The beauty of begonia is loved by many who are engaged in the cultivation of indoor plants. Well, those who decided to get to know this flower better and supplement their home collection with it should know that although the plant does not require specific care, its cultivation will be most successful if conditions are created that correspond to its growth in a familiar environment.
How to properly care for begonia
How to do this correctly at home will be discussed below.
Begonia is native to the tropics and subtropics. But do not be afraid of this, since even a novice gardener can create suitable conditions for its growth at home. To do this, it will not at all take much time to take care of the plant at home, in addition, in specialized stores they mainly sell a hybrid adapted for breeding at home.
Those who are familiar with begonia know a little better that there are many species of this plant (more than 900), but in general, home care for any of the species grown at home is the same, so novice growers should not focus on this variety.
Video about how to properly care for begonia
In general, the indoor flower opens up in all its glory, if you take care of it correctly, observing the following conditions for care:
The plant is quite thermophilic. The optimum indoor temperature in summer, where the flower is grown, is 21-240C. However, in winter, the container with the plant must be placed in a cooler room, for example, on a loggia or a glazed balcony, where the air temperature does not rise above 14-180C.
Begonia, even at home, loves bright light. But, do not place the plant on the south side: direct sunlight, especially in the spring and summer, can burn the delicate leaves. The best option for placing begonias will be windows on the east or west side, where there is enough light, but the light is diffused.
In order for the indoor bush to form evenly, it is necessary to ensure that there is enough light for all the leaves of the flower; for this, care should include regular turning of the pot with begonia towards the light in different directions.
Begonia, even at home, loves bright light.
In the summer, watering begonia growing at home should be abundant enough once a day or every other day. However, before the next watering, it is worth carefully examining the soil and the pallet; water should not be allowed to stagnate either in the pot or in the pallet, since the roots of the plant begin to rot from excessive moisture and the flower may die as a result, no matter what care is taken. In winter, the amount of watering should be reduced to 1-2 times a week, watering only when 15mm of the topsoil in the begonia pot is dry. Watering should be carried out only with settled water at room temperature.
Like many other ornamental plants native to the subtropical-tropics, begonia loves high humidity. However, in this case, you need to be careful with direct spraying of the plant to increase moisture. The fact is that even though begonia is hygrophilous, droplets of water falling on the leaves lead to the appearance of gray spots, which is not good for the flower. Special care is required here.
Experienced gardeners are advised to proceed as follows: take two pallets of different capacities. Turn the smaller pallet upside down. Put a pot of begonia on top of it. Place this entire structure in a larger pallet. In the free space of a large pallet, it is necessary to evenly distribute expanded clay, which is regularly moistened with water. Water, evaporating, creates the moisture necessary for the plant, but at the same time does not have a negative effect on the leaves of the plant.
For those who do not want to bother with such a design, you can simply put a pot with a plant in a tray in which the bottom is lined with moss or peat, which must be regularly moistened. Humidification in this case is similar to the first method: regularly evaporated water creates a higher humidity for the flower.
It is necessary to feed the plant once every 2 weeks, starting from the moment it blooms
- Top dressing
For better growth and flowering at home, begonias, such as such indoor flowers as gloxinia, need regular feeding. You can purchase the right fertilizer at your specialist store. But be careful, nitrogenous fertilizers should be used only when deciduous begonias are being grown, since nitrogen has a beneficial effect on leaf growth, but inhibits flowering and bud development. It is necessary to feed the plant once every 2 weeks, starting from the moment it blooms.
In addition to providing basic care, the begonia must be replanted annually. Experienced florists recommend doing this in the spring, and not to postpone it until May, but to carry out the necessary work in March - early April. If the transplant is carried out less often or completely abandoned, then the leaves of the plant will turn pale and lose their original bright color, the flower will look less decorative and beautiful.
Caring for a begonia growing at home will be easier if you chose the right container when transplanting the plant. So if you took a plastic pot, then before filling it with soil, you need to put expanded clay on the bottom of the pot, which, absorbing excess moisture, will avoid stagnant water.
Caring for a begonia growing at home will be easier if you chose the right container when transplanting a plant.
The ceramic container is excellent for air permeability and absorbs excess moisture. But when choosing a ceramic pot, you should know that gradually the root system of the flower develops and after a while the roots will occupy all possible space and begin to grow to the walls of the pot. At the next transplant, the roots will need to be torn off the walls, from which they are severely damaged.
Also, when choosing a pot, keep in mind that the new container should not be too large. Experienced gardeners advise, when caring for begonia, to choose a new pot, which will be no more than 2-2.5 cm wider in diameter than the old one.
As for the land, begonia is not particularly picky and will grow well in nutritious, slightly acidic soil. The soil mixture can be purchased at specialized points of sale or you can prepare it yourself. If you chose the second option, then you need to take peat, leaf and turf turf, sand, coniferous soil and mix all the components well. If there is no way to add coniferous land, then the proportion of sand should be increased, but slightly.
Video about begonia, types, care, transplant
Transplanted plant care
When transplanting, the plant is very carefully removed from the previous pot, the earth is carefully removed from it and placed in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for 15-20 minutes. After that, the roots of the plant must be examined and the rotten, confused ones must be removed. Cutting points must be processed by sprinkling with charcoal.
The transplanted plant must be pruned in order for it to grow again. In addition, the transplanted begonia must be left in a dark, cool place for several days, which favors the restoration of the flower and its survival in a new pot. After the plant returns to its usual location, it must be regularly watered and monitored.
Tuberous begonia: planting and care at home
Currently, there are many types and varieties of begonias. Due to the variety, begonias are divided into tuberous, leafy and bushy.
What is their difference from each other?
- Leafy begonias belong to the group of decorative leafy indoor plants (Read the article What are indoor plants). They are prized, as the name suggests, for their leaves. They can also be propagated by leaves. These include royal begonia and other species.
- Shrub begonias usually do not propagate by rhizome, unlike others. They have it poorly developed. Bush begonia includes Hage begonia, ever-flowering begonia, etc. These begonias are classified as decorative flowering indoor plants.
- The last group - tuberous begonias (they will be discussed in this article) - belong to decorative flowering pot plants. They bloom beautifully and reproduce them mainly by tubers, which is why they are named so.
How to care for royal begonia
As with every decorative leafy plant with variegated leaves, this begonia requires sufficient lighting. It should be noted that light shading will not particularly affect the variegation of the leaves of the royal begonia. This means that it is not at all necessary to put it on the windowsill. It is enough to place the plant in a well-lit place. There, begonia will receive enough light, and will not be exposed to the scalding rays of the sun, which can seriously harm the flower. At the same time, the lack of light will discolor the leaves, make them faded and inconspicuous. If you still want to put the royal begonia on the windowsill, then give preference to the east or west windows. There she will be less exposed to sunlight.
Begonia is a thermophilic plant, like all the indigenous inhabitants of the tropics. But, nevertheless, she gives preference to moderate temperatures. For all varieties of begonias adapted for growing at home, the most acceptable growing temperature in the summer is within + 18-23 degrees. But this is not a dogma. Small deviations in temperature will not harm it. If possible, move it to fresh air for the entire warm period.
Note. Royal begonia is difficult to tolerate drafts and dry air. Basically, this refers to the winter period of the plant's life, but it is also true in summer.
In winter, the royal begonia has a dormant period. And although it is not expressed explicitly, the plant slows down development. During this period, she needs a cool wintering. + 15-16 degrees will be the normal air temperature for the plant. It is possible and somewhat lower, but it is better not to risk it, there is a danger of overcooling the roots of the plant. Usually, in winter, begonia is placed on a windowsill, where, in most cases, the temperature is correct.
When wintering the royal begonia on the windowsill, place it so that the flower pot is not exposed to the cold, and the leaves of the plant do not touch the cold window glass. It is advisable to set the pot on a sheet of foam. A container of water placed next to the flower can protect against the effects of dry air emanating from the radiators.
Watering and humidity
It is impossible to allow the soil to dry out in a pot with a royal begonia. The plant is very difficult to tolerate a lack of moisture. In the warmer months, the royal begonia should be watered regularly and abundantly. Be sure to monitor the condition of the soil. As soon as the topsoil has dried, water it. In winter, watering is reduced, and depends on the temperature of the content. The lower the temperature, the less watering.
As mentioned, royal begonia does not like dry air. But traditional spraying will have to be abandoned. Moisture on begonia leaves results in ugly brown spots. If you need to clean the leaves of the plant from dust, then you can use a damp sponge or cotton swab. You can humidify the air in different ways. The easiest way is to put a container of water next to the plant so that it evaporates and humidifies the air.
