Bringing color to our lives, Begonias are essential ornaments for gardens and housing without doubt. They are pretty widespread, especially in moist subtropical and tropical climates. They are popularly grown as houseplants and are even considered to be a great interior design element in cooler climates. Some people not only grow these colorful flowering plants at home and in the garden, but a lot of people actually have begonias at their offices, hotels and shops. They definitely, bring color and positive energy to our lives! This can be quite vital, especially when disturbing concrete masses and constructions around us are multiplied by two or three every single day! Anyway, begonias kind of relax us. They can be beautiful hanging for windows, or down a balcony. For begonia lovers we have prepared steps and descriptions of care and treatment for begonias and even actually how to grow one! Believe us the treatment and care process is really fun, it can even soothe you. The only thing you need is to know the simple hints and use the correct method!
Begonia, a flowering plant from the family of Begoniaceae, is very popular around the world, particularly in subtropical and tropical climates, such as Japan, Australia and California. We just love adding some multicolor to out working space, our desk, our window sills with a beautiful flowering plant. We generally tend to go for a begonia plant! No matter how they are used they surely bring vibrancy and beauty to our environment.
The name Begonia was coined by Charles Plumier, a French botanist after he attributed the plant to Michael Begon the governor of Haiti at that time. Charles Plumier was considered one of the most important botanical explorers of his time. However, you don’t need to be an expert to know how to treat a begonia. So, don’t worry!
Begonias are considered to have about 1,795 species and are the fifth-largest angiosperm genus. So don’t stress about it if you think that your begonia does not look like the ones in pictures and magazines. On the other hand, treatment to all of them are almost the same. Some begonias are known to have numerous stamens while others are mostly reproductive and contain an inferior ovary. One important aspect of begonias is that they can bloom in any color. For this reason, they are commonly used for decorating interior and exterior housing and offices. Although all species of begonias are aesthetically amazing to view, the fanciest ones are considered to be the ones with stamens.
Care And Treatment Of Begonias
How To Grow Begonias At Home
As we have stated before, Begonias love warm climatic places and you don’t really have to change your country to grow one. Room temperature is actually ideal to cultivate begonia. Some types of begonias are seasonal, while others can bloom throughout the year. So it is up to you what type you want, but the cultivation is totally the same.
Begonias do like warm climates which necessarily does not mean they like hot temperature. Quite on the contrary, trying to grow begonias in a room over-temperature may result in a possible failure. Knowing areas your stove, or heating system is not affecting and locating the not so warm parts of your house is crucial. Note worthily, having the heating system on day and night, may not only create a hole in your pocket, but may also totally ruin your plans of having a lovely begonia plant in your living room.
The ideal light for indoor growing Begonias is simple fluorescent lighting. This will give you a better control of the amount of light you provide for your plants. Making the begonia plant as the main focus of the light source is not right. The power of the fluorescent light must be reflected to the begonia plant, dispersed rather than directly held. Having a manual light source like fluorescent lighting can be quite advantageous as calculating the amount of light the plant absorbs in a day is quite important. Also, plants love absorbing light from the top, so just set the light a few inches above the tallest plant on your shelf. If you are planning to grow several begonias you can create a light stand by adding a few suitable fluorescent lights to your stand. Ideally your lights should be on 13-14 hours a day, but if you forget about it and leave it on for 24 hours for a few times it should be fine.
Note: You don’t need to buy an expensive fluorescent light as even a simple shop light with ordinary white tubes will do the job and you will save your money. If you want to spend a bit more money on your planting then it could be useful to start a larger collection of plants by purchasing a light stand. Fluorescent light stands can easily be found in most mail order catalogues. Also do not forget that your light should always be on a higher level or shelf than your begonias.
