Do you want to know about a teeny-tiny Begonia with ever-blooming yellowish flowers? We are introducing the Begonia prismatocarpa plant. This Lilliputian does not exceed about 6 inches in height. The green leaves and bright yellow flowers on reddish stems make it look one of a kind.
This is native to the western African regions and a relatively low-maintenance plant. Perfect for vivariums and terrariums, this plant does pretty well in containers, courtyards and as a houseplant in suitable conditions like high humidity. Sounds interesting?
Let us share more about the miniature Prismatocaropa Begonia, along with its care and propagation.
Begonia Prismatocarpa Classification
Begonia is one of the largest genera of flowering plants, constituting more than 1,800 species. These perennial species are proud natives of tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, America, and South Asia. This is a diverse genus containing both outdoor and indoor dwellers.
The bright and colorful foliage and flowers of this genus make it get all the limelight in the plant world. The flowers are usually petal-less or single petal and bisexual.
This genus is popularly hybridized to form a number of unique new plant species. This genus is yet not described completely, with a large number of unknown species waiting to be described.
Features of Begonia Prismatocarpa Plant
This plant was first discovered by western explorers. The term prismatocarpa refers to ‘the prism-shaped fruit’ of the plant.
Height and Structure
- The height of this miniature remains under 6 inches in a terrarium. Moreover, the width is a little more, usually around 5 to 7 inches.
- The plant grows as an epiphytic and terrestrial plant and spreads through the rhizome.
- The leaves are around 1 inch in size and grow alternately along the branches.
- The tiny yellow flowers with orange strips bloom throughout the year, beautifying the green foliage.
Begonias are on the list of ASPCA toxic plants. Thus, don’t let the kids and pets mingle with the Prismatocarpa plants.
Begonia Prismatocarpa Variegata
Still with us? Let us introduce another tiny beauty. This is the variegated form of the prismatocarpa plant. All the features are pretty similar except for the white borders throughout the leaf edges.
Begonia Prismatocarpa Care
These Lilliputians are low-maintenance plants. Let us have a look at the basic requirements;
The water requirements of these plants are medium to high. They like frequent watering and moderately moist soil that should never be soggy. In summer, water about three to four times a week. However, once or twice is enough in winter, right after the soil gets dry.
Make sure the plant is never over-watered and no water is standing at the base. Moreover, begonias generally don’t like water to stay at their leaves. Thus, avoid keeping the foliage wet for longer hours.
Keep these plants in the indirect light of medium to low intensity. They can do pretty well in fluorescent light. Moreover, bright and direct light is not much suitable for these delicate miniatures.
Browning or yellowing of leaf edges is a sign of an over-lit plant. In case you see your prismatocarpa leaves getting pale, place the plant in some shadier spot at your earliest.
These are warmth-loving plants. 10 to 25 °C is an optimal temperature range. The maximum temperature tolerance for daytime is around 30 °C and 10 °C at the night. These tiny plant peeps are neither winter nor frost hardy. Thus, make sure you keep them warm on the colder days.
These plants love moisture. More than 70% humidity is one of the basic requirements for these tiny peeps. Thus, make sure you avoid dryness and place them in a humid atmosphere.
To combat dryness, you can consider introducing a humidifier in the room. Moreover, you can mist the plants once in a while. However, make sure, the foliage doesn’t stay wet for long. The plants don’t need much aeration, making them ideal for closed growing places like terrariums.
Soil and Substrate Requirements
These plants need a combination of well-draining and moisture-holding substrate with PH 6 to 7. Sphagnum moss shows good results for the plant, especially in terrariums and vivariums.
They do not need much fertilizer but a little. Use any suitable house plant fertilizer once a month in low quantity. Low-quality fertilizers may cause salt formation in the soil which is dangerous for the plant. Thus, make sure you avoid using the sub-standard product.
Pruning and Pinching Requirement
Do you want to get a shrubby look for your hanging baskets? Press the tips and prune the outer stems in the growing season to get a ‘fluffier’ plant body.
These quick and compact growers have the ability to grow mats in containers. Moreover, they grow out quickly, especially from smaller terrariums. Thus, regular pruning and trimming are essential to maintain the size of the plant.
If you haven’t pruned the plant regularly, it will soon need a repot to some larger growing place. People usually repot begonias in their initial years. After maturity, they can be left for some years because the size doesn’t increase rapidly.
It is important to mention here that the plants need an annual change of the growing medium. The older blend loses its oxygen holding capacity and natural depletion. So, you need to provide fresh substrate in order to maintain healthy foliage.
The USDA zones of hardiness for these plants are 10 to 12.
Begonia Prismatocarpa Propagation
Just like other members of the genus, the Begonia prismatocarpa can be grown by seeds. However, you can propagate them easily by all under mentioned methods;
- Rhizomes division.
Propagation by Stem-Cuttings
This is the easiest method to propagate Beautiful Begonias. Spring and summer are the ideal seasons for this propagation. Make sure you use all the precautionary apparel to avoid any health risks.
- Take a sharp sterilized knife and cut a stem tip cutting about 5 to 7 inches long. Now, remove a few leaves from the lower side keeping some at the top of the cutting.
- Prepare a pot with moist and well-drained soil with drainage holes and seeping gaps.
- Plant the cuttings about 3 inches deep in the soil and firm the soil around.
- Water the soil frequently to keep the soil sodden. Place the pot in some warm place with indirect light.
You can simply plant the cuttings in a jar of water. The cutting will start developing roots. You can transfer them to soil or even keep them growing beautifully in the water.
We usually share an estimated growth pattern to help you with the propagation process.
Month 1: Keep watering the soil to keep it moist. Avoid over-watering or making the soil soggy. Make sure the pot is in a warm place with indirect light.
Rooting usually starts after the third week, followed by the shoot development around the fourth week.
Month 2 and Onwards: The plantlets will grow rapidly after the middle of the second month. You will soon see the small cuttings developing into fast-growing baby plants.
Just keep following the Care mentioned in the previous section and Voila!
Begonia Prismatocarpa Plant Problems
This tiny plant does not have much resistance to disease and pests.
Common Diseases include;
- Bacterial Leaf spot
- Botrytis Blight
The former two are caused by Xanthomonas Campestris PV. On the other hand, the latter is by the effects of Botrytis Cinera. These diseases create holes in the leaves. If left uncontrolled, they may eventually kill the plant.
It is always better to keep a regular check at your plant peeps. So that you can control any issue before it gets severe. The first solution to these diseases is removing the infected leaves the right way. Then, use any suitable antibiotic spray to control the disease from spreading further. These sprays are easily available in the market.
The common possible pests which may attack your tiny plant peep are;
These nasty creatures feast on the foliages by making small holes. You should try your best to keep the plant safe from these pests.
In case of an attack, isolation of the plant should be your first step. After that, use a suitable insecticide spray to combat the nasty pests.
Begonia prismatocarpa are tiny evergreen plants that remain under 6 inches in height. The lime green leaves are beautified with small yellow flowers throughout the year. You can easily keep these peeps happy with moist soil, warmth, and high humidity.
These are perfect for small growing habitats like terrariums and vivariums. You can also grow them in courtyards, room edges, hanging baskets, and small containers provided you maintain adequate humidity. Enjoy the beauty of these Lilliputians while keeping them away from kids and pets.