Jurassic Watermelon Begonia Care – How to Grow Jurassic Rex Begonia

The Jurassic Watermelon Begonia is also called the Jurassic Begonia or the Jurassic Rex Begonia.

It is a hybrid with a mounded, upright growing habit.

Of course, the first thing anyone ever notices with this plant is its amazing colors and patterns. Its leaves have a dark green color that’s followed by a lighter shade of green right inside of it.

You also have the bright pink-purple center and while separation between the pink and the greens.

Overall, these colors make it stunning both as a houseplant and in the garden.

How do you care for the Jurassic Watermelon Begonia? It needs bright, indirect light to support its beautiful colors.

High humidity also keeps the leaves vibrant. Don’t forget to feed the plant during spring and summer which help keep the leaves looking great.

Jurassic Watermelon Begonia Plant Care

Jurassic Rex Begonia Light Requirements

The Jurassic Watermelon Begonia needs medium to bright indirect light to sustain its beautiful leaves and their colors.

Good lighting is essential for the vibrancy. So, try to place the plant somewhere there is sufficient illumination.

If the light happens to come from just one direction, I also suggest rotating it every so often.

I like to do so every time I water.

This makes it easier to remember. Plus, you get to do it on a regular basis.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that while plenty of light is a good thing for the plant, too much can be harmful.

It cannot tolerate strong direct sunlight.

Therefore, never put it right under the rays of the sun.

Since the leaves are the crowning glory of the Jurassic Watermelon Begonia, you don’t want to mess with them.

And excess sun exposure of strong intensity will burn its leaves.

Thus, be careful with a south facing window. This is where the harshest sunlight comes into the house. Make sure to check at different times of the day to ensure at not time the rays of the sun hit the plant.

This is especially true between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. when the rays are harshest.

On the other hand, keep the plant away from dim or dark locations. It can tolerate low light but make sure the there is enough light.

If it starts to lose its color, then move it to a brighter location.

Alternatively, you can use fluorescent lights to support lack of natural sunlight.

Outdoors, partial shade is ideal. Keep it sheltered from the sun’s strong mid-day rays.

 

Jurassic Rex Begonia Temperature

The Jurassic Watermelon Begonia prefers temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

The plant is fairly easy to care for when it comes to temperature before it enjoys what you and I do. So, the easiest way to tell if may like a location is try it out yourself.

If you feel comfortable with the temperature there, it will likewise feel good there.

But if you feel it gets too hot, don’t keep the plant as it will eventually feel that way there.

That said, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the Jurassic Rex Begonia is not frost hardy. This means that outdoors, it prefers USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12.

In colder areas, the Jurassic Watermelon Begonia is an annual or kept as a houseplant.

You can take the plant outdoors once the threat of the cold has passed and the weather starts to warm up around mid spring.

Acclimate it slowly to avoid any stress or shoch.

By fall, you’ll need to move the Jurassic Watermelon Begonia back indoors as the weather starts to get colder.

Early winter, the plant may go into dormancy as the temperature gets colder and there’s less sunlight. If this happens, reduce water significantly. The plant should start growing again once the warmth of spring arrives.

To avoid it from going dormant, try to give it enough light indoors. You can use artificial lights.

Likewise, keeping in warm will help avoid this state.

In fact, its temperature tolerance if 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the surroundings get colder than this, it will struggle. You’ll initially notice this with slower growth. But the growth can eventually stunt if the temperature drops any lower.

 

Humidity

The Jurassic Watermelon Begonia needs high humidity to thrive. And it prefers 60% and higher humidity. Although, it will tolerate 50% humidity as well.

You do want to be careful with dry air as it will make the plant struggle.

Additionally, its leaf edges and tips will turn brown and dry. They will likewise crisp up and become very brittle such that they’ll crumble when you touch them.

As such, it is a good idea to monitor humidity if you live somewhere that does not get consistent relative humidity above 60%.

The simplest way to deal with this is to move the plant to the bathroom.