Royal begonia should be fed once a month. For top dressing, you can use both mineral and organic fertilizers. You can also alternate them. From mineral fertilizers, choose fertilizers for decorative deciduous plants. Organic matter can also be purchased, or you can cook it yourself, using fermented horse or cow manure diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 5.
Learn more about the preparation of fertilizers - Fertilizers for indoor plants
Note. Fertilizers cannot be applied to dry soil. This is fraught with burns and damage to the root system of begonia. Top dressing should be combined with the next watering of the plant. First watering, and after a couple of hours top dressing.
It is held annually. The main thing to consider when transplanting is that begonia is a very fragile plant and can be easily damaged. Therefore, during transplants, and any other work related to caring for the royal begonia at home, one must act very carefully.
Due to the fact that the root system of the plant is superficial, that is, it grows mainly in breadth, and not in depth, the pot for it is selected wide and not very deep. If the pot is too deep, the extra space should be filled with expanded clay. This will both reduce its depth and serve as an excellent drainage. The fact is that the excess soil in the pot can sour, since the moisture contained in it will not be absorbed by the plant and stagnate. And this is very bad.
As for the land for the royal begonias, it should be nutritious enough, but at the same time light, well permeable to air and water. There are many ready-made soil mixtures suitable for transplanting begonias, but it is not difficult to compose it yourself.
Leafy land - part
Sod land - part
Peat - part
Coarse sand or perlite - part.
You can add a little humus earth from a greenhouse, fine pine bark, vermiculite, pieces of charcoal. Such supplements will only be beneficial.
Advice. If you have several varieties of royal begonias, then you can make interesting compositions by planting them in one pot.
Reproduction of royal begonia
Unfortunately, after 4-5 years, this plant loses its decorative attractiveness and grows. But there is nothing wrong. Royal begonia reproduces simply and in several ways. You can divide the rhizomes, root cuttings or leaves, and seed propagation of begonias is also practiced.
The most common breeding methods for royal begonias are by cuttings and leaves. These methods make it possible to grow a young plant relatively quickly while maintaining all maternal traits. At first glance, dividing the rhizome is faster and easier, but in this way it is better to divide young specimens. There is no point in dividing an overgrown plant. Seed propagation is mainly used if there is no parent plant, and begonia is grown from scratch.
Propagation of begonia by cuttings
The process is very simple. Cutting and rooting is carried out mainly in the spring. Chopped strong cuttings from the top of the plant can simply be placed in a glass of water and wait for the roots to appear. When the roots grow to a centimeter long, they can be planted in the ground. But you can also skip the process of growing roots in water, planting them immediately in light soil. It is advisable to create greenhouse conditions for planted cuttings by covering with a transparent cap - a glass jar or a plastic bag. The rooting process can be accelerated by using rooting stimulants.
Begonia leaf propagation
This method is also popular and quite simple. Several young plants can be obtained from one royal begonia leaf. To do this, it must be divided into segments.So that on each segment-triangle there are parts of the veins of the plant. In general, this process is very similar to the reproduction of streptocarpus in a similar way. Then the parts of the sheet are laid on the surface of the damp earth with the inner side and lightly pressed for a firm contact with the ground. After that, the container with parts of the begonia leaf is covered with film or glass, and placed in a warm place with bright but diffused lighting.
Note. Remove the tape and air the sheets every day. Not for long. Up to 15 minutes. Also remove condensation from the film. Watch out for the moisture content of the ground, but when wetting, avoid getting water on the leaves themselves.
The first shoots of young royal begonias will appear in a month and a half. Let them grow a little and get stronger, then you can seat them separately.
Royal begonia care - video
2 Required lighting
Ever-flowering begonia requires a lot of natural light. Only in this way will she be able to grow quickly and flourish beautifully at home. Semperflorence leaves have folds, uneven edges. They are wide enough. The plant blooms very beautifully. Flowers can have several colorings:
- shades of red.
Both the quantity and quality of flowers, as well as the color and luster of the leaves, are highly dependent on sunlight. But the sun's rays shouldn't be straight. Indirect or diffused light through a window or a special screen (this is best) - this is what this delicate windowsill dweller needs. Semi-light and partial shade also suit her.
