Begonias are a large family of flowering plants that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Check out this guide on begonia hanging basket care for beginners if you are interested in growing this colorful plant.
They can be grown indoors or outdoors, but if you are looking to add some color and life to your outdoor space, why not try growing begonias in a hanging basket?
Growing begonias in hanging baskets is an easy way to create an eye-catching display that can be enjoyed all season long.
What are Basket Begonias?
Basket begonias are a type of begonia that is ideal for growing in hanging baskets. These plants have an upright, mounding growth habit and long-lasting flowers that come in shades of pink, red, white, yellow, deep purple, and orange.
They make excellent choices for shady areas or places where there is not much sun. The bright fragrant flowers add color to any outdoor space and they are easy to care for once established.
Begonia Hanging Basket Care Tips
Begonia hanging basket care is not difficult, but there are some key points to keep in mind when it comes to providing the best care possible. Here are some tips to make the most out of your basket plants:
- Choose a pot or basket with good drainage and fill it with a light, well-draining potting mix.
- Place the hanging basket in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight and avoid direct exposure to the sun.
- Water begonias thoroughly when the soil feels dry to the touch but be sure not to overwater as this can lead to root rot.
- Fertilize begonias once a month with a balanced fertilizer to ensure they have all the nutrients they need to thrive.
- Deadhead wilted flowers regularly to encourage new blooms and tidy up the plant.
- Check for pests and diseases regularly, such as powdery mildew or mealybugs, and treat them promptly if needed.
Best Time to Plant Begonia Seeds
Begonia seeds should be planted in late winter or early spring when the temperature starts to warm up.
Begonias can be direct-sown into hanging baskets, containers, or a prepared garden bed, but they can also be started indoors several weeks before your last frost date for an earlier start. When planting begonias from seed, sow them in a well-draining potting mix and keep the soil lightly moist until germination.
Type of Soil to Use for Begonias
Grow your begonias plants in well-drained soil that is formulated for container plants. A good combination is one part peat moss and one part perlite or vermiculite.
You can also add some compost or aged manure to the mix to provide additional nutrients for your begonias. The soil should be slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5 for best performance.
How to Propagate Begonias
Propagating begonias is a relatively easy process and can be done in two main ways: stem cuttings or division.
To propagate begonias from stem cuttings, simply take a cutting of about four inches long from the plant and remove any flowers or buds it may have. Place the cutting in a pot of moist soil and keep it warm and lightly shaded until it begins to form roots.
To propagate begonias through division, dig up the plant and carefully separate the root system into two or more parts. Re-plant each part in its own pot with fresh potting mix, making sure to provide adequate drainage.
Water well after planting and place in a warm, shaded location until new growth begins to form.
Growing and Caring for Different Types of Begonias
There are many different types of begonias that can be grown in hanging baskets, from the bushy fibrous rooted begonia to the trailing tuberous rooted begonia.
It is important to choose the right type of begonia for your hanging basket, as each variety has slightly different requirements.
Fibrous rooted begonias are usually bushy and upright, with large leaves in vibrant colors. They prefer bright but indirect light and should be watered regularly to keep the soil moist. Do not overwater, since this can result in root rot.
Tuberous begonias, on the other hand, are trailing plants with small leaves and delicate blooms.
They prefer bright but indirect sunlight and should be watered more sparingly than fibrous rooted begonias. Tuberous rooted begonias need to dry out almost completely between waterings to prevent root rot.
There are many begonia types to choose from in a wide range of colors, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most popular varieties include:
- Begonia Rex – This variety has large waxy leaves that come in a range of colors and patterns. It prefers bright but indirect light and should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch.
- Begonia Semperflorens – Also known as wax begonias, this variety is ideal for containers and hanging baskets due to its trailing habit. It prefers bright but indirect sunlight and should be watered regularly but not overly wet.
- Begonia Grandis – This variety features large, heart-shaped leaves that come in shades of green, bronze, and red. It prefers partial shade and should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch.
Pests and Diseases
Like all plants, begonias can be susceptible to pests and diseases. Some of the most common problems include powdery mildew, mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites.
Regularly checking your begonias for signs of infestation is the best way to prevent fungal disease and other issues from taking hold.
If you do find any pests or diseases, treat them promptly with an appropriate solution to prevent further damage. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the top surface of the soil to help prevent and get rid of unwanted pests.
When tending your begonias, it’s also important to keep an eye out for signs of nutrient deficiencies. Begonias are especially prone to iron deficiency, which will cause yellowing and stunted growth.
If you notice any of these symptoms, fertilize your begonias with a liquid fertilizer that is high in iron. With adequate care and attention, your begonias will thrive for many years to come!
