Caring for Your Begonias
Begonias are a fun and enjoyable plant to have around your home. You can grow them indoors or outdoors, in low to bright light. Although some are fairly simple to take care of others can be not so easy to grow. Begonias also don’t always have a fragrance to them. So you may want to shop around if you are looking for the fragrant kind.
Oddly enough, some begonias’ fragrance can come from their leaves and not the flowers. Should you have one of these particular variety, you definitely need to take great care in not allowing them to be over or underwatered. This could result in a repugnant smell like that of a dieing cacti. Once you notice any browning or yellowing leaves, cut them off. Don’t hesitate in thinking that those bad leaves will get better.
In most states, you will find people growing begonias on the east or west side of their homes. This is due to the fact that most Americans buy wax begonias which thrive well with about half a day’s sun, and not full sun. Many of the “care markers” say they will do well in full sun, but if you live where the temperatures can reach over 78 degrees then you will need to water these plants almost daily as the soil dries out quickly for them. Begonias love moist soil.
Tuberous begonias do much better in full sun, but still need to be watered quite often. This particular variety propagates better from cuttings. Although, if you are willing to take the time you can learn to grow these from seeds as well. Tuberous begonias can grow quite large. There are some variety of wax begonias that can grow rather large, too. But they tend to be smaller than their tuberous counterpart.
The third type of begonias are the stemmed variety. These can either grow tall or short so don’t expect much from these, unless you are a seasoned gardener with this type of begonia. Pay close attention when choosing the stemmed begonia as they tend to be less disease tolerant than the others. They also do well as seed starters.
Like the colors in the rainbow, you can find begonias in almost any color. Similar to tulips, although some may disagree, you can inadvertently change the color of the flowers by changing the ph balance of the soil they are in. This can happen simply by using tap water. A filtered watering system will protect them from mineral deposits. Begonias are best to be watered at the base of the plant than to water directly down onto them.
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Should you decide to grow your begonias in pots, make sure you are watering into the water drain pan to make the plants search for the water. If you have a watering can with a narrow spout, it would not hurt to water the plants at the soil level. Natural rain water does not seem to be such an irritant as tap water does. When watering, pay attention to the leaves. If they are yellowing, you are overwatering. Browning leaves mean that the plant is not receiving enough water.
Begonias can use some food (fertilizer) every two to four weeks. Growing begonias indoors may require feeding in as soon as ten days to two weeks. Soil composition breaks down faster in potted plants faster than it will outdoors. When growing plants in pots, keep track of the size of the plant so that it doesn’t become root bound. Once this happens, you need to repot the plant into the next pot size up.
Growing begonias indoors will require an east or west window for sunlight. Should you only have south windows, make sure the begonia is not right up next to the window. In fact, have it across the room where the window shines upon. North facing windows will need a plant light, unless of course you live in the southern hemisphere. Too much sun can be the death of your prized begonias.
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Where ever you plan to plant your begonias, research the variety you have and keep a journal if needed. These wonderful flowering plants can light up a home whether they be inside or outside. Amaze your friends as to how well you can take care of them. You can find more information on begonias online. Have fun with your gardening of begonias.