Begonia kingiana

Begonia kingiana

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Begonia kingiana is part of the Begoniaceae family and its native range is Peninsula Thailand to Peninsula Malaysia. It is a rhizomatous geophyte, growing primarily on limestone cliffs in the wet tropical biome. Leaves are peltate and have a very distinctive tortoiseshell pattern (which is more pronounced when grown in good light) and hairless leaf stalks. There is great variation in leaf shape and patterning as well as flower colour across the species in its natural habitat, this is likely due to geographic isolation and genetic drift.

Genus name honours French administrator and amateur botanist Michel Bégon (1638–1710) who discovered Begonia on the island of Santo Domingo. Specific epithet honours Sir George King, the Superintendent of the Royal Botanic Garden in Calcutta between 1871 and 1898.


Light: Bright indirect light, meaning the plant sees the sun for 0-4 hours per day - this could be through trees or a translucent curtain, it’s important for the plant to see the sky in order to thrive. An east-facing window would be ideal.

Water: Given adequate light and a well draining potting mix, Begonia prefer mix to be evenly moist. Try to keep water off the leaves.

Potting mix: A rich well draining mix composed of coco coir, perlite or vermiculite, orchid bark and worm castings. Adding horticultural grit or sand is also a good amendment to increase drainage.

Fertilising: Feed your plant every other watering during the growing season or when you observe active growth. You can dilute fertiliser to half the recommended amount but never add more.

Temperature: 16-29˚C, the middle to lower end of this range is thought to be the best.

Humidity: Begonia kingiana prefers humidity of 60-70% with good airflow.

Begonia are toxic, keep out of reach of pets and children.