Polka Dot Begonia Propagation & Maintenance Tips

Polka dot begonia is a beautiful houseplant in the Begoniaceae family. It’s also known as Clown begonia, Spotted begonia, and Trout begonia. Some people call it Angel Wing Begonia because of the shape of its leaves. Its botanical name is Begonia Maculata. This blog post explains everything you may want to know about this beautiful indoor plant.


Polka dot begonia is among the most popular indoor plants globally. Unsurprisingly, you can find it in almost every garden center. This striking begonia grows vertically, reaching up to 5 feet. It has spotted, dark green elongated leaves which range from forest green to olive. Its spots range from silver to a pale gray color, while the undersides have a rich burnt orange color.

This gorgeous houseplant does best in tropical-like conditions, emulating its native areas, which are moist with average humidity, and rich acidic soil, and temperatures range from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Please note that polka dot begonia is toxic to most animals.

What is Polka Dot Begonia?

Polka dot begonia is an indoor plant whose leaves have a deep olive color and bright white spots. The leaves have a narrow arrowhead shape with burgundy undersides. It produces small flowers with a tiny small yellow center and a white rounded fan shape. With polka dot begonia toxic to animals and humans, it’s crucial to avoid ingesting it. Nevertheless, one of the primary polka dot begonia benefits is purifying the air and beautifying indoor spaces.

An anonymous Italian researcher discovered Polka dot begonia in 1982 in Brazil. It predominantly grows in the Atlantic rainforest. However, it’s also prevalent in Argentina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. With proper care, this plan can reach one meter in height. It produces pale pink and white flowers during summer and spring. Begonias relate closely to melons, cucumbers, and pumpkins.

Polka Dot Begonia Care and Maintenance

Ensuring proper polka dot begonia care indoors is an excellent way to use it to beautify your home or office. This plant is relatively easy to care for, making it suitable for beginners. Here are tips to help you care for your begonia indoor plant.

Soil Requirements

This beautiful indoor plant requires well-draining, loose soil. It may grow in a generic planting mix, but you can loosen it with perlite if it seems heavy.


Polka dot begonia requires moderately moist soil. However, avoid soggy soil because over-watering causes root rot. Check your soil by sticking an index finger into it to determine the moisture level. Water the soil until the bottom of your pot gets moist if it’s dry.


Meeting polka dot begonia light requirements is vital for its proper growth. It prefers indoors with limited bright light. Excess direct sunlight fades the color, with leaves tipping to brown. So, polka dot brown tips mean your plant is getting excess direct light. Therefore, move your plant to a location with less bright light.

Humidity and Temperature

This tropical plant requires high humidity and mild temperatures. Its ideal temperatures range from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It prefers humidity levels higher than 45% to ensure leaves don’t dry out. Therefore, use a humidifier or place your begonia on a pebble tray with pure water if your home gets dry.


A basic fertilizer for houseplants will keep this plant’s foliage and flowers looking great during summer and spring, as long as you water it. It may not require fertilizer during winter and fall.


The polka dot begonia growth habit necessitates pruning. This plant can grow to a height of up to 5 feet. Hence, you can prune it if it grows taller than you want or feels lanky since it requires more light. You may cut back the steps to encourage the growth of side shoots to create a lusher and fuller appearance.

How to Propagate Polka Dot Begonia

Polka dot begonia propagation is straightforward. The best way to propagate polka begonia is through the step. Here’s how to do it:

  • Cut a 4-inch step from a healthy plant, leaving at least two nodes.
  • Pop the stem in water and place it in a location that gets bright, indirect light.
  • Leave the stem in water until roots appear, which can take 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Plant the cutting with roots in a pot with fresh potting mix.

Your stem will develop into a new plant, which you can give someone special as a gorgeous gift.

Polka Dot Begonia Benefits and Uses

Besides beauty, polka dot begonia has numerous benefits and uses. Many believe it symbolizes creativity and joy while reminding us of life’s unpredictable nature. Here are the top benefits and uses of this houseplant.

