Begonia Baik is a fascinating plant with unique foliage. It is a tropical species that is also grown indoors for decorative purposes. But, it is grown mostly as a terrarium plant. So if you have a Begonia terrarium at home, this Baik Begonia would make an excellent addition to it.
If you grow it indoors, you have to be extra careful because it is a high-maintenance plant. But with our easy-to-follow care guide given below, you will have a hassle-free experience.
Let’s learn more about this plant’s features.
Begonia Baik Classification
- Order: Cucurbitales.
- Family: Begoniaceae
- Genus: Begonia
Begonia Baik is found in Malaysia, Borneo. It is endemic to Sarawak, which is a state in Malaysia.
Begonia Baik Appearance
Begonia Baik has bright red to dark-green colored leaves that are oval to cordate in shape. These leaves have a fuzzy texture and have bristly red-colored hair on them.
It produces bright white-colored flowers in the growing season. It blooms when the growing conditions are favorable enough.
This plant grows 8 inches tall upon maturing. It is a small-sized plant that can be grown in a terrarium.
Begonia Baik Care
Begonia Baik care involves medium watering and monthly fertilization. It needs high humidity (70-90%) and warm temperature (24°C-28°C) to survive. Therefore, it grows best inside a terrarium. Moreover, it should be grown in potting soil and perlite; there is no need to use a well-draining potting mix.
- Watering: Medium watering, once every 1-2 weeks.
- Soil type: Potting soil and perlite.
- Sunlight: Medium sunlight.
- Temperature: 24°C-28°C.
- Humidity: High humidity (70-90%).
- Fertilizer: Diluted liquid fertilizer once a month.
Begonia Baik Watering Requirements
This plant does not need much watering to grow. Medium watering once every 1-2 two weeks is enough. This watering frequency should be reduced to once a month during winters. Never use tap water for this Begonia. Distilled water or rainwater is best for its growth and does not cause any problems.
You should be very careful with the watering schedule because this plant is susceptible to root rot. If the soil is still moist, you should never water the plant. Moreover, use a spray to water this plant so that water does not fall on the leaves. You should directly water the base because the leaves are sensitive.
This lovely plant species does not have any specific requirements for its potting mix. It grows pretty well in a regular houseplant potting mix, even if it does not have super draining soil. You can use a mixture of potting soil and perlite as the growing medium of this plant.
To improve the nutrient-absorbing ability of this Begonia, you should lower the pH of its soil. You can do so by adding a small amount of peat moss to its soil. Another way to do so is by mixing 1-2 drops of vinegar in the water before spraying the plant.
Begonia Baik prefers medium to low sunlight, which means partial shade. It would be best if you kept its terrarium in a spot where bright or direct sunlight cannot reach the plant’s foliage. An east or north-facing window is perfect for this plant. However, do not place its terrarium directly after the window; keep it 6 feet away. When the sunlight intensity is low in winters, you should move its terrarium near a south or west-facing window.
You can also use fluorescent lights for its terrarium. 12-18 hours of artificial light is enough for this Begonia’s proper growth.
This plant is native to Sarawak, where the temperature stays higher, and the air is humid. Therefore, it prefers to grow in warmer surroundings when grown indoors. It is why you should grow this Begonia plant in a terrarium. The temperature stays constant and high in a closed glass container. It is best if the temperature stays between 24°C-28°C.
You can increase the temperature in the terrarium by installing a heat lamp in it. You should monitor the temperature to ensure it does not get too elevated.
This lovely Begonia species needs high humidity to thrive. The ideal humidity level for this plant is 70% to 90%. It is another reason why the terrarium is the best place to grow this plant. When you mist the terrarium with a shower spray, the moisture stays in the air inside it. Therefore, the humidity stays above 70% all the time in a terrarium.
The fuzzy leaves of this plant are susceptible to fungal infections. Therefore, you should never mist the plant for increasing humidity. When watering the plant, point the shower spray towards the base of the plant on top of the soil.
You should fertilize this plant once every month during the growing season. Regular fertilization keeps the plant healthy and thriving. You can either use a slow-release fertilizer or liquid fertilizer. You should add slow-release fertilizer twice a year, but apply liquid fertilizer every month.
You should not add the fertilizer directly; dilute it first. Add one tbsp of fertilizer into a gallon of water to lower it to half its strength. Stop the fertilization during winters. Because during these months, the plant is conserving its energy rather than focusing on growing.
