Home Plants Beefsteak Begonia – Begonia Erythrophylla Plant

Beefsteak Begonia – Begonia Erythrophylla Plant

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Beefsteak Begonia

For many years, begonia plants have been popular as ornamental indoor plants. They have a perfect size, ideal maintenance, and care requirements, and you can easily propagate them. Not to mention, their leaves are stunning. Beefsteak Begonia is no exception. The plant is an extraordinarily beautiful species with even prettier flowers when it blooms.

We will discuss Beefsteak and everything there is to know about the plant, from its care requirements to how to propagate a Beefsteak begonia, to pruning it, we will tell you all the details that you must know before adding this plant to your collection.

Classification

  • Family: Begoniaceae
  • Genus: Begonia

About the genus Begonia

Begonia is a genus consisting of more than 1400 beautiful, flowering, and evergreen plants. In the mid 18th century, the genus got its name after Michael Begon, a French governor. The plant became widely popular in the tropical and subtropical areas of the world, including Africa, Asia, and Central America.

All Begonja plants are known for their beautiful foliage and are famous for ornamental purposes. However, even though the foliage remains the primary attraction of the plant, the tiny flowers add a beautiful POP of color.

Origin and Distribution

The plants of this genus are very common findings in diverse tropical areas of the world. However, Beefsteak plants are commonly saturated in the areas of Alabama, California, and Florida growing outdoors. Some of the most popular plants of this genus are Begonia Thelmae, Begonia Prismatocarpa, and Begonia Amphioxus.

Beefsteak Begonia Plant Features

Foliage and Stem

A typical Beefsteak plant has shining, glossy, textured leaves with a smooth finish. The leaves are a beautiful mixture of green and red colors with beautiful veined patterns on top. The colors merge beautifully, and this particular feature makes these plants stand out in a crowd.

Evergreen

All Begonia plants, including the Beefsteak species, have evergreen foliage. This particular feature helps them stand out as a suitable ornamental plant because they keep their shape and structure throughout the year.

Height

An average Beefsteak plant can grow as tall as 8 to 20 inches, given that it is living in optimum conditions.

Temperature Tolerance

If you want to make sure your Begonia thrives, you must remember to keep it away from frosty temperatures. A Beefsteak Erythrophylla is not tolerant to lower temperatures, so make sure you keep it somewhere warmer when the winters hit.

Humidity Tolerance

Begonia plants, even the Begonia Erythrophylla species, tend to be very tolerant of humidity. In fact, they appreciate it. Occasional misting and gentle boosts of moisture around the plant are always a favorable factor.

Beefsteak Begonia Flowers

Beefsteak begonia flowers are tiny but beautiful and fragrant. They are light pink to off-white, and they stand out amongst the big green leaves. These flowers are not as large and impressive as you would expect, but they still add to the plant’s aesthetics.

Drought-resistance

Since we know that these plants like moist soil and high humidity, drought-like conditions would not do well to this species. If you don’t keep it hydrated enough, your Beefsteak plant will start looking dull and dehydrated.

Pressure Tolerance

Beefsteak is a small and delicate plant. It will not tolerate acute or long-term pressure. So, make sure you put it where no one can step on its leaves. Plus, avoid any source of external pressure on the point and keep it in a spacious spot.

Disease Resistance

The most common Begonia diseases you can find in a Beefsteak plant are bacterial and viral infections, including Bacterial Leaf Spot and Blight Disease. These diseases create holes in the leaves and stems of a plant and can be fatal if not treated appropriately.

In such a case, isolate the plant immediately so that the disease does not spread to the other plants nearby. Next, treat the condition based on professional and expert suggestions. Or use commercial fungicides to solve the problem.

Pest Resistance

The most common first attacks you can find in begonia plants are caterpillars, earwigs, slugs, and snails. For these too, you can get expert opinions and pesticides/insecticides.

The easiest way, however, to avoid these problems is to keep a regular check on your plant to see if everything is okay. The sooner you identify the problem with the plant, the sooner you can fix it and avoid irreversible damage.

Growth

Even though begonia plants are generally fast-growing, their growth rate majorly depends on the conditions they live in and their genetic makeup. Several external factors can slow down the growth rate, including growing in a closed space, an infection or disease, lack of water, sunlight, fertilizers, etc.

Toxicity

Unfortunately, Beefsteak Begonia is a toxic plant and should be nowhere near a child or an animal. If ingested or mishandled, these plants can cause mild to severe symptoms of irritation and inflammation.

Durability

Any plant with a perennial life cycle is durable since it can live for anywhere from 2 years to several decades, the condition being that you are giving them the right care and environment.

Maintenance

On a scale, Begonia Erythrophylla plants are supposedly low-maintenance because they can survive in room temperatures and humidity levels. You don’t need to get fancy tools and supplies for them, and they grow just fine under normal conditions and care.

