Bright flowers and carved fancifully colored begonia leaves are able to please the eye all year round, for this it is necessary to create comfortable conditions for the plant. One of the key considerations when growing begonias is choosing the right pot and soil when planting. This article will tell you about the features of the root system of begonia, the soil necessary for its growth and flowering, the rules of watering, the transplantation process and what kind of flower pot you need and how to pick it up.
Features of the root system
Depending on the type of begonia, its roots can form tubers, rhizomes, or the usual branched root system. In any case, the growth of roots does not occur deep into the soil layer, but in breadth, parallel to its surface.
The root system of begonia is very delicate, it is easily injured, so you need to act extremely carefully when transplanting. It is also important to prevent the accumulation of moisture in the substrate, as this leads to decay, which is especially dangerous in winter, when the air temperature drops significantly (how to keep begonia at home in winter?).
What kind of soil is required?
Begonia is suitable for a light, loose substrate with a low level of acidity and a large supply of nutrients. A special soil that is optimal for growing begonias can be purchased at almost any flower shop. If desired, the correct composition can be made independently, there are several recipes:
- sand, turf and leafy soil in a ratio of 2: 1: 2 (this composition is well suited for tuberous begonias);
- part of the sod land and 2 parts each of peat, humus and leafy land (the option that best suits the needs of the royal begonia);
- 1 part of sand, humus and peat and 2 parts of leafy soil (substrate for royal begonia).
Important! If the substrate is mixed by hand, it must be sterilized before planting. This will help avoid damage by pathogens.
Watering begonias must be regulated depending on the time of year (read here how to properly grow, water and care for begonias so that they bloom longer). Helpful hints. In spring, summer and early autumn, the plant requires intensive moisture 2-3 times a week, starting from October-November it must be reduced to 2-3 times a month.
The water should be at room temperature, well settled (at least within a day), without impurities. It is important to ensure that with abundant watering, water does not accumulate in the pan.
Despite the fact that the plant requires high humidity (60-80%), it is strongly not recommended to spray and moisten the leaves, as this leads to the development of various diseases, such as powdery mildew.
It is best to use special devices to increase air humidity.Also, for this purpose, a pot of begonia can be placed in a tray with wet expanded clay and add water as it evaporates.
What kind of pot do you need?
When planting begonias, preference should be given to wide low pots, the diameter of which exceeds their height by at least a few centimeters. This condition is associated with the peculiarities of the formation of the root system, which prefers to develop in breadth. This shape of the pot will also allow the substrate to be well ventilated and provide the roots with the required amount of oxygen.
Choosing the right size
In which pot to plant a young plant? The first container for a young begonia grown from a cutting or leaf should not exceed 5-6 cm in diameter.About six months, when the plant is fully rooted, it can be transplanted into a larger pot with a diameter of about 10-12 cm.Further transplanting is carried out as needed (but at least once every 2-3 years), while each subsequent capacity should be one third larger than the previous one.
Important! You should not immediately plant a flower in a pot that is too spacious, if the amount of substrate significantly exceeds the volume of the root system, this will lead to waterlogging and the subsequent process of decay.
Preparing the container
First of all, the pot must be thoroughly washed and disinfected, for this you can use a solution of potassium permanganate, such a treatment guarantees the absence of pathogens and protects begonia from diseases in the future.
To maintain the required moisture level of the substrate, it is desirable that there are several drainage holes in the pot, also do not forget about the drainage layer, which should fill at least a quarter of the total volume of the flowerpot.
How to plant a plant?
Regardless of whether we are talking about the first planting of a young plant or a planned transplant of an already grown one, it is important to be careful and follow certain rules:
- Place a drainage layer (for example, expanded clay) in a container prepared for planting.
On top of the drainage layer, you can put 1-2 cm of charcoal, which will provide additional protection for the roots from excess moisture.
- Next, pour in a small amount of the substrate (the amount is determined depending on the total volume of the container and the size of the transplanted plant).
- Carefully remove the begonia from the old pot. If it is not easy to remove the flower, so as not to damage the shoots and roots, you can place the pot for a while in a container of water at room temperature. After 15-20 minutes, the substrate will absorb moisture and it will be much easier to free the begonia from the pot.
- Taking care not to damage the roots, remove any excess of the old substrate and place the begonia in the center of the new pot.
- Cover the flower in a circle with soil, without crushing or tamping, so that about 1 cm remains to the upper edge of the pot.
- Water abundantly. If necessary, add a small amount of the substrate, as it may sink as a result of watering.
Attention! To restore the damaged root system and accelerate the adaptation process of the plant after planting, watering with a solution of root or succinic acid can be carried out. Top dressing in the first months after transplanting is not recommended.
You can find more information on how and what to feed begonias here.
We suggest you watch a video on how to transplant begonia:
Photo of indoor flower
Next, you can see what a potted begonia looks like in the photo.
Why is it important to choose the right container for planting?
- The size... As mentioned earlier, an excessively large pot is more likely to harm the flower, since the root system will not have time to absorb water, which will inevitably lead to waterlogging of the substrate and the appearance of fungal diseases and mold. If the size is chosen correctly, in just 3 months the begonia will be able to fully adapt and begin to bloom.
- Material... Plastic pots are usually cheaper containers, but they contribute to a greenhouse effect that can overheat the root system. This is especially dangerous in the summer. Also, unlike ceramic ones, they remove moisture worse and can contribute to its accumulation in the soil.
- The form... Too deep containers for begonias are not suitable, since the root system of the plant seeks to maximize the volume provided to it. Given the peculiarities of root growth, which prefer to creep right below the surface, growing deeper will take away a lot of strength from the begonias, which will slow down the growth of the aboveground part and become an obstacle to flowering.
A properly executed begonia planting, a well-chosen pot and substrate is a guarantee that it will successfully take root and, in just a few months, will delight the owner with its bright, charming flowers.
We suggest you watch a video about choosing a pot for begonia: