Begonia is one of the most beautiful flowering plants that can be grown both in the apartment and in the garden. Caring for room begonia is not difficult, it is considered quite unpretentious. In the article we will share the main rules for the maintenance of this plant, so that it pleases with lush flowering and good health.
How to care for and grow begonias at home
What kind of soil is needed
How to grow
– Growing from seeds
— Propagation by cuttings
— Trimming and shaping
— top dressing
— Air temperature and humidity
Diseases and diagnostics
What soil is suitable
Properly balanced soil is the key to good growth and flowering of begonias. The optimal level of acidity is 5.5-6.5. The soil should be moderately nutritious and consist of the following components: leafy ground (2 parts); peat (1); black soil (1).
This is the base, to which you can additionally add humus (1), coniferous soil (1) or sand (1). You need to fall asleep in this sequence.
- Distribute the sand evenly on the bottom.
- Next, to the middle, we pour leafy soil.
- We lay peat and black soil on top.
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How to grow begonia
Growing begonias from seeds
The most favorable time for sowing is January-April. Then, by the middle of summer, a young plant can please you with the first beautiful buds. Seeds should be evenly distributed over the surface of the finished soil and pressed very carefully. Next, you should often spray them with a spray bottle to avoid drying out the earth. If you did everything right, the first sprouts will appear within two weeks. After that, each seedling must be carefully removed and planted in separate pots by transshipment with a “native” clod of earth.
Propagation by cuttings
The best time for breeding is spring and early summer. It is necessary to cut off the strongest cutting and plant it in the soil of sand and peat in proportions of 3 to 1. Then it is placed in a shade or dark place for 1-2 months, while the new plant takes fresh roots. Carefully bury the stem so that the leaves do not touch the soil. Sometimes, before planting, the cuttings are placed in water until the first roots appear, and planted in the ground after they have grown a little — by about 4 cm. This is not a mandatory procedure, but if you are engaged in propagating begonias for the first time, you can try to do this to improve the result.
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When to cut
We talked about growing and propagating indoor begonias, while pruning is one of the essential care items. Usually bushes do not require special formation, except when for some reason they have lost their decorative effect. Then it will be enough to cut dry and bald shoots by 4-5 cm so that new buds appear sooner.
Don’t use regular pliers — they may not be sharp enough for the task and will only hurt the stems. It is better to select a special knife with a good blade for such purposes.
It is necessary to completely cut off for the winter only tuberous species, so that they have time to rest and recover a little before the start of abundant flowering. It is worth starting this in October, as soon as yellow pigment appears on the leaves.
In the heat, the plant especially needs abundant watering, but you should not fill it. If the surface of the soil is still wet and not dry, wait a little with the next watering, but do not let it dry out. To keep moisture in the ground longer, you can gently loosen the top layer to a depth of 1 cm.
It is desirable to water in the morning and only with water at room temperature, very cold for begonias is contraindicated. If possible, it is better not to pour water into the watering can immediately from the tap, but to use the settled water in a bottle or jar.
With the onset of cold weather, watering should become less plentiful, in winter it should be reduced to a minimum — up to once a week, and gradually increased from March.
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Fertilizing the soil can be started from the moment when the bush grows to 10 cm. The normal frequency is from once a month at the usual time and twice during the flowering period.
Pay attention to the composition of the feed. Fertilizers with nitrogen are only suitable for deciduous varieties, because they delay the bud ripening process. But the green mass is actively growing with them. To get as many flower buds as possible, feed the flower during the growth period with a potassium-phosphorus complex in a ratio of 1.5 grams per 1 liter of water.
Each substance can be purchased both individually for self-preparation, and already assembled mixtures that are enriched with other minerals. The most accurate recommendations for use, dosage and regularity of feeding are indicated in the instructions on the package.
