Polka Dot Begonia Dry Leaves: 4 Issues To Look Out For

Polka dot begonia dry leaves can be signs that your plant is in urgent distress and you need to take action fast. 

polka dot begonia dry leaves

Usually, if you cannot catch the culprit soon enough, the crispy leaves will fall off one by one with a stem that feels frail to the touch. You may have to bid forever goodbye to your beloved delight.

In this article, I’ll share seven expert care and propagation tips based on my personal experience with Polka dot begonia that will help you maintain its beauty.

I’ll also address other common problems and offer ways to prevent them.

Polka Dot Begonia Dry Leaves: Diagnose

polka dot begonia dry leaves

Polka dot begonia generally has thin and somewhat tough leaves when they are healthy.

But when it really is turning abnormally crispy, it will start from the tip and the edges inward.

While the outermost edges turn brown, the adjacent parts of the leaf get even slimmer and more wrinkly, with its color turning unduly.

The leaves will drop before the condition consumes it entirely.

Polka Dot Begonia Dry Leaves: 4 Common Causes

polka dot begonia dry leaves

If all the above signs agree with what you are observing from your polka dot begonia, you know for use it is having dry leaves.

This can be the result of either 4 issues below:

1. Lack of Humidity

What time is it in the month? Polka dot begonia dry leaves tend to happen amid season changes, when the air becomes drier and humidity turns low.

If you notice the soil is drying faster than usual, you’ll know lack of humidity is the cause. 

  • Increase the humidity level with a pebbles tray. 
  • Be cautious with using a humidifier, as this plant is particularly prone to mildew if its leaves are overly wet.

2. Leaves are Scorched

polka dot begonia dry leaves

Don’t get this wrong, polka dot begonia loves bright direct sunlight.

But much like how Icarus met his demise when he got too close to the sun, your plant will suffer scorched leaves as it enjoys the warmth of sunlight.

This eventually leads to dry leaves.

  • To protect polka dot begonia from dry leaves, allow it only several morning hours under bright morning sun and keep it in the shade when temperatures are high.

3. Damaged Root

Polka dot begonia dry leaves can manifest if the plant’s roots are rotting, which could happen when it lives in the wrong container type, overwatering, or the wrong fertilization frequency.

What you would do is examine your recent activities with the plant and adjust it. 

Ask yourself this:

  • Have you just recently repotted it? If so, have you picked the right time to do it? 
  • Did you check if the pot type is suitable for the plant? Is the container good at preventing soggy soil that may drown your plant’s roots?
  • Did you get well-balanced nutrients in the soil? Have you been too frequently or too lax in fertilizing your polka dot begonia?
polka dot begonia dry leaves
Credit: Leslie Saunders/Unsplash

Soil Type and Repotting

Cane-type begonias, like Begonia maculata, are not as picky about soil as some other varieties. 

An all-purpose potting mix, such as Miracle-Gro potting mix with added perlite, works well for this plant. 

Avoid using a pot significantly larger than the previous one when repotting, as excessive soil moisture can lead to issues. 

If your plant is in a 4-inch pot, moving it to a 6-inch pot should be sufficient. 

Loosen the root ball slightly before placing it in the new pot.


polka dot begonia dry leaves

To provide the necessary nutrients for your begonia, consider using Dyna-Gro Grow fertilizer. 

This balanced, urea-free fertilizer is suitable for most foliage plants. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Dyna-Gro Grow per gallon of water and fertilize with each watering throughout the growing season. 

However, refrain from fertilizing during the winter when growth slows down.

4. Pests

If you are sure you have been faithfully sticking to every basic caring procedure for polka dots begonia and dry leaves relentlessly emerge, there is one last possibility: pests.

By mean pests that crisp up your plant’s beautiful leaves, you may be dealing with three potential suspects: thrips, powdery mildew, and anthracnose. 

polka dot begonia dry leaves

To treat these cumbersome pests, you should first trim off the infected leaves immediately. Then, prepare the spray treatment that helps you prevent them from returning. 

  • Thrisps: Prepare sticky traps, neem oil, and peppermint oil.
  • Powdery mildew: spray the leaves with a mixture of 1 quart of water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Increase air circulation and fix any overly soggy issues in or around your plant.
  • Anthracnose: purchase fungicide specifically designed for begonias. Try to adhere strictly to the instructions, as polka dots begonias are high-maintenance and fastidious.

Other Polka Dot Begonia Leaves Problems

Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves can be a result of excessively dry or wet potting mix, as well as too much direct sunlight.

Dropping Leaves

polka dot begonia dry leaves
Polka dot begonia outdoors

Polka dot begonia are sensitive to fluctuations in their environment.

If conditions are not consistent, such as soil moisture, temperature, and light, the plant may drop leaves.

Give your begonia time to adjust after bringing it home, and maintain stable conditions to prevent leaf drop.

Leaning Over

As your begonia grows, it may lean to one side. This is perfectly normal.

To support the canes, insert thin bamboo stakes or a similar support system into the pot and loosely secure the canes.

In Conclusion

Polka dot begonia is a striking houseplant that requires proper care to thrive. 

By providing adequate light, maintaining appropriate soil moisture and humidity, and addressing common issues, you can ensure the health and beauty of your begonia. 

With these expert care tips, you’ll enjoy the unique charm of Begonia maculata for years to come.