Last Updated on December 13, 2022
Knowing When to Water Begonias will save you a lot of hassles as these plants are picky about light and water. Begonias are among the most visually appealing plants that you can grow indoors. They are native to tropical regions worldwide, including Central and South America, Asia, and Africa.
These plant varieties are virtually limitless with approximately 1500 species. They are popular as both annual bedding plants and houseplants are widely grown. They do best in the morning sun and afternoon shade as they prefer it. Begonias come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and shapes. Fibrous, tuberous, canes, and rhizomatous are the four main types.
Some varieties have flowers that grow downward, making tuberous begonias ideal for hanging baskets and window boxes rather than garden beds and borders. No matter where you grow them, make sure they have good drainage to prevent root rot. This is because they grow best in soil that is neither dry nor wet.
Therefore, finding the ideal moisture level and having a planned watering schedule is vital. To learn more about these stunning plants, take heed of the information below.
Should You Mist Begonias?
Yes, misting begonias is recommended for them to thrive. It is important to know when to water begonias as these plants prefer to stay damp and not completely dry out. However, keep in mind that they despise having their roots submerged in water. To help retain moisture, use well-draining soil with some compost material.
Always water from the bottom of the plant as damp leaves can cause leaf rot and spots. Begonias also thrive in areas with high humidity which is due to their tropical origins. Therefore, they do appreciate daily misting in drier areas. In some instances, it is not recommended to mist too often or to use tap water because the high alkalinity in it may cause your plant leaves to drop.
Keep in mind that begonias are susceptible to powdery mildew if their leaves are kept wet. To increase humidity, mist the area around your plant instead of directly on it. This small gesture will reduce the chances of them getting damaged. Although misting is recommended, it should be done with caution to maintain your begonia’s stature. Learn more about begonias in this great video.
How Do You Save an Overwatered Begonia?
If you do not know when to water begonias, then you may be guilty of overwatering them which can cause them harm. You need to understand that giving them too much moisture can tremendously deteriorate their growth potential, ultimately killing your plant.
So, to avoid wet muddy soil and soft soggy leaves, this should be avoided at all costs as it is a clear indication of overwatering. Also, if the leaves are brown and dry, this could mean that the plant has been underwatered. By using the few easy steps mentioned below, you can save your plants and allow them to be healthy and happy again.
1. Root inspection
Very gently remove an overwatered begonia from its pot and carefully inspect the root. If the roots are mushy, soft, and brown or black, then root rot has set in.
2. Assess the damage
Next, determine the scope of the issue. There is no need to take drastic steps if the plant leaves have just curled and there is little welting. The plant may recover quickly if it is simply allowed to dry out; however, do not place it in direct sunlight in the hope of hastening the process. If you do this, you are more likely to aggravate the situation. Leave it alone and in a position with indirect sunlight. Within twenty-four hours, it should perk up.
3. Treating the plant
If you find that there was more damage done, then treat the plant accordingly. Apply a fungicide solution to the roots. Note, you can make your own fungicide solution if you do not have any readily available. A mixture of mild liquid soap and water is ideal. A teaspoon of soap per liter of water will suffice. This formula may appear simple but it will treat a wide range of common houseplant pests. Also, adding a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda can make the solution a good fungicide.
To begin the repotting process, you should first clean out the roots. After that, remove all of the mushy, damaged roots or any part of the plant that looks flawed. You might need to get rid of most of the plant roots if the damage is extensive. If you’re planting in the same pot, clean it thoroughly with a kitchen disinfectant first. If you’re planting into a new pot, make it the same size as the one the plant just came out of. Remember to repot begonias in a container that has good drainage and use a soilless potting mix. Discard the old soil completely.
How Do I Fix an Overwatered Plant?
It’s human nature to offer water to people, plants, and animals. In this way, we show love, care, and affection. Well, it doesn’t work that way with all plants because overwatered plants will eventually rot. It is always important to know when to water begonias as their need for moisture may not be the same as other plants. Below are a few hints on how to fix an overwatered plant.
- Stop watering the plants.
- It should go without saying, but no matter how much your plant wilts, don’t give it any more moisture when it shows signs of overwatering.
- If your plant is in a bright window, move it to a less-lit-up location. Not all plants require direct sunlight when their healths deteriorate due to an excess of water.
- Check the drainage capabilities of your plant container when repotting. Make sure the pot that it is growing in is the correct size and has sufficient drainage. Insufficient drainage is a common cause of plants not surviving.
- Insufficient air can cause plants to wither. Move the plant to a location where it will get enough air to revive itself.
- There may be a need to repot the plant if you suspect or notice that the roots are rotting. Before repotting remove all damaged roots, and treat the plant. Place some potting mix in the container, followed by your plant. Allow the plant to moisturize itself with the moisture from the soil before you start to water it again.
Should I Bottom Water My Begonia?
Begonias prefer moist but not soaking-wet soil when grown indoors. Need to know when to water begonias? Well, it should be done when you notice the top inch of the soil is dry. Remember to select a container with drainage holes so that excess water can easily exit. Bottom watering will not remove salts and other minerals from the soil, so it is recommended for best results.
Because begonias are very sensitive to overwatering and can easily develop root rot, the soil should be slightly damp at all times but not soggy. Therefore, it is essential that before watering, you test the soil to determine whether it is in need of moisture. Using the tips of your fingers over the soil surface will help you determine whether you should water your plant or not.
Also, if you notice that your plant is wilting, ensure that you check the soil moisture level before adding any more. Keep in mind that wilting can be caused by various other reasons aside from too much moisture. These include funguses and infestations that are quite common in plants that are left unattended for long periods of time. Additionally, if you find that the soil is bone dry, you should water it sparingly.
Begonias are native to tropical regions worldwide. Because they are picky about light and moisture levels, knowing when to water begonias will save you a lot of trouble. As long as you remember to plant begonias in a pot with good drainage and a soilless potting mix, you should maintain a healthy indoor or outdoor garden without any hassle.
Also, keep in mind that these plants are particularly susceptible to root rot. So, using a layer of pebbles or broken shards of old terracotta pots at the bottom can help with drainage. When the pot becomes rootbound, repot the begonias into a larger container to allow it to keep thriving.
Begonias thrive in soil that is neither too dry nor too wet. Determine the ideal moisture level and create a watering schedule that will be beneficial to your plant’s health and growth. Watering every two to four days should be adequate in most cases; however, this will also heavily depend on the region you’re in. Water more frequently when the weather is hot and dry and less often if the air is cool and the soil is retaining its moisture. Here’s a link with additional information about these eye-catching foliage plants.
Sharon Vanessa hails from the sunny side of Southern Africa. She is an avid gardener with a great interest in indigenous plants from around the globe. Aside from gardening, Sharon is also a full-time writer who has a concentration on non-fiction content. With her experience in script writing, she hopes to eventually produce an independent film or theatre production in the near future. Family means everything to Sharon; therefore, she spends her free time with the people who make life worth living. Her other hobbies include cooking, baking, and exploring the incredible wildlife in South Africa.