6 Outstanding Begonia Maculata Varieties You’ll Love

The Begonia maculata (“Polka Dot Begonia”) is a unique houseplant that features playful dots on its leaves that inspire its polka dot nickname.

A researcher found the original Begonia maculata in Brazil in 1982, and it was soon brought to horticulturalists who set about making several varieties like the famous “Wightii” and the bright “Flamingo Queen.”

Begonia Maculata Varieties
Photo by Krzysztof Ziarnek, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Polka Dot Begonia and its varieties are excellent plants for beginners, and they’re relatively easy to keep alive as a house plant. These Begonias actually have a thick waxy layer on them that helps prevent evaporation and water loss.

Begonia maculata grows best in bright, indirect light. Still, keeping them alive in areas of the home with less light is possible. The Begonia maculata is both popular and rare, but it’s not impossible to find at local garden centers.

If you’re looking for a unique houseplant, the Begonia maculata is definitely one to consider.

Should you be lucky enough to find the Begonia maculata for sale, you should know which variety you’ve found.

So, let’s take a look at the different varieties of Begonia maculata.

What Do Begonia Maculata Varieties Have in Common?

The most common reason to choose one variety of Begonia maculata over another is its looks, and each variety does have mildly unique features from other types.

However, if you know how to care for one Begonia maculata, it’s easy to take care of any other variety you choose. Growing healthy Begonias, particularly Begonia maculata, is very rewarding, given their unique polka-dotted leaves.

One great feature of the Begonia maculata is that it’s easy to keep alive. As long as you place the plant in a bright area of your home, assuming you grow it as a houseplant, the Begonia maculata will reward you with vibrant leaves and continuous growth.

Don’t let the soil get too dry, but do give it a chance to become minimally moist. Begonias love humidity, but they don’t like sitting in water.

One of the neatest features of the Begonia maculata is that it’s particularly easy to propagate. If you love the way your Begonia maculata looks in your home or yard, you can easily make new plants using nothing more than a single leaf or just a portion of a leaf.

It’s worth noting that the Begonia maculata is a tropical plant, so ensuring the plant’s happiness means mimicking a rainforest and ensuring it’s moist.

1. Begonia Maculata “Annan Grace”

The Annan Grace variety of the Begonia maculata features different-sized dots that cover the leaves and sometimes look like they’re falling off the edge of the leaves.

If you turn the leaves over, they appear red in the middle and are surrounded by green around the edges.

When the Annan Grace grows flowers, they appear white with just a tiny amount of pink mixed into them.

The Annan Grace was initially created in Japan and is distinct from the wild variety of the Begonia maculata in that its dots are quite randomly placed. In contrast, the wild version has dots that look remarkably uniform.

2. Begonia Maculata “Flamingo Queen”

The Flamingo Queen type of Begonia maculata has the same multi-sized dots as the Annan Grace.

The dots may also appear to fall off the edges of the leaves like the Annan Grace.

The plant tends to grow like a big bush, but you can stake the Flamingo Queen, allowing it to grow up to four feet tall. Like all Begonia maculata, the Flamingo Queen and its unique appearance are conversation starters in any home.

The playful leaves of this plant can grow up to 12 inches long, and you may notice a thin silver edge along the margins of the leaves when you look closely.

The Flamingo Queen will give you beautiful bright pink flowers from spring to summer. The yellow centers of each flower make the plant appear tropical, as if it belongs on a rainforest floor.

3. Begonia Maculata “Medora”

The Medora variety of the Begonia maculata features beautiful green leaves with silvery spots.

The leaves are small to medium in size, which is on the smaller size for Begonia maculata.

When the Medora grows flowers, they’re bright pink and appear in little clusters. Like other varieties of Begonia maculata, the Medora likes bright, indirect light.

The Begonia maculata Medora is sometimes called the “Trout Leaf Begonia” because of the small elliptical shape of its leaves.

If you want to plant a Begonia maculata that grows into a round, thick bush, the Medora is definitely one to consider.

When placed outside, the Medora can grow up to 2.5 feet tall, which makes it quite a magnificent little plant when fully grown.

4. Begonia Maculata “Raddi”

The Begonia maculata “Raddi” variety will stay green all year long when planted in an area that doesn’t experience frost, but it’s also possible to grow this plant in a container indoors, as long as you ensure it receives adequate lighting.

If you’re looking for a Begonia that grows lush, thick foliage, the Raddi is definitely one to consider.

The dots on the Raddi are smaller than those on other Begonia maculata varieties. Amazingly, just a single leaf of the Raddi or its related varieties can create several new plants, which makes propagating this Begonia quite fun.

You can take one leaf and slice it into small pieces. As long as each tiny piece has a vein running down it, it will grow into a new Begonia maculata when you place it in a pot of compost.

5. Begonia Maculata “Silver Spot”

The Begonia maculata “Silver Spot” is named for the shade of its dots, which appear in silver and in various sizes on the leaves, seemingly painted randomly all around.

If you turn the leaves over, you’ll notice red undersides. The Silver Spot is one of the most popular and sought-after varieties.

You can train this Begonia to crawl up a trellis, or it will trail over the pot’s side as it ages. The best way to ensure you get beautiful flowers from your Silver Spot is to make sure that it gets enough light.

Like other varieties of Begonia maculata, the Silver Spot is tolerant of low light conditions. However, it will always look its best when you give it bright, indirect light.

6. Begonia Maculata “Wightii” or “Polka Dot”

The Wightii is considered the most popular variety of the Begonia maculata and is one of the earliest varieties created after the plant was initially discovered.

Many refer to the Wightii Begonia as the Polka Dot Begonia.

If you turn the leaves over, you’ll notice they’re dark red. However, the leaves won’t appear as dark if the plant doesn’t get enough light.

The Begonia maculata Wightii will grow greenish-white flowers that feature yellow centers, which is different from other Begonia maculata plants with pink flower clusters.

One of the other defining features of the Wightii is that the plant can grow up to 5 feet tall, larger than other varieties that may only reach 2.5 feet tall.

Author: Stanislav Lem


Stanislav Lem is the founder of Big Time Living, where he provides tips for gardening, traveling and lifestyle. Stan is an entrepreneur, journalist and traveler.
His mission is to provide information to help people become better planters, travel more and live a happy life. His blog has been featured on Huffpost, Yahoo and MSN.