How To Make It Easier For Your Begonias To Adapt To Your House
Generally, begonias planned to be grown indoors are naturally found in their habitats which are mostly categorized as moistly places. Places like cave entrances, on the hilly parts of valleys between rocks that do not absorb sunlight directly they easily survive. Begonias are also seen by riversides. Looking at their natural habitats it is easy to come to the conclusion that if we want to witness a beautiful begonia grow, the roots should not be drown in soil. That is the reason why begonias select moistly places in order to survive. They also love soils rich in calcium and humus. As we have stated before Begonias must be protected by direct powerful sunlight, if they are in an extremely hot climate sometimes humid wind passing by will save them from the effects of direct sunlight.
If we were to classify Begonias; ones that are remote from tropical climates, don’t develop and grow in cold seasons like fall or winter in which days are pretty short, but begonias belonging to tropical climate habitats, no matter how long the days are, will be adapt to the suitable warmness, which will help their capability during a photosynthesis routine.
If your house is getting lots of sun and you are planning to grow some begonia, you could take advantage of the natural light. Begonias will almost grow in every window location except a north window. You can experiment to find which begonia plants grow in which windows of your house or office. By viewing your experiment which must consist of different plants at different windows, you can have an idea by looking at the growth over time and you can swap their places or add some light to get better results. Some begonia plants may actually grow fine in a north window, in terrariums, yet different areas of the country with different climates don’t really have similar light intensities during the year. Be a good observer, if you find that your begonia plants are starting to stretch, they may be in the need of more light and if they are shrinking and almost look burnt then they need to be moved to a window with less light or may need to be further from the window. A good share of begonias will grow in a south window and most will grow in either an eastern or western exposure.
Southern parts of housing are mainly preferred for growing begonias. Some of them are adaptable to the east or the west. If the begonias you are growing are defoliating and the leaves are falling then you may need to move the plant to a brighter part of the house. These basic tips already give you a brief outlook on how to take care of your begonias. It is totally up to you whether you let your plants have a rest during winter or want to keep them in front of a window that sees the sun. You also may need to have a backup light source for certain times of the year, in which the absorbed sunlight is weak.
Pot Types And Other Useful Details
Potting and what kind of soil mixes you use is very important during the process of Begonia growing. It can totally change the outcome. The most ideal way is to find humus soil sold in plastic bags, but don’t forget that Begonias hate to be over-potted and over-watered. Under potted begonias may not die easily, but they may die quickly if they are over-potted. Soil-less mixes are generally composed of peat moss added with perlite and/or vermiculite. Don’t worry if you can’t find a good mix, it is very simple to make your own one. Just mix a peat based mix or two thirds of peat moss with a third part perlite soil. Sunshine and Fafard are highly recommended and commonly available peat based mixes. On the other hand, if you are using plain peat moss you must pre-moisten it before planting because sometimes wetting it for the first time may be difficult. To begin, you may want to wet it with boiling water to get the mixture slightly damp and wait for it to cool down before using it.
Fertilizers for the soil mix you are preparing may be useful for the begonias. For most occasions slightly alkaline and not over acidic soil selection is ideal for a successful growth. After watering fertilizing the soil by adding some mix will be good for your begonias. Nitrogenous fertilizing however, can create negative effects for the roots of the plant. It will create cellular deformities and will defoliate the leaves of the plant which is quite a bad sign. Also the plant will grow weakly if nitrogenous fertilized.
For indoor planting a peat mix is quite useful. While it drains well, it holds a great amount of moisture for the plant without drowning it. Self-watering pots are the best watering pots you can get for indoor planting. Before refilling the reservoir again, allow the mix to dry out slightly. In brief, self-watering pots work well for almost all begonias, but you must only use a peat based mixture for these types of pots. Any other mix will stay too wet.
If your plant has started to dry out and shrink for no relatable reason, it may be to do with the size of your pot. Using a pot suitable in size for the root of your begonia plant will help your plant to grow healthily. Often using pots too big in size give negative results. Quite the contrary, the smaller you use, the better results you will get in growth of your begonias. For example, pots deep as 12 centimeters are suitable for begonias. However, for the development of the roots, the width is really important.
Note: You should not move your begonia plant out of the pot into another pot before it has roots.
