Begonia Maculata Tips for Fast Growth and Propagation (Polka Dot Begonia)

Begonias are a popular house plant. The Polka Dot Begonia, in particular, has rich green leaves with white spots that give it its Polka Dot name. These Begonias are pretty easy to take care of. They need a lot of bright, indirect light, humidity, and fertilizer. 

Begonia Maculata, or Polka Dot Begonia, requires proper watering methods, including good drainage and plenty of fertilizer for fast growth and propagation. They are a species that inherently grows fast, so as long as they are treated right, they will grow quickly. If you want your plant to grow tall, you may also need to include a moss pole or a coir pole, so it doesn’t break. 

If you want to learn more about Polka Dot Begonia growth and how to propagate the plant, continue reading below.  

Tips For Begonia Maculata Watering

One of the best ways to help your plant grow naturally and quickly is to ensure they are getting the right amount of water. If a plant receives too much or too little water, it may have slower growth and even get damaged, forcing you to restart growing your plant from scratch. 

While you can look online for guidelines on how often you should water your plant and how much, there is no hard and fast rule. It depends a lot on your climate and pot. However, the general rule is that you want the soil to dry out completely before watering again. 

Hopefully, you have a pot with proper drainage on the bottom to drain excess water. If you do, you will just soak the plant for a minute or two in water and then let the excess water drain out. 

After that, check the soil occasionally. Once the soil is completely dry and crumbly, you can water it again. To check the soil, you simply stick your finger into the soil and see if soil clings to you. If it does, the soil is still too wet to water again. Generally, you will want to go about 2 inches (5 cm) down into the soil. 

If you are a fan of gadgets and tools, there are also moisture meters available on the market that can read the water level in the soil and tell you if the soil is dry enough.

What Is the Best Fertilizer For Begonias?

fertilizer in hand
Begonias need a lot of fertilization. Not only are they fast growers, but they enjoy feeding heavily.

The best fertilizer for Begonias is usually one that is balanced. Most fertilizers should have a number for nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium (NPK) ratio. For Begonias, you want these numbers all to be the same. A 20-20-20 ratio is usually the highest recommended spread. 

Depending on whether your plants are potted or ground-grown, you either want liquid fertilizer or granular fertilizer. For ground-grown plants, a slow-release granular fertilizer once a month is best. 

For those in pots, whether indoor or outdoor, you will want a liquid fertilizer every other week. 

Does Polka Dot Begonia Grow Fast?

A Polka Dot Begonia grows much faster than many other houseplants you might be familiar with. Each growing season, they can grow up to 12 inches (30.5 cm). While environmental factors influence the exact growth, most people will find that these plants grow quickly when given proper care. 

Why Are My Begonias Not Growing?

Begonias are not slow-growing plants by any means. So if you notice that your plant isn’t growing as it should, it is likely because it is not getting the care it needs in a proper habitat. 

One of the most significant factors that stunts growth in Polka Dot Begonias is too much sun. They prefer bright, indirect light or early morning sun to grow their best. 

Also, Begonias are tropical plants. This means that they usually do best in very warm, wet conditions. Their growth may also be stunted if the temperatures are too cold or they don’t have enough humidity. 

How Do You Make Begonia Maculata Leaves Bigger?

Giving your Polka Dot Begonia plenty of fertilizer is the best way to grow bigger leaves. However, it is important to note that you don’t want to fertilize your plant all year round. If you do that, your plant will continuously push for more and more growth and eventually wear itself out. 

Instead, fertilize during its regular growing seasons in the spring and summer, and let the plant rest in the fall and winter. 

How Do You Make Begonia Maculata Bigger?

polka dot Begonia
Most of the time, Begonia Maculatas grow up to 2 feet (0.5 m) in length. However, some people report them growing as tall as 5 feet (1.5 m). So how do you get your plant to be this tall?

Generally, you first want to ensure your plant has all the proper habitat requirements. Ensure it has plenty of indirect sunlight, a large enough pot, fertilizer during the growing season, and enough water. 

