Plant Care Tips and Information
Here you’ll find tips on growing begonias and begonia care, as well as
solutions to common problems.
Growing begonia plants is easy when you take to time to select the
plants that match the growing environment in your home or landscape.
Begonias vary in size and longevity, as well as leaf and flower shape.
Angel Wing begonias are popular houseplants due their attractive leaves
and colorful flowers. They are long-lived and can be propagated easily
by rooting stem cuttings.
Rex Begonias are harder to grow; however, their unique
leaves make a striking display.
Reiger Begonias are used for short-lived color, commonly displayed on
windowsills. When the flowers fade they can be propagated from rooted
stem cuttings or discarded.
The Wax Begonia is known for its round, thick, waxy leaves – giving
this colorful flowering plant its common name.
Begonias – Basic Tips for Begonia Care
- Begonias are sensitive to extreme changes to their
environment. Try to purchase them from a local florist or nursery. If
the plant must be shipped, warm weather conditions are preferable.
- When you bring begonias home, keep them protected from
drafts and dry conditions by enclosing them in a loose plastic bag for
the first few days. It is important to handle begonias with care in the
first few weeks to encourage longevity.
- Begonia plants are easy to propagate – simply set stem tip
cuttings to root in a warm, humid environment. Some species can be
grown from seed; however, the easiest method is by rooting stem
cuttings or leaves.
- Avoid problems with overwatering and root rot by planting
begonias in compact flower pots.
- Begonias commonly suffer from over-watering, as well as
extremely dry soil. A general rule of thumb is to allow the top inch of
soil to become almost dry between watering; although water requirements
will vary by species.
- Begonias require moderate to dry humidity. Humidity can be
easily provided by setting the flower pots on a tray of pebbles filled
with water, or by placing plants near a humidifier.
Begonia care requirements can vary, depending on the species. Be sure
to review the requirements that are specific to your plant.
Growing Begonias -
Solutions to Common Problems
Leaves turn yellow or
brown and fall off.
Solution: Keep begonias in small pots and water when the soil surface
is dry to the touch. A cool environment and large container can
contribute to this problem.
Tan spots on leaves;
plants rot at the base.
Cause: Botrytis, a fungal disease.
Solution: Remove the affected leaves and propagate new plants from
healthy stem tip cuttings. This is a common disease with root cuttings
– it can be prevented by using a pathogen free rooting soil.
Spots with yellow halos
Cause: Bacterial leaf spot.
Solution: For Angel Wing and Rex Begonias, remove damaged leaves and
increase air circulation. Winter-blooming begonias must be discarded
since this disease affects their entire root system.
Flowers are twisted and
distorted, common on winter-blooming begonias.
Cause: Thrips or mites.
Solution: If begonia plant is infected with thrips, remove and discard
affected leaves and buds. Plant should rebloom in a few weeks. If
flowers and leaves are distorted without thrips bring present, mites
are most likely the issue and plant should be discarded.
White powdery patches on
Cause: Powdery mildew, a fungal disease.
Solution: Remove the affected leaves as soon as possible. Increase the
air circulation around the begonia plants. Newer leaves are less
susceptible that older ones – propagating new plants annually.
White, cottony creatures
on plant stems and leaves.
Solution: Move plant to an isolated location. Remove mealybugs using a
cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Repeat this process every five days
until the mealybugs are gone. Do not use oil based sprays on begonia
plants to treat pest infestations.
Leaves of Rex Begonias
become pale and fragile.
Cause: Too much light; dry air.
Solution: Move begonia to a location that receives reduced lighting and
increase humidity. As new leaves with good color appear, they can be
propagated for new plants.
Begonia Plant Information
- Popular Begonia Species
- Choosing the Right Containers for Your Plants
- Tips and Techniques