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Begonias are flowers that are known to be low-maintenance and distinctive.
It is these qualities that have earned them the appellation, “gardeners favourite plant”.
In light of this reputation, a lot of flower enthusiasts grow begonias. Water is very important to every plants health and growth, so how much water do begonias need?
Begonias belong to tropical and subtropical environments, therefore, they and their hybrids require warm temperatures to grow and flourish. They do not easily blossom or even survive in cooler temperatures.
They cannot be found in regions that experience extreme cold. They simply do not survive in frigid weather.
Summers and humid climates are the best growing season for them. However, begonias cannot endure the full sun.
This means they require moderate weather to blossom to their full potential.
Types Of Begonias
Begonias, like most flowers come in hundreds of varieties. There are over two thousand species. For ease of explanation, they will be classified into 4 main groups, based on root structure:
- Tuberous begonias
- Fibrous begonias
- Hardy begonias
- Rhizomatous begonias
- Rex begonias
They have a fleshy, round tuberous root like a potato and generally bloom in mid-summer through autumn. This group has the most gorgeous flowers,large blooms in luminous shades of yellow, orange, red,pink or white.
The tubers can be dug up and stored indoors for the winter.
This group is especially well-adapted to growing in a hanging planter or basket, either outdoors or in the house.
These include wax and cane begonias. Their roots have a hairy, fibrous morphology.
Their leaves are small and waxy and they produce an abundance of tightly-packed blossoms.Fibrous begonias grow vigorously in full sun,with fewer flowers if you move them into the shade.
3. Hardy begonias
Hardy begonias are quite similar to tuberous ones. The difference is the size of the flowers,which are small.
They have lush leaves of olive-green colour, whose undersides have webs of red veins.They prefer partial shade and do not tolerate overwatering.
The roots of these begonias can be found inching along on the surface of the soil.
They are grown mostly for their interesting foliage and are more often used as houseplants than as garden plants.
Their blooms can cover the entire plant.
This is actually a subclass of the rhizomatous begonias. They have more prominent leaves than flowers.
Rex begonia offers colorful foliage and is the perfect indoor plant. Despite its exotic looks,Rex begonia is easy to grow.
Owing to its short height, Rex begonia is often used for adorning desks and tabletops.
Tell-tale Signs That Your Begonia Needs Watering
If the top couple of inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water your begonia. Always check the soil moisture level before watering if your begonia is shrivelling.
Note that lack of moisture may not be the reason the begonia leaves are wilting. If the soil is very dry, water periodically.
Sometimes dry soils doesn’t allow water to soak it, and it runs out the drainage hole before being absorbed.
Dry leaves and wilting indicates need for immediate hydration.
Make sure you use well-drained soil.
Any soil that is holding water for a longer time when watering is not effective for Begonia growth.
Locate your plant in a well-ventilated place
Avoid excessive lighting and also too much shade for Begonia plants.
How Often To Water Begonias
Water newly planted begonias every few days during dry conditions to help them last.
Established begonias only need to be watered once a week if it hasn’t rained. Check those planted in full sun every few days during hot weather.
Generally, begonias are heat tolerant. Their stems contain high levels of water.
They should be watered once every 2 to 4 days.
Check the top couple of inches of soil for dryness every few days for begonias grown in containers.Water if the soil is dry when you stick your finger in.
Water until some runs out of the holes provided for drainage to be sure the entire root has received water. Begonias grown in containers placed in sunny places will need more frequent watering.
Pot grown plants usually need more water than those grown outside because their planting soil dries out much quicker.
What are the signs of overwatering begonias?
When the soil has excess water, it reduces the aeration in the roots. If roots suffocate due to lack of enough oxygen, it directly affects the leaves, which become stressed and start dropping off.
Soil that has a lot of water also results in the rotting of the roots. Therefore, the plant will lose the support and thus ends up wilting.
You want to make sure that you water begonias so that their soil is moist by not soaked.
These are indications that you are watering your begonias way too much:
1.Leaves turn yellow
2.Continuous shedding of leaves
3.Breaking of the stems
4.Leaf tips turning brown
Do begonias like sun or shade?
When growing begonias, sun exposure requirements may cause confusion or accidental damage because different species thrive in varying levels of light or shade with some more tolerant than others.
Determine which begonia you are planting or research different species and requirements to make an appropriate selection for your home gardening space.
For best production of flowers, plants need appropriate environments with optimal sun or shaded conditions. For most begonias, ideal sun exposure includes partial shade.
However, it is important to consider the species. There are some begonias that tolerate or thrive in full sun.
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Wax begonia and Dragon wing begonia
Solenia Dusty Rose Begonia
Solenia Light Pink
Ballet Rex Begonia and so many more.
The ideal condition for begonias is usually a mixture of partial sun and partial shade (morning sun and/or filtered lighting). Many windowsills in a home or apartment can provide this well.
However, if you only have a form of indirect lighting,its not an issue. Many begonias can love full shade or indirect lighting. They just won’t be as full as their counterparts grown in a mixture of light and will have fewer flowers.
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How often should you water begonias in hanging baskets?
Tuberous begonias are preferred for planting in hanging baskets.It is a climbing species and it looks lovely as its branches climb and spread.
Check hanging baskets of begonias frequently as they can dry out in one day. If you find that the soil is dry to the touch, water the plant.
Choose your hanging or climbing begonias for any decorative purposes. These flowering plants climb or hang to any length, from three inches to three feet or more.
For an indoor-grown begonia plant,water whenever the top inch or two feels dry to the touch, allowing the pot to drain fully.
A hanging begonia grown outdoors needs watering whenever its soil surface feels dry. It’s a good idea to check every few days.
Tuberous begonias burn in hot, dry air, but may rot or mildew in long periods of dark, humid weather. Soil should be watered to keep soil moist, but never soggy.