Although this is not a viable solution if you want to display the Jurassic Watermelon Begonia’s lovely leaves for visitors to see.

A humidifier is another option.

You can mist the plant regularly. Although, I don’t like this since misting too much can end up causing a fungal infection called powdery mildew.

Another option is to just set up a pebble tray or humidity tray.

 

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How Often to Water Jurassic Watermelon Begonia

The Jurassic Watermelon Begonia needs moderate watering. As such, unless you live in a tropical or subtropical location, there’s no need to water daily or every other day.

Instead, it will usually only need watering once a week.

Just as importantly, allow the top inch of soil to dry before adding more water.

The is crucial since overwatering can lead to serious problems like root rot and fungal infections. Thus, don’t add more water when the soil is still moist or wet.

Instead, wait for the top inch to completely dry out before you do so.

This means always testing and feeling the soil before watering. Stick your index finger into the soil down to the first knuckle.

If the soil at that depth feels dry, it is time to water.

Otherwise, any sign of moisture no matter how little means to wait a few days then test the soil again.

On the other hand, the Jurassic Rex Begonia also dislikes going completely dry.

So, avoid letting the entire root ball go dry. The longer its stays bone dry, the higher the risk of dehydration.

The good news is the plant recovers fairly quickly from dryness.

Still, leaving it dry for too long or regularly letting it completely dry out will eventually damage its roots as well.

 

Jurassic Watermelon Begonia Potting Soil

Since the plant is prone to overwatering, it needs well-draining soil. Additionally, it will appreciate soil that has high organic matter content as well.

Good drainage and aeriation are very important otherwise, the soil can end up waterlogged. This leaves you with an overwatered plant as well.

Waterlogging keeps the roots in water due to the excess amount of moisture in the soil.

The problem here is that roots need air as much as they need water.

So, if this persists, the roots will eventually suffocate and die. That’s when root rot starts to set in.

This is why you want to avoid any water-retentive soil mixes. Anything heavy, dense or gets compacted will all cause the same results.

Therefore, avoid at all costs.

Instead, go with a well-draining potting soil. You can make one that’s perfect for the Jurassic Watermelon Begonia by mixing:

  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 part vermiculite
  • 1 part peat moss

This combination provides a lot of drainage which will allow the excess moisture to drain quickly. At the same time, the peat moss will retain most moisture to keep the roots hydrated.

 

Jurassic Rex Begonia Fertilizer

The Jurassic Watermelon Begonia needs fertilizer to grow optimally.

By applying regularly, you’ll provide the plant with needed nutrients to sustain its growth and development.

However, it is important to keep in mind that with fertilizer what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.

You can use a balanced fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer. Don’t feed it during the fall and winter as growth slows down the cold weather.

When the plant looks like it is going to bloom, you can switch to a bloom fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content, something like a 15-30-15 blend will work well during this time.

When applying fertilizer, always dilute the dose by half strength.

Additionally, don’t water the plant if the soil is dry. It needs to be moist.

The reason for this is you don’t want a very strong dose. Similarly, don’t give it more plant food than recommended.

This goes for both application frequency and also which times of year you should and should not apply.

The reason is that excess feeding can lead to fertilizer burn.

This will damage the roots and prevent them from functioning as they should.

 

Pruning

As with most begonia varieties, the Jurassic Watermelon Begonia is not a big plant.

But it has stunning leaves which easily more than make up for its lack in size.

Nevertheless, the plant usually reaches between 16 and 20 inches high and can spread out to as much as 20 inches from side to side.

If you plant it in the ground, a garden bed or raised bed, leave 6 to 10 inches of spacing between plants to let them grow out.

Since the Jurassic Rex Begonia isn’t going to be a large or long plant and its leaves appear in a very orderly manner, there isn’t really any pruning needs.

The only pruning you’ll need to do is regular maintenance for the plant’s health which is to remove any discolored, dead or diseased foliage.

If there are any debris that collect in the soil surface, remove these as well while you’re pruning the plant.