  • Air purification: This indoor plant works tirelessly, removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
  • Aesthetic allure: Many grow this plant to improve their living rooms’ appearance. Its whimsical appearance and silver-spotted leaves create an exemplary visual treat.
  • Boosting mental health: Growing this breathing plant creates a living space that provides natural therapy. It reduces stress and lifts your mood.

Polka dot begonia is more than a living décor. It’s a living, purifying, and breathing companion that takes a little while it gives you a lot.

Why Grow This Indoor Plant?

Polka dot begonia care indoors is straightforward, making it a popular indoor plant in modern homes. Here are more reasons to grow this plant in your living or working space.

  • Easy care and maintenance: This plant is ideal for plant parents who prefer watching movies to constantly nurturing. It’s a forgiving plant with minimal demand. Proper watering when the soil dries and direct sunlight is sufficient for this begonia.
  • Adaptable: Whether you have a cozy studio or a spacious loft, this plant can fit in it. It’s sufficiently compact for tiny spaces, yet it can grow into a beautiful focal point in a larger room.
  • Beauty: With proper conditions, this plant produces white or pink flowers that beautify the living or working space.
  • Easy propagation: Polka dot begonia propagation is straightforward, making getting more from it easy.
  • Temperature tolerance: This begonia can tolerate cozy temperatures above 59oF.
  • Humidity hero: Polka dot begonia likes tropical-like humidity. Hence, it’s ideal for kitchen and bathroom placement.
  • Health benefits: This plant is a stress-reducer and mood-lifter.

Overall, begonia is a low-maintenance friend who needs little attention. With proper care and growing conditions, this plant will give your space excellent beauty and mood.

Polka Dot Begonia Problems

Although this plant has several problems, you can avoid them by giving it proper attention. Most of them happen if you over-water this plant or expose it to excess humidity. Here are polka dot begonia problems to watch out for:

  • Wilting leaves: Wilting leaves show the plant is getting insufficient light or excess water. Also, inspect it for root rot.
  • White spots on the leaves: If the leaves have white spots, the plant has mealybugs, which you can eliminate by rubbing alcohol. You can remove powdery mildew or white powder with a fungicide. Remove the affected leaves and ensure sufficient air circulation around the plant.
  • Pale, drying leaves: Polka dot begonia brown tips or patches indicate a plant receiving excess bright light. Also, they may indicate dehydration. Therefore, move your plant to a different pot or location.

Best practices, including using clean tools and sharp scissors, can prevent some of these problems. Also, use rooting hormone to boost success when propagating begonia. Additionally, expose your plant to consistent moisture and bright, indirect light.


Polka dot begonia is a beautiful easy-maintenance houseplant that prongs a pop of color into a living room. With appropriate creative display ideas, you can bring more beauty into your living or working space with this plant. So, visit the nearest garden center to buy this houseplant for your home or office.


Do polka dot begonias like shade or sun?

Polka dot begonias like limited bright light. Excess direct sunlight causes brown leaf tips and fading color. While it prefers bright, indirect light, this plant does well in locations with less brightness.

Is polka dot begonia annual or perennial?

Polka dot begonia is a perennial sub-shrub. However, some gardeners treat it as an annual flower by providing conditions that facilitate its growth throughout the year.

Are polka dot begonia plants toxic to cats?  

Yes. Polka dot begonia is toxic to cats and dogs. Therefore, keep it away from pets. Moreover, this plant is toxic to humans and can cause oral irritation. Its roots are the most poisonous.

How big does a polka dot begonia get?

Polka dot begonia can grow to a height of one meter with proper care. However, it mostly reaches between 30 and 40 centimeters when grown as an indoor houseplant.

Henry Mugambi

Henry Mugambi

Take a look at this guy. He's almost in his 40s, but he looks like he could be in his 20s. That's because he's a gardener—and a damn good one, too. He's been gardening since he was a little kid, and he loves nothing more than sharing his tips with others. He started blogging a few years ago, and his blog has since become a go-to source for gardening information. His audience trusts him because he knows his stuff, and he always offers sound advice that helps people get the most out of their gardens.

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