Begonia repotting is a challenge for novice gardeners’ uncertainty, especially if they don’t want to damage or kill their Begoniaceae family begonia plants. You can tell if your begonia needs to be repotted if the roots are growing out of the drainage holes.
Another sign is if the plant is top-heavy and leaning, or the soil is compacted and not draining well. Fortunately, we have the steps for the proper techniques, so let’s explore what it takes to repot our beloved begonias, along with proper begonia care.
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How To Repot Begonia Successfully?
To repot begonia successfully, you must begin by preparing your tools and choosing the right pot for it. Then, prepare the potting mix, remove the plant from the pot that it is in, inspect the roots, place it in the new pot, and give it the right care.
There are many types of begonias, with Begonia rex and Begonia maculata being some of the more popular ones. Sometimes termed Rex begonia, Begonia Rex cultivars are beloved for their colorful blooms and decorative foliage.
It’s best to avoid repotting your begonia in the winter when the plant is in its dormant period so wait until spring or summer when the plant is actively growing to repot it. As a result, they have begun popping up in homes all over, with many homeowners looking for ways to rehome and repot them.
1. Prepare the Tools
It’s better to be prepared than to work with missing tools and materials. To repot your begonias, you’re going to need the following items: a new pot or pots, potting mix or soil, a trowel or spoon, a watering can, a pair of scissors or pruning shears, and a pair of gardening gloves. You’ll also need an even work surface or a newspaper in case things get messy, and now as you prepare them, you will have the right grip of handling the situation with ease.
2. Choose the Right Pot
When selecting a new pot for your Begonia rex, look for one that is only one or two inches larger in diameter than the current pot. You can also consider the height of the pot. Note that these plants are ones that have shallow root systems, so a pot that is too deep can lead to waterlogging and cause the roots to rot.
The material of the pot is also an important consideration. Clay pots are popular for their breathability, which allows for air circulation around the roots; on the other hand, they can also dry out quickly, requiring more frequent watering. Plastic pots, are ones that could retain moisture better and are more lightweight, making them easier to move around.
3. Prepare the Potting Mix
In general, the best potting mix for begonias is well-draining soil yet allowing for proper water and nutrient absorption while preventing waterlogging, which can lead to root rot. You can make the soil mix yourself if you can’t find one commercially.
To prepare the potting mix, you can use a combination of three main ingredients: perlite, peat moss, and potting soil. All three can be bought from garden centers or even online. These are considered the best soil for begonias in pots.
To create your very own begonia potting mix recipe, you can mix these three ingredients in a 1:1:1 ratio. You can adjust the ratio based on the specific needs of your begonia plant, such as adding more perlite for better drainage in humid climates, and this way, you will be adjusting the right enviornment for it.
4. Remove the Plant from Its Current Pot
You’ll need to gently loosen the soil around the edges of the pot to help the begonia slide out more easily. Be careful not to damage the plant’s roots or stem during this process. Once you’ve loosened the soil, carefully turn the pot over, and gently tap the bottom of the pot to help release the plant from the pot, and you are left with the roots of the plant and the soil stuck to it.
When the plant is free from the pot, gently shake off any excess soil from the roots. You can also use your fingers to gently tease apart any tangled roots, being careful not to damage them because they are tender in their texture and form.
5. Inspect the Roots
If you see any brown or black roots, they are likely dead or rotting and should be trimmed off. Use clean and sharp scissors or pruners to remove the damaged roots, and make sure to leave the healthy looking ones untouches. Be sure to make a clean cut, so as not to leave any ragged edges that can become infected.
It’s important to note that if you have a severely root-bound begonia, where the roots have grown in a tight circle around the pot, you may need to use a clean, sharp, and sterilized knife to make a few shallow cuts around the root ball. This will help stimulate new root growth and prevent the roots from growing in a tight circle.
6. Change The Pot
Begin by placing some of the Begonia rex potting mix at the bottom of the new pot with enough to cover the drainage holes. This layer will help improve drainage and prevent soil from escaping the pot through the holes.
Next, position the beautiful plant in the center of the pot, making sure that the soil level of the plant is at the same level as it was in the old pot. If the plant is too low in the new pot, add some more potting mix underneath it to bring it up to the correct level. Make sure the soil is level and firm but not compacted, because this should allow aeration to be available in the pot.
Leave about an inch of space between the soil and the rim of the pot to allow for watering. This space will also prevent water from overflowing when you water the plant. Finally, once you have repotted your begonia, be sure to clean up the area and dispose of any excess soil or debris.
7. Provide The Right Care
After you have repotted your plant, and it looks fresh, it’s important to have a good care guide for its new home. First, keep the begonia in a warm, humid location. Also, it thrives in bright indirect light requirements. Next, water the begonia regularly, but make sure not to overwater it.
You can also fertilize your begonia with a balanced fertilizer once every two weeks during the growing season to help the plant thrive. Finally, monitor the plant for signs of stress. This is because the begonia may show signs of stress after repotting, such as wilting or drooping leaves.
To water your plant correctly, you’ll need to pour water over the potting mix until it runs out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. This will ensure the potting mix is evenly moistened, and excess water drains away, preventing waterlogging.
It’s important to note that begonias don’t like to sit in water, so make sure to empty any excess water from the saucer under the pot. This will prevent the roots from sitting in standing water, which can cause root rot, and it could also encounter other types of fungal diseases that would damage roots in the long run.
Whether you’re repotting Begonia rex or repotting Begonia maculata, this is simple process that can help to grow begonia specimens that are healthy and strong. Let’s go over what we’ve learned for now:
- Choose the right pot, and prepare the potting mix for your repotting activities.
- Remove the begonia from its current pot, and inspect the roots before repotting the begonia.
- Care for it properly to ensure that your begonia thrives, and ensure that you do not water it excessively
Now that you know the secret to repotting begonias, your plants will begin to become healthier and more beautiful as time passes by. You can even use the same techniques when transplanting begonia cuttings!