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Tips on how to successfully grow begonias

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Begonias flowering plants

Begonias are garden beauties which can brighten your gardens, landscapes, and interior plantscape. I have worked begonias over the years and have seen the results they bring. These plants are truly amazing and will give that much-needed flavor with its beautiful flowers and soft texture makes begonias a must for your garden.  Begonias can be planted directly into the soil, can be installed in containers and can also be placed in hanging baskets that look so great. The foliage or leaves of the begonias are like none other, set in a style that grows uniquely.

If you think these plants are worth the investment Then I encourage you to continue reading as we discuss how to grow and care for begonias that have made a name for itself and is used in so many gardens and interior plantscape designs to give that WOW which I believe is so amazing.

Planting Location

When installing begonias look for an area that gets full sunlight.

Soil Type

The soil for these babies should be and organic-rich soil that drains well.

Watering Methods

When watering your begonias ensure that the soil is moist then allow to dry out somewhat before water again. Overwatering will cause root rot also when watering water at ground level or the soil surface. Don’t allow the water to get on the foliage or flowers.

Fertilizing Methods

To keep your begonias blooming and performing at its best the use of a fertilizer that is high in phosphorous will help. Before fertilizing read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.

Garden insect pests  of begonias

You may have these uninvited guest show up at your doorstep.

  • Mealy Bugs
  • Whiteflies
  • Scales
  • Aphids
  • Spider Mites

These garden insect pests cause injury by sucking the plant’s fluids which can cause yellowing and browning of the leaves followed by leaf drop. To bring these garden insect pests under control the use of insecticidal soap will offer some help.

Disease of the begonia plant

Keep an eye out for these diseases so that your begonias can stay healthy and striving.

  • Powdery Mildew
  • Viruses
  • Botrytis Blight
  • Fungal Rot
  • Bacterial Leaf Spot

Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew appears as a powdery substance on the plant leaves, this disease is encouraged by excessive fertilizing with water-soluble fertilizers, poor air circulation, warm and damp conditions. Ensure that your begonias have proper air circulation, monitor the amount of fertilizer you are using and do not overwater. Plant parts which are infected should be removed. Remember to sterilize your pruner after each use.

Viruses

Viruses will cause the leaves to develop mosaic partners along with turning yellow and stunted growth of the plant. Infected plants should be removed and destroyed. Before installing plants the soil should be a soil that is fresh and healthy. Plant pots that were previously used should be sterilized with bleach and water, also before purchasing plant ensure that begonias are healthy and disease free by looking for symptoms.

Botrytis Blight

Botrytis Blight damage shows up as soft brown rot on the stems, flowers, and leaves, you will also notice a growth that is gray and fuzzy. To bring this disease under control keep the plant bed free of debris, remove infected plant parts which include leaves, stems, and flowers also avoid overhead irrigation, water your begonias from the ground or soil level this way water will not get on the leaves, stems or flower and give plants proper spacing for air circulation.

Fungal Rot

Fungal rot shows up as stunted growth, the plant’s roots may be discolored along with water soaked stem at the ground level or soil line. Remove infected plants and dispose of, before replanting in the same spot the soil should first be sterilized or treated with a fungicide, ensure that your begonias are not getting excessive amounts of water. Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between watering.

Bacterial Leaf Spot

Bacterial Leaf Spot shows up on the undersides of the older leaves as lesions which are small near the main veins. As the disease persists the spots enlargens and becomes brown, as the disease is allowed to spread the leaves will wilt followed by leaf drop. The petioles and stems which are infected develop streaks that are water soaked and may also split at this stage your begonia may die.

Remove and destroy infected plants, give the proper spacing of plants for good air circulation and humidity, do not wet the leaves and when purchasing plants ensure that they are disease free.

Container grown begonias

Container grown begonias is a great way to grow these garden beauties, ensure that the container has drain holes for water to drain after plants have gotten a drink. The soil should be a well-drained soil that will hold the right amount of water but will allow excess water to drain through. When installing your begonias don’t install to deeply, only the entire root ball should be covered with soil, from the base where the stems are joined to the root ball should be above ground.

Give your container a good soaking and allow the water to drain, place the container in an area that gets indirect bright light. A saucer should be placed under the container so when watering in the future the saucer can collect the water. The use of a slow release fertilizer that is high in phosphorus will keep the flower bloom. Keep an eye out for garden insect pests and disease as discussed earlier.

Growing begonias from hanging baskets

Growing begonias from hanging baskets is a great way to have these garden beauties growing, there are many basket type and sizes to choose from. What I love about growing these plants in baskets are once installed in baskets the baskets can be hanged from your porch or patio, from the wall by the front door, in fact with hanging baskets garden plants can be hung from just about anywhere provided that there is sufficient sunlight.

When installing begonias from baskets you would follow the same procedure as when planting in containers. Water and fertilizer also as with containers, a word of caution when installing begonias don’t crowd the basket because your begonias need room to grow. On average, I would install about 2-3 in a basket depending on the size of the plants along with the size of the basket. Keep an eye out for garden insect pest and disease as stated earlier.

Growing begonias indoors

The temperature

When growing begonias indoors, the temperature plays an important part in order for your plant to thrive. A temperature anywhere from 65°-75° well work.

Humidity

For your begonias to grow its best indoors place in an area that gets bright indirect light, begonias love humidity, to increase the humidity level place your begonias on a wet pebble tray, the use of a humidifier is also good to have.

Deading Begonias

Deadheading begonias involve the removal of spent flowers, to promote flower bloom when the old flowers begin to fade remove the old flower by pinching this will encourage stem and flower growth. As you continue with this method on a regular basis you will have a bushy plant with beautiful flower bloom.

The final word

Begonias are a great choice to give that bloom and soft touch with their texture so if you are looking for a plant that will work wonders both in the landscape and on the interior then this is the plant for you. I have worked with these plants on many occasion and to be honest they are really amazing. But be careful because as much as they are beautiful they are fragile so handle with care and you will do just fine.

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