What conditions need to be maintained
Begonia feels good in good light, but the scorching sun can be detrimental — burns will appear on the leaves. Therefore, it can be constantly left on the windows during the autumn-winter period, and rearranged in a slightly shaded place in the summer and spring. In cold seasons with short daylight hours, the flower may not receive enough light, so it is better to use special phytolamps.
Temperature and humidity
Begonia is undemanding to temperature, it is enough to maintain standard room values: a maximum of 20-22 degrees in summer and not lower than 18 in winter. If it grows in a pot on a balcony or loggia, it is better to take it into the house at temperatures below 15 degrees.
The plant is absolutely unpretentious to air humidity, even if there are some deviations from the normal level of 50%. This means that when the air becomes a little dry during the heating season, it will not harm the appearance of flowers and leaves. But if you think that the air in the room is too dry, put a homemade evaporator next to the pot: pour water into a container and place it on the windowsill above the working battery. Another option is to place the tray in a saucer of water filled with pebbles.
Of course, the higher the humidity, the better and faster the flower grows, but fungal diseases can develop along with this. Do not spray begonia from above, otherwise brown spots form on the leaf plates, which cannot be removed.
An abrupt change in conditions, for example, when moving, can lead to some decorative changes — the tips of the leaves will dry out a bit while they get used to the new environment. Keep in mind that the younger the plant, the more sensitive it is to such changes.
How to transplant
The plant is capricious about transplants, so you should only do this if the root system has already become cramped in the old pot. Gardeners recommend using the transshipment method to save a clod of earth with roots — this way it adapts faster and easier after transplantation. Next, the flower is placed in a small shade for about 3-5 days and watered abundantly.
After the purchase, room begonia does not require special care, but it cannot be transplanted immediately — it should get used to your apartment a little within one to two weeks. Also in this case, the roots are completely shaken off the old shop soil. But do not overdo it — it is better to leave a few lumps than to damage thin sensitive roots. If you purchased a plant in the midst of flowering, wait for it to end and only then start transplanting.
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When does indoor begonia bloom?
The genus Begonia includes more than 1,000 species, but according to their main features, they can be divided into several categories. Each of them blooms in different periods.
- Tuberous — are part of the bulbous group, have two-color petals or with a thin border around the edges. Their surface is soft, terry, it comes in orange, yellow, red and white colors. Large buds grow up to 15 cm, flowering occurs from May to November.
- Ever-flowering — it is possible to grow both on the adjacent plot and in pots in the apartment. When all conditions for care are met, it can bloom all year round — in any season. The leaves have a slight glossy sheen, the buds are small, white, red and pink.
- Royal — differ in the largest leaves of about 30 cm in the shape of a heart, painted in different shades of brown and green. They do not bloom, but all the attractiveness lies precisely in the unusual leaves.
- Ampelous — have long hanging shoots up to 50 cm in length, so they are often used for landscaping balconies by hanging pots. Small buds can be yellow, white, pink and orange. Flowering begins in June-July and continues until the first frost.
- Elatiors — suitable for growing only indoors, shoots must be constantly supported by small supports, for example, sticks. Under favorable conditions, it can bloom in winter and bloom new buds for another six months. The leaves are round in shape with a shiny surface of about 5 cm.
Signs of illness
If you do not follow simple rules on how to care for room begonia, its decorative effect will suffer first of all. Incorrect diagnosis can lead to the fact that the plant does not get what it needs, and begins to fade. To prevent this from happening, we have collected the most common signs of problems and how to solve them.
- When the leaves become covered with brown pigment spots and begin to fall off, it means that there is not enough moisture.
- The green color of the leaves has ceased to be as saturated as before, and seems to have turned pale — they do not receive enough light.
- Fungal formations have appeared — this indicates that the soil is waterlogged or you carelessly watered, so moisture got on the leaves and stems. It is necessary to immediately cut off the affected areas and treat with fungicides.
- White bloom is a sign of powdery mildew. It appears when the air is too dry or sudden changes in temperature and is treated with a 1% aqueous solution of colloidal sulfur.
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