Begonias are common in homes and outdoor gardens. There are more than 1000 species, and various types and hybrids.
Begonias come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, which makes it easier for people to find the right begonia for their homes.
Some people prefer crooked, patterned, and colorful foliage, while others love the fibrous types with their beautiful colors.
Other types of begonia include rhizomatous, tuberous, and cones.
However, just like any other plant, begonia might develop problems such as dropping leaves.
There are several practices that you’ve got to carry out to ensure that your begonia is healthy and strong.
If your begonia has been dropping leaves and you don’t know why or what to do, you’re in the right place.
To simplify things for you, we’ve highlighted the main causes of begonia dropping leaves and what you should do.
The main reason why begonia leaves drop is overwatering.
Even though regular watering is vital for plants, begonias need even watering.
And that’s one of the most challenging parts about growing begonias indoors in pots or containers.
Instead of watering begonias daily—for instance, every morning or evening—you should check soil moisture.
This can be done by using your finger or a tensiometer to find out the level of moisture in the soil.
Watering your begonia daily may make the soil extremely wet, which will cause the leaves to rot and drop.
That’s why it is always a good idea to plant your begonia in a container with drainage holes so that water doesn’t remain stagnant and suffocate your precious plant.
The idea is to get the soil slightly wet but not muddy.
Your begonia leaves will drop off if you over water or even underwater them.
Add the necessary water needed for your begonia plant. It should not be excessive or less. If there is excess water, you should get rid of it.
Also, don’t starve your plant by not watering it as needed.
2. Worm Infestation
Another thing that can cause your begonia to drop leaves is an attack by worms.
A worm infestation will not only make your leaves dry but also kill the whole plant.
So, watch out for worms on your plant and remove them as soon as possible.
Worms attack your begonia. The worms that are likely to feed on your begonia plant are cutworms.
Get rid of the worms before they cause severe damage to your plant.
These can be detected by inspecting your plant’s foliage and stem. Worms are active at dusk when they get out to feed.
3. Lack of Humidity
Plants need humidity to make food or for photosynthesis. That’s not an exception for Begonias.
Since they are tropical plants, they need a lot of humidity to grow healthy and strong.
If you’re growing begonia outdoors, this shouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand, if you’re growing them indoors, then you should be worried.
This is because as you warm up your house, you dry the air, which is trouble for the plants.
As a result, this could cause the leaves to dry and drop if they lose a lot of moisture.
If you notice that your indoor begonia plant is dropping leaves in winter, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
It is an indication that the level of humidity is very low.
Most people warm their houses in winter without knowing that they are killing their plants.
To relieve your plants from this stress, you should get a humidifier to keep the air moist.
Alternatively, you can get a mini-greenhouse where you can grow your plants.
Have you repotted your begonia just recently? Maybe it’s the reason your plant is dropping leaves.
Irregular repotting of your begonia plant can cause the leaves to drop.
One of the common mistakes begonia growers make is repotting during winter or summer.
It is recommended to repot your plant during spring when it’s not too hot or too cold. Another mistake is repotting in the wrong pot/container size.
If the plant has outgrown the pot, you should select a larger size pot for smooth growth.
The ideal pot for your begonia should have a drainage hole in the bottom.
If you repot your begonia plant at the wrong time and in the wrong pot size, the leaves will drop.
Repot during spring and put the plant in a slightly larger pot. Don’t repot if it’s unnecessary, as this will make your plant struggle to grow.
5. Lack of Light
Light is crucial for the growth of any plant. They need it for photosynthesis.
For this reason, you should ensure that your begonia gets the right amount of light for it to flourish.
Begonias don’t need a lot of light, though, because too much light can hurt them.
But some varieties need more light than others. Most begonias don’t need a lot of light.
That’s why you need to secure your plant from the strong afternoon sunlight rays. This may burn the begonia leaves and make them drop.
If they are outdoors, put them in partial shade. If they are indoors, put them where there is bright, indirect light.
East, west, or south-facing windows are ideal for begonia cultivation indoors.
If the leaves appear scorched when placed near the south-facing window, then move the plant away from the window.
If your begonia leaves are faded, then this is a sign that they are burning.
And if their stems become weak as they grow towards the side of the window, then this is an indication that they are not receiving enough light.
Being placed in direct sunlight rays where the leaves get burnt. Alternatively, being denied light, which is vital for photosynthesis.
Position your begonia plants well, whether indoors or outdoors. Ensure that they receive enough sunlight, but not direct sunlight.
During winter, you can even use grow lights to help them receive enough light for growth.
Planting Of Begonia
Begonias are known to be extremely frost-tender and a minimum temperature of 50 degrees can cause damage to them.
So, it’s important to transplant them when the threat of frost has passed.
Choose a spot that receives some shade or filtered sunshine; the best times are in the morning and afternoon, especially where it is very hot.
Try a dark-leaved type or one with enhanced sun tolerance, like Surefire® Rose, for sites that receive more direct sunlight.
To avoid powdery mildew, place the plant where there will be adequate air circulation.
Wax begonias are to be planted 6 to 8 inches away from each other, while other varieties should be planted according to their mature sizes.
In most cases, tubers are started indoors by planting them hollow-side up, an inch apart, in a shallow tray with moist potting mix.
The next step is to keep the tray in a dark and cool room for watering to ensure it doesn’t turn soggy.
In four weeks, the tubers will have sprouted and should be moved to an area with bright light once the sprouts are an inch tall.
The only time you can plant outside is when there is no threat of frost.
Now that you know why your begonia plant is dropping leaves, you should correct the problem right away.
To avoid similar problems in the future, ensure you follow the right practices for planting and caring for your begonia plant.
Make sure your plant is in the right pot size, receives enough humidity, water, sunlight, and fertilizer.
When repotting, ensure that you do so in the spring before plants become active again.
If all these factors are kept right, your plant will grow healthily and without any problems.
Doing these things daily might seem tiresome, but they will help you to have peace of mind knowing that your magnificent begonia plant is healthy and growing strong.
We wish you all the best as you try to revive your begonia plant.