Begonia plants can be a great addition to any garden, but sometimes they can start to look a bit leggy. This happens when the plants grow too tall and the leaves get long and thin.
Don’t worry, there are ways to help your begonias stay healthy and look good! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the things you can do to help your leggy begonias.
Why Do Begonias Get Leggy?
The main reason begonias get leggy is because they are not getting enough light. When begonias don’t get enough light, they stretch out to try and reach the light source. This process is called etiolation and it causes the plant to become long and thin.
If your begonia is looking leggy, the first thing you should do is check the amount of light it is getting. Begonias need at least four hours of direct sunlight each day. If your begonia is not getting enough light, move it to a spot where it will get more sun.
While begonias can survive in some shade, they need to receive light every day if they are to thrive and bloom. If your begonia is not getting enough light, it will become leggy and the leaves will start to turn yellow from lack of chlorophyll production.
I will now go into some of the ways you can help your leggy begonias become healthy and look good again.
How Can I Help My Leggy Begonias?
There are two main ways to help your leggy begonias: provide more light and prune the plants. I will now discuss each of these in more detail.
1. Providing More Light
As I mentioned before, the main reason begonias get leggy is because they are not getting enough light. The best way to help your leggy begonias is to provide them with more light.
Some begonia plants like full light, while others like partial shade. If you are not sure what type of begonia you have, it is best to check with the nursery or garden center where you bought the plant.
Once you know what type of begonia you have, you can choose a spot in your garden that gets the appropriate amount of light. If you already know how much light your leggy begonias are getting, increase the amount of light by moving the plants to a sunnier spot.
If you can’t provide your begonias with more light, you can try using grow lights. Grow lights are special lamps that emit light that is similar to sunlight. This can help your begonias get the light they need to stay healthy.
2. Pruning the Begonias
Leggy begonias should be pinched back to encourage new growth. Pinching back means removing the tips of the plants. This will cause the plants to branch out and become fuller.
To pinch back your leggy begonias, use a pair of sharp scissors to snip off the tips of the plants. You can also cut back the stems by a few inches. Make sure to make the cuts above a leaf node, which is where new leaves will grow.
After you have pruned your begonias, they may look a bit sad. But don’t worry, they will soon start to grow new leaves and stems!
3. Reduce Fertilizer
There’s a chance that you may be fertilizing your begonias too much. When this happens, the plants have so many nutrients that they get excited and try to grow as fast as they can. This causes the plants to become leggy and the leaves to turn yellow.
If you think you may be fertilizing your begonias too much, reduce the amount of fertilizer you are using. You should also make sure you are using a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen. Nitrogen is a nutrient that encourages fast growth, so you want to avoid using fertilizers that are high in nitrogen.
You can also try using a slow-release fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizers release nutrients slowly over time, so they don’t cause the plants to become leggy.
How to Prune a Leggy Begonia?
To prune a leggy begonia, follow these steps:
- Work out how much you want to remove from the plant. Think about if the begonia is growing in one direction and you want it to grow more evenly. You can also use a ruler or measuring tape to help you work out how much to remove
- Sterilize all of your equipment. This includes your secateurs, scissors, or knife. You can do this by wiping the blades down with rubbing alcohol
- Use sharp scissors or secateurs to cut above a leaf node. A leaf node is where new leaves will grow, so make sure to not cut too close to the node
- Repeat this process until you have removed the desired amount from the plant
- Give your begonia a good drink of water and place it in a spot with bright, indirect light
In conclusion, leggy begonias can be helped by providing them with more light, pruning the plants, and reducing fertilizer. By following these tips, you will have healthy and happy begonias in no time!
The biggest takeaway is to make sure your begonias are getting enough light. If you can provide them with more light, either by moving them to a sunnier spot or using grow lights, this will help the plants become healthier and prevent them from becoming leggy.
I hope this article was helpful in teaching you how to help your leggy begonias. Do you have any tips for helping leggy begonias? Let us know in the comments below!
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.