Pruning Begonia

Joe_A(6RI)December 16, 2004

I am new to the care of a begonia and especially the pruning. I have a Bubbles Begonia for a couple of years now and it is alive, scraggly looking , and I think it needs a pruning to invigorate and increase growth. My few questions are; Is this the proper time of year to prune?, There are six or seven stems coming from the pot and all the leaf growth is at the very top and I see no leaf nodes on the stems to guide my pruning. If I prune the stems in half(they are now approx. 12"), will that not in effect kill the plant by removing all leaves for photosynthesis? I need a little advice on the proper way to do this and when. Much Thanks

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SunKing_(Z5 MA)

Best time to prune is in early Spring in conjunction with a good dose of fertilizer. At this point the plant is getting charged up for the new growing season and can throw all of that energy into new, healthy growth. That being said, I cut non-tuberous begonias in our greenhouses back at any time of year. They always survive if you're careful. My advice would be to pinch the tips now to induce growth farther down the stem and then remove what you deem necessary in Spring. I have cut some angel wing varieties back to 6 inch leafless stems (in Spring) and they leafed out again fairly quickly.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 6:23PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

What I do sometimes, knowing it's best to wait for spring, is cut maybe one stem to the ground and cut most the bare stem off the top and root it. Then when more start to come at the base, I might take off one more stem. Taking one stem at a time will give it time and strength to come back better. But you need to be sure you can give it plenty of light, otherwise it would be best to wait for spring. Most canes prefer more light than they usually get in the house in the winter. And the cuttings root better in the spring and in more light, unless you have a light stand.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 8:44PM
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