How to Trim Begonias

Overview

Grown as annual bedding plants in much of the U.S., tender perennial begonias require protection from frost. With more than 1,000 species available, begonias grow in a range of size, shape and colors. Attractive foliage varying from deep green to bronze combined with abundant blooms in shades of pink, yellow, orange, red and white creates a striking mass of color to brighten shady nooks. Trim begonias to maintain their size and shape, as they tend to become leggy by midsummer.

Step 1

Cut back begonias by trimming 3 to 4 inches from terminal ends if the plant becomes overgrown or blooming decreases. Regrowth occurs quickly and a flush of new blooms follows.

Step 2

Trim stray stems that extend beyond the shape of the plant to maintain the overall shape. Wax begonias, often used a bedding plants or in window boxes, should be maintained in a rounded mound. Use clippers or snap the stems by hand, taking care not to damage existing foliage.

Step 3

Pinch back the terminal ends of begonias when they are 4 to 6 inches high to force new growth to appear along the stems. Repeat once a week until the plant develops compact foliage. This increases both foliage and blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden clippers/sharp knife

References

  • ACS Distance Education: How To Grow Begonias
  • Clemson University Extension: Growing Begonias Indoors
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Tuberous Begonias

Who Can Help

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Gardening in the Shade
  • University of Florida Extension: Begonia Production Guide
Keywords: trim begonias, pruning flowers, pinch begonias

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.