All the plant lovers must know about this absolutely adorable and beautiful shrub-like plant, Begonia Bipinnatifida. It is an evergreen perennial that has small fern-like bi-pinnate leaves and small pink-colored flowers. It is so small in height that its young self can fit in your hand. This gorgeous species is high-maintenance, so all get ready to give your extra attention and time to this plant. But all the hassle is worth its beautiful maroon-green foliage. Without further ado, let’s learn about its features and care tips.
- Fern Leaf Begonia
- Family: Begoniaceae
- Genus: Begonia
About the Genus Begonia
Begonia is a species of flowering plants having around 1831 species. These are native to Southern Asia, Central and South America, and Africa. Most of these species are terrestrial plants.
Origin and Distribution
It was originally found in the forest highlands of western New Guinea. It is widely distributed in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and South Dakota.
Begonia Bipinnatifida Features
Foliage and Stem
It is a Begonia plant, but its foliage looks more like a fern due to its double-pinnate leaves. Its leaves have maroon undersides and are dark green from above. Its stem and branches are crimson-colored. The lovely shades of its foliage are what make this plant so gorgeous.
This plant has tiny, super-beautiful, light-pink flowers. These flowers bloom in spring and early summer. Its flowers are star-shaped and have 5 petals each. However, this enchanting plant is loved more for its foliage rather than its flowers.
This little fella is an evergreen plant that stays green and fresh throughout the year. It does not shed all of its leaves at once in autumn. It sheds its leaves one by one when they are old enough.
The maximum height attained by this plant is 25 to 30 cm long. It is a small-sized plant that adds a cute statement to a plant collection. It looks so adorable in a terrarium among other medium-sized plants. You can also grow it in a pot on a vertical wall; it can adorn all spaces.
This plant loves warmer temperatures, and it is sensitive to cold. This is why it cannot tolerate low temperatures. Try to keep the environment warm and humid around it.
It cannot tolerate low humidity. High humidity is on top of its requirement list. Read the care tips below to learn the ideal humidity level for this plant.
It is a moderately drought-tolerant plant that can survive days of low water availability for some time. But try to never leave it thirsty.
Disease and Pest Resistance
This plant is prune to powdery mildew, bacterial leaf spot, and Pythium root rot. It also attracts many fungal diseases. You can prevent these by avoiding soggy soil and over-misting.
Scales, chewy insects, and some house bugs can damage its foliage, so look out for them.
You have to be patient with this plant as it grows at a relatively slower pace. It takes much time to reach its mature height. The USDA plant hardiness growth zones for this plant are 11 and above.
This pretty plant may look all beautiful and harmless but is quite poisonous for humans and animals. If ingested, its foliage can cause mouth irritation, vomiting, and drooling. This is why you should always be on the safer side and keep your children and pets away from this plant.
This lovely plant is a short-lived species that has a short life span of 2-3 years. But don’t worry; you can always increase your collection of Begonia Bipinnatifida plants each year through propagation. Keep reading this article to learn the step-by-step, easy guide for its propagation method.
It is a high-maintenance plant that has a challenging list of care needs. If you know the basics of growing a houseplant and are an expert in it, go for this plant. But, if you are buying a plant for the first time, Begonia Bipinnatifida might not be a good choice; you might kill it.
This plant goes into its resting period in winters; it goes dormant. During these days, there is no need to water it often or fertilize it at all.
Begonia Bipinnatifida Care
Its care requirements are a little more in number than other low-maintenance indoor plants, but they are easy to do. You should water it once a week and mist it regularly. The temperature required is around 10-35°C. The soil’s pH must be 5.5 to 6.5.
This tiny species needs moderate watering. In summers, water this plant when the top inch of its soil is completely dry. In winters, it does not need much watering. Water it only when half of its topsoil has dried out. The trick of watering this potted plant is to place its pot under flowing water above a sink until excess water starts dripping from the drainage hole.
If grown in terrariums, this plant needs even less watering. You can just mist the plant from above or add some distilled water once the topsoil is dry to touch.
This plant will do best if you specially prepare a soil mix for it. One part sphagnum moss, one part regular soil, and some perlite is the best combination for this delicate plant. You must use long-fiber sphagnum moss into the soil mix. For preparing long-fiber sphagnum moss, boil sphagnum moss first and then dry it using some papers. Cut it into one-inch long fibers and then mix it with some perlite. Perlite helps to increase the aeration of the soil.
