The Q&A Archives: Begonias

Question: I have never been successful in growing begonias.I must be missing a planting step, or selectin the wrong soil. I like the bronze leaf color. what am I doing wrong?

Answer: Juanita,

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!

Begonias love a site with part day sun (morning is best) and bright shade the rest of the day. However the bronze leaved types can take full sun if provided dependable soil moisture and good soil conditions. Plant begonias in a soil with excellent drainage and some compost mixed in. If the area is at all low build up raised planting beds to facilitate drainage after rainy periods. Fertilize moderately, about 1 cup of lawn fertilizer per 50 square feet of planting bed before planting and every 4 weeks after that. Try not to overhead water them as water drops on the foliage in the sun can cause dead spots. If you do overhead water do so very early in the morning and as infrequently as possible. Watering to keep the soil moderately moist but allow some drying out between irrigations is the best technique. If your soil has a problem with nematodes (most common in sandy soil) this will cause swollen areas on the roots and plants that do not thrive and may decline and die. There is not a good control for nematodes in home flower beds.

Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!

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