Dragon Wing begonia problem

bkay2000(8a TX)July 8, 2012

My dragon wing begonia baskets look terrible. I know you guys are into more exotic plants than mine, but I'm not sure how to fix this. I have two of them and the one pictured is the worst one. They're hanging, so I left them alone until the situation got pretty bad.

They may be too wet. The potting medium feels really stringy. I'm guilty of not fertilizing enough, but they keep flowering, so that doesn't seem to be the problem.

Any suggestions to save them?

bkay

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

If you have a pruner that you can use to cut some holes in the true bottom of that pot, that would be the first thing. Those hanging baskets are plant killers, that's the first thing I do with them. If it were my plant, I'd also repot (back into the same pot) and trim the gangly parts off, or maybe just the dead leaves, hard to tell from one pic.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 9:15AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Just sticking my fingers in the pot, it seems like the roots are all wound around that stringy potting soil. I don't have much choice. If I do nothing, they're toast. So, I guess I just have to pop them out of the pot and see what I find.

Don't begonias like pretty wet soil? The reason I'm asking is that I have some coarse, super draining soil that I make for my hosta. I also have a big bag of Miracle Grow that I usually use for annuals. I would think the MG would work best for this. Do they need super draining soil?

bkay

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 9:32AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I wouldn't use MG, personally, I avoid all peat. The coarse mix sounds a lot better. But any soil in a pot without a hole in the true bottom can't fully drain. The hole in the bottom of those hanging basket pots is 1/2-3/4" above the actual bottom. When I get plants in those, I discard the thing in the bottom and put holes in the actual bottom of the pot, on the outside edge and the inside edge around the indented hole.

If you decide to do some trimming and want more plants, just stick the removed parts in a pot and they should grow. All of mine have survived.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:39AM
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eahamel(9a)

Most begonias don't like wet feet. Mix something with the gritty mix, the Miracle Gro should work fine. And how much light is it getting? Dragon Wings will get pretty large and need some space, so it may need to be repotted, too. If you take them out of that basket, do it when they're fairly dry.

I use a gritty mix combined with an azalea soil, or some Sunshine17 mix (hard to find, I get mine at a nursery that specializes in things like begonias).

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 9:49PM
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