Begonia Care Guide
Light : Medium
This plant enjoys early morning light or indirect bright light throughout the day to encourage flowering.
Water : Medium
Use filtered, bottled, or tap water sitting 24 hours to release the chemicals and water enough that the water discharges out of the drainage holes. Once the water is fully drained, replace them into the cache or decorative pot. Don't let the roots sit in standing water. Keep the soil consistently moist but avoid overwatering as they can suffer from root rot. Let the top few inches of potting soil dry between waterings in the winter months. Do not let the root ball dry out or they will protest with damaged leaves. During winter months, reduce watering while their in dormancy.
Humidity : Medium
Enjoys high humidity. Add a pebble tray or humidifier to keep the humidity high. Avoid spritzing the leaves
Temp : 60℉ - 75℉
Average comfortable room temperatures will be sufficient. These plants do not like cold temperatures under 58°F.
Zone : 8|9|10
Begonias love tropical climates but anytime the night time temperatures dip below 55°F, to save them, dig them up and move inside.
Fertilizer : Monthly
Fertilize every 2-3 weeks by diluting an organic balanced liquid fertilizer into the water while watering. If you have the fancy leaf begonias, use a higher nitrogen fertilizer in the early spring. You may switch to a high phosphorus for a flowering boost. Fertilize in the spring through fall months but let the plant rest in the winter. Avoid any foliar feeding on the leaves.
Repotting : 3 Years
When receiving the Begonia plant, do not repot immediately but wait at least 6-12 months or if the roots are beginning to get crowded and growing through the drainage holes.
Repot in the spring, using a one inch wider in diameter pot to keep the roots more snug (they like to be root bound). (Too big of a pot could cause the soil to dry slower, which is not helpful.)
Place a piece of screening at the bottom of the container over the drainage hole to secure the soil and allow it to drain.
Use a well-draining indoor potting mix with perlite, coconut coir and vermiculite to help with drainage, moisture retenion and absorption of nutrients.
Add soil to the bottom to elevate the root ball.
Lift the plant and release the roots against the existing planter. Use a clean knife or garden trowel to wedge between the pot and the soil to loosen.
Inspect the root ball. Notice if there are any dead or rotting roots and trim off with sterile pruners.
Ensure the plant is sitting about 1 inch below the edge of the pot to avoid water spillage. Add more soil and backfill around the sides by tamping down.
Fill up to the soil line but not over.
Water thoroughly, leaving the soil damp but not soggy. If settling occurs, add more soil. Water well to dampen the soil and let it drain.
Plant outside in a warm plant zone (10-12) or after the last frost in your planting zone (where the temperature is above 60°F) in well-draining soil and keep consistently moist but never soggy. Mix in compost or well-draining garden soil and root hormone to get them established. Plant them about 1 inch in depth and 10-12 inches apart if planting several. Keep in a part sun (early morning) garden where direct light will not burn the leaves.
Cleaning : Monthly
Trim off any dead or damaged leaves down to the base of the stem. Remove spent flowers. Replenish divots in the soil from watering. Check for pests.
Propagation : Cuttings
Take a stem cutting between 4-6 inches long with leaves attached with sanitized pruners.
Dip the cuttings in water, then in a rooting hormone.
Use a pot with drainage and place the stem 1-2 inches down into the damp, well-draining, moist potting soil mix and tamp down around the stem to secure.
Place a clear plastic bag over the cutting to mimic a greenhouse and mist the inside of the bag but not the foliage. Set them in bright, indirect sunlight while they are rooting.
Check the moisture and humidity each day and add misting to keep the soil moist while the roots establish.
After 6-8 weeks, roots will begin to establish. You can tug onto the stem to ensure the roots are secure.