For a species such as ever-flowering begonia to thrive, provide it with access to light throughout the year. At the same time, in the morning or afternoon, it is better to put the flower pot in the shade, at this time the sun's rays are too strong.
In the fall and winter, when sunlight is scarce and less intense, you can place the semperflorence in direct sunlight. But this action should be limited to a few hours a day. Otherwise, it can harm the delicate beauty.
A glazed loggia with curtains can be a great place to live. But take care of the optimal temperature and humidity. If Semperflorence is not properly cared for at home, it will simply stop growing and may even die.
Video on how to grow and care for begonias
When your plant has an elongated stem and does not want to bloom, it is a sign of a lack of sunshine. You need to take immediate action. If the leaves are curled up and have brown spots, hide the flower in the shade. This comes from an overabundance of sunlight.
Reproduction of plectrantus
Plectrantus propagates by cuttings and by dividing the bush during transplantation.
The method of propagation by stem cuttings is very simple and fast. Cut cuttings 10 cm long root easily in any conditions - in damp earth or sand, in water. In just 10-15 days, young seedlings can already be planted in individual pots.
Begonia transplant rules
In the process of caring for a room begonia at home, it is periodically transplanted into a new pot. It is better to do this in early spring before the period of active growth. The need for transplanting is indicated by the roots that stick out in the drainage holes of the pot. The plant is removed from the container and the remaining soil is removed. The roots are dipped in a weak solution of potassium permanganate, and then washed in settled water.
After examining the root system for decay. If there are rotten roots, they are cut off, and the cut is covered with crushed coal. After the root system has dried, the plant is planted in a new pot with a suitable substrate.
Transplanting using the transshipment method is different. Begonias are allowed to be transplanted in this way throughout the spring and even summer. The procedure is carried out every year, and sometimes twice a year, if the root system is actively developing. The new pot should not be too large, otherwise the bush will stop blooming.
Before starting the transshipment, the plant is watered, and expanded clay drainage is laid on the bottom of the new container. Then the earthen lump with roots is removed from the old pot and placed in a new dish. The soil around the perimeter is filled up and compacted. This method is more often transplanted tuberous begonia.
Pests and diseases
Hybrid begonia is considered a fairly strong and disease-resistant plant, but sometimes troubles happen to it. Most often, this flower suffers from powdery mildew or gray rot. Powdery mildew can appear on a plant when the soil is too waterlogged or there is too much moisture in the environment around the begonia. The disease affects the ground part and looks like a bloom of white flour on the leaves and stems. Gray rot occurs for the same reasons, but looks like a gray bloom. For the treatment of these diseases, the drug Benomil or other fungicides is used. In addition, the plant must be transferred to a drier and cooler place, eliminating sources of high humidity.
It happens that the root system of begonia is affected by black rot. Excessive moisture may again be the cause. For treatment, it is necessary to remove part of the rotten root system and treat the roots with Benomin, and then transplant the plant into a new pot with fresh soil.
Outdoor begonias can be attacked by an insect called whitefly. These pests damage the leaves of the plant, as they feed on its juices. To combat whitefly, you need to spray the leaves with a soapy solution prepared from 40 grams of liquid soap diluted in 10 liters of warm water. The most important thing is to try to prevent soapy water from getting on the roots during processing.
The roots of a perennial can be affected by a small worm called a nematode, while groin-like thickenings are formed on them, in which these pests are located. To fight worms, an aqueous solution from "Heterophos" is used, which is poured under the roots of the plant. But at the same time, the affected begonia roots will have to be removed. It happens that the entire root system is affected - in this case, it will not be possible to save the plant.
Often begonias suffer from the invasion of the red spider mite. This happens when a lot of moisture and a lot of heat is created around the flower. A diseased plant will have leaves with a marbled color, and in the future they will turn yellow and fall off. A spider mite can kill a plant in a very short time. To combat it, a drug called "Decis" is used. They need to spray the plant, paying attention to the back of the leaves - after all, this is where large clusters of mites are located.
It so happens that begonia begins to hurt and throw off leaves, not due to illness or pest infestation. This means that begonia needs more comfortable conditions. Often, she does not have enough light or it may happen that cold drafts affect the plant. By eliminating unfavorable factors, you can achieve recovery.
For information on how to properly care for tuberous begonia, see the next video.