Begonias vs. African Violets

aviolet6(7)February 25, 2013

Anyone on here grow begonias successfully indoors as well as african violets? I looked up begonia care requirements and they seem awfully similar, but I haven't learned to care for begonias properly yet. Everytime I buy some they die. But Lowes had some lovely ones yesterday, and the african violets were mostly dead, so I couldn't resist buying 3. Can anyone tell me how to keep them alive? I read they don't change environments well so I put them in ziplock bags to give them more time to adjust to my place this time.

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I've only killed begonias indoors.

Fortunately, there is a Begonia forum ...

Also ... Google it ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Begonia Forum

This post was edited by aegis500 on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 8:30

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:11AM
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I have grown wax begonias and rex begonias in the house quite successfully. I have never tried to keep tuberous begonias in the house except to start in the spring. I think that they might be trickier.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:59AM
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i kill all rexes invariably. i also start tuberous indoors and one large one even bloomed indoors (start in sunny western window, then xfer to NE, once they have buds and i havemorning sun in NE). this year i will put them on wicks like AV - wicks provide very even moisture and plants somehow require much less water in my experience. and i will feed with AV or orchid hi phosphorus fertilizer. most of my AV's live in a western window with slatted shades, some in NE, but only in summer. i think they are very similar too. at least large/heavy bloomers.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 11:42AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I have several rex and cane Begonias growing side by side with Avs and other gesneriads. I think cane like a bit more light. I am growing everything on wicks - mats - light shelves - and seems that it works just right with Begonias,

the only issue with them - I just have so much real estate...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Thanks to all replies, more advice welcome. I wonder, then, why the begonias usually begin dying soon after I get them. Could they already have a disease? Maybe they don't adjust to temperature or light changes at first? I left some in original pots for awhile, others I changed soil and started wicking. All died. I have looked online and on the begonia forum in the past, will do so again. Begonia forum did not seem helpful at the time, it was too detalied about various types and species and I needed something more general and basic. Was hoping to find out here if they can be grown the same as African Violets. It seems they can, if I can get them to stay alive to begin with. The ones I bought this time are healthy looking and I am keeping them upstairs where its warmer (maybe 68-75) instead of downstairs where i'ts more like 67. Any other ideas, feel free to share. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 4:32PM
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I think the begonia is one of the largest plant families in the world so there are lot of different types with different requirements. I suspect you bought rex types, the ones with the beautiful leaves. I've never had great success with these as they are tricky as to water & temperatures. My favorite type is the Rhizomatous which are similar to Rex but with plainer leaves. . . usually in green patterns with striking veins. These are not as demanding as the Rex & I've found they grow happily alongside violets.

I should mention that I have never wicked begonias as I think they like to dry out slightly.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:24AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

When you bring your begonias home - try to root a leaf or a slice of the leaf - they root easily under the dome and send new babies - your own babies will be better adjusted to your growing conditions,

There is a Begonia society website somewhere - with bunch of useful info.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:48AM
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Thanks to all who posted here for me. The begonias are doing ok so far. Maybe they needed more time to adjust to a new environment, and/or I bought ones previously that weren't adjusting well or were already diseased...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:53PM
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