The Care of Flowering Begonias

Overview

Begonias are native to tropical and subtropical regions. There are over 1000 species making begonias the largest flowering plant genera. This easy-to-grow flower is mostly grown indoors although in warmer climates it can be moved outdoors during the summer months. Begonias grow 6- to 9-inches tall and have dense foliage with colorful flowers ranging in color from red, pink, yellow, purple, and white. Caring for a begonia takes just a few basic steps and is a good plant for novice gardeners.

Step 1

Grow begonias in a rich, well-draining soil. Be sure the containers have drainage holes to allow the soil to stay moist but not soggy.

Step 2

Place your plant in front of a south-facing window so it gets plenty of light daily. Fluorescent lights can be used during fall and winter months when lighting may be too low. Too little lighting can cause begonia stems to grow too leggy and limp.

Step 3

Keep the temperature around 65- to 75-degrees Fahrenheit during the day for optimal growth. At night 10 degrees lower is required. Provide the right amount of humidity for the plant to thrive by misting daily or using a humidifier.

Step 4

Water your begonia consistently two to three times weekly to keep the soil from drying out. Check the soil daily, and if the top 1/2-inch is dry, water until it is running out of the bottom of the container. If using saucers for your container empty the water out often so the plant is not left sitting in the standing water.

Step 5

Feed your plant once a month using a regular fertilizer. Use 1/4 of the normal strength mixed into water and apply to the plant.

Step 6

Remove faded flowers and dead foliage to tidy up the plant and encourage more abundant flowering. Trim off any long stems so the plant grows more compact.

Step 7

Watch for pests such as mealy bugs which are commonly found on begonias. Get rid of mealy bugs by dipping a cotton-tipped swab in rubbing alcohol and applying to the pests. If badly infested, the foliage can be sprayed with rubbing alcohol.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not let the soil become waterlogged and soggy. Avoid spraying the soil with rubbing alcohol.

Things You'll Need

  • Well-draining soil
  • Fertilizer
  • Spray bottle
  • Humidifier (optional)
  • Rubbing alcohol

References

  • The Flowering Garden: Begonia Gardening Tips
  • How to Care For It: How to Care for Begonias
  • American Begonia Society: Growing Begonias Indoors
Keywords: flowering begonia care, caring for begonias, care flowering begonias

About this Author

Residing in Southern Oregon, Amy Madtson has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008 with a focus on health, pregnancy, crafts and gardening. Her work has been published on websites such as eHow and Garden Guides, among others. Madtson has been a childbirth educator and doula since 1993.