The best way to keep begonias blooming as long as possible is to provide partial shade and well-drained soil. Additionally, increase the begonia blooming period by fertilizing your begonias every 2–3 weeks. As the blooming season progresses, deadhead old blooms to promote new flower growth. While your flowers are blooming, use a pesticide to prevent earwigs and caterpillars from destroying your begonias.
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5 Tips to Keep Begonias Blooming
Begonias open up in full lush blooms. Like all flowers, however, there are pitfalls that may prevent them from blooming to their fullest potential. Follow the four tips outlined below to keep your begonias blooming as long as possible:
Provide Partial Shade
In order to promote a longer blooming period, it’s important to plant your begonias where they have protection from the sun. As we covered in our begonia sunlight exposure guide, almost all varieties of begonias will suffer in full sun.
- Plant begonias where they will receive 4–6 hours of direct sunlight per day to encourage the most blooms.
- When growing begonias, choose a garden bed that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.
- Too much sunlight—especially in hot parts of the day—will scorch and destroy begonia flowers.
Sun scorch can quickly wilt both the leaves and the blooms of your begonias. If you plant begonias in the wrong section of your garden, you may find yourself having to start the growing process all over again. So, choose a partially shaded spot in your garden to encourage more begonia blossoms throughout the year.
Keep the Soil Moist
If the soil surrounding your begonia plants is too dry, you risk stunted flower production. Follow our guide to watering begonias to ensure you get the largest quantity of blooms. Begonias do not tolerate dry soil well, and drought conditions can interrupt or halt the flowering season.
- Overly dry soil will cause begonias to stop producing flowers.
- Begonias prefer soil that remains slightly moist—but not wet—at all times.
- Water your begonias every 2–4 days to provide the correct soil conditions for flower production.
When watering your begonias, don’t oversaturate the ground. Make sure the soil stays moist on a regular basis, but do not allow it to become soggy or swampy. Mildew and other plant diseases can occur if begonias are waterlogged. So, plan to water your begonias every 2–4 days to keep the soil in the proper moisture range.
Deadhead Old Blooms
Make sure you deadhead your begonias a few times during summer to promote constant blooming. Deadheading is the process of removing old flowers once they naturally wilt and shrivel. Use a sharp pair of pruning shears to remove old flowers. When you deadhead this way, it encourages the plant to produce new flowers, thus extending the blooming season.
- Deadhead old blooms several times throughout the summer to encourage a prolonged flowering season.
- Once old blooms naturally wilt, prune them off with these gardening shears.
- When you deadhead begonias, it triggers the plant to grow new flowers to replace the ones you removed.
Deadheading old flowers prevents your begonias from using up their energy on making seeds. Not only will you remove old, dying flowers, but you’ll also actually drive your begonia to grow fresh, new blossoms.
Give Your Begonias Fertilizer
To encourage more flower production, apply a liquid 10-10-10 fertilizer when you initially plant your begonias. Then, add more fertilizer throughout the flowering season. You can apply this fertilizer as often as once every 2–3 weeks. Begonias thrive on an abundance of nutrients and nothing helps blooms last longer than high-quality fertilizer.
- Use this 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer to feed your begonias when you first plant them.
- Beginning in summer, repeat your fertilizer application every 2–3 weeks to encourage more flowers.
- Well-fertilized begonias will produce more, longer-lasting blooms.
The best option for begonias is a balanced, liquid fertilizer that does not contain too much nitrogen, as nitrogen-rich fertilizer leads to more leaves and fewer blooms. 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer provides great results. Follow product label instructions to provide the correct amount of fertilizer each time.
Spray Your Begonias With Natural Pesticide
Bugs such as caterpillars and earwigs love to eat begonia leaves and blooms if enough of the insects are present. If you notice damage to your begonia leaves or flower petals, search for caterpillars and other small insects. Spray these bugs with neem oil to kill them organically and protect your begonia flowers.
- Check your begonia flowers and leaves for signs of damage from insects.
- In order to preserve begonia blossoms, spray insects with this all-natural neem oil.
- Do not drive off helpful garden predators such as spiders and mantises.
Remember that some garden bugs can help control pests for you. Spiders are the natural predators of many plant-eating bugs. If you see praying mantises in your garden, be thankful! They like to eat caterpillars and earwigs.
Why Are You Begonias Not Blooming?
If your begonias are not blooming at all, the first culprit you should look for is soggy soil. Soil that is overwatered will quickly cause the roots of your plants to rot. This will prevent the flowers from blooming. If the soil is soggy, allow it to dry out slightly before watering again. Find the right balance that keeps the soil slightly moist but avoids swampy conditions.
- Soggy soil is a common cause of begonias that fail to bloom.
- Protect your begonias from harsh sunlight to protect delicate flowers.
- Once your soil moisture and sunlight levels are correct, fertilize your begonias for a growth boost.
Evaluate how much sun your begonias are getting to promote proper blossoming. Too much sun and leaf scorch will often stop blooms in their tracks. Plant begonias in an area that receives dappled sunlight or partial shade. This will give your begonias the right conditions for all-summer flower production.
Why Are Your Begonia Flowers Falling Off?
Begonia flowers typically fall off for one of two reasons: drastic changes in temperature or watering problems. The latter can be tricky, since begonias are somewhat fussy concerning the amount of water they need. They are not a flower that will tolerate being overwatered, but they are not drought-resistant either.
- Evaluate the soil consistency if your begonia flowers are falling.
- Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- If extreme temperature changes are anticipated, bring your begonias indoors if possible.
Making sure the soil stays moist but not soggy is the best way to maintain proper moisture levels. If temperatures go from hot to cold—or the other way around—in a very short length of time, some of your blooms might fall off. If possible, bring your begonias indoors if you see an upcoming weather pattern that includes drastic temperature changes.
How Do You Get More Begonias to Bloom?
In order to encourage your begonias to produce the most blooms possible, you should:
- Make sure the soil around your begonias is moist.
- Provide partial shade so your flowers don’t become sun-scorched.
- Deadhead old blooms to promote new flower growth.
- Use a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 2–3 weeks to keep the blooms coming.
- Spray flower-eating pests like caterpillars and earwigs with neem oil to kill them.
Begonias stay dormant throughout winter, but they will typically bud and flower constantly from spring to autumn. You may even have invested in varieties that flower into November or December. By taking the proper steps to care for your begonias, you’ll get even more flowers and a longer flowering season.