If all of that looks good, the next step is to encourage your plant to grow. Since most leaves tend to be at the top with Polka Dot Begonias, they can get top heavy and break. Plants will generally stop growing up once too many of the upper leaves and stem break and instead focus on growing bushier. 

If you don’t want this to happen, you can promote tall growth with a stake, moss pole, or coir pole. This gives your plant the support to grow tall without the danger of the plant breaking. 

If you want your plant to grow bigger, as in fuller, and not taller, the best thing to do is pinch the top of the plant as new leaves start to sprout. Doing this allows you to coax the plant into growing leaves lower down on the stem instead of at the very top. 

How Long Does It Take For Polka Dot Begonia Maculata To Propagate?

Begonia Maculata can start showing roots in as little as five to seven weeks, depending on the weather and the amount of sunlight they get. However, you usually want the roots to be pretty well developed before planting them in soil. 

This means you may have to propagate your plant for a few months before it is ready to be planted. 

How to Propagate Begonia Maculata In Soil

Many people consider Begonia Maculata one of the easiest plants to propagate. Some say it is even easier to propagate than Pothos, which is widely considered the easiest among common houseplants. 

Before you begin, you want clean and sterilized cutting tools like shears or scissors and a small pot or container with soil. Having clean-cutting tools reduces your plant’s chances of infection or disease. 

When it comes to Begonia Maculata, you just need a leaf or part of a stem to propagate. You can use leaves that have fallen off of the plant during shipment or cut off your own. However, you must use an older, mature leaf instead of a new one to increase your chances of propagation. 

When you find a leaf you like, cut the leaf where it connects to the stem, leaving the petiole attached. 

While you can also use a stem, it isn’t necessary. We would only recommend using a stem if you are trimming the mother plant. You don’t have to do anything special with the stems, just cut off a part, making sure you have at least one leaf on the stem. 

Unlike other plants, you don’t have to trim the stems right below the node because the roots will cluster around the nodes but can also grow anywhere else on the stems. 

Then, place your cutting into a pot with damp soil. A potting mix is best to prevent any issues. You want the cutting just an inch (2.5 cm) below the soil. Enough to be covered, but not too deep. 

If you are using a stem cutting with the leaves, you can simply place the cut side down an inch or two in the soil (2.5 to 5 cm) so that it stands up and let the leaves sit outside the pot so that they can get sunlight. 

To keep the soil humid, you can put plastic wrap over the top of the pot. Let the plant air out for an hour or so daily to prevent excess moisture and allow proper airflow. 

How to Propagate Polka Dot Maculata In Water?

water propagation
Propagating plants in water is often considered the best option if a plant can tolerate it. This is because you can keep an eye on the water and watch the root to make sure everything is growing as it should. Begonias are great plants to propagate in water, no matter the species. 

The first steps of propagation, whether you are propagating in soil or water, are the same. However, you will want a clear glass jar with filtered water instead of a pot with soil. While a clear jar isn’t required, it makes checking on your plant easier.

Once you have your cutting, simply place the stem in the water and make sure your plant gets plenty of light, though indirect light is best. 

When the water looks murky, you will want to change it with fresh filtered water. Also, you may have to occasionally add more water if it starts to evaporate so that the plant stays under the water and doesn’t dry out. 

Like soil propagation, you just want the cut part of the stem or the leaf to be in the water. The leaves and rest of the stem can sit out of the water to get sunlight and reduce the risk of rot. 


Polka Dot Begonias are relatively easy to grow and even easier to propagate. To have your Polka Dot Begonia grow quickly, you just have to make sure you give it the proper habitat so it can grow to its maximum potential. 

Begonia Maculata, or Polka Dot Begonia, requires proper watering methods, including drainage and plenty of fertilizer for fast growth and propagation. To propagate these Polka Dot Begonia, you just need to cut off a leaf or a stem and place it in water or soil. 

This plant is attractive, fast growing, and excellent for beginners wanting to learn more about basic plant care.