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Saturday, July 23, 2022

Begonia - U497 (Updated Information)


This un-named begonia listed as Begonia U497 was first found and identified in Thailand, supposedly sold in a plant market in Bangkok and was introduced into the horticultural begonia community by Dale Sena.

It may most likely be a hybrid begonia which may have been cultivated by the locals throughout the generations in a way became hardy and easy to cultivate especially in lowland hot and humid climate. I had noticed unlike other rex begonias which may succumb to root and stem rot when faced with overwatering and humidity problems. However this one seemed to be able to take the heat and the rain without much fuss.

This particular begonia has been cultivated using mop-wick system similar like the ones used for hydroponic system. I'm particularly amazed at the hardiness where it does not goes dormant or face any issues - however I may have to focus on weekly foliar fertilizer application as to keep them healthy and vibrant. Lacking which -  the leaves may appear dull and lacking new growth.


The appearance is very much monotones in coloration - often in shade and tones of burgundy to red tones - depending on the humidity and lighting received. This particular one due to it's dark pigmentation - may able to handle indirect low light conditions very well. However, none of the foliage coloration ever turn to green in any circumstances - unlike different colored hybrids which may shed it's colors and revert to green when lacking bright indirect light.

This appears very much like a rhizome begonia types - doesn't grow upright, rather have the crawling layered effect in it's growth characteristics. These rhizome may branch off to many shoots while growing depending on the availability of surface growing conditions - they do not follow the light source when sprouting out new shoots.

Another factor which I had noticed is that they are extremely show growing plant - hence, without the aid of foliar fertilizer and plant growth hormone or root hormone - it is going to be very dormant in it's growth process.


Plant Care is very similar like most Rhizome Begonia Care & Cultivation Needs. This depends in different garden or indoor conditions - its all depending on getting the right balanced conditions.

Depending on the Begonia adaptation and its ability to handle hardy conditions - if the plant is stress it may drop all it's leaves before regeneration - hence more care is required to ensure the right balance of watering and humidity verse root and stem rot. 

Fast Draining - Soil Based / Sometimes Sphagnum Moss with Perlite is used.

Water only when the Medium is Dry

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

(Depending on what works best in your garden conditions - some gardeners use chicken/goat manure, 
coffee based fertilizer, organic fertilizer - test out and see on a trial basis to see what works best in your garden conditions)

Place in Bright, Indirect Light - Shaded from direct hot sun areas - Ideal like a Balcony Plants.

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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