B. cleopatrae | Photo: Rick Schoellhorn

MEMBER NAME: In Search of Small Things DATE: 10-08-2019

SPECIES NAME: Begonia cleopatrae

This Begonia species is from Palawan Island in the Philippines and has a creeping growth habit.

[1] SHADE, SEMI-SHADE, SUN, TERRARIUM, FLUORESCENT LIGHTS

Despite it’s rather delicate appearance, B. cleopatrae is a hardy windowsill plant or terrarium plant. There are no conditions I’ve grown it under, where it has not thrived. In terrariums it grows much faster, but in my experience is less likely to flower. The window I’ve got it in is south facing with no trees to block light outside.

[2] TYPE OF GROWING MEDIUM USED

Happy Frog potting soil with about 1/3 perlite and 10% coco fiber, 10% turface. In a terrarium housing frogs I have it growing in 100% unfired infield conditioner and it has done very well. The first image below is of the plant growing in the clay. The color is much more green, grown this way.

[3] TYPE OF FERTILIZER AND FREQUENCY OF FEEDING

1/8-1/4 urea free orchid fertilizer applied once a month. Plant in frog terrarium gets no fertilizer but is likely consuming fecal matter and nutrients from rotting crickets regularly.

[4] MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS AND METHOD OF SUPPLYING APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF WATER

can dry out between waterings or not, and is amazingly resilient to wilting. The plant I have growing in a windowsill (which has been growing there for 2+ years) is often neglected and has gone without water for maybe 2 weeks at a time but hardly looks worse for wear. The leaves are thick and resilient.

[5] PEST PROBLEMS AND HOW YOU TREATED THESE

None thus far.

[6] NOTE YOUR EXPERIENCE OF SETTING SEEDS AND GROWING SEEDS OF YOUR SPECIES

None

[7] NOTE YOUR EXPERIENCE OF VEGETATIVE PROPAGATION

This species propagates readily from leaves or leaf sections, with stem intact or not. Leaf cuttings should be kept in high humidity until they form plants.

B. cleopatrae – Male flowers | Photo: Jacky Duruisseau