Beefsteak begonia has round translucent leaves and light pink flowers, offering beauty and limelight to your living space with minimal care.
Stay with the article till the end to make the Beefsteak begonia a lavish member of your garden and indoors.
Table of Contents Show
- Overview of Beefsteak Begonia
- Beefsteak Begonia: Complete Grow and Care Guide
- Beefsteak Begonia: All About Growth Rate
- Toxicity of Beefsteak Begonia
- Methods of Propagating Beefsteak Begonia
- Where to Buy Beefsteak Begonia
- FAQs About Beefsteak Begonia
- Final Thought
Overview of Beefsteak Begonia
Beefsteak begonia is a hybrid version of Begonia manicata and Begonia hydrocotylifolia, hybridized in 1845 in Germany.
|Scientific Name||Begonia Erythrophylla|
|Common Name||Beefsteak Begonia, Beef Begonia, Kidney begonia|
|USDA Growth Zone||10-11|
|Plant Type||Evergreen perennial rhizomatous plant|
|Grown For||Foliage and Flowers|
Pink white color flower
|Bloom Time||Late winter to early spring|
|Foliage Color||Greenish bronze copper color on the upper side and Red/Burgundy on the undersides|
|Toxicity||Toxic to both human and pets|
Beefsteak Begonia: Complete Grow and Care Guide
Despite having direct care, some of the requirement of Beefsteak begonia is specific compared to other house plants.
1. Sunlight and Temperature
The Beefsteak begonia is among plants that adore plenty of indirect light with temperatures similar to temperate and tropical climates.
However, be careful not to introduce them to scorching direct light as it might burn the foliage and cause discoloration and browning of edges.
In contrast, the low light condition with cold temperatures (<45ºF) stresses the plant and causes it to droop, wilt and leaves to fall off.
Balance the light intensity by placing the pot in an east-facing window and installing grow light to keep the plant under it for 8-12 hours if there is insufficient light.
And better to avoid drafty places, windows in winter, and heating and cooling vents like heaters and radiators to prevent fluctuating temperatures.
2. Water & Humidity
Generally, Beefsteak begonia adores consistently moist but not soggy soil with a preference for a wide range of humidity.
When the plant is overwatered, it blocks tiny air pockets in the soil and reduces aeration, increasing the chance of yellowing, limpness of leaves and root rot.
In contrast, if the Beefsteak begonia becomes subject to drought for a prolonged time, its leaves curls and turn brown and crispy.
So, maintain the soil moisture and boost the humidity by installing an electric humidifier, using the pebble tray method or grouping the Beefsteak together.
Remember to let the soil dry and check 2 inches deep of the topsoil with a finger for any moisture before the next watering.
3. Soil & Fertilizer
Well-draining, light, porous, nutrient-rich soil with a pH range of 6.1 to 7.5 is best for Begonia Beefsteak.
If the soil is poorly draining, it hinders oxygen flow in the plant’s roots and houses root rot bacteria. Therefore, always choose a potting mix that supports fast drainage.
You can prepare the DIY mix using a regular potting mix, perlite or coconut coir, sand, and organic fertilizer in a ratio of 2:2:1:1.
And you might need to add all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted to 50% once every 2-4 weeks in the growing season to the DIY mix to boost its nutrient element.
Wait for at least six months before fertilizing the commercial mixes to prevent overfertilization, as accumulated salts burn the leaves and damage the root.
4. Potting and Repotting
Generally, a 6-8 inches pot is ideal for Beefsteak begonia. However, a 6-inch pot is the smallest you can use for the plant.
Beefsteak begonia likes to be slightly root-bound, requiring less frequent repotting, mainly once every 1-2 years.
You can identify the repotting time by looking over the signs like stunted growth, discoloration of foliage, extremely tangled roots, leggy growth, etc.
Start by removing 25% of the soil from the pot, grab the stem base, and take your Beefsteak begonia out.
Take a container 2 inches larger in diameter and height than the earlier one and layer a few pebbles.
Then, half-fill the container with potting mix, place your Beefsteak at the center and fill it with the potting mixture from the sides, leaving an inch of space from the brim.
Now, water the plant thoroughly and leave it in a bright space to let the Beefsteak revive the repotting stress naturally.
5. Timely Pruning
Unlike Pothos and Ruby Cascade, Beefsteak begonia does not require frequent pruning. Deadheading only damaged, diseased, and leggy leaves will promote growth.
You can identify their presence by looking at the discolored, yellow blotchy leaves with webs and cotton-like substance underside.
On the other hand, disease like Bacterial leaf spot, Botrytis blight, Powdery mildew, Gray mold, and Root rot commonly occurs in Beefsteak begonia.
The effect seen is black or brown circular spots in leaves and flowers turning yellow and having brown patches with mushy roots giving off a foul smell.