This plant prefers the soil’s pH around 5.5 to 6.5. If the pH falls below this level, add limestone to rebalance it.
You have to be really careful with the placement of this plant as wrong placement and incorrect light exposure can burn its leaves and turn them brown. This plant needs 14 to 16 hours of sunlight daily. In summers, you can place it in an east-facing window where the afternoon sun rays are unreachable while in winter, a south-facing window will work just fine. Near whichever window you place this cute tiny plant, make sure to place it a few meters away from the direct window. Because, as mentioned earlier, this plant is not a fan of direct sunlight.
The ideal temperature range for a this shrub-like plant is 10°C to 35°C. This temperature is not difficult to maintain indoors as it is in the average room temperature range. However, if you are growing this plant in a terrarium, you will have to do extra work. Terrariums heat a little due to closed glass and light bulbs. You can keep the plant cool in a terrarium by placing a fan nearby. In winters, it will not be much of a problem; the terrarium will keep the temperature warm enough for this plant’s proper growth.
This plant has high humidity requirements. It needs a minimum of 70% humid environment to survive. If you want to watch your Begonia Bipinnatifida flourish and thrive, you will have to increase the humidity to 90%. This cannot be done with a pebble tray. So, a terrarium is the best option. Just mist the plant regularly, and it will be good to go. If you do not want to buy a separate terrarium right now, you can also use a closed glass container. It will do the same work and require less maintenance.
Terrariums are self-sustaining, so a Begonia Bipinnatifida growing in a terrarium won’t need much fertilization. However, a potted Bipinnatifida needs to be fertilized every two weeks. For this plant, you can use a liquid fertilizer but make sure to dilute it before adding it to the soil. The fertilizer must be diluted to one-third of its strength. Always water the plant before adding fertilizer so that you don’t burn the roots. Watering before fertilization also helps to disperse the fertilizer equally into the soil. No need to fertilize it in winters during its resting period.
Grooming and Pruning
This plant takes well to pruning. At the beginning of the growing season, you can prune it to any desired size; it won’t mind. You should also prune and cut its dead branches in spring to allow new growth. Make sure to sterilize your scissors before cutting this plant. Unsterilized scissors will lead to infected wounds and infectious diseases.
This delicate plant is not a fan of occasional movement and disturbance. If you want to re-pot it, you will have to do it with so much care and caution. It must be re-potted only in spring to ensure it will continue growing after being moved to a new pot. However, it might not need to be re-potted every year. You can check its need by observing its drainage hole. If its roots are growing out of the drainage hole, it needs to be re-potted. If you see no outgrowth, leave it be.
Prepare the new pot before removing your plant from its place. Add coarse gravel and charcoal at the bottom of the new pot, and then, add a layer of growing medium. Place your small Bipinnatifida into the center of the new pot. And then, without applying any pressure, add some more growing medium. That’s it.
Begonia Bipinnatifida propagation may seem difficult, as it is a high maintenance plant, but it is not. You can easily do it at home by yourself. Propagation of this plant is easiest if it is growing in a terrarium before. It can be done through stem and leaf cuttings. All you need to do is stick a tiny stem/lead cutting into sphagnum moss and keep it moist until new growth starts. You can place it in one corner in a terrarium.
Propagation of a potted plant can be done only through stem cuttings. The best time is at the beginning of spring or summer.
- Take a sharp knife and sterilize it.
- Cut a 2-3 inches long stem from a healthy plant.
- Make sure it has some leaves.
- Remove the bottom leaves unless there is at least one node at the bottom part of the stem.
- Place it in hormone powder until you ready the new pot.
- Fill the new pot with a growing medium and perlite.
- Cover the pot with a plastic bag until new growth appears.
- Place the pot in a well-lit corner with sufficient humidity to thrive.
Begonia Bipinnatifida is a lovely air-purifying plant that keeps your home beautiful, clean, and fresh. It can be grown in terrariums or in pots. You can also grow it in hanging pots on a vertical wall. This high-maintenance mini shrub is a must-addition to every indoor and home garden.