Rieger Begonia: What Can You Expect The Hiemalis Begonia To Flourish

This type of begonia is a mix of a standard wax begonia and a tuberous begonia. It is mainly grown for its beautiful flowers, and because of this, most gardeners and sellers of this variety encourage it to be thought of as an annual plant that can be disposed of after its blooming season. 

While this perspective does benefit sellers of the plant, it is actually unnecessary since it is an easy-to-grow and easy-to-propagate plant. Let’s learn a little more about this begonia variety so you can decide if you want to treat your Rieger Begonias as annuals or as long-term garden companions.

How to Identify Rieger Begonia

Rieger Begonia

This type of begonia has a few select features that make it easy to identify. These include:

  • Tiny flowers
  • Brightly colored flowers (orange, pink, white, or yellow)
  • Compact size (12 to 18 inches tall and wide)
  • Glossy leaves
  • Wintertime blooming season

How to Grow Rieger Begonia from Seed

If you are interested in growing a Rieger Begonia from the soil up, then get your seeds ready. Here are the basic steps for growing this type of begonia from seeds:

  1. Gather your supplies: begonia seeds, well-draining potting mix, seed tray, a spray bottle of water, & plastic wrap.
  2. Fill the seed tray with the potting soil.
  3. Place the seeds into the soil so they are barely covered by it.
  4. Moisten the soil with the spray bottle of water.
  5. Cover the seed tray with plastic wrap or the seed tray lid if it has one.
  6. Place the seed tray in a warm room with bright sunlight.
  7. Moisten the soil every few days.
  8. Increase the amount of sunlight the seed tray is exposed to in small increments.
  9. Replant seedlings with leaves in permanent plant containers.

Note: It is best to begin growing seeds in early spring so that there is plenty of warm and sunny weather to encourage healthy growth.

How to Propagate Rieger Begonia

This type of begonia is very easy to propagate, which is why it is a shame to throw them out after they bloom. It is possible to keep the mother plant and use some of its new growth to propagate new baby plants. If you do this regularly, you will eventually have a garden full of beautiful Rieger Begonias without spending a ton of money.

If you’re interested in propagating a garden full of Rieger Begonias without any great expense or complicated processes, then follow these steps:

  1. Gather your supplies: a healthy Rieger Begonia that has finished blooming, a spray bottle of water, plastic wraps, a sterilized cutting utensil, a seed tray, & a seed-starting mix.
  2. Fill the seed tray with the seed-starting mix.
  3. Cut off a small leaf tip with the cutting utensil.
  4. Place the leaf tip into the seed-starting mix.
  5. Moisten the soil with the spray bottle of water.
  6. Cover the seed tray with plastic wrap or the seed tray lid if it has one.
  7. Place the seed tray in a warm room with bright sunlight.
  8. Moisten the soil every few days.
  9. Increase the amount of sunlight the seed tray is exposed to in small increments.
  10. Replant in permanent plant containers once the leaf-cutting has established roots.

Note:  It is recommended that leaf-cutting propagation be done after a plant has bloomed, been cut back for its dormant season, and new growth is beginning to appear.

Rieger Begonia Growing Conditions

Pebble Tray

This plant hails from Southern Asia and South and Central Africa, where it is exposed to plenty of warm and humid air. It will, however, do fine in average temperatures and should be allowed to experience some cool autumn weather at night so that it is encouraged to bloom in the winter. It still prefers humidity in its environment.

Provide your Rieger Begonia with extra humidity by using these items:

How to Plant Rieger Begonia

This begonia variety thrives in crowded conditions, so it will not require replanting very often. If, however, your Rieger Begonia begins to slow in its growth, look unhealthy, or too crowded in its container, replant it following these steps:

  1. Find a plant container that is larger in diameter than the plant’s current container (2 inches larger max.)
  2. Fill the new plant container with potting soil
  3. Gently remove the plant from its current container and lightly dust off its roots
  4. Prune any rotten roots and leaves
  5. Dig out a hole in the soil of the new plant container
  6. Set the plant in the hole
  7. Secure the plant in its new home by spreading the soil around its base
  8. Lightly water the plant
  9. Set the plant container in a warm place that receives plenty of bright but indirect sunlight

Note: It is recommended that replanting a begonia be done in early spring so that there is plenty of warm and sunny weather to encourage healthy growth.

