Begonia maculata grows relatively quickly and requires regular pruning to keep its size in check. After pruning is the perfect time to take cuttings so you can propagate them into new plants! Today, I’ll go into detail about how to propagate your Begonia maculata.
Begonia maculata, also known as the angel wing begonia, the polka dot plant, or the spotted begonia, is one of my favorite houseplants in our collection.
With it’s unique leaves and shape, these showy tropical plants add so much color and interest to the home. With proper care, I find myself pruning and propagating them on a regular basis. Here is my process for propagation.
How to successfully propagate Begonia maculata
Time needed: 5 minutes
There are a few different methods for propagating this beautiful plant, and this guide will help you each step of the way.
- Identify your cutting point.
When it comes to propagating your Begonia maculata, one of the most common questions is “where do I cut?” This is the first step of the process, and there is no need to overthink it! I have propagated plants from branches that have broken off unintentionally before.
Some people like to make small cuttings, while other people like to leave some height on the cutting so the plant is sturdier. Find a good spot about one inch above a node (where a leaf meets a stem). I like taking a larger cutting when I’m pruning to keep the new plant nice and sturdy.
- Make your cutting.
Using sharp scissors that have been wiped down with alcohol, make a slanted cut at your desired cutting point. The slanted cut makes it easier to place the cutting in soil. If you’re propagating in water, this is not necessary.
- Remove lower leaves.
You’ll want to remove any of the lower leaves that will be placed in your propagation medium.
- Choose your propagation medium.
You can propagate your Begonia maculata stem cuttings in fresh soil, in perlite, or use the water propagation method. I prefer using water propagation in a clear container because I like to see what’s going on with the root system every day.
- Place your cutting and provide the ideal conditions.
After placing your cutting in your desired medium, all you have to do is wait! I find that the new roots grow pretty quickly. If you’re propagating in soil, you’ll want to keep the soil moist (but avoid overly-soggy soil).
If you’re propagating in water, be sure to keep an eye on the water level and change it out at least once a week. I also like to add a few drops of fertilizer as soon as the roots begin to establish. Be sure your new cutting is receiving enough light to thrive. If you don’t have a good sunny window, a grow light will work just fine.
- Wait for roots to grow!
After some time, you’ll notice roots beginning to grow. This process can take several weeks, so it’s important to be patient. After your roots are a few inches long, you can transfer your plant to soil.
Begonia maculata propagation tips and FAQs
- The best time to prune and propagate is in the spring or summer (the growing season) when new growth and new leaves are emerging.
- Begonia cuttings will thrive in rich soil with organic matter.
- Keep the cuttings away from drafty windows and cold temperatures.
- Be sure you have good air circulation to prevent fungus gnats and root rot from overwatering.
- Always use a container that has good drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
With the right growing conditions, well-drained soil, and bright indirect light, your Begonia maculata should be an easy plant to care for. While there are some common issues that can arise, the polka dot Begonia continues to be one of my favorite indoor plants. It’s incredibly rewarding to admire the spotted leaves, fast growth, and beautiful white flowers!