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Friday, May 7, 2021 HouseplantsTrending Tropicals®

The Tall Growth Habit of Polka Dot Begonia

Polk Dot begonia, one of the most colorful members of the Trending Tropicals® collection, is popular for its beautiful colorful leaves with showy white dots. But Polka Dot has another secret talent -- how it grows as it matures. If you have a Polka Dot begonia, you may be interested in seeing how big it can get in a couple of years. Read more about Polka Dot!

Here’s a photo of Costa Farms’ grower Alejandro Pantoja's Polka Dot begonia.

Justin Hancock, Horticulturist from Costa Farms, talks about the amazing growth habit of this amazing plant.

QUESTION: Wow! This photo of Polka Dot is amazing! It’s cool to see how tall a Begonia maculata can get.

Justin: Yes! With good care, this plant can grow surprisingly large. I've also seen photos of a Begonia maculata that were more than 5 feet tall in the pot.

QUESTION: Does this plant need to be staked?

Justin: Ideally, if you want it to grow like this, you'll want to stake it, especially if you don’t have strong enough light inside or want this vertical appearance. 

QUESTION: And if you don’t stake it?

Justin: Without staking the canes will tend to arc a bit more, especially in lower light conditions as the internodes expand. The plant is relatively brittle, so staking should also help protect it from getting broken through the wear and tear of daily life (accidentally bumping it as you’re sweeping the floor, a dog’s wagging tail hitting it, or moving it so you can dust the leaves).

QUESTION: Is this a special thing that only Polka Dot begonias do?

Justin: Begonia maculata grows like this -- in this columnar growth -- but all of the cane begonias have the potential to do this. 

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