Troubleshooting Potential Problems
When caring for begonias in hanging baskets, it’s important to watch out for potential problems such as pests or diseases.
Begonias are especially susceptible to powdery mildew and mealybugs, so be sure to monitor your plants regularly and take appropriate action if you spot any signs of infestation.
Make sure to provide the correct amount of light for your particular variety of begonia to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
Finally, don’t forget about propagation! Propagating begonias in a hanging basket is an easy way to create more plants that can be shared with friends or planted in other locations.
With just a few simple steps, you can create a beautiful display of blooms to enjoy all season long.
Begonia Plants Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions pertaining to begonia hanging basket care.
Do begonias like shade or sun hanging baskets?
When it comes to begonia hanging basket care, begonias generally prefer partial shade or filtered sunlight.
While they can tolerate some direct sunlight, too much sun exposure can scorch their leaves and hinder their growth. Placing begonia hanging baskets in an area with bright, indirect light or dappled shade is ideal.
Shade-loving begonias thrive in areas with indirect light, such as under a tree canopy or on a porch with filtered sunlight. This provides them with the right balance of light and shade.
If your begonia hanging basket receives direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day, it is advisable to provide some protection, like placing it in a spot that receives shade during those times or using a sheer curtain or shade cloth to diffuse the sunlight.
How often do you water begonia hanging baskets?
Proper watering is an essential aspect of begonia hanging basket care. The watering frequency for begonias in hanging baskets depends on several factors, including the environment, temperature, humidity, and the specific needs of the begonia variety you have.
To determine when to water your begonia hanging basket, it’s important to monitor the soil moisture level. Water the soil when the top inch is dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s crucial to avoid keeping the soil constantly wet.
In general, begonias prefer slightly moist but well-draining soil. It’s better to underwater than overwater begonias, as they can tolerate short periods of dryness better than excessive moisture.
As a guideline, water your begonia hanging basket thoroughly whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
During hot and dry weather conditions, you may need to water more frequently, potentially every 2-3 days. However, in cooler and more humid conditions, you might only need to water once a week or even less frequently.
Remember, the key is to maintain the right balance of moisture for your begonia hanging basket.
By regularly checking the soil moisture and adjusting your watering schedule accordingly, you can provide optimal care for your begonias and ensure their healthy growth.
How long do trailing begonias last?
When it comes to trailing begonias in hanging baskets, their lifespan can vary depending on various factors, including the specific variety, growing conditions, and care provided.
Trailing begonias are known for their cascading growth habit and beautiful blooms, making them popular choices for hanging baskets.
With proper begonia hanging basket care, trailing begonias can last for several months, typically from spring to late fall. They tend to be more sensitive to cold temperatures, so their lifespan might be shorter if exposed to frost or extreme cold.
To extend the lifespan of trailing begonias in hanging baskets, it’s important to provide them with appropriate care.
This includes ensuring they receive the right amount of light, partial shade, or filtered sunlight, as well as maintaining a consistent watering routine that keeps the soil slightly moist but well-draining.
Regularly deadheading spent flowers and removing any damaged or yellowing leaves will help promote continuous blooming and overall plant health.
Fertilizing the begonias every 2-4 weeks with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer specifically formulated for flowering plants can provide them with essential nutrients for sustained growth and blooming.
Do you need to deadhead begonias?
When it comes to begonia hanging basket care, deadheading begonias is not always necessary, but it can certainly benefit the overall appearance and health of the plant.
Deadheading is when begonia flowers are removed after going through their growth cycle.
Deadheading begonias can encourage continuous blooming and prevent the plant from putting energy into producing seeds.
By removing the spent flowers, you redirect the plant’s energy toward producing new blooms, which can result in a more abundant and prolonged flowering period.
To deadhead begonias in hanging baskets, simply pinch or cut off the faded flowers at the base of the stem. This encourages the development of new buds and prevents the plant from diverting resources toward seed production.
While deadheading is not absolutely necessary for begonias, it can help maintain a tidy and attractive appearance, especially in hanging baskets where the blooms are more visible.
It is a simple task that can be performed as needed throughout the growing season.
Remember to always use clean and sharp pruners or scissors when deadheading to minimize the risk of damaging the plant. Be sure to dispose of the removed flowers properly to prevent the spread of diseases or pests.
By incorporating deadheading into your begonia hanging basket care routine, you can promote continuous blooming and keep your begonias looking their best throughout the growing season.
Begonia Hanging Basket Care
Growing begonias in hanging baskets is an easy way to add color and life to any outdoor space. With the right care and maintenance, you can enjoy vibrant blooms all season long.
Be sure to choose the right type of begonia for your hanging basket and follow guidelines for watering, fertilizing, and pest control for the best results. With a bit of love and attention, your begonias will be blooming in no time!