Ask a Question forum→Watering issues — begonia wightii

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Brooklyn, NY
Jillybeans00
Jun 8, 2020 7:58 PM CST
Hello all!

My begonia wightii arrived in the mail with just a root ball for Mother's Day (so about a month ago.) My husband put it in a pot with regular potting soil. My mother in law helped him and she does some gardening so i figured it was probably potted correctly. (I myself am a beginner.) Anyway i have some concerns the pot is too large but what i am really writing about is the fact that whenever i water the plant, the soil takes a VERY long time to absorb the water. None of my other plants take that long, so I'm not sure if it's normal but it doesn't seem right. The water lays on top of the soil for a while before even staring to seep in at all and then takes a long time to do so. And i err on the side of caution, waiting until soil is DEFINITELY dry before watering and this still happens!

There's some new growth on the begonia that's been there all along and doesn't seem to be progressing much. Not sure if that's indicative of an issue or if this plant is just a slow grower. Other than that there's not really any indicators that the plant is suffering. There's a few imperfections on some leaves but that's about it.

Im worried the soil isn't good and roots will rot (soil has been wet for days now and i worry it's not drying properly or something.)

Does this sound like something is wrong? Any tips on how to water properly and/or ideas why the soil wouldn't be absorbing water?

Thanks in advance friends! :)
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jun 8, 2020 8:11 PM CST
Without pictures we are somewhat handicapped in helping you precisely.

Does the pot you chose have drainage holes?
The potting soil sounds fine but just how hard did you pack it in?
Overpotting causes watering issues both good and bad. Underpotting causes the same issues. In my opinion you should have selected a pot that held the root system comfortably. Not too small so that you crammed the roots in there. But you do not want to select a pot that leaves way too much room for the roots. Selection should be right between the two extremes. You do not want a pot selected to allow for future growth. You pot according to what you have and see at the moment.
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Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jun 8, 2020 8:12 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2267828 (2)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 9, 2020 8:39 AM CST
What do you mean by "regular potting soil?"
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Brooklyn, NY
Jillybeans00
Jun 9, 2020 9:08 AM CST
Unfortunately i don't have a picture of the root ball, but here's a picture of the pot. Yes, there are drainage holes. It's not time to be watered so i can't get a picture of the water lying on top at the moment.

It feels like the soil could be overpacked. If that's the case, what can i do to remedy it? I can get pictures of the soil later, I'm not home but these are some photos of the plant i already had on my phone

Thumb of 2020-06-09/Jillybeans00/ccea26
Thumb of 2020-06-09/Jillybeans00/591c90


Thumb of 2020-06-09/Jillybeans00/5561a1
Thumb of 2020-06-09/Jillybeans00/21cf74

Brooklyn, NY
Jillybeans00
Jun 9, 2020 9:09 AM CST
They used potting soil that my mother in law already had in her garage. Didn't add in extra perlite, just the potting soil.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 9, 2020 9:12 AM CST
I think the soil is probably okay as long as it is not garden soil intended for use outside. Let the top three-quarters inch of soil get dry to the touch before you water. Don't worry if it takes a while for the water to get absorbed.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
[Last edited by WillC - Jun 9, 2020 9:13 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2268252 (6)
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Jun 9, 2020 9:19 AM CST
Gee, it looks pretty good to me!
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!

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