Beefsteak Begonia Care

Beefsteak Begonia care involves regular but maintained water supply, lots of bright but indirect sunlight, and occasional doses of plant food. You only need to repot the plant once every year, and grooming and pruning are not heavy tasks. Overall, the care for these plants is effortless.

Water Requirements

To make sure that you are watering the Beefsteak Begonia plants correctly, you must understand what the planet is trying to tell you and give it exactly what it needs. Unless and until you see the top layer of the soil drying out, do not re-water the plant. To ensure that it is time, you can use a moisture meter or just feel the texture with your fingertips.

Soil Requirements

When looking for the right soil mix for these plants, there are three features to keep in mind: the soil should be moist, fertile, and well-drained. The optimum pH level of the medium would be 6.7, not too low, not too high.

Make sure the soil stays moist, but there is no water accumulating around the roots.

Sunlight Requirements

Bright windowsill locations are ideal for putting a Beefsteak Begonia plant. The reason for this is that these plants don’t like to be exposed to direct sunlight but also like to stay in well-lit, bright environments. Maintaining this balance is essential if you want to make your plant grow healthy and to its maximum potential.

However, the fun part about the species is that it is very capable of adjusting in low-light environments. If you compensate for this in the form of a maintained water schedule, the chances are that the lack of natural sunlight will not affect your plant too intensely.

Temperature Requirements

Begonia erythrophylla is not very fussy about the temperatures. Keeping the plant under room temperatures is generally a good idea. However, if you want to be precise, don’t let the temperatures drop below 15.5 degrees Celsius. As mentioned earlier, this species is not tolerant of cold environments, so make sure it stays nice and warm.

The ideal temperature range to keep these plants thriving would be from 10 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius.

Humidity

Like most Begonia plants, this one also prepares high humidity around it, preferably 80 to 100%. In case you live in a dry area, installing a humidifier, or using the pebble tray method can do you good. You can also mist the planet occasionally but make sure that the water does not stand on the plant’s leaves for a more extended period.

Fertilizer

It is very easy to overfeed these plants. Thus, you must be very careful about this part of Beefsteak Begonia’s care. You can use a regular, traditional house plant fertilizer, but it will be best to dilute it as much as you can. An application every 2 to 3 weeks is ideal and avoid feeding the plant when it is dormant.

Repotting

Repotting these plants every year can be favorable and increase the life of a plant.

Grooming and Pruning

To groom the plant, all you have to do is make sure that it is clean, dry, and free of diseases and pests. Mist it and wipe it clean with a cloth to ensure that there is no dust or germ accumulation on the surface.

When it comes to pruning Beefsteak Begonia, the idea is pretty similar to when you are propagating the species: cut 3 to 5 inches off the stems that you want to remove, leaving no buds behind, and make sure you clean up any dead leaves around the plant.

How to Propagate Beefsteak Begonia Plant

The most widely known method to propagate Beefsteak Begonia is by stem cuttings or leaf cuttings. We’ll talk about each one by one.

Stem Propagation

  • Start by making sure that all your tools and pieces of equipment are safe and sterile.
  • Next, proceed by taking an adequate piece of stem from a mature Beefsteak Begonia plant. This cutting should be about 5 to 7 inches in length to stand upright in the soil without sinking into the pot or falling off. Moderation is key!
  • Plus, if the stem has dropped its leaves, make sure that you cut off the part just below the leaf function and don’t leave behind any stem underneath the bud.
  • Meanwhile, prepare a pot or container filled with moist and rich potting mix for the Begonia.
  • Next, use your finger, the back of a spoon, or a pencil to make a hole in the soil.
  • It’s time to place the cutting inside the soil.
  • You can even dip the cut end in rooting hormone liquid or powder to boost the growth rate and maximize the chances of successful propagation.
  • You can make several holes in the soil and place multiple contains in the same pot. Doing this increases the chances of success and develops a beautiful, bushy-looking Beefsteak Begonia plant.

Leaf Propagation

  • Take a leaf from a mature Beefsteak plant and cut it with a significant length of a petiole still attached.
  • Pop it in a cup or jar filled with water.
  • Make sure you change the water twice or thrice a week.
  • When you see considerable roots growing out of the cut end of the petiole, remove the leaf from the water.
  • Place the growing leaf into a soiled container or pot, and care for it as a mature plant.

Timeline

Week 1-3: After you place the cutting in the water, or the soil, give it extra care in the initial phase.

Week 4-8: If all goes well, by the end of this phase, you will inevitably see roots developing.

Months 3-5: This phase is when your plant is finally in a safe zone. You can take care of it as a mature plant, and it will hopefully become more tolerant and thrive properly.

Final Thoughts

All in all, a Beefsteak Begonia is a beautiful, charming plant, perfect for indoor display and propagation. Its delicate leaves give a subtle but elegant POP of color to any interior set-up. However, if you plan to put these plants near the floor or on the window sills, resist the urge because they are extremely dangerous if ingested or mishandled by kids and pets. Keep the plant away from their reach and where it is only put for display and not for touching.

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