Growing Begonia in Pots
The name Begonia refers to the genus of flowering plants that are grown for their colorful, showy blooms and ornamental foliage. Begonia are both annual and perennial and available in a range of varieties literally. You can grow them in containers to give your home a pinch of color. Below are tips for growing annual begonia indoors.
Cuttings are easiest way to start begonia. Take stem cuttings from existing Begonia. Make cut just above a leaf node. Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone / gel or honey. Cover the container having cuttings with zipped plastic bag to retain moisture around the begonia. You can cut all the leaves except 2-3 leaves or just trim the leaves to avoid transpiration shock.
Begonia can be propagated from seeds too but it requires patience. Sow dustlike Begonia seeds in fall or early winter ( Dec – Jan ) to get Begonia plant in spring. It takes around 2-3 weeks to begonia seeds for germination.
Choose a container having adequate drainage holes such as hanging baskets or medium to large sized flowering pots. Place pieces of bricks or stones over drainage hole to ensure smooth drainage of water.
Use well drained soil. You can use normal purpose gardening soil too. Add dried leaves, compost, vermi culture or organic manure to increase organic matter in it.
Sun / Temperature
Begonia grows in full to partial sun. In full sunlight they will form tight compact plants and increasingly looser form and fewer blooms in shaded area so continuous shaded environment should be avoided too. Same with direct sunlight, it should be avoided.
Begonia doesn’t like to sit in water. Over watering is one of common reason of killing it. Allow soil to dry out before watering again. Keep soil moist but not wet and soggy. Press fingers 1-2 inch deep in soil before watering to check it really require it or not.
Begonia loves humidity. Mist it every few days to maintain required humidity levels.
Use a water diluted liquid fertilizer once in a month during growing season and while plant is in bloom. Or else buy a commercial Begonia mix.
You can prune Begonia any time of the year, it will grow back. It can prone to mealy bugs. To get rid of mealy bugs spray soap mixed water on plant directly or rub the mealy bug infested area with alcohol dipped brush. They die on contact. For severe conditions spray alcohol directly on plant. Avoid spraying the soil directly as a precaution.
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