Begonia Baik Pruning
Begonia species with unusual leaves, like Begonia Ferox, Beefsteak Begonia, and Begonia Baik, do not need pruning. Their unique leaves grow in a compact manner and do not have a leggy growth. However, you should remove old, dead leaves once in a while. This practice will help the plants produce new growth in place of them.
You should avoid touching healthy leaves while pruning, even with your tools. The reason is that the leaves are too sensitive. They melt when touched with anything.
How to Propagate Begonia Baik
It is a rare species of Begonia found in limited areas. Therefore, you should always propagate Begonia Baik (if you have one) to increase its collection. This plant is propagated through its leaves. Leaf propagation is also simple and easy, like stem cutting propagation. But if you have never propagated a plant via leaves before, here is a propagation guide for your help.
- Take your Begonia plant out from the terrarium.
- Take a sharp knife and sterilize it using 70% isopropyl and water.
- Use it to cut a healthy leaf from the plant. Do not touch other leaves.
- Place your plant back into the terrarium.
- Use a sharp needle to make slashes on the main vein of the blade. These points will bear new growth.
- Place this leaf on compost in a small pot.
- After some weeks, new shoots and roots will form from each damaged part of the leaf.
- Once these plantlets grow, you can separate them from the base and plant them into separate pots.
- It is best to keep these pots in a terrarium.
Begonia Baik Basic Features
It is a fast-growing plant that quickly occupies all the available space. Its growth rate slows down only when the light exposure is too less or when it is not receiving enough nutrients. It is best to keep it in medium light to maintain its growth rate.
This plant is toxic for cats and dogs. The leaves are poisonous, and when consumed in large amounts, they cause vomiting and severe irritation of the GI tract. Therefore, you should keep the terrarium containing Begonia away from the reach of your pets.
This Begonia species can tolerate moderate droughts. The reason is that the high humidity in the terrarium helps the leaves hold moisture for a long time and slow down the transpiration rate. So if you forget to water your Begonia Baik for some days, do not worry about it.
Begonia Baik Maintenance
It is a relatively high-maintenance plant as compared to other houseplants. It is because it is very sensitive and has specific needs. Its growing environment should be strictly according to its care requirements. Once you set its growing environment, this plant becomes the easiest to grow.
This plant can be dormant in winters. It is adapted to growing in high temperatures, and when the temperature drops outside, it slows down its growth rate and goes dormant. But if you keep your Begonia in a terrarium with a fixed high temperature, it will not go dormant in winters.
Common Problems and Their Solutions
Powdery mildew, root rot, and viral infections are the common diseases of this plant. Powdery mildew occurs due to poor air circulation; it is common in terrarium plants. You can avoid this disease by keeping the leaves dry or never spraying the leaves when watering the plant.
Root rot results from overwatering, and viral infections attack this plant when you use unsterilized tools on it.
When kept in a terrarium, it stays free of pests. But some pests still find their way into the glass container. Gnats, mealybugs, and spider mites are common pests of this plant.
Sometimes beetles, snails, and slugs find their way into the terrarium. They go there not for the plant but for the favorable growing conditions inside the glass container. These, in turn, end up eating and damaging the plant.
You can prevent these pests by keeping the terrarium closed. But if you have an open terrarium and these pests find their way to your plant, you can get rid of them by spraying the terrarium with a pesticide.
Begonia Baik FAQ
How Do I Care for a Begonia Baik Terrarium?
- Keep the terrarium out of the direct sun. Place it near an east or north-facing window.
- Keep the temperature around 24°C-28°C. You can place a heating lamp inside the terrarium to maintain this temperature.
- Mist the inside walls of the terrarium to increase the inner humidity.
Is This Plant Easy to Keep Alive?
It is a high-maintenance plant, but once you set up its terrarium, this plant is fairly easy to keep alive. Then the only care it will need will be regular watering, fertilization, and proper light exposure.
How Do I Water My Baik Begonia Plant in a Terrarium?
You should water this plant with a small shower spray. Point the shower towards the base of the plant, where there is soil. This way, no water gets to its leaves. Keep spraying until the drainage hole starts dripping. If it is planted into the soil directly on the base of the terrarium, you should keep spraying the soil until drenched in water.
Begonia Baik is a great terrarium plant that beautifies a plant collection with its unique, fuzzy leaves with red-colored hair on them. Although high-maintenance, it becomes easy to care for once its growing conditions are set right.
Have a look at our Begonia Benigo article next. It is another Begonia species with unusual foliage.