The Begonia Maculata (“Polka Dot Begonia”) is a unique houseplant that features playful dots on its leaves that inspire its polka dot nickname.
The original Begonia Maculata was found in Brazil in 1982 by a researcher and was soon brought to horticulturalists who set about making several varieties like the popular “Wightii” and the bright “Flamingo Queen.”
The Polka Dot Begonia and its varieties are excellent plants for beginners, and they’re not incredibly difficult to keep alive as a house plant. These Begonias actually have a thick waxy layer on them that helps prevent evaporation and water loss.
Begonia Maculata grows best in bright, indirect light, but it’s possible to keep them alive in areas of the home with less light. The Begonia Maculata is both popular and rare, but it’s not impossible to find at local garden centers.
If you’re looking for a unique houseplant, the Begonia Maculata is definitely one to consider.
If you’re lucky enough to find the Begonia Maculata for sale, you might want to know which variety you’ve found.
Let’s take a look at the different Begonia Maculata varieties.
What Do Begonia Maculata Varieties Have in Common?
The most common reason to choose one variety of Begonia Maculata over another is its looks, and each variety does have mildly unique features from other types.
However, if you know how to take care of one Begonia Maculata, it’s easy to take care of any other variety that you choose. Growing healthy Begonias, particularly Begonia Maculata, is very rewarding, given their very unique polka-dotted leaves.
One great feature of the Begonia Maculata is that it’s very easy to keep alive. As long as you place the plant in a bright area of your home, assuming you grow it as a houseplant, the Begonia Maculata will reward you with vibrant leaves and continuous growth.
Don’t let the soil get too dry, but do give it a chance to become minimally moist. Begonias love humidity, but they don’t like sitting in water.
One of the neatest features of the Begonia Maculata is that it’s particularly easy to propagate. If you love the way your Begonia Maculata looks in your home or yard, you can easily make new plants using nothing more than a single leaf or just a portion of a leaf.
It’s worth noting that the Begonia Maculata is a tropical plant, so ensuring the plant’s happiness means mimicking a rainforest and ensuring it’s moist.
1. Begonia Maculata “Annan Grace”
The Annan Grace variety of the Begonia Maculata features different-sized dots which cover the leaves and sometimes look like they’re falling off the edge of the leaves.
If you turn the leaves over, they appear red in the middle and are surrounded by green around the edges.
When the Annan Grace grows flowers, they appear white with just a small amount of pink mixed into them.
The Annan Grace was originally created in Japan and is distinct from the wild variety of the Begonia Maculata in that its dots are quite randomly placed, whereas the wild version has dots that look particularly uniform.
2. Begonia Maculata “Flamingo Queen”
The Flamingo Queen type of Begonia Maculata has the same multi-sized dots as the Annan Grace.
The dots may also appear to fall off the edges of the leaves like the Annan Grace.
The plant tends to grow like a big bush, but you can stake the Flamingo Queen, which will allow it to grow up to four feet tall. Like all Begonia Maculata, the Flamingo Queen and its unique appearance is a conversation starter in any home.
The playful leaves of this plant can grow up to 12 inches long, and you may notice a thin silver edge along the margins of the leaves when you look closely.
The Flamingo Queen will give you beautiful bright pink flowers from the spring and through the summer. The yellow centers of each of the flowers make the plant appear rather tropical as if it might belong on the floor of a rainforest.
3. Begonia Maculata “Medora”
The Medora variety of the Begonia Maculata features beautiful green leaves with silvery spots.
The leaves are small to medium in size, which is on the smaller size for the Begonia Maculata.
When the Medora grows flowers, they’re bright pink and appear in little clusters. Like other varieties of Begonia Maculata, the Medora likes bright, indirect light.
The Begonia Maculata Medora is sometimes referred to as the “Trout Leaf Begonia” because of the small elliptical shape of its leaves.
If you want to plant a Begonia Maculata that grows into a round, thick bush, the Medora is definitely one to consider.
When placed outside, the Medora can grow up to 2 1/2 feet tall, which makes it quite a magnificent little plant when fully grown.
4. Begonia Maculata “Raddi”
The Begonia Maculata “Raddi” variety will stay green all year long when planted in an area that doesn’t experience frost, but it’s also possible to grow this plant in a container indoors, as long as you ensure it receives adequate lighting.
If you’re looking for a Begonia that grows lush, thick foliage, the Raddi is definitely one to consider.
The dots on the Raddi are smaller than the dots on other Begonia Maculata varieties. Amazingly, just a single leaf of the Raddi or its related varieties can create several new plants, which makes propagating this Begonia quite fun.
You can take one leaf and slice it into small pieces, and as long as each small piece has a vein running down it, the piece will grow into a new Begonia Maculata when you place it in a pot of compost.
5. Begonia Maculata “Silver Spot”
The Begonia Maculata “Silver Spot” is named for the shade of its dots, which appear in silver and in various sizes on the leaves, seemingly painted randomly all around.
If you turn the leaves over, you’ll notice that they have red undersides. The Silver Spot is one of the most popular and sought-after varieties.
You can train this Begonia to crawl up a trellis, or it will trail over the side of the pot as it ages. The best way to ensure you get beautiful flowers from your Silver Spot is to make sure that it gets enough light.
Like other varieties of Begonia Maculata, the Silver Spot is tolerant of low light conditions, but it will always look its best when you give it bright indirect light.
6. Begonia Maculata “Wightii” or “Polka Dot”
The Wightii is considered the most popular variety of the Begonia Maculata and is one of the earliest varieties created after the plant was originally discovered.
Many refer to the Wightii Begonia as the Polka Dot Begonia. If you turn the leaves over, you’ll notice that they’re dark red.
However, the leaves won’t appear as dark if the plant doesn’t get enough light.
The Begonia Maculata Wightii will grow greenish-white flowers that feature yellow centers, which is different from other Begonia Maculata plants that have clusters of pink flowers.
One of the other defining features of the Wightii is that the plant can grow up to five feet tall, which is larger than other varieties which may only reach a height of 2 1/2 feet tall.