Begonia's come in so many varieties and their leaves are something to be admired. So many different colours that add a pop of colour to a bland, boring room, transforming it into a stylish space. If you've never owned a Begonia, or you've found them hard to please, then read below to equip you with all you need to have lush, beautiful Begonia's.
So you're starting to see why these are plants you should love, let's now take a closer look at what they love, so you can ensure they not only survive, but also thrive.
💧 How often to water your Begonia
Begonia's don't like wet feet and it is for this reason that they will likely turn from a thriving plant into something that is destined for your compost bin if the soil remains soggy wet. If you overwater these by keeping the soil consistently moist, it will be hard to come back from.
Give them a good drink so that water comes out of the drainage holes and then allow the top few inches of soil to nearly completely dry out, before giving it another good drink. They prefer their soil on the drier side rather than wet, but still ensure you water them thoroughly when it's time, and don't let them completely dry out (e.g. bone dry) where possible.
☀ How much light do Begonia’s need?
Begonia's prefer a bright room with lots of natural light. Avoid placing too close to a window however, as they won't like direct sunlight on their leaves. Sunlight will burn their leaves if they are an indoor variety. Begonia's will be happiest in bright indirect, or medium light based on our lighting diagram here.
What soil do Begonia’s like?
We recommend a soil composition of 1 part perlite to 4 parts potting mix. Perlite helps to aerate the soil and also holds water, allowing it to release slowly into the soil. You can find perlite at most garden/hardware stores.
Make them SUPER happy...
Sometimes plants need more than just light and water. We recommend Groconut for it's amazing growth stimulant super powers. They will also require some houseplant food during the growing season - an all round fertiliser will do the trick. Just ensure that you dilute to the instructions on the pack as it can be too much of a good thing if not diluted correctly. If your Begonia has flowered previously and then the beautiful blooms don't return, chances are it needs some nutrients as above.
When Begonia leaves turn yellow, brown, curl or drop
You may need to put your detective hats on to determine the root cause, but usually it's due to either the room temperature, lighting, watering, a nutrient deficiency or a pest that has made it's home on your plant.
As mentioned above, your Begonia prefers to dry out in between watering, but not to the point where the soil is bone dry. If this occurs, you may notice the leaves have brown tips/edges, which is a sure sign that your plant is thirsty. You can remove any damaged leaves and new growth should come through.
If the leaves turn yellow, chances are, you've overwatered your Begonia. Ensure that any pot doesn't sit in water consistently so after watering, ensure all drips have gone before placing it back into your cover pot. If in a self-watering pot, ensure you don't constantly have water sitting in the bottom reservoir. We recommend not potting the plant into a pot without drainage as this makes it hard to determine when it's time to water and you run the risk of overwatering and having the excess water surround and rot the roots.
If your Begonia goes from moist to bone dry before being watered, you are putting stress on your plant, which can result in discoloured or drooping leaves.
Temperature: Most houseplants prefer a consistent room temperature, so avoid large fluctuations. Extremes in temperatures can occur through the use of your heating - log burners and heatpumps in particular, will dry out the air and alter the temperature, sometimes considerably. Ideally, houseplants like a temperature range between 12-24. So consider moving your plants to achieve this where possible.
Pests: Whilst they're not immune to pests, they are extremely uncommon, unlike some plants that seem to be very prone to them. If you're confident that you've kept the conditions on point (lighting and watering - as per above), then your plant may be unhappy due to pests. These can be hard to spot and can turn a thriving plant into a very unhappy one, relatively quickly. Look for white fluff (mealy bugs), small webbing or orange dots on the undersides of your Begonia leaves (spider mites) as these are the most common pests that an Begonia may encounter. There are many more, so you need to check your plant regularly. Should you locate an infestation, we recommend isolating your plant and treating it with Gro-Sure Insect Control Spray.
Are Begonia's toxic to cats and dogs?
Unfortunately, Begonia are toxic to cats and dogs, so keep these out of reach if you have an inquisitive fur baby. If ingested, we do recommend contacting your Vet for advice. It's lucky that these don't grow very large and are quite compact, making them easier to put out of reach.
So there you have it, all the info you need to grow and love Begonia in your own home. These plants are truly a thing of beauty and their colours are incredible. I truly hope that this care guide has helped you. Our goal is to make plant care easy. Why? Because we've been there and have also felt overwhelmed and like it's all too hard. You can read our story here.
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If you've read this far, your Begonia's are loving you right now. Thanks for visiting us, as a small business we are grateful to connect with you.