Ask a Question forum: My Angel Wing begonia just started wilting

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Name: Tasha Cole
Knoxville, Tennessee
Jun 15, 2016 2:24 PM CST
Please help!! I'm very new to gardering. This is my first summer and I'm loving it. I have 7 various plants thriving on my porch (I live in a townhouse). My lovely son surprised me with an angle wings begonia. She was doing fabulously. I did all the research in how to take care of her, where to have her, and the best way to pot her. She was thriving like my other babies and has got to about 2+ feet tall with beautiful foilage all over. No blooms yet of course because from what I've read it's not time. Anyways, the other morning I get up and go out side with my coffee and the first thing I see is my bigonia is just dropping. The leaves are folding in on themselves and the stems are just flimsy. I'm doing everything my uneducated mind can think of, but I'm scared I'm going to loose her. I need someone to help me figure out what I need or can do to save her. Please, please help. This is my absolute favorite plant out of all of them because my son bought it for me with his first paycheck. Thanks in advance and I'm so sorry if this is to long. I have a habit of writing books... Lol
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jun 15, 2016 2:34 PM CST
Welcome to NGA @TashaCole

Hoe often do you water your plant? How much sun does it get?
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jun 15, 2016 5:12 PM CST
Did you drill holes in your pot? Pots don't come pre drilled any more. I lost one because I didn't notice the pot didn't have holes. It looked just like yours. I literally drowned the Anglel! I still miss that Angel Wing. Welcome! Welcome!
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Jun 15, 2016 5:13 PM CST
Welcome! Tasha. Water is my first thought. They need fast drainage, but don't let it go completely dry. I'm hoping you didn't use that "moisture control" potting soil. I can't grow weeds in that stuff.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Jun 15, 2016 6:07 PM CST
Could just be using water faster than you are used to, as it is growing, or maybe you had dry breezy weather. If the soil feels dry, try a good soak. Plants needs change as they grow and as weather changes so always need to fiddle.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Jun 16, 2016 4:50 PM CST
Welcome! Tashacole. I agree with Shadygreenthumb. The BBS are selling those pots as self watering pots, but they have no drainage hole(s). If you want to use it as a self-waterer, you need to drill hole(s) on the side, just above the part that the soil sits on (above the reservoir). I can't for the life of me think why they don't tell the consumer that. Shrug!

If you want to use it as a regular pot, then drill holes in the bottom portion of the pot. The soil needs to be able to drain, so that it does not become stagnant and deprive your plant roots of oxygen. Other than that, all of the other info you've been given above sounds good.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Jun 16, 2016 6:22 PM CST
I thought that pot looked familiar. I saw some of those at Lowes, and decided they weren't for me. For sure, that is your problem.
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Jun 18, 2016 7:54 AM CST
When leaves and stems wilt it is because they are not getting enough water. Obviously, that can happen if the watering is neglected and the soil around the roots is allowed to become too dry. However, wilting can also occur for the opposite reason. If soil is kept too moist for too long and roots are deprived of oxygen, which they need as much as water, then the roots start to die and are no longer able to absorb water for the stems and foliage.

Judging from the size of the pot and the abundance of excess soil, my educated guess is that the roots of your Begonia are dying from suffocation or lack of oxygen. At this point, I don't recommend undoing the repotting and downsizing. However, I do suggest that you remove all of the execs soil you added to the top of the original rootball. That soil is extraneous and is keeping the soil in the root zone from drying out appropriately. Following that, allow the top inch of soil around the roots to dry out before adding just enough water so that it reaches that level of dryness again in about a week or less.

Most flowering plants flower best when they are moderately potbound. That is another reason not to repot unnecessarily.

Google is a source of both good and bad information!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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