and will require warm soil to thrive.
Anyone living in a cool climate, particularly USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7, should wait until the nights are warm and only plant outdoors when the soil is 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The foliage is cold-sensitive and will not survive a growing season outdoors in winter except for USDA Hardiness Zones 8 through 11.
Medora Begonia requires bright but indirect light. Place them near a large window behind a curtain for shade to protect against direct sunlight.
Otherwise, their leaves can burn and the soil will dry out.
Watering Begonia Medora plants every two to four days is a good rule of thumb.
When the weather is hot and dry, you’ll need to water your plants more frequently than when the weather is cool and the soil holds more moisture.
Begonia plants grown in full sun will also require more water than begonia plants grown in shady environments.
Allow it to dry out between waterings and avoid soaking its roots on a regular basis, or it may develop root rot.
Begonia Medora thrives in a light, fertile, growing medium that is humus-rich and well-draining.
Alternatively, all-purpose potting soil with added soil amendments like coarse sand, perlite, sphagnum peat moss, and compost in approximately equal parts is a great soil mix to achieve the desired results.
Whether you use potting soil or humus (garden soil with natural compost), proper drainage of the growing medium is important as Begonia Medora plants are susceptible to root rot that occurs in wet soil.
They also grow well in peat-based compost.
On the other hand, make sure the soil you use is able to retain some water so that the plants can absorb it.
A water-soluble fertilizer should be applied to Begonia Medora plants every 2-4 weeks when the plant is growing.
Using a fertilizer with slightly more potassium can encourage blooms, but delicate angel wing begonias tend to thrive without them.
Young Begonia Medora plants benefit from added phosphorus that encourages a healthy root system and development.
The leaves and roots are delicate, so it is best to dilute the fertilizer to half its strength.
Common Pests and Diseases
Common pests of Begonia Medora include thrips, spider mites, slugs, snails, and whiteflies.
Thrips are tiny, winged insects that are abundant in the garden and attack numerous plants.
They are found in hot dry conditions, making a heated house their environment of choice.
Young larvae feed on leaves and flowers and can transmit plant viruses in some cases.
Spider mites cause plants to yellow. If left untreated, spider mites can cause leaf drop syndrome and plant death.
Common diseases include Rhizoctonia, powdery mildew, and leaf spots.
The fungus Rhizoctonia is another issue for Begonia Medora. Found in most soils, it enters through the roots at the soil level.
Signs include wilting leaves, which should be removed, and decreased watering if Rhizoctonia becomes an issue for your begonias.
Powdery Mildew is another common disease that impacts Begonia.
It is typically found in plants that do not get adequate air circulation or light. Leaves often turn yellow or brown and drop off.
Begonia Medora plant requires reporting when the tubes outgrow their pot.
They will also need repotting when the soil mix has been the same for over three years.
Repotting can be done at any time of year, but spring is best as the plant starts regrowth.
Begonia Medora can be sown from seed but can also be propagated from leaf, rhizome, or stem cuttings.
They can be challenging to grow as houseplants as the leaves will often crisp under conditions that are not optimal.
Cuttings can be rooted in water and allowed to grow for a relatively long time before being transferred to soil.
Begonia Medora foliage should be pruned and any tubers can be dried and kept in dry, cool conditions through winter.
If growing a Begonia as a perennial, it will require more pruning. Cut them back to around 1/3 of the plant after they have flowered.
If the begonias flower in winter, it is best to cut them back in spring after flowering.
Growing Medora Begonia comes with its challenges but the reward is one of the most beautiful species of Begonia.
Their spotted leaves and pale pink flowers make for a unique plant that will thrive under the right conditions.
It can be tricky to grow and it is best to remember that although it needs to be watered regularly, when potted, too much water can lead to mold and rot.
Begonias’ need for higher humidity and light makes it difficult to keep them alive year after year, but it is achievable and worth the time invested.
Other Types of Begonias to Consider
There are many types of begonias to think about when choosing a plant for your home or garden.
For example, cane begonias have tall, tuberous begonias, small, compact plants used for bedding, or fibrous begonias for their flashy blooms.
Look further 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.