This slightly uncommon houseplant has bold markings distinctive to this variety. The leaves are shaped like a butterfly. Dark in color with a bit of pink on the pointed ends. Some people who aren’t familiar with this plant think the leaves are flowers. While this type of begonia can be a lovely addition to your home, it takes time and attention to properly care for it.
People don’t realize that the Julau is quite delicate, making it challenging to care for sometimes.
If you’re a beginner, this guide will provide you with information on everything you need to know to grow a healthy Begonia Julau of your own. We recommend paying close attention to the amount of water and light your plant gets; the rest will follow.
Begonia Julau Plant Care Guide
The Begonia Julau plant is native to Malaysia, so it thrives in high heat and humidity conditions.
A terrarium is the best place to grow your plant, providing a consistently moist environment for it to live. However, your plant’s roots must not be in very saturated soil.
Promote good drainage by incorporating pebbles or charcoal into its pot.
The Begonia Julau likes sunlight, but indirect light is the best way to go. Without enough sun, you may notice your plant turning yellow or dropping some of its leaves.
You can take steps to produce new growth, but the goal is to prevent damage from occurring in the first place. You can utilize artificial lighting if you don’t have a south-facing window where you can place your Julau.
We mentioned the importance of proper drainage in your Julau pot, but soil quality is also essential.
A high-quality, well-draining potting soil with compost will promote a moist environment that doesn’t get overly saturated. If you would like to build up the drainage of your soil, moss can be used in terrariums.
Sand can also be added to the soil so that water runs through the soil where the plant is located, draining into the sandy area. This helps prevent water from pooling at the bottom of your plants’ pot and gives the roots some space for aeration.
Potting of Your Begonia Julau
If you’re starting with a fresh cutting from a well-established plant, you’re dealing with a very delicate stem. It’s better to start with a small pot or terrarium for your new young plant, and you can transplant it as needed.
The plant itself can get pretty heavy at the top as it grows, so make sure you’re providing plenty of space for support. If you were to see this plant in its natural environment, it would be supported by other foliage. Instead, you probably have it standing alone.
You don’t have to worry too much about regular pruning due to the slow-growing nature of the Julau. It grows to be about 14” tall, but it can take some time for this to happen.
Most people have to prune it before this point to keep it from tipping. Ensure you’re not pruning your plant if there are less than six leaves on it. It’s best if you wait until it has become more established.
Let your Julau do its own thing for a bit before you try to shape it or cut it back.
Fertilizing Your Plant
If you’re starting with a small pot and plan on re-potting as it grows, you don’t have to worry about fertilizing it.
The new soil that you add will suffice. However, if you feel that a little bit of extra nutrients is needed, make sure you’re using a product recommended for the Begonia Julau, or at least another Begonia variety.
The warmer air temperatures in the Malaysian area keep the Begonia Julau thriving in its natural environment.
You should strive to keep your begonia in a location where it’s at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You can go a little lower, but this isn’t a plant that will do well near a chilly draft or outside in the cold.
If you keep your house warm in the winter but have some cold areas next to frosted-over windows, choose a different location for your begonia. You may consider using a heat mat to raise the temperature of your plant’s soil.
Indoor plants can be infested with bugs like spider mites, gnats, and mealybugs, and these unwanted critters can also affect Begonia Julau.
If you see any bugs on your plant, wipe them away immediately. You can avoid pest infestation by keeping your plant indoors. When you take it outside for some sunshine, you’ll often bring something back inside with you.
Outside could also allow bugs like caterpillars and beetles to munch through the leaves when you’re not looking.
All Begonias can produce a new plant using leaf division after cutting the plant’s veins. However, this variety of the begonia is a little tougher to propagate using this method, so you may want to choose a more traditional stem cutting.
Cut a small piece of the stem off of a healthy part of your begonia. Then, carefully remove two to three leaves still attached to the stem using shears.
Once you place this cutting into water, please give it some indirect sunlight for about one week. If roots are starting to develop, move your trimming to a regular pot with soil.
Because of the moist environment that the Begonia Julau prefers to reside in, this location can risk developing different kinds of fungal and mold diseases.
These spores can spread quickly, affecting both your plant and its soil. In addition, this can pass to other nearby plants through the air, so always address a disease immediately and consider leaving some breathing space around your plants.
Ventilation is a great way to prevent any problems from occurring. However, you should also carefully remove leaf pieces that you notice are affected before spreading.
5 Tips for Preventing Problems
Though it may be rare, you might be motivated to grow a Begonia Julau in your home as a gorgeous focal point of a living room, morning room, or bedroom.
But, before you become overwhelmed with its care, let’s look at some ways you can avoid Begonia Julau plant problems.
- Always choose a warm and sunny spot for your Julau. However, ensure that it gets some periods of the day when it’s not in direct sunlight.
- Opt for moist and fertile soil that has proper drainage.
- Once your Julau becomes too large for its pot, transplant it into something larger so it can produce new growth.
- Remove any dead leaves that exist at the top of the soil. This could encourage pests to infiltrate or cause mold growth.
- Be patient. The yellow flower of this Begonia variety is beautiful, but it may take some time for one to pop up.
How rare is the Begonia Julau?
A native of the town that bears its name (the Sarawak region of Borneo in Malaysia), Julau is a very uncommon and rare pink-leaved Begonia.
The begonia julau is featured in this youtube video (who knew there were so many awesome begonia varieties!?