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Basic begonia care

Posted by aviolet6 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 10:41

Hi everyone, I'm hoping someone can give me some basic care instructions for growing begonias successfully indoors. I have gotten some a few times from Lowes, but they die within a short time. One I managed to keep alive at least 6 months, but it eventually died too. The ones I just bought are an Optimara variety, it starts with an E. Something like Elonia I think. (I'm at work right now and don't have the plant label in front of me). I also grow African Violets and have learned to grow them successfully. From what I've read, begonias need similiar care, but I can't keep them alive long enough to see what I'm not doing right. I've tried them with flourescent lighting and natural lighting. Can anyone tell me some step by step basic care info or send me to a site that will help? Thanks so much. I've also posted on the African Violet website to see if anyone there grows both successfully and can tell me similarities and differences...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Basic begonia care

You are probably talking about Elatior (hiemalis/rieger) begonias.

Most of these are treated as seasonal plants - buy them in bloom and when they start going downhill, throw them away.

I'm sure you can keep them for more than one season but the care may be more than it is worth. Good light, regular watering and fertilizing, removal of old leaves, etc should keep it going for longer than a few months.

Here are some websites that may be helpful.

RE: Basic begonia care

RE: Basic begonia care

Probably because most members don't grow them?

Thanks for making those into links (I was too lazy to do it).

RE: Basic begonia care

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...

RE: Basic begonia care

Yes, some plants have problems adjusting from a nursery to the home environment. Light levels, watering routines, warmth, air movement, etc all are big changes for the new plant. I find the potting mix is often the difference that makes or breaks a new plant.

Often the best solution is to change the potting mix ASAP since the way you water versus the way the plants were watered at the nursery may affect the plant greatly. I find a lot of begonias are planted in a mix of too much peat and watering must be with a very light hand else the mix will stay wet much too long which may lead to rot and disease.

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