Prune off the infected parts with sterilized pruning shears as soon as you notice and isolate the infected Beefsteak begonia from other members.
It is ideal to prune the Beefsteak begonia once in 1-2 years during fall or the end of summer when the flower stops blooming.
Beefsteak Begonia: All About Growth Rate
Beefsteak begonia is a fast-growing plant with a mature height of 20-24 inches and a spread of 8-36 inches.
Moreover, the plant exhibits two different growth phases. It proliferates in summer and spring but goes under dormancy in winter.
While growing, the Beefsteak begonia gives out vivid green leaves at an early stage that turns glossy, round red-hued with a thin, light green star at the center in maturity.
Similarly, the pinkish-white flower standing at the top of the long stalk with a mild, liveable fragrance makes Beefsteak a center decor piece.
Toxicity of Beefsteak Begonia
If you have Beefsteak begonia or plan to have one, keep your children and pets away as it is poisonous.
When ingested by humans, it causes breathing difficulty, swollen lips, swollen tongue, nausea, vomiting, and a burning sensation in the stomach.
While in the pets, it shows signs of drooling, continuous pawing at the mouth, and vomiting.
Also, its sap might cause skin and eye irritation. Therefore, you need to keep the Beefsteak begonia out of the reach of children and pets.
If you or your children exhibit such symptoms, seek medical help by contacting the immediate helpline number as soon as possible.
Methods of Propagating Beefsteak Begonia
Among various alternatives for propagating Beefsteak begonia, the easiest and fastest is the asexual method, using roots, stems, or leaves.
Meanwhile, a favorable environment is essential since propagation involves either adaptation to the new environment or new growth.
1. Root Ball Division
Beefsteak begonia is rhizomatous plant. When the rhizome finds favorable conditions, it produces offsets.
- Take the plant out of the pot by gripping it from the base of the stem. Now, gently loosen about half of its soil.
- Inspect the roots for any offsets. If there are offsets, separate them from the mother plant using a hand or sterilized blade or knife.
- While separating, let each offset have 2-3 leaves and rootballs, along with a few roots.
- Now, apply antifungal or rooting powder to the broken point in the rhizome, which is optional.
Pro Tip- Fresh Aloe vera gel and wild turmeric also have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. So, you can also apply them instead of a commercial product.
- Now, pot the plant directly in the soil, sphagnum moss, or LECA medium.
Besides, you can also propagate it in the water, though water propagation is generally for rooting.
2. Stem Cuttings
Although Beefsteak is a rhizomatous plant, it can quickly propagate via stem cuttings.
- First, make an incision on the stem just under the leaf base. Make sure each cutting is at least 6-7 inches in length.
- Apply some rooting hormones. But, the step is optional.
- Now, pot the cuttings in soil or sphagnum moss. However, water propagation is the best method for rooting.
- If you propagate the stem cuttings in water, change the water once every 3-4 days.
3. Division of Rhizomes
You will need a mature Beefsteak to Propagate it Via Rhizomes.
- Take the plant out of the pot and gently loosen half its soil.
- Inspect for long and matured rhizomes. Once you find the rhizomes, divide them into as many parts as you like, but each piece must be 1.5-3 inches long.
- Now, gently press the rhizomes in the soil, LECA, or sphagnum moss, as per your choice.
- Remember that the bottom should be inside the soil, and the upper part should be towards the air.
- Lastly, place the newly potted rhizomes in a bright area.
Take reference from the video below!
Where to Buy Beefsteak Begonia
After learning all the required care tips for the Beefsteak begonia, you are ready to bring one home.
Look at the table below to know the available site for buying Beefsteak begonia.
|Taylor Green Houses||5-7 business days|
|Steve's Leaves||1-3 business days|
|Accents For Home And Garden||30-60 business days|
|Epihaven||5-7 business days|
FAQs About Beefsteak Begonia
Is Beefsteak begonia rare?
Begonia erythrophylla (Beefsteak begonia) is rare as it is a hybridized variety holding its history back from 1845 when first produced in Germany.
Moreover, they are not readily available in plant stores. So, if you have Beefsteak, try propagating it to share with your friends and family.
Do Beefsteak begonia flower?
Yes. Beefsteak begonia being an heirloom variety, gives a papilionaceous pink, white flower on the top of long, slender stems year around.
How long will my potted Begonia last?
Begonias generally do not have a long life span. However, it lasts slightly longer if the variety is tuberous or rhizomatic.
So being a rhizomatous plant, the potted Beefsteak usually lasts 2-4 years if provided with better care.
Your Beefsteak begonia does not shy away from taking the limelight, as it cannot go unheeded and neglected.
A proper combination of light, nutrition, and protection from the enemies can yield a lush and shiny Beefsteak in any space indoors.