Care Level: Intermediate
Light: Shade to Partial Shade
Plant Size: 15-20cm
Terrarium Size: Medium
Placement: In Soil
Introduction to Begonia burkillii
This neat, rhizomatous begonia is great for humid terrariums! It’s a little bit more complicated than some of its begonia relatives, so read on to get all the information you need to keep yours happy and healthy! This plant has both male and female forms, and both types will flower if kept in optimal conditions.
Lighting, Watering, and Humidity Requirements:
Begonia burkillii likes to be planted in shade or partial shade, with a slight preference towards shade. Try to plant it under an overhang or below a larger plant. This plant is mesic, which means it likes to be quite moist. Preferred habitats are areas like stream sides, wet meadows, and springs. If you’ve planted it correctly, you shouldn’t have to water it, because your built-in water feature will do the work for you. If you don’t have a water feature, expect to water this plant daily and make sure the substrate is always moist. Don’t allow heavy drying out between waterings, because this will kill the plant. Burkillii also loves high humidity, and will thrive in some of the wettest areas of your terrarium. Keep it above 60% humidity at all times. It will tolerate a night time temperature drop, but one is not required.
This smallish begonia only gets a maximum of 20cm tall, so depending on the size and layout of your terrarium, optimal placement will likely be midground. You could also have it trail up the side of your foreground, or mix it into your background features. It does well in areas along the sides of dripping water features, so if you have a layered waterfall, you can plant it anywhere on a plateau or gentle incline. Make sure you put it somewhere wet, or it’s not going to be happy for long.
Maintenance and Seasonal Care:
Rhizomatous refers to a “modified subterranean plant stem that sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. Rhizomes are also called creeping root stalks or just root stalks. Rhizomes develop from auxiliary buds and grow horizontally. The rhizome also retains the ability to allow new shoots to grow upwards.” (Wikipedia, 2020) Meaning this plant isn’t your typical grown-from-seed flowering stalk. Plants are carbon copies of their parents, and new plants are simply clipped or cut from the original plant, and then repotted. Maintenance involves pruning the stalks as they stretch in unwanted directions, and replanting your cuttings. Seasonal care can be maintained similarly year-round.
-Also comes in a silver edged form!
-All plants you can buy are clones of the parent plant
-Unusual mint green and brown mottling makes this plant extra special in color
-Plants are either male or female!