Rieger Begonia Potting & Soil

African Violet

An African Violet potting mix will be perfect for growing your Rieger Begonia because it is light, well-aerated, and well-draining.

A plant container with drainage holes in its bottom is the best type to use with a Begonia Rieger. BallHull Plastic Flower Plant Pots are ideal homes for begonias since they come with drainage holes, water trays, and are not too big.

Rieger Begonia Water Requirements

Plant watering regimens are the most important care factor to consider. If you learn how to properly water a plant, you should not face large-scale infestations or disease infections.

When it comes to Rieger Begonias, they should only be watered when the top ½ inch of their soil is dry. It is very important that they be watered from the bottom since top watering can cause damage to the blooms and leaves. Bottom watering is also known as the soak and dry method.  The steps for this method are:

  1. Test the plant’s soil with your finger (only water the plant if the top half-inch of its soil is dry)
  2. Fill a large container or a tub with water
  3. Set the plant container in the water (do not fill the container so deep that the water overflows the top of the plant container)
  4. The plant should be allowed to soak up water through its container’s drainage hole for 15 minutes
  5. Remove the plant from the water and allow it to drain off excess water through its container’s drainage hole

Rieger Begonia Light Requirements

The importance of sunlight to the life and health of plants cannot be overstated. When it comes to Rieger Begonias, they should be given access to plenty of bright but indirect sunlight. The amount of sunlight they are exposed to will mean the difference between a plant that produces blooms and a plant that does not.

Ensure that your Rieger Begonia is receiving adequate amounts of sunlight by using a light meter or a light meter app and comparing the readings on these meters against the lighting guidelines found in this indoor plant lighting guide.

Best Rieger Begonia Fertilizer

Plant Fertilizer

This begonia variety requires plenty of fertilizer to encourage healthy growth and blooms. Provide it with a feeding every other week during spring, summer, and fall.  This can be halted during wintertime. The best fertilizer to use for this plant is a water-soluble 15-30-15 fertilizer that is diluted. The ratio of dilution should be ½ teaspoon per 1 gallon of water.

Best Rieger Begonia Companion Plantings

Selecting a few other plants is actually very beneficial to the health of your begonias. Clustering plants together provide them with extra humidity. As you go through the selection process, keep these companion plant requirements in mind:

  • A good companion plant has similar care requirements, e.g., the same type of soil and watering method
  • A good companion plant will look aesthetically appealing next to your other plant
  • A good companion plant is easy to care for, grow, and propagate

A few examples of plants that will meet these plant companion requirements are:

Pothos Varieties

Pothos Varieties

These are the ultimate houseplants. They are extremely easy to grow and care for and will certainly complement the beauty of a Rieger Begonia.

Pros:

  • Pothos are hassle-free to care for
  • Pothos are very forgiving when forgotten for a time
  • Pothos come in a wide variety of shapes and color variegations
  • Pothos are easy to find in stores and online
  • Pothos are inexpensive
  • Pothos are easy to propagate

Cons:

  • Pothos are toxic

Peperomia Varieties

Peperomia

Here is another tropical plant that is ideal for use in window sill gardens, as indoor houseplants, or even in outdoor spaces.

Pros:

  • Peperomia are non-toxic
  • Peperomia come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colorful patterns
  • Peperomia are not difficult to care for
  • Peperomia are easy to propagate

Cons:

  • None

Philodendron Varieties

Philodendron

Many of these resemble Pothos plants in their vining growth patterns, but many are bushy or tree-like. This is a wonderful plant variety to keep in a home garden or as an indoor plant companion.

Pros:

  • Philodendron come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and types
  • Philodendron are very easy to grow and propagate
  • Philodendron are easy to care for

Cons:

  • Philodendron are toxic

Rieger Begonia Diseases and Common Problems

All plants have their enemies: pests and diseases that enjoy attacking and even munching on them.  Proper plant care requires that these issues are understood and identified so that they can be dealt with quickly and completely. 

To give you an advanced warning of what types of issues your Rieger Begonia may be susceptible to, read through the following list.  This list will inform you on how to identify these issues and how to deal with them.

