Tamaya, Begonia maculata

Begonia albopicta tamaya

Tamaya, also called bamboo begonia, is an elegant indoor begonia with many blooms.

Begonia maculata ‘tamaya’ facts

NameBegonia maculata
SynonymB. albopicta ‘Tamaya’
Family – Begoniaceae
Type – perennial down to 50°F (10°C)

Flowering – end spring → early fall

Height: 8-16 in (20-40 cm)  – Exposure: full/part sun  –  Soil: rich, well drained

Easy and quite resilient, this begonia is a very ornamental plant.

Planting and repotting your begonia

This begonia loves rich soil that drains well.

Indoor Begonia Tamaya ®

Begonia tamaya planting repottingWhen planting or repotting, its best to use flower plant soil mix or a mix of leaves and soil mix.

  • Repotting performed every 3 years will reinforce your Tamaya®
  • Avoid situations that would scorch the plant, such as South-facing windows.
  • Select a very luminous spot that isn’t too close to a heating vent.
  • The ideal temperature for a Tamaya plant is around 70°F (20°C).

Outdoor Begonia Tamaya ®

Tamaya begonia can only survive outdoors in tropical or subtropical climates because it is vulnerable to the cold in winter. It must have temperatures of at least 60°F (15°C) all year round.

However, you can bring your Tamaya out to your terrace or balcony as soon as temperatures rise above 65°F (18°C) both in the night and in the day.

  • Avoid spots with too much direct sun.
  • Favor part sun when outside.
  • Don’t move your Tamaya ® around too often.

Propagating Tamaya through cuttings

Tamaya is propagated through cuttings. This step is usually performed at the heart of winter when the blooming is at its lowest.

But the season to make cuttings can shift depending on the growing conditions. The basic rule is to wait for the plant to have drifted into its dormant phase.

  • Propagation begonia tamayaSnip off a branch that has not born flowers just after a bud.
  • Remove the lower leaves.
  • Put the cutting stem in water until nice roots appear.
  • After that, plant the Tamaya cutting in a good soil mix.
  • Water so that the soil mix stays lightly moist but without overwatering.

Pruning and caring for your Begonia Tamaya

Caring for a begonia tamayaCare is easy enough and only requires very little attention.

  • Remove wilted flowers regularly (deadheading).
  • This step helps stimulate the plant to produce new flowers.
  • Prune the Tamaya® regularly for it to retain its nice, compact bearing.

How to prune begonia tamaya

  • Spring is the best season for pruning, followed by summer.
  • Snip back the longest branches by half or even two-thirds, just above a bud.
  • For maintenance pruning, pinch or cut off each new branch at the tip after it has sprouted two or three leaves.
  • New branches will sprout from buds at leaf joints. It will grow more densely.

Watering & fertilizing a Tamaya ® plant

Watering Begonia tamaya

Tamaya must be watered when the surface of the soil is dry.

  • One to 2 watering sessions a week are usually enough to answer its water needs.

Fertilizing Begonia tamaya

  • Provide flower plant fertilizer on a regular basis to your Tamaya. The interval for this is about once a month from April to September.

Almost any type of fertilizer will do, as long as it is balanced. This means it should contain equal amounts of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus (the N, K and P symbols).

  • Don’t over-fertilize your begonia.

If anything, reduce doses written on the packaging by half. You can reduce the dose by increasing dilution. For example, if the package says to pour one cap-full in a quart (liter) of water, then pour it in a half-gallon (two liters) instead.

Only increase to normal doses if you don’t see any betterment after three full months.

Prepare your own natural begonia fertilizer from comfrey or from stinging nettle:

All there is to know about Tamaya

This very beautiful plant native to Central and South America (Mexico) branched into very many species with unique colors and shapes.

This is a plant that is both robust and easy-going and it belongs to the same family as begonia.

Tamaya blooms several times a year and each time it does so, delicate pale pink to carmine red flowers are born depending on the variety and the growing environment.

You’ll also notice its evergreen leafage that evolves from bright green to emerald green. It is sprinkled with silver spots delicately ordered along leaf veins. It truly shines as an exquisite ornamental plant. The scientific name maculata comes from these spots. On the other hand, the second name of this begonia, “bamboo begonia“, comes from the shape of its stem.

The variety that is specifically called ‘Tamaya ®’ is actually a patented cultivar. In an nutshell, it means that it was developed by breeders who patiently ensured it would constantly provide us with its beauty! Propagating it for sale is thus currently prohibited.

Smart tip about Tamaya

Tamaya can survive for decades, but it tends to grow sparse and blooms decrease in time.

To avoid this, you must prune on a regular basis and enrich the soil with fertilizer.

Images: 123RF: Emmanuelle Bonzami, adobestock: Spinetta