 

Related: How to Grow Dragon Wing Begonia at Home

 

How to Propagate Jurassic Watermelon Begonia

Jurassic Watermelon Begonia propagation is simple. And you can grow many new plants at home for free.

The most common ways to propagate the Jurassic Rex Begonia are by leaf cuttings, stem cuttings and division.

Leaf division is what most home gardeners use because it is simple.

Plus, you can grow multiple new plants just from one leaf.

The best time to propagate this plant is spring.

Here’s how to propagate Jurassic Watermelon Begonia from leaf cuttings.

  1. Start by looking for a full-grown leaf that is healthy. You only need one leaf. Then the leaf and stem from the plant. Remove the stem from the leaf as you won’t need that.
  2. Turn the on its underside and you’ll see lots of veins. The larger veins are where the new plants (plantlets) will develop from. So, the main veins should be pristine with no damages.
  3. Take a cutter and sterilize the blade. Then cut half inch slits on the main veins about halfway through the leaves. One cut per main vein is sufficient. Each cut can produce one or more plantlets.
  4. Get a pot that will fit the entire leaf when you lay it flat on the soil surface. Then fill that pot with seed staring mix.
  5. Place the leaf on the soil with the underside (the side with the cut veins) on the soil. You want the main veins particularly the cut part to stay in contact with the soil. Again, that’s where plantlets will grow from.
  6. Use pins like the ones you use in sewing on a pin cushion to pin down the leaf. Pin as needed with the goal of keeping the main veins in contact with the soil. Don’t pin right on the main veins though or else it can prevent plantlets from developing.
  7. To keep the leaf in place, you can use rocks and put it on top of the leaf as well.
  8. Place the pot in bright, indirect light with good humidity. You can cover the pot with a plastic bag if your home does not get enough humidity. Ideal temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. New growth will develop on the main veins. You’ll see 1-2 plants for the most part per vein. Be patient though it will take 4-6 weeks for this to happen.

Wait until each of the small new plants are 3 inches tall and have 2 or more leaves.

Then you can remove them from the leaf and plant them into 3-inch pots.

Once they get bigger, you’ll need to repot.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Jurassic Watermelon Begonia

The Jurassic Watermelon Begonia has shallow roots. So, avoid placing it in a deep pot as this will increase soil volume.

Excessive soil volume when watered will leave the roots swimming in too much water.

This results in overwatering.

Instead, go with shallow pots which work really well for the plant.

That said, repotting is not a common thing for the Jurassic Watermelon Begonia.

It only needs to be repotted every 3 years or so. However, listen to what the plant is telling you to know when to repot.

Once the rhizome starts to crowd the pot or reaches the sides of the pot, it is time to move it to a larger container.

The best time to do this is during spring. And make sure to refresh the potting soil when you repot.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Yes. The plant is toxic to dogs, cats and humans. Keep it away from the reach of your pets as well as young children as they may accidentally consume the leaves.

If they do, make sure to call your pediatrician or veterinarian whichever the case may be.

Try to explain as much detail as possible to help them figure out the next steps.

 

Jurassic Watermelon Begonia Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

Pests are a problem for begonias. And the Jurassic Watermelon Begonia is no exception.

But for this plant, mealybugs are likely what you’ll experience.

These are cotton white insects like the plant. And they will come around the rhizome and hide under the leaves. They’ll also stay in the joints of the plant.

Therefore, make sure to inspect these areas thoroughly.

 

Diseases

The Jurassic Watermelon Begonia is prone to a few diseases.

Root rot is one of these. And it is the most serious since it can kill your plant if not discovered early enough and treated promptly.

Additionally the plant is susceptible to two kinds of fungal diseases.

These are powdery mildew and botrytis. Both are caused by excess moisture on the leaves which is why misting is not a good idea since if you end up leaving foliage wet for too long.

To prevent this, cleaning the leaves regularly is essential.

Additionally, keep the sun in bright, indirect light and somewhere with good air circulation so any moisture on leaf surfaces can dry quickly.

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