Begonia Pavonina: Peacock Begonia Plant Care

Begonia pavonina, often known as the peacock begonia, is a lovely flowering plant that needs a little more attention to grow.

However, with a little know-how, you can be on your way to growing your own healthy pavonina begonia plant.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about caring for begonia pavonina plants.

What is a Begonia Pavonina Plant?

Begonia pavonina is a flowering rhizomatous begonia plant species native to Malaysia and is a member of the Begoniaceae family.

The backs of the leaves are a rich golden color with a crimson center. The blossoms have a pale pink color. When cultivated in low light, the leaves have a lovely iridescent blue shine to them, which is very appealing.

It is commonly called the Peacock Begonia because of its colorful leaves.

When grown in low light, it has an attractive iridescent blue sheen to its leaves.

This iridescent blue color is a unique evolutionary adaptation that allows the plant to absorb red-green light better and reflect blue light in its natural habitat.

Begonia pavonia is typically grown indoors, usually in a high humidity terrarium or outside in a humid greenhouse.

As mentioned before, they are a rhizomatous species that typically grows to roughly 16 inches tall and produces beautiful light pink flowers.

How to Care for a Begonia Pavonina

Begonia pavonina, which is also known as the Peacock Begonia, is a beautiful flowering plant that can be used to brighten and enhance the appearance of any room.

Despite the fact that this begonia variety is simple to care for, there are a few things you should be aware of in order to keep it healthy and looking its best.

Read on to learn how to properly care for a begonia pavonina, including how much water, soil, and lighting it needs, as well as how to start new plants.

Temperature and Climate

Begonia pavonina does best when kept between 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and appreciates cool nights.

Since these begonias are naturally found in higher elevations under the thick rainforest canopy in Malaysia, they prefer the cooler temperatures found there.

Light

Begonia pavonina does not need a lot of light. This is one of the most interesting aspects of this begonia variety.

This plant lives in deep shade in the wild, where very little light makes it through the trees.

Its blue iridescent leaves are how the begonia pavonina has evolved to cope with its low light conditions.

light-for-Begonia-Pavonina

Begonia pavonina uses quantum mechanics to slow light.

The chloroplasts in the plant that performs photosynthesis have arranged their thylakoids to act as dense crystal.

This process reflects the blue light and allows the plant to absorb the red-green light better than it gets.

The reflected blue wavelengths are what cause the blue iridescence in the leaves.

As an aside, there are other plant species that have this trait. These include ferns, spike mosses, and even some orchids that exhibit this same blue iridescence trait.

If not grown in dim light, the begonia pavonina leaves change color to a dark bronze.

While begonia pavonina does need low light to exhibit its bright blue leaves, low light does not mean zero light; it’s still a plant and thus needs some light to survive.

Begonia pavonina still needs enough light to produce energy. Direct sunlight can burn the plant, so it’s best to keep it in indirect light in a north-facing window.

If you notice your plant is growing slowly and you want to see it grow faster, you can always try different angles of natural light.

Watering

The best way to water your Begonia pavonina is to topwater the plant until the water flows out of the bottom of your pot.

You want to make sure when watering Begonia pavonina that you have moist soil.

However, too much water can cause root rot, so be careful you don’t overwater.

A good rule of thumb is to water when the top inch of the soil is dried completely.

I usually topwater my begonia pavonina twice a week, but you will want to get a feel for your plants and create a watering schedule that works well for you.

In contrast, keep in mind that not watering enough can cause your soil to become compacted and dry, and this will cause a lot of stress on your plants.

These plants do enjoy higher humidity, so if you notice the tips of the leaves are blackening, you may need to increase humidity.

You can do this by adding a humidifier or surrounding your plant with other plants to create a mini-ecosystem.

Soil

Begonia pavonina can be grown in a number of different types of soil.

I prefer to mix potting soil with perlite in a 2:1 ratio, which we think Begonias do best because the soil will retain some moisture while the perlite will drain any excess water.

We’ve noticed that this mixture ratio is what the majority of our Begonia species do well in.

Other gardeners recommend mixing sphagnum moss and perlite in a 2:3 ratio to create a potting mix.

This can also be a good option, especially if you are concerned about overwatering your plants, as the moss and perlite will drain very well. 

Fertilizer

You can feed Begonia pavonina a diluted plant fertilizer every other week on a regular basis to give them more energy for growing during the spring and summer growing season.

During the winter, you can fertilize it once a month or not at all if you see it doing fine.

In most cases, a balanced nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium (NPK) ratio fertilizer is good for Begonia Pavonina.

Repotting

It’s recommended that you repot your Begonia pavonina peacock once a year in the spring.

These plants have very sensitive roots, so be gentle when repotting and only go up one pot size each time.

Lastly, always use a pot with drainage holes. You do not want to overwater these plants.

Propagation

propagation Begonia-Pavonina

Begonia Pavonina can be propagated by taking stem cuttings during late spring or early summer.

Pruning shears, a mother plant, and a bowl of water are all you’ll need to start growing Begonia pavonina from stem cuttings.

