Asked on Jun 28, 2015

Begonias won't grow!!

Rachel Haneline
by Rachel Haneline
I planted these gorgeous begonias with beautiful flowers at the beginning of spring and now they are crapping out on me. I've never had trouble growing these things. They don't get a lot of sun but I've grown them before without a lot of sun. What sign are these guys showing?
  17 answers
  • Beth Hancock Beth Hancock on Jun 29, 2015
    I've just recently started to get into I could be wrong, but it looks like they are drowning. I've been keeping mine in hanging pots with very light soil with lots of drainage because last year they looked similar to that.... I would lift them out, pole holes in your soil and maybe put a bunch of mulch under then keep them a bit raised?
  • Stephanie Stephanie on Jun 29, 2015
  • MundeeB MundeeB on Jun 29, 2015
    Over-watered is what I'm thinking. Could it be because of the rainy spring and summer?
  • Wanda Rushing French Wanda Rushing French on Jun 29, 2015
    just as the others said, when they get leggy like the one on the left it is too much water. One thing you can do is loosen the dirt around them, so the drainage is a little better. hope this helps.
  • Colleen Walpert Colleen Walpert on Jun 29, 2015
    I agree with the watering suggestions. Don't water during the heat of the day. The sun on wet begonia leaves will burn them. When you plant, be sure to give them lots of drainage and loose soil. Dig the hole twice the size of the root ball and backfill with loose garden soil. Hold off watering so frequently until new shoots start forming at the base. Trim back the raggedly leaves and they should be ok if the roots have not developed root rot.
  • Jay Oldridge Jay Oldridge on Jun 29, 2015
    The mulch holds water in. Begonias have to have good drainage. Pull that mulch away. Begonias also love banana peels and will bloom just like roses do if you pull the peels into long skinny pieces and bury them about one inch below the ground next to them.
  • Christine Christine on Jun 29, 2015
    These are wax begonias - a standard garden annual. They like shade and I agree with the advice above about watering. They are also good in containers and hanging baskets probably a bit better than in the ground - sometimes the soil is just too hard for their roots to spread.
  • Rachel Haneline Rachel Haneline on Jun 29, 2015
    ok great! Thank you for all your help. I will pull them up and try them in pots. I hate to see them wither away like they are! Ive never heard of the banana peel thing. Why do they like them?
  • Beth Ward Beth Ward on Jun 29, 2015
    My hub gave me a beautiful begonia with pink blossoms on it for my birthday. I loved it. It took it about 3 weeks to die so much that there was nothing left of it. I can grow anything outside but inside it is a different story. I feel for you Rachel.
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Jul 02, 2015
    Given the rain you have had this year..I think water is the problem..... along with the horrible red clay in most of TX. ..Banana peels are great for almost ALL plants,, ROSES love them..Begonia are a shade to part sun (not hot) plant. they also like rich soil, as do most plants... so when you plant add lots of soil building compost.. also bark pulls the nutrients AWAY from the plants and INTO the bark... I'd use a SOIL BUILDING COMPOST mix (comes in lots of size bags and companies)..I add the compost to each hole I plant. reminder 4 in pot= 16 inch hole, with compost.. PLUS a bit of ROOT BLASTER to encourage healthy root growth. that in turn promotes healthy plant growth.. I also use SOIL BUILDING COMPOST as a top dressing instead of bark.. my favorite is GARDENER and BLOOME..It may not be available in all areas.. Its a bit chunkier than regular compost but not like bark.. next year I work that in to the soil in the spring, and top dress with new bag 3/4 - 1 inch.. After a few years of this,, you will have amazing soil.. everything will grow better..If you try the compost as a top dress the beds..I'd start with 1 first,, Bark I keep to other areas.. it is good for retaining moisture also, might be part of the problem this season in TX..
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Jul 02, 2015
    Bananas are high in POTASSIUM,, if you look at fertilizers almost all are high in that.. COFFEE GROUNDS and TEA BAGS also make great additives to the garden..Roses, Hydrangea, Camillea, Azalea love them too, all area acid loving plants.. An easy thing to do is, keep an old plastic tub (gladware type) put used coffee grounds in them, every few days sprinkle around the base (not trunks) of a plant...Easy and quick extra shot of nutrition. and its free..
  • Rachel Haneline Rachel Haneline on Jul 02, 2015
    so how do you add the banana peels?
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Jul 04, 2015
    I use them on roses, and most other heavy flowering plants ( hydrangea, rodys, azalea and such). I chop the peel into approx 1 -1 1/2 inch size chuncks. spread around the base of plants,, usually inside down,, they turn black in a matter of hrs, you don't notice them. you can also cover w/ a bit of your opt dressing (compost or bark)..they decompose naturally, Easy tip to remember,,,, BIGGER PLANTS WITH LOTS OF BLOOMS ALL SUMMER NEED MORE FERTILIZERS,, COMMERCIAL OR NATURAL..
  • Darwin Wenzler Darwin Wenzler on Jul 21, 2015
    What type of a begonia was it to start with? Only wax begonia should be planted in the ground. I believe this is a Rieger or tuberous begonia, this is a type that should be in a pot on patio.
  • Rachel Haneline Rachel Haneline on Jul 21, 2015
    Well they are in pots now and look EVEN WORSE! They are sitting in my front porch with minimal sun and are just melting away. I give up.
  • Darwin Wenzler Darwin Wenzler on Jul 22, 2015
    I suspect you maybe are not buying the correct type of plant for your landscape. You need to decide where you want flowering plants and notice if it gets morning sun? Afternoon sun? Buy small plants,bedding type plants. Work up your bed add some bought garden soil, best to get a soil test kit from your county agent at your extension office. See what your soil needs. Also notice what other people in your area are growing successfully, tag on to their successes. Also your local Master Gardeners can be a wealth of information. And it is for your specific area. I have worked with Master Gardeners in two states, Miss & Florida. Very different growing techniques, different soil, and types of problems. I think you just started out with the wrong kind of begonia to begin with. I think you had Reiger (florist) begonia, they make a nice gift for a splash, but do not grow that well out of a greenhouse setting. Good luck, do some research for your area, .
  • Rachel Haneline Rachel Haneline on Jul 22, 2015
    That'll you so much for your advice. I've never had trouble growing traditional begonias. I feel so defeated.
    • Mia Mia on Jul 05, 2018

      Hi Rachel,

      I was curious your begonias fared the rest of the season. Did you have any luck with them recovering? I’m faced with the exact problem you described, I’m in the area (Allen) and never had trouble growing these or other bedding plants.

      Any tips for me?

      Thank you