Aphids

Ant Bait

These are teardrop-shaped insects that are apt to attack many different types of plants. Ants will protect them since they are a food source for ant colonies. This may require that you deal with two different insects at the same time. To deal with an infestation of aphids, follow these steps:

  1. Spray the plant with a mixture of neem oil and soapy water
  2. Wipe down the leaves of the plant
  3. An application of neem oil onto the leaves can help to prevent another infestation
  4. Check for ants nearby and use ant bait to get rid of them

Mealybugs

These are insects that look like small patches of cotton on leaves and stems. To deal with an infestation of mealybugs, follow these steps:

  1. Spray a solution of alcohol and water on the leaves
  2. Rub the leaves with a cotton ball
  3. Apply neem oil or insecticidal soap to the leaves every few days

Mildew

This issue will look like a white powder on leaves and stems. Mildew is caused by improper watering or by exposing the plant to too much heat. Follow the following tips to treat this problem:

  • Tweak the plant’s water regimen
  • Remove any affected leaves and stems
  • Move the plant to a spot that has less heat
  • Apply a fungicide to the plant

Root Rot

These are the symptoms of root rot:

  • Stems and leaves that are translucent
  • Stems and leaves that are mushy
  • Stems and leaves that are black
  • Leaves that are dropping off regularly

The cause of this issue is overwatering a plant. Tweak your watering regimen, trim off affected stems and leaves, and allow your plant’s soil to dry out to help the plant heal. If the symptoms are serious, you may need to completely replace the plant’s soil with new, dry soil.

Spider Mites

This issue will show up as webbing on the leaves and stems. To treat this type of infestation, follow these steps:

  1. Combine 1 tsp. of dish soap and 2 tsps. Of neem oil with a quart of warm water
  2. Fill a spray bottle with the water, dish soap, and neem oil solution
  3. Spray and wipe the leaves and stems of the plant clean  
  4. Repeat this process as necessary

Thrips

This issue will look like tiny lobster-shaped bugs on the plant when they are magnified. To treat this type of infestation, follow these steps:

  1. Spray the plant with a hose
  2. Remove any visible insects left on the plant
  3. Wipe down the leaves of the plant with neem oil
  4. Treat the plant once a week until the infestation has been removed

Rieger Begonia Treatments and Maintenance

diatomaceous earth

While it is important to be able to identify and know how to treat infected or infested plants, it is better to know how to prevent these issues in the first place. Prepare your plants for a healthier life by following through with these plant care tips:

  • Add diatomaceous earth to your plant’s potting soil. 
  • Clean your plant’s leaves with neem oil on a regular basis.
  • Inspect plants and treat any noticeable infestations or diseases quickly.
  • Properly water and feed your plant.
  • Provide your plant with adequate amounts of sunlight, heat, and humidity.

Where to Buy Rieger Begonia Seeds Online

Online shopping is a great way to find garden supplies quickly and cheaply. Park Seed and Etsy are two places that you should begin your search for Rieger Begonia seeds.

Where to Buy Mature Rieger Begonia Online

If you want to shop in a convenient manner, then opt for online garden supply shopping. This type of shopping will allow you to compare and contrast items, read customer reviews, and get your items delivered straight to your doorstep. If you’re looking for a full-grown Rieger Begonia, look no further than GreenAcres.com.

Read More:

FAQs

Question: Is Rieger Begonia Toxic?

Answer: Yes, these are toxic plants and that should be taken into consideration before you purchase one.  If you have pets and small children in your home, you may want to hold off on buying a Rieger Begonia or plan to place it in a spot where they cannot reach it.  
If a child or pet consumes any part of one of these plants, contact a medical professional or poison control.
Animal Poison Control
Ask a Poison Control Vet
Poison Control Center

Question: Which USDA Hardiness Zone Can Rieger Begonias be Planted In?

Answer: If you plan to keep your Rieger Begonia longer than its blooming season, you should only plant it in the ground if you live in zones 8 to 11.  Lower-numbered zones have winters that are too cold for the begonias to survive, so they should be set in a plant container that can be transported indoors when cold weather sets in.

Question: Should Rieger Begonias be Pruned?

Answer: Yes, this will actually encourage better growth and new blooms.

In Conclusion

Rieger Begonia is more than just a throw-away plant; it is a charming and hardy plant that can provide you with many seasons of pleasurable gardening.  Let this plant into your heart and your garden, and you will never be in want for beauty.

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