Make a 3-to-4-inch stem cut by cutting just below a node and bending it over.

In a bowl of water filled with water, submerge your cuttings until they are completely covered.

You’ll want to change the water about once a week until you notice roots beginning to form on the plant.

Instead of putting your plant in a bowl, you can place it in a plastic bag with damp paper towels and allow it to root there instead.

In 2 to 4 weeks, the new plants will begin to root, at which point they can be transplanted into individual pots.

Once your plant has established roots, you can begin the process of transferring it to the soil.

It is then necessary to place the stem cuttings in a rooting medium composed of perlite and vermiculite and to keep them moist.

You will want to gradually wean your stem off of its constant water supply by keeping its soil extremely wet for the first week or so.

Transplant when your cuttings have roots and can be planted into their own pot.

Reminder to get a pot or container with a drainage hole.

If you’re looking for a pot with drainage holes, how about one that waters itself? This self-watering pot is what we use for our plants. We love it because we never have to worry about overwatering our plants.

Unique 10" Self-Watering, Aerating, High Drainage Plant Pot with Deep Saucer (10 Inch,...
  • SELF-WATERING, 2-WEEKS+ DEEP RESERVOIR: No more troublesome wicks that clog...
  • SELF-AERATING, HIGH DRAINAGE, MINIMIZE ROOT ROT: No need to keep poking...
  • WATER FROM THE BOTTOM + NO MORE OVERFLOW: Each planter comes with a clip-on...

Pruning

Pruning your Begonia pavonina plants will aid in the promotion of new growth and the maintenance of your plants’ appearance.

When pruning, make sure to use sharp scissors or pruners to avoid tearing any of the foliage.

Remove any dead or diseased foliage from your Begonia Pavonina plants and cut the stems back to 6-8 inches in length to give them a fresh start.

You can also prune your plant if you believe it is becoming too leggy or when it is spreading out too wide for the space in which it is being kept.

We highly suggest these sharp pruning shears. They are not expensive and they seem to never be dull. Plus, they are easy on the hands.

Sale
VIVOSUN 6.5 Inch Gardening Scissors Hand Pruner Pruning Shear with Straight Stainless...
  • Reduce Hand Strain: These micro tip snips are built spring-loaded so that...
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Common Pests (and diseases)

Begonia pavonina is susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases, the most common of which are mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, leaf miners, and root rot.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects that live on plant leaves and stems. They secrete a sticky substance known as honeydew, which can result in the growth of black sooty mold.

Aphids

Aphids are tiny sap-sucking insects that can be found on a wide range of plants. Begonia pavonina is a type of begonia that is commonly used in flower gardens.

Aphids can cause significant damage to begonias, particularly the pavonina variety, by sucking sap from the plants’ leaves. This can cause the plants to wilt and stunt their growth.

Spider Mites

The spider mite is another common pest. These tiny arachnids thrive in dry conditions and can quickly wreak havoc on leaves, turning them yellow and brown.

How to Keep Pests Away from Begonia Pavonina

Apply insecticidal soap or Neem oil to keep pests away from Begonia Pavonina plants.

Another thing you can do to prevent pests and diseases in Begonia Pavonina is to not overwater your plants.

The excess moisture is a breeding ground for all the aforementioned pests and diseases that affect Begonia pavonina.

Lastly, you should do a weekly check to look for any signs of pests or disease.

If you notice pests, immediately take action by spraying them with insecticide or Neem oil.

If you are looking for a Neem oil spray, try using this Neem oil spray. It’s nothing fancy, but we’ve used it on our various pest infestations and diseases and it seems to work well.

BioAdvanced 800400D Neem Oil, 24-Ounce, Ready-to-Use
  • INSECT KILLER: Controls Aphids, Whiteflies, Spider Mites, Fruit Flies,...
  • DISEASE CONTROL: Fungicide controls Blackspot, Rust, Powdery Mildew, and...
  • USE ON: For use on Roses, Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables and Shrubs

FAQ

Do blue begonia Plants Exist?

Yes, blue begonias do exist and they are called Begonia Pavoninas. The Begonia Pavonina is a flowering plant that can be found in Malaysia’s dense tropical forest under the thick canopies. It has iridescent blue leaves because it has chloroplasts that look different on its surface. These are called iridoplasts.

When do You Water Peacock Begonias?

Water Peacock Begonia plant when and if the soil around your plant is dry. If the soil is still moist, it is best to wait a few more days before watering the Begonia pavonina plant. The plant will need to be watered approximately three times per week during the summer. In contrast, during the winter you should wait till the soil is dry before even considering adding more water.

Conclusion

Begonia Pavonina is a gorgeous plant that has iridescent leaves. However, it is one of the more difficult begonia species to keep.

It requires cool temperatures, high humidity, good air movement, and specific lighting.

If you feel you are up to the task of caring for these iridescent beauties, they are a rewarding species to keep, and their unique leaf color will add something special to your plant collection.

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 are small, compact plants used for bedding or fibrous begonia for their flashy blooms.

Look further for other types of Begonias to grow in your garden. 

References

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