Ever wondered how to add a vibrant touch to your interior spaces while embracing your love for gardening? The answer is more straightforward than you might think: grow a begonia in a terrarium! Not only will this bring life and color into your room, but it’s also a fun and exciting project.
What Types of Begonia Are Good for a Terrarium
There are many types of begonias, and not all are suitable for terrariums. From my experiences, I’ve made a list of some types of begonias that are well-suited for life in a terrarium:
- Begonia Rex
This is one of the most popular types of terrariums. Begonia Rex, also known as the King Begonia, is known for its colorful and patterned leaves. They’re small, making them perfect for terrarium life.
- Begonia Bowerae
Also known as the Eyelash Begonia, this variety has dark, small, and round leaves with bright green edges resembling eyelashes. This begonia thrives in terrariums due to its preference for high humidity.
- Begonia Amphioxus
This begonia species is native to Borneo and has a unique leaf shape with bright spots. It loves humidity and does well in terrarium conditions.
- Begonia Pavonina
Known as the Peacock Begonia, this species has shiny, iridescent leaves that change color depending on the angle of light. It’s another variety that loves high humidity, making it ideal for a terrarium.
- Begonia Thelmae
This is a small variety with lovely dark green leaves and bright white spots. It’s another humidity-loving species that thrive in a terrarium.
Benefits of Growing Begonia in a Terrarium
Begonias and terrariums are a match made in horticultural heaven. The terrarium’s enclosed environment mimics the begonia’s natural humid habitats, helping it thrive. The glass enclosure also allows for optimal light exposure, which is vital for the growth of begonias.
Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Begonia in a Terrarium
Let’s dive into how you can create your begonia-filled terrarium.
1. Choosing the Right Terrarium
You’ll need a large glass container to accommodate your begonia without cramping it.
2. Selecting the Perfect Begonia
Not all begonias are ideal for terrariums. Smaller varieties, like the Begonia rex, are more suitable due to their size and preference for high humidity.
3. Setting Up Your Terrarium
Start by layering pebbles at the bottom of the terrarium for drainage, followed by activated charcoal to prevent mold growth. Then, add a layer of potting soil rich in organic matter.
4. Planting Your Begonia
Place the begonia in the soil, ensuring it’s not too deep. The crown of the plant should sit at the soil’s surface.
5. Maintaining Your Terrarium
Begonias need moist, not waterlogged, soil. A spray bottle is perfect for watering your begonia terrarium, ensuring a light misting rather than a drenching.
Begonias thrive in bright, indirect light. Avoid placing your terrarium in direct sunlight to prevent the risk of scorching the plant.
Maintain a temperature between 60-80°F. Begonias prefer a warmer climate but can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures if they don’t drop too low.
Pruning encourages bushier growth and helps control the size of your begonia. Regularly check for any dead or dying leaves and remove them promptly.
Troubleshooting Common Problems
Despite your best efforts, you might need help to grow your begonia in a terrarium. Yellow leaves could indicate overwatering, while brown leaf tips might suggest low humidity. Adjusting your care routine accordingly can often rectify these problems.
Additional Tips for Growing Begonia in a Terrarium
Successful gardening requires a blend of knowledge, skill, and patience. Here are some tips to help you master growing begonias in a terrarium.
Fertilizing Your Begonia
Begonias are not heavy feeders, but they occasionally appreciate a little boost. Apply a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer at quarter strength every month during the growing season. Be sure not to over-fertilize, as this can cause more harm than good.
Begonias can sometimes attract pests like mealybugs and spider mites. If you spot any pests, isolate your plant to prevent them from spreading. Treat the plant with an insecticidal soap or a mixture of water and mild dish soap.
Refreshing the Terrarium
Over time, your terrarium needs refreshing. If you see mold, remove it immediately. If the soil is depleted, add fresh soil. And if the glass becomes dirty, clean it with a damp cloth.
Enjoying Your Begonia Terrarium
Remember, growing a begonia in a terrarium is meant to be enjoyable. Don’t stress over perfection. Appreciate the process and the unique beauty of your plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can all types of begonias be grown in a terrarium?
No, not all types of begonias are suitable for terrariums. Smaller varieties, like the Begonia rex, are ideal due to their size and preference for high humidity.
2. How often should I water my begonia in a terrarium?
Begonias prefer a moist environment, not a waterlogged one. Use a spray bottle for watering to ensure a light misting rather than a drenching. Monitor the soil and adjust watering as necessary.
3. Can I place my begonia terrarium in direct sunlight?
No, placing your terrarium in direct sunlight can risk scorching the plant. Begonias thrive in bright, indirect light.
4. What should I do if the leaves of my begonia start turning yellow?
Yellow leaves can indicate overwatering. If this occurs, reduce the watering frequency and ensure your terrarium has proper drainage.
5. What temperature is best for a begonia terrarium?
Begonias prefer a warmer climate, typically between 60-80°F. However, they can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures if they don’t drop too low.
What Other Plants Can Be With Begonia in Terrarium?
When choosing companion plants for your begonia in a terrarium, selecting species that thrive in similar conditions is essential. Here are some plants that do well in the same environment as begonias:
- Ferns: Many ferns, like the maidenhair or button fern, love the high humidity and indirect light a terrarium provides. Their delicate foliage can provide a nice contrast to the vibrant begonias.
- Mosses: Mosses are great for filling in gaps in your terrarium and creating a lush, green carpet. They thrive in high humidity and can handle a variety of lighting conditions.
- Pothos: Also known as Devil’s Ivy, pothos is an easy-to-care-for plant that adapts well to terrarium conditions. Its trailing growth habit can add an extra level of interest.
- Fittonia: Also known as nerve plant, fittonia’s small size and love for humidity make it a good companion for begonias. Its brightly veined leaves can complement the colors of your begonia.
- Peperomia: Peperomia are small, slow-growing plants that enjoy the same high humidity and bright, indirect light as begonias. There are many varieties, each with its unique leaf shape and color pattern.
- African Violet: These plants enjoy similar light and humidity conditions as begonias. Their beautiful flowers can add a splash of color to your terrarium.
Growing begonias in a terrarium is an enriching activity that combines the beauty of these stunning plants with the practicality of indoor gardening. You can create a beautiful mini-ecosystem in your living room with the proper terrarium, the perfect begonia, and appropriate care.