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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Begonia Soli-mutata / Sun Changing Begonia

Photo Credit to Dr Rabiatuadawiyah Kari


Begonia Soli-mutata has it's origin from Brazil, the name derives from the meaning Sun Changing, also commonly known as Sun Changing Begonia - this particular rhizome begonia has furry foliage surface very similar like Acetosa and Manaus. 

One of the special features are the multicolored coated foliage where it feels like a satin leaf surface - the colors are in green tones and the fine hairy filaments are in red, giving that red satin fold. The back leaf also is layered fully with this red fur. Another Begonia hybrid known as 'Boomer' has the exact characteristics however Boomer is very much wider, thin and in green.

Also very similar with Begonia Art Hodes but this one has more toned down colors and without any red furry notes.

Plant Care:

Begonia Soli-mutata is not an easy plant to care for - it is not a hardy type where it can handle overwatering or able to stand directly on open sunlight. The very fact is this one can have burned leaves when over exposed to scorching heat or rotten rootball & rhizome when over watered.

However, just like most furry leaf types - they cannot handle any water droplets being stagnant on the leaf surface and prolonged soaking medium- the right balance of adequate and limited watering and care is given where it humid enough but not to get the foliage wet would be an ideal condition for this begonia to thrive.

Often, it would be an ideal condition to grow this one in a terrarium - very similar like an iron cross begonia. As I mentioned that this is like a Highland Begonia type where it may require cooler night temperature drop and bright indirect but not scorching hot sun during the day and most importantly moist but dry medium to support the root & rhizome from not getting any rot.

These are somehow are very ideal for the temperate climate conditions than the tropical conditions where it is too hot or too wet - exposed to heavy rain. If you have managed to cultivate Iron Cross Begonia - this would another ideal one in that same plant care category.
Usually a lot of the heavy furry foliage types does require these special needs due to the condition they come from where their natural habitat is such for them to grow and thrive.

Personally I have yet to encounter anyone successfully had managed to lavishly cultivate these in their garden in the open  here in the hot & wet tropical region in Malaysian weather conditions. Hence I wouldn't recommend this particular one to any new beginners are they are not easy to care for and also an expensive plant which can be considered a rare plant than a common one.

Fast Draining - Soil Based

Water only when the Medium is Dry (refrain from watering over the leaves)

I use Foliar Fertilizer - Once a Week with 1/2 Dilution Strength.

Place in Bright Shade area - Ideal like a Balcony Plants.

I realized that these behave very much like a succulent plants - less watering, medium dry before watering and they do not like water on their leaves rather only on the medium.

Begonia Common Names and Images

Do click on the Link Above ☝
Here is the link where I had put together a list of all the begonias that I had come across. 
A database of all the different types & their characteristics. 
Please click on the link on the title above for the post.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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