The soil of your begonia must be replaced by fresh soil mid-season. For example, during spring the growth of begonia is very important, so changing the soil will give you strong and overflowing begonias. Make sure the pot you select for your begonia is either made of perlite, vermiculite or moss. Clay pots aren’t really suitable for begonias.
Best results are found in pots made of organic soil fertilizers. The reason for this is that pots made of organic soil fertilizers don’t dry a lot and can keep moisture without wetness. The point is that you try selecting pots that will keep the moist without creating too much wetness in the soil. If you lay dolomite or limestone in the base of the pot, your begonias will sufficiently consume the required calcium during growth from there.
Watering Your Begonia Plant
We always think that flowers love water, don’t we? Well, we are all quite wrong. Over-watering is not only difficult, but also harmful. The best method is to water plants when dryness and indications of cracks are visible. Also, while watering we should be able to see the water leaking from the bottom of the pot. So, if you are trying to prevent the leakage from the pot, then unfortunately, you are not on the correct path. If you have kept your begonias in a cool area during winter, you should not need to water your plants very often. Even flooding the plant during summer is very harmful. Begonias are known to refresh themselves due to the stigmatic structure of their leaves.
Humidity is difficult to be observed and followed for begonia plants, because plants that aren’t really water fans, may need humidity to grow. It will give no harm if you spray some water with a spray, mainly on the leaves and to the air to give the plant natural humidity effect.
If you want to propagate your begonia by cutting the roots, you will need to move the cut parts to another pot as soon as possible. To reproduce your begonias you will need to wait for spring, begonias reproduce amazingly in April.
All Begonias with thick leaves are good with root propagation. For example, rex, tuberous, beefsteak begonias and plant begonias have thicker leaves compared to the others. Reproduction with leaves requires a lot of patience, yet it can be really fun. A Begonia leaf can get roots and even bloom if planted in a suitable soil in the correct way. However, you must select a strong, alive, but hard begonia leaf to plant. You can also iron transport using roots or plant bodies instead of leaves.
Propagating begonias from a single leaf is actually quite basic too, you can begin with a single leaf. With a sharp knife or a razor, just cut one of the plants strong and mature leaves where the leaf meets the stem. After clipping the cut end into a point, only bury the leaf stem (petiole) rather than the whole leaf into a soil mixture consisting of perlite and peat. Prepare this mixture in a plastic bowl with a transparent lid. You can also use pumice stone for this method.
You will get a whole new begonia plant grown from the roots with single leaf propagation. You can use single leaf propagation for a windowsill garden or for the following spring’s outdoor planting. You can also save a begonia stem that has been sacrificed to the wind, reproducing begonias through stem or leaf is a good way to have fun, save money and show off your garden skills. Also growing begonias using begonia seeds takes a lot of time and for that reason is not a very popular method. Begonias are suitable for pruning at any time of the year. If your begonia has come from outside, we advise you to prune it straight away so your wonderful plant adapts to its new living space.
Flowers grown at home and warm places confront bugs much more than ones grown in cooler places. If you face such a situation just wipe the leaves and the base of your begonias with some alcohol. This will keep the bugs and ants away.
Don’t forget that the most harmful thing for begonia growing is wrongly chosen soil. Also overwatering will not do anything, but kill the roots. Begonias also hate shady places and aren’t really good at locations that aren’t subject to winds and humidity.
By chance your begonias may get plant diseases, such as botrytis cinerea, virus, fading, weak roots and stains on the leaves. This is because red spiders, leaf bugs and wooly aphids love plants like begonias. To solve this, the alcohol wipe will help but to get rid of these tiny bugs completely you will need to brush the begonias body and leaves with a bit more alcohol.
If things are already out of control and your plant has been impaired by bugs, our advice would be to spray some alcohol on all parts of the plants with a spraying bottle. You must be careful and not spray the alcohol on the soil, but on the plant itself.
In conclusion, if you are happy to explore botanical life and you are willing to add some natural color to your house, begonias are actually really